Random weekend observations
Few Sunday thoughts on local sports stories with professional ties:
Cecil Fielder, appearing on Sunday's "Titans in 60" show, did not take the easy way out when asked about the steroid era, saying he still considers Hank Aaron to be Major League Baseball's all-time home run leader, not Barry Bonds.
If you remember, in 1990, Fielder became the first player in 13 years to crack the 50 home run plateau, finishing with 51. During that period, he received considerable media attention, and when he hit No. 50 in the final series of the season at Yankee Stadium, it was highly celebrated.
A mere eight years later, 50 home runs was just a regular number as the likes of Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were all chasing 70 homers, leaving Fielder's accomplishment - unheard of at the time - obsolete.
If I were in Fielders' shoes, I'd feel the same way.
Speaking of Fielder, if you're looking to meet him and add his autograph to your collection, he will be appearing at the Torrington Armory on April 28 for a memorabilia show. For details, check out the "Welcome" section here on the site.
Time to give Torrington's Jordan Williams a lot of credit. The Nets' rookie recorded the first double-double of his career Saturday night, finishing with 12 points and 14 rebounds in a loss to the Celtics, building on his strong play since being inserted into New Jersey's regular rotation. Williams' late season rise has solidified his spot in the NBA for next season, and considering his production and salary cap friendly contract, he more than likely will be back with the Nets.
We will have a big season-in-review on Williams after the conclusion of the regular season in two weeks, so stay tuned.
Great piece on LitchfieldCountySports.com this weekend by Gerry deSimas Jr., who brought us back 15 years ago Friday when the Hartford Whalers played its final game in Hartford.
As a Whalers fan, I haven't quite gotten over their departure. I was 15 at the time, and while I had an idea about the business of sports, I didn't quite understand the magnitude of it until the Whalers left. Coaches had left, players had left, but a team? That's a blow a 15-year old, a 55-year old and a 75-year old can have a hard time overcoming.
In the 15 years since, I've rooted casually for the Islanders and have enjoyed taking in games at the Civic Center-like Nassau Coliseum. While that's been fun, nothing has been the same for me than rooting for the team in green and blue that was hoping to fight, not for a cup, but for the eighth seed.
And unless a miracle occurs and the Whalers are reborn in a new Hartford arena, I doubt it ever will.
Make sure to tune into Monday's Litchfield County Sports Show as Rick Wilson is scheduled to call in from Disney World. Trust me, that last sentence is no joke.