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All smiles for ‘Shimo’

August 15, 2009
By Dennis Grall, sports editor

ESCANABA - Ten people have been added to the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame, and one brings an immediate smile to many people.

Jim "Shimo" Lindstrom, a former Escanaba football coach who died in 2000, is among the selections. What a great honor for a super guy.

We bowled on a couples team nearly 40 years ago, we played softball for a couple of years and golfed together for many years. I was honored to be a pallbearer at his funeral, which followed a short battle with cancer.

Article Photos

Dennis Grall
Daily Press sports editor

Jim always had a smile on his face, loved football and teaching the sport to youngsters, and put everything he had into everything he did. He was not a good golfer, and was the first to admit that fact, but he kept trying to improve.

He always hated arriving at the third tee at Escanaba Country Club. He knew the trees protecting the women's tee would likely gather up his left-handed shot, but he still pounded away. He also had bunker problems, almost always using his putter to escape because the sand wedge just didn't get the job done.

Even though we were the same age, I never saw him play high school football because in those days the world between Marinette and Iron Mountain was a long ways apart. However, the many stories I've heard over the years indicate Jim was among the best to lug the leather.

Landing in the Hall of Fame is difficult. Only 10 people are selected, and there are currently 261 names under consideration. Everyone believes their candidate is a sure-fire choice, but there are so many sure-fire choices that separating 10 from the rest is not easy.

l The 271 Jon Ellis of Iron Mountain shot to win the 95th Upper Peninsula Golf Association tournament at Norway Oak Crest recently was two behind the modern all-time record.

That was a pretty prolific tournament by the Ferris State University junior, with a high round of 70. Not many players at this level can expect to maintain that pace over four days.

John (Gus) Koskinen of Baraga shot 269 in 2002, when it was split between Oak Crest and Iron Mountain Pine Grove.

The 185-player field marked the fourth straight year less than 200 golfers participated. It was the second straight year the event was held at one course, after a run of 16 years when it was held at two courses.

The 2010 tournament goes to Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., which could result in another slim field simply because of geographics and the border situation.

Marquette will host in 2011, with 2012 set for either Pine Grove, Manistique or Norway.



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