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Sports hype stories fade

July 17, 2010
By Dennis Grall

ESCANABA - Two completely over-hyped events are history and now it is time to focus on the sports world as it has always been. ESPN went hog-wild about both events, which made it easy to ignore by simply ignoring ESPN.

Over and done, thankfully, are the World Cup and the LeBron James saga. Never has more been written and said about something less substantial than those two events, so the less said here the better.

The best thing about all the attention devoted to those events is it kept Brett Favre and Tiger Woods, two other overdone stories, out of the loop for a couple of weeks. It is likely Favre and Woods enjoyed the respite.

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Dennis Grall, sports editor

Rock legend Alice Cooper sang at Island Resort & Casino last week, and part of his visit included a couple of rounds at Sweetgrass Golf Club. Cooper, who plays in several PGA pro-am events and tries to play as many days as possible, reportedly shot 74, 76 and 78 from the blue tees at Sweetgrass.

I can't name a song ever played by Cooper, but I do know he plays Callaway clubs, for whatever that is worth.

* Relief ace John Hiller has received accolades from former Detroit Tigers' catcher Lance Parrish.

Parrish, in his book "Few and Chosen: Defining Tigers Greatness Across The Eras," selected Hiller as the team's all-time top reliever. Willie Hernandez was second, according to Burt Angeli of the Iron Mountain Daily News.

Hiller, who appeared at the recent Eskymo Fan Club golf outing at the Escanaba Country Club and plays in the Island Resort & Casino Classic, now lives in Iron Mountain. He has been nominated for the U.P. Sports Hall of Fame, but of course his credentials were established before moving to the U.P.

Parrish wrote: "Considering the physical problems he had to overcome and the era in which he pitched, John Hiller should be regarded among the elite relief pitchers in baseball history."

Hiller was limited to 125 career saves by a heart attack which sidelined him for a key part of his career. He once held the onetime single season save mark of 39.

Parrish said Hiller "was fun to catch." He noted the southpaw relied on three pitches and termed the changeup his "equalizer."

* The men will play the basketball opener and the women get the nightcap in GLIAC doubleheaders this season. That will be reversed for 2011-12 and will continue to be rotated in future seasons. The women had played the opener for many years.

* Adam Hamari of Marquette was the plate umpire Sunday at the Futures Game and also worked the Class AA home run derby competition Monday in Anaheim at Angel Stadium.

"Just an all-around tremendous experience," Hamari told Angeli.

Hamari officiates high school basketball in the Upper Peninsula.



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