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Wild Bill’s Sports Roundup!

Bill Turner

Sometimes you’re put to the test.

No better way to describe the question I was hit with one snowy night back in March. “When’s The Chief’s birthday?”

He sure never told me, so how would I know? Then the person told me with a chuckle, “Why don’t you try to Ouija it?”

Associates at the Carroll Righter Occult Society admitted pulling up birthdays on a Ouija Board is a push. But, I love a challenge. Once the session began and the lights started flickering, not to mention the planchette sliding around the Board like a wayward bobsled, I knew I was in business and an answer came forth.

“The Chief’s Day is June 9th”. (It’s right about here I can expect one of those publisher’s comments either laughing at me for being off by 4 months or finally admitting I’m a talented Ouijaist). So, I’ll proceed as if the Ouija is on the top of its game. (Chief’s Note: I will concede that His Wildness has somehow hit the target – but even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then . . .)

June 9th is also the birthday of other superstars, from sports icon Dick Vitale to the ruler of the Tsardom of Russia, Peter the Great. Actors Michael J, Fox and Bob Cummings, a star in “Dial M for Murder” and a guy who was on hand for Righter’s famous Leo Party, also share this birthday. It’s also Donald Duck Day.

June itself also brings us Ice Tea Day (10), Splurge Day (18), Kissing Day (19), Columnist Day (23) and Body Piercing Day (28). Yes, you always learn something when you read this column.

A Wild Bill Burger at Macado’s may be in order for The Chief, topped with a birthday cake with candles. With all this rain, we should be safe from a prairie fire.

Now, on to a busy sports lineup that includes baseball in Salem, an exceptional sports club meeting, a local golf major and Hall of Fame inductee, plus a visit to a longtime feature in the column. Here we go:

The Salem Red Sox continue their play in the Carolina League with 11 home dates the remainder of June. The Potomac Nationals visit Salem June 11-13. Following the Carolina League All-Star break, the Salem Sox have a pair of 4-game sets against Frederick (21-24) and Carolina (26-29). Haley Toyota Field is the place to be for summer baseball excitement.

The Roanoke Valley Sports Club welcomes Virginia Tech play-by-play broadcaster Mike Burnop as its guest speaker for the Monday, June 18 meeting at the Salem Civic Center. Get on board for the upcoming Hokie football season and bring your questions for Burnop. Things kick off at a 5:45 social, with the dinner meeting to follow. Contact Maggie Drewry at 540-353-1103 for information or to purchase tickets.

The Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame tees it up for its Men, Women and Senior Women tournaments June 8-10 with play at Roanoke Country Club, Westlake and Hidden Valley, respectfully. Team and individual championships are on the line in the first major of the year. Also, congratulations go out to Bill Proffitt for being named to the 2018 Hall of Fame.

Finally, we revisit a longtime feature, “The most unusual game of the month.” It would be hard to match the adventure that the William Fleming softball team encountered in their final regular season matchups against Martinsville. Playing a doubleheader, the heretofore winless Lady Colonels didn’t play the conventional twin bill. In the opener, Fleming pitcher Lenora Morgan pitched a no-hitter as Fleming prevailed 22-4. In the nightcap, the Colonels managed just a single hit by Tamiah Stewart, seemingly the recipe for a loss, right?  Not quite. The Lady Colonels won 18-7, taking advantage of 15 walks and 10 hit batsmen by the Bulldog pitching. Shows you don’t need to hit ’em where they ain’t – just duck and trot to first.

Until next time, get your presents ready for The Chief and enough candles for a wax museum. Breaking into song, “Happy birthday to The Chief, Happy birthday to you!”

Bill Turner

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