As Sam Sees It

Ted Wilcox was as involved in Winslow sports and our school system as anyone could be. He was one of the best athletes to come out of Winslow High School and went on to play three sports at the collegiate level. He coached several sports, umpired and refereed and was one of the most faithful of fans.

Ted and I coached freshman football together and played softball both as teammates and opponents. We taught together at the Winslow Junior High School and both coached basketball there. We were frequent golfing partners when Winslow still had a golf course.

We went to many sporting events together including Winslow High School games of all sorts, Arizona Diamondbacks games and other events in which we had a mutual interest. Ted and his family took me with them to the Parker Softball Tournament last spring as Winslow came away with the championship. Both of our families were at Tucson for the Senior Girls Little League Tournament and our granddaughters and their teammates brought home the championship trophy again.

Unfortunately, Ted went into the hospital during that tournament and never recovered. He was extremely proud of his granddaughter Amanda and the role she played in that victory. He didn’t get to see her best moments, but at least he died knowing of her accomplishments.

We were fortunate enough to be able to have Amanda, Tahmie Smith and our granddaughter travel with us to and from Las Vegas and spend much of the time there with us. Ted had more reasons to be proud of his granddaughter than just her athletic abilities.

Ted Wilcox was a good friend and will be sorely missed. He will leave a void for many in Winslow and around northern Arizona.

The 2003 World Series should be a good one. The New York Yankees and the Florida Marlins each won their league titles in seven game series.

The Chicago Cubs and their fans have got to be some of the most frustrated people on earth. The Cubs gave it a good shot, though, before losing to an excellent Florida Marlins team that just may be the best in baseball right now.

The Cubs did not lose the series because of a fan or a jinx, though many may think so at this time. The error by the shortstop that followed the fan’s unfortunate action had a lot more to do with losing that game. Also, give some credit to the Marlins and their never-say-die attitude.

Branch Rickey, a great baseball man known mostly for signing Jackie Robinson and breaking baseball’s color barrier in 1947, said, “Luck is the residue of design.” That is a great quote. What he meant, of course, is that those who are ready to take advantage of a situation will make their own luck. We saw that over and over again in these play-offs.

Cub centerfielder Kenny Lofton runs the bases full blast and very intelligently. We saw him take the extra base several times on the slightest of miscues. We also saw at least one runner thrown out after a bobble because he did not run hard to first base. Both players made their own luck by what they had done before the break came.

The Red Sox kept their “jinx” alive as well, but leaving a tired pitcher in during the three run Yankee eighth inning had more to do with the loss than a trade made nearly a hundred years ago.

The Yankees will be favored, but Florida is the more balanced team and will win the World Series. That said, some might remember that the Cubs and the Red Sox were picked to be there in this column last week.


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