Ask Jim Lang: The Say Hey Kid

I experienced a career highlight last week when I took part in a sitdown interview with Jerry Rice. The feature should air early this week on Sportsnet Connected.

As great as he was on the field during his 20-year NFL career, he was even greater to deal with in person. A complete gentleman, Rice could teach guys like Brandon Marshall a thing or two about what it means to be a pro. And now, onto this weeks questions.

From: Jon
Hey Clubber, who wins in a fight between you and Don Taylor?

Answer: Great question; let’s start with the tale of the tape.
Don Taylor – aka "The Don", "The Terrace Terror"
Height – 6’ 1"
Weight – 200 pounds
Third-degree black belt in Wing Chun, Bruce Lee’s rare form of Kung Fu.
Five-year reign as the undisputed Rogers Sportsnet middleweight MMA champion.

Jim Lang – aka "Clubber", "The Newmarket Nightmare"
Height – 6’ 1"
Weight – 195 pounds
Trained as a teenage prodigy by the 2nd battalion of the PPCLI to be an expert in the art of hand-to-hand combat.
Was rejected in his attempt to join Britain’s famed SAS; they said he was just too damn tough.

In the early rounds, I would do some damage to Don. But I have to admit Jon, as the rounds go on, Taylor would wear me down in the Octagon. I can’t lie, I would put up a really good fight, but Don would end up winning any brawl between the two of us. Now, if Don and I were in the wrestling ring, and not the Octagon, I would destroy him.


From: Dale
Dear Jim, is it true that Charles Nelson Reilly of Match Game fame once threw a no-hitter against the Pirates?
Sincerely, Dale

Answer: Thanks Dale, what an interesting question. Charles Nelson Reilly often gets confused with former St Louis Browns pitcher Bobo Holloman, who did throw a no-no against the Philadelphia Athletics, not the Pittsburgh Pirates. Little known fact: when he wasn’t on Match Game or making cameos in Burt Reynolds movies, Charles Nelson Reilly was a master at Jai Alai. Even with those massive glasses he wore, Charles Nelson Reilly was once clocked throwing the ball, or "pelota", an astounding 320 km/h in a match held at a mob owned casino in Havana just before Fidel Castro took power.


Jon in Atlanta
Clubber. Knowing your affinity for everything “Trailer Park Boys” what are your expectations and anticipation for the upcoming movie due out in a few weeks? Will Bubbles ever get the girl? And what was your best “Trailer Park” moment … that can be printed? Love the blog,

Answer: Hi Jon, I hope life is treating you well in Atlanta. I actually watched the movie trailer online and it looks awesome. Bubbles does get the girl, sort of. It’s hard to pick one favourite moment. I loved the episode where Ricky, Julian and Bubbles walked in on J-Roc as he was "getting changed". Another classic is the time Ricky defended himself in court after the boys were charged with stealing gas. But my all-time favourite moment involved Bubbles with Conky in the vets office.


From: Edward
When did baseball start this walk-off bit and what does it mean?

Thank you /Ed.

Answer: Hi Ed, I love this question. The man that first started using the term "walk-off" was none other than Dennis Eckersley. Eck was legendary for speaking a version of the English language that required subtitles. Back in the late 1980s, San Francisco Chronicle writer Lowell Cohn decided to write a column, translating all of Eckersley’s strange words and terms. One of them was "walk-off". Eck said it was meant to describe the losing pitcher walking off the mound in shame after giving up a game-ending home run.


From: Kyle
Hey Jim, I remember you speaking to our Broadcast Journalism class at Loyalist, so now I want to ask you a sports question. Baseball has seen many great players over its lifespan but if you had to pick one player who would be considered the best player of all time who would it be?

Answer: Hi Kyle, what an intriguing question. There are many who would automatically say it was Babe Ruth. As much as I respect the Bambino’s amazing accomplishments, I don’t think he was the best player of all time. The problem is that Ruth played during the era when Major League Baseball was all white. Ruth never had to face any of the amazing legends of the Negro leagues. So that means you have to look at all the players who played after 1947, the year Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s colour barrier.

When you look at the total package of average, power, arm, range, defence, base running etc.; the greatest player of all time is Willie Mays. The Say Hey Kid hit 660 home runs, won 12 Gold Gloves, drove in 1,903 runs and on and on it goes.

Check out this YouTube tribute to Mays and check out the effortless way he did everything. The highlight is at the 1:06 mark as he robs Vic Wertz with arguably the greatest catch in the history of the World Series.

One more note abut Mays and his incredible numbers, he missed 266 games in 1951 and 1952 while he served in the U.S. Army.


From: Mike
Thanks for reading my question Jim. I have a package of rookie cards that I’m looking to sell. You sound like you’d give me an honest answer. How much is a package with Sidney Crosby, Johan Franzen, Mikko Koivu, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Thomas Vanek, Ryan Miller, Dion Phaneuf, Cristobal Huet and Ryan Getzlaf worth? Thanks

Answer: Hi Mike, to properly answer a question like this, I need to consult someone who really knows what they’re talking about. Fortunately, a buddy of mine, Hersh Borenstein, runs a hockey memorabilia company called "Frozen Pond". I will let Hersh tell what you need to know:

"There are Crosby rookies that are worth $10,000 (Upper Deck “The Cup” autographed limited-edition) and there are Crosby rookies worth $10. It all depends on which card and set the guy has. It’s not like the old days when there was only one manufacturer (OPC) and one card of a player.

Condition is also of utmost importance. A card with even a slight flaw is worth considerably less than a mint condition card.

The same would ring true for all the other players. A lot more information would be needed before a proper answer can be given. Your viewer’s best bet is to go to Chapters and buy the current issue of Beckett Hockey in the hobby area of the magazine section. That will give him listings and values of all the recent card sets."

Hope that helps Mike

That’s it for this week. Please keep the questions coming. It will help me take my mind of the fact that I got completely punked in my first week of Fantasy Football.

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