'The Thing' for Bittle is now medicine

He was practically unhittable, Scott Bittle was, when he dominated Southeastern Conference hitters for Ole Miss in 2008 and won the C Spire Boo Ferriss Trophy. Bittle threw one pitch so cruelly effective that it had its own name: The Thing. It looked like a fastball until it approached home plate and then it just kind of dropped to the earth. Hitters not only missed it, they often missed badly. Bittle's baseball future seemed so bright, especially when the New York Yankees selected him in the second round of that...

Now on display at your Sports Hall of Fame

Bianca Knight made Mississippi proud, helping set a world record and winning gold in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Your Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is proud to display the red sneakers she wore during the finals and the flag she wrapped around her in the victory celebration, as well as more memorabilia from her Olympic experience. Our Olympic room, which displays the remarkable success of Mississippians in the Olympics, is currently being renovated and updated and Bianca Knight's memorabilia will be part of the permanent display.

Vest, oldest Hall of Famer, dies at 98

Dorothy Vest, the first lady of Mississippi tennis and the oldest living Mississippi Sports Hall of Famer, died Jan. 7, 2013, at her home in Dallas. She was 98. In 1979, the Vest family of Jackson was named the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Family of the Year. Dorothy Vest made her mark as both a player and as a tireless advocate for tennis. She was the director of tennis for the the City of Jackson for 30 years, spearheading the building of facilities at both Battlefield Park and Parham...

Buster visits Buster

Former Ole Miss football great Jimmy Heidel (back right), one of the original New Orleans Saints, brought two visitors to the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum Jan. 4. Eight-year-old Buster, in the red sweatshirt, and five-year-old Mac enjoyed their visit. Buster is named for his great grandfather Buster Poole and was particularly interested in the Hall of Fame plaques honoring Buster, Ray and Barney Poole, Hall of Famers all. Said Heidel, "They've got Poole hands and they can run." The boys were visiting from their home in St....

Bianco named to Team USA staff

Ole Miss head baseball coach Mike Bianco will serve as the pitching coach for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, it was announced Tuesday. The team will compete internationally this summer. It is the first time for the Bianco to serve as an assistant with the organization despite a long history between Bianco’s Rebels and USA Baseball. Seven Rebels have competed internationally with the USA National Team in the last 10 seasons. Bianco joins Tim Esmay of Arizona State and Ed Servais of Creighton as assistant coaches on the staff...

A team that should never be forgotten . . .

The 1964-65 Lanier Bulldogs finished 43-0, averaged 102 points per game and won a national championship tournament. Get out your calendars. Circle the date: Jan. 23, 2013. This will be a long overdue night to remember. First some background. The 1964-65 Lanier High basketball team, coached by Mississippi Sports Hall of Famer Orsmond Jordan, won 43 games and lost zero. The Bulldogs averaged 102 points per game. They won their games by an average of 40 points. They were so good that Cornell Warner, a future eight-year NBA star, came...

Softball coaches clinic slated for HoF

Jackson State's Rick Fremin, one of the brightest young coaches in women's collegiate softball, will conduct a softball coaches clinic at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in Jackson on Thursday, Dec. 20. The cost is $25 per person and coaches at all levels of fastpitch softball are invited. The clinic will be limited to the first 125 to register. In Fremin's two seasons, JSU has broke or set a total of (35) national or school records, as well finished with a 3.0 team GPA and a (26-7) conference record....

A splendid night at the Hall of Fame

We had a splendid night at the museum last night, remembering Babe McCarthy's great Mississippi State basketball teams of the late '50s and early '60s. Author Kyle Veazey joined Bailey Howell, Doug Hutton, Larry Lee and me on a panel. We had a museum full of folks who seemed to hang on every word. The stars of the show weren't here: the great Babe and Dr. Dean Colvard, the president of Mississippi State who defied the state's unwritten law of competing against integrated teams. Both McCarthy and Colvard surely would...

Happy Birthday, Jack!

(Writer's note: Jack Cristil celebrates his 87th birthday today.  I wrote this column the day Jack Cristil announced his retirement in February of 2011.) Doesn't matter which university you pulled for, you listened to Cristil. You listened because he put you there, in the stadium. We knew Jack Cristil couldn't go on forever. Here lately, he has sounded tired, worn out - certainly not himself. So maybe Wednesday's news that Cristil is stepping down after 58 years as the voice of Mississippi State University's football team and 54 years calling...

History — and hoops — at your museum

If you are a sports and/or history buff, you won’t want to miss this evening's  at your Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. Here’s why: We are approaching the 50th anniversary of Mississippi State’s first game in the NCAA Basketball Tournament when Babe McCarthy’s ballclub defied the wishes of state government and played Loyola of Chicago. Author Kyle Veazey, who wrote Champions for Change, the story of that 1963 team and game, will be on hand to sign his book beginning at 5 p.m. Then, at 6:30, Veazey will...