Out of print for more than 30 years, now available for the first time as an eBook, this is the controversial story of John Wooden's first 25 years and first 8 NCAA Championships as UCLA Head Basketball Coach. This is the only book that gives a true picture of the character of John Wooden and the influence of his assistant, Jerry Norman, whose contributions Wooden  ignored and tried to bury.

Compiled with more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man behind the coach. The players tell their stories in their own words.

Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information. Also available on Kindle.

Sports Medley: Baseball’s Hall of Fame and Drug Cheats 23 Jan 17

by Tony Medley

Hall of Mediocrity: I’ve paid little attention to HOF ballots since Maury Wills was consistently denied entry. Two players changed the way the game is played. Babe Ruth added the home run to the game in 1919 when he hit 29 for the Bosox and was traded to the Yankees where he really went on a tear, and interest in the game blossomed through the Roaring ‘20s as The Bambino and others belted balls out of the park.

When Wills was brought up to the Dodgers in 1959, LA Times Dodgers Beat Writer Frank Finch wrote, “The arrival of Maury Wills failed to arouse pennant fever in the Dodgers clubhouse.” That was a clever line until Maury sparked the Dodgers to the pennant and a World Series victory over the Chisox.

Starting with 1959, Wills reintroduced the stolen base to the game. In 1962 he broke Ty Cobb’s revered record of 96 stolen bases in the season set in 1915 by stealing 104. Whereas Dom DiMaggio led the American League in stolen bases with 15 in 1950, Louis Aparicio led in 1956 with 21, and Stan Hack led the NL with 16 and 17 in 1938 and 39, respectively, after Maury came into the National League in 1959 and started stealing bases at a record clip the stolen base found its place in the game again. Between 1959 and 1966, Maury was the key to four Dodgers pennants and three World Series Championships. According to former Dodgers first baseman Wes Parker, who played on Maury’s teams, the Dodgers wouldn’t have won even one pennant, much less four, without him. Maury belongs in the HOF right up there with Ruth and Cobb.

But the bad news of the recent HOF election is that (alleged) drug cheats Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds are getting more votes each year. With the required threshold of 75%, Clemens was fifth in the voting with 54.1% and Bonds was sixth with 53.8%.

These people and the approximately (at least) 50% of the people who played during the drug era destroyed the integrity of the game and ruined the sanctity of records like Babe Ruth’s 60 home runs in a 154 game season and Bob Feller’s 18 strikeouts in a game.

The trend seems to be that the writers who vote players into the Hall of Fame are weakening their stance against drug cheats. That’s probably because the Hall of Fame has purged older writers from the voting list and replaced them with young whippersnappers who were not born when the records of Ruth and Feller and others were so hallowed and difficult to approach. For a mediocrity like Sammy Sosa to hit more than 60 home runs in a season three times is absurd, and unlikely to have been achieved without the help of PEDs. Since drugs have been driven from the game, how many players have hit 50 in a season, much less 60?

The phony records achieved by the drug cheats should be expunged from the records and those who used PEDs should be banned from the Hall of Fame forever.

Baywater Babe Interview: With a first and goal on the half yard line with a little over two minutes left in the first half, trailing 17-6, Pittsburgh called two ridiculous off tackle plays that lost 4 yards and then threw a horrible incomplete pass and had to kick a field goal. When the half ended a couple of minutes later CBS went to the sideline reporter, Tracy Wolfson, who asked Steeler coach Mike Tomlin, “Coach you have been able to move the ball but defensively how do you get more pressure on Brady and contain their passing game?”

Tomlin responded, “You know we’ve got to settle down and contain the play. We have a one possession game here and it would have been significant had we been able to get a touchdown on the last series, so we’ve got to remain composed and continue to work.”

Her first question should have been about the abysmal play calling that just occurred that, in the end, probably cost them the game because it was such a momentum-turner. And Tomlin gave her an opening to ask about it! But instead she followed up with, “Le’veon Bell dealing with a groin injury (sic). You expect to see him in the second half?” Fans watching the game wanted to know about the dismal play calling that kept Pittsburgh from scoring a touchdown when they had a first and goal on the half yard line, but this woman knew so little about the game she was covering that it went completely over her head.