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: Best Dodgers Team Ever? 14 Aug 17

by Tony Medley

There has been talk about this being the best Dodgers team of all time. While it’s premature to speak of such things before they have won anything, let’s compare the other two teams competing for that prize, the 1953 Dodgers (who lost the World Series in six games to the New York Yankees) and the 1963 Dodgers, who swept the Yankees in four games.

1953                                 1963                         2017

C. Roy Campanella              John Roseboro            Yasmani Grandal

1b Gil Hodges                     Ron Fairly                   Cody Bellinger

2b Junior Gilliam                  Jim Gilliam                  Logan Forsythe

3b Billy Cox                                Ken McMullen             Justin Turner

ss PeeWee Reese                        Maury Wills                 Corey Seager

Lf Jackie Robinson               Tommy Davis             Chris Taylor

Cf Duke Snider                    Willie Davis                 Joc Pederson

Rf Carl Furillo                      Frank Howard             Yasiel Puig

P  Carl Erskine                    Sandy Koufax             Clayton Kershaw

    Billy Loes                       Don Drysdale              Rich Hill

    Russ Meyer                    Bob Miller                   Alex Wood

    Johnny Podres                Johnny Podres            Kenta Maeda

M  Charlie Dressen               Walter Alston              Dave Roberts

Pitchers pitched complete games in ’53 and ’63, so there wasn’t much in the way of “relief” pitchers. Looking at the lineups, if they were all competing for the same positions, here’s how I’d line them up:

c. Roy Campanella, 53

1b Gil Hodges, 53

2b Gilliam. 63

3b Justin Turner, 17

ss Maury Wills, 63

lf  Jackie Robinson, 53

cf Duke Snider, 53

rf Carl Furillo. 53

P Sandy Koufax. 63

   Don Drysdale, 63

   Carl Erskine, 53

  Clayton Kershaw, 17 (although his inability to finish would make him barely qualify as #4).

M Walter Alston, 63

So 5 of the 8 starters would be from ’53, 2 from ’63, and only Turner from ’17. Two pitchers from ’63 would make my team and one each from ’53 and ’17. It’s hard to say that this 2017 team is the Dodgers all time “best” when so few of its players could compete successfully for starting jobs with the other two teams.    

Another baseball rule that needs changing: Baseball has yet another rule that needs changing. When a player catches a fly ball and falls into the stands, it should not be an out. It should be a home run. The player should be required to stay on the field after catching to ball for it to be an out. If he falls into the stands on a fair ball, it should be a home run, regardless of whether or not he catches it. The rule should be that if a batter hits a ball out of the park, it’s a home run because even if a player catches it and falls into the stands, the batter has still hit the ball out of the park.

Where’s baseball for the youth? A brand new sports Park opened in Irvine. It contains six soccer fields and 25 tennis courts, but not one baseball field.

 Can’t anybody play this game? Although when I played baseball in high school I was a pitcher – outfielder, when I played softball later I was a third baseman. I never had any training on how to play third base, but it was clear from watching and playing the game all my life that when a third baseman is expecting a throw from an outfielder on a runner coming in from second he straddles the bag parallel to the foul line with one foot on either side of the bag. In Wednesday's Atlanta-Dodgers game, Corey Seager was trying to advance from 2nd to 3rd on a Cody Bellinger fly ball to right field. So the ball was coming from the right fielder. However, Atlanta third baseman Brandon Phillips straddled the bag, all right. But he straddled it perpendicular to the foul line instead of parallel to the foul line. So one foot was in front of, but short of, the bag and the other foot was in foul territory. As a result Seager had a direct path to slide right into third base. Even though the throw beat him. Phillips missed the tag because he was improperly positioned. Phillips is paid $14 million, even though he obviously doesn’t have a clue as to how to properly play his position. But this doesn’t set him apart from his fellow major leaguers, most of whom know little or nothing of the fundamentals of the game.