Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: A magnificent museum

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …

>> My Monday column is about the Steelers’ seriously sloppy victory. With the emphasis being on that last word there.

>> My first time in Arrowhead Stadium, though I’d been to the place across the parking lot in 2006 to witness the worst single baseball series ever played. I’m not going to link to my coverage of that, but you can Google it rather easily.

>> I don’t get out much when traveling on assignment, but I made an exception yesterday to check out the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Simply awesome. First class. And so much Pittsburgh.

Above, you can see a pic I took of Satchel Paige pitching to Josh Gibson — those are statues on a miniature field — to make up the greatest battery in Pittsburgh history, maybe baseball history. And they were never Pirates.

>> I see a pattern forming where everyone will ask Sidney Crosby about every head hit delivered in the NHL from now until the end of time, as if he is the primary arbiter of that. The cheap shot by Max Pacioretty on Kris Letang the other night in Montreal was the latest.

Canadians, in particular, are always looking to their hockey superstars for some sort of Buddha-like guidance, the kind that Wayne Gretzky so piously delivered even as he surrounded himself by thugs. Mario Lemieux wasn’t that guy — the enduring “garage league” crack aside — and Crosby won’t be it, either. He’s just not the type.

Someone asked him about head shots over the summer, he said his piece, and that will be that.

>> My weekly appearance on TribLIVE Radio will be pushed back until tomorrow morning because of travel back to Pittsburgh today.


  1. Dan1283 says:

    Truly the greatest battery ever, and they COULD have been Pirates, but the offer for them to sign with the team was declined by Pie Traynor, if memory serves.

    DK: Any emailer says it was rejected by no less than Kenesaw Mountain Landis. True?

  2. Pensfan says:

    Good comment about the Letang hit, and the media’s reliance on Sid for a comment.

    The media’s/HNIC’s eagerness to create a dustup over the scrum that Sid was involved in with the Senators is NHL at it’s finest.

    Senators GM Bryan Murray went out of his way Sunday to issue threats of violence and vengeance against the Pens/Crosby saying

    “So, (NHL disciplinarian Brendan) Shanahan said that’s a good play. That’s a hockey play. Dan Bylsma said it’s good for them, and Pittsburgh were the biggest ones on the head injuries. I’m remiss. I made a mistake. We didn’t have (Chris) Neil and (Matt) Carkner play in the game. We didn’t have enough toughness, so when we play Pittsburgh that’s something you can bring up to me again.”

    Prepare for Islanders revisited…

    Intersting that the same folks who are all a twitter now over the scrum, are the same ones who (1) have been all in an uproar about how limiting head shots is going to take hitting out of the game; (2) saying that Fights are essential part of the game; (3) supporting the old “Players need to free to police the game themselves” (4) and are generally the one’s who said Crosby was crazy for his views on penalizing all hits that result in contact with the head.

    Thought Crosby handled the Press in Montreal really well.

  3. Jersey Joe says:

    Following up a JAL email I have stopped by for a visit and it must have a bit of divine intervention with the photo of the battery.

    Some ten years or so ago I stopped in the eatnpark diner in monroeville to use the facilities and on my way saw this elder gentleman wearing a Josh Gibson tea shirt.

    I told the fellow that my Grandpap played against Josh and said he was the best hitter to ever play the game.

    He smiled widely and said he was my Dad.

    Either this past or the one before summer I was in the crafton ingram shopping center
    and saw a fellow wearing what I describe as a high school letter jacket but this baby was special.

    It was a Josh Gibson jacket so I told the fellow about meeting Josh’s son and the fellow says to me, he is my Dad.


  4. SkillieMischief says:

    Ha! Love the opening line in your column, nicely played!

  5. JAL says:


    7—Pirates Prospects

    The 1905 Pirates Season: Part Two

    Winter Leagues 11/27 — Marte Back On The Field

    8 Rumbunter

    Pittsburgh Pirates Caffeine: Ciriaco, Hague, Fox, Diaz in Action

    9 Bucs Dugout

    Bronson Arroyo Gives Gene Lamont His Endorsement

    10 Raise the Jolly Roger

    My essay for the Blogging Scholarship

  6. JAL says:


    14 WEEI Sports Radio

    Bronson Arroyo believes Gene Lamont could manage just fine in Boston

  7. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    -Behind the Steel Curtain

    Pittsburgh 13, Kansas City 9: Steelers Improve to 8-3 in Mistake-Filled, Physical Win Over Chiefs

    AFC North Round Up Week 12: Ravens, Steelers and Bengals All Retain Playoff Positioning

    -Steelers Depot

    Steelers Intercept a 13-9 Win

    -Steelers Gab

    Steelers Sweat Out 13-9 Win Over Chiefs to Move to 8-3

  8. leefoo says:

    Dejan……Satchel and Josh made it onto my Pittsburgh team in “Action PC Baseball” (

    I still love those simulation games (APBA/Strat, et al). Just don’t have time to play them that much.

    Board Foo


  9. JAL says:

    From a piece by Peter Golenbeck:

    Then in the mid-1940s William Benswanger, owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, tried to sign Josh Gibson, the Negro League’s equivalent to Babe Ruth. Faced with an actual challenge, Commissioner Landis turned down the request, intoning, “The colored ballplayers have their own league. Let them play in their own league.”

    Entire piece here

  10. JAL says:

    Hmmm–Caps fired Boudreau and named Dale Hunter new coach–Caps are 12-9-1 and 2nd in SE division.

  11. Milo Hamilton says:

    The minute Boudreau benched Ovechkin in the last minute of a game with his goalie pulled, the clock started ticking on BBQ Bruce. Too bad. As a Penguin fan, I hoped he would never get fired. They were never going to win anything with that guy.

  12. Dan1283 says:

    There were two incidents, DK, the second one that was rejected by Landis having been mentioned above. Here’s the first, from 1938 when a telegram to Traynor was ignored. Landis likely would have rejected it, as he was strongly against integration and Branch Rickey couldn’t bring Jackie Robinson along until after Landis died in 1944. I remember this telegram being mentioned in the Ken Burns film.

  13. Jandy says:

    Wow! Brucie is toast. I remember Dale Hunter as a player. He was one guy you’re rather have on your team than play against. This could be interesting.

  14. jackdeloplane says:

    The idea of the Caps playing like Hunter is scary. In a league where the trend is away from physical play, a team making a concerted effort to buck that trend is one to watch. Great move by the Caps mgt.


    75degrees again today here in SC! …just livin’ the dream!

  15. Milo Hamilton says:

    My grandfather worked at PPG in Creighton & they had a baseball team that would play teams from other plants & steel mills on Sundays. I remember him telling me that sometime in the 1930’s they played the Homestead Grays as they would barnstorm up & down the local rivers to get ready for their season. He also told me that not everybody would play them. After the game the wives cooked & they all sat down together to eat a picnic dinner.

    He maintained til the day he died that Josh Gibson was the best player he ever saw. He compared him to Jim Brown in that he would walk so slowly he’d lull you to sleep. And then when the ball hit his bat – BANG.

    Great memories from Pap. I wish I could have been there that day.

  16. Jandy says:

    @jack, rub it in, why don’t ya? ;P

  17. Bizrow says:

    Nice memory Milo, thanks for sharing that.

    I heard the same thing about Josh Gibson

  18. Arriba Wilver says:

    DK–maybe the reason Tomlin ended your interview when you mentioned Hines was displayed last night.

    The Pittsburgh media (yeah, I know) seemed all up in arms about how Hines has been treated (way more than Hines has been apparently). I suspect they are not going to announce it beforehand, but Hines is going to get his 1000 catches and 12,000 yards, and they will do it the Steeler way.

  19. Drew71 says:

    Great memory, Milo

    I can recall these same win-ugly discussions at some of Bill Cowher’s press conferences, especially in Cowher’s grind-it-out years in the 1990s and very early 2000s with future HoF quarterbacks such as O’Donnell, Tomlin and Stewart.

    Cowher used to laugh at the Qs after another in a long line of painful-to-watch win, and his laughing disdain for the Q deflected the intensity of subject a bit. And we got used to winning ugly.

    Of course, that was before twitter and blogs. Otherwise, we’d have been calling for his firing. By twitter of course.

    From DRooney (with an angry avatar): “BC, U R S-Canned.”

    Yeah. That woulda happened.

  20. Drew71 says:

    Happiest men in Denver: Broncos offensive linemen…drive blocking for a running game for those beasts is just a, well, more fun way to play.

    2nd happiest men in Denver: Bronco’s defense. All of em. In two-thirds of the games Tebow has started this year, the Broncos had the time of possession advantage. And not because they were winning – these were mostly come from behind wins – but because running plays eat clock.

    3rd happiest man in Denver: John Fox. Starting to look like a genius…even if maybe he’s just along for the ride.

    Least happy man in Denver: John Elway??

  21. Milo Hamilton says:

    Sure we had Black Friday. But this truly Black Monday.

    Illinois, Arizona St., Washington St., Kansas, Memphis, & UAB all fired their football coaches today.

    The Capitals fired Bruce Boudreau & the Hurricanes fired Paul Maurice, again.

    And the Houston Astros fired Tal Smith & Ed Wade, they’ll let their new GM fire Brad Mills.

    Did I miss anyone (Yeah, I know, Bernie Fine). If your boss calls you into the office today. RUN.

  22. JAL says:


    Think you have them all so far, but the day not over :)

  23. CWalton_67 says:

    Have to respectfully disagree on the Steelers. They are not a good team. The players do not appear hungry and they are poorly coached. Too many mental errors and they play down to the level of competition. This season will end mercifully in round 1 of the playoffs.

    Very sorry to see Bruce saucyface Boudreau out in D.C. He was highly entertaining and would have never had that team become a serious threat for the Stanley Cup.

    The headshots debate is getting pretty old in the NHL. Too many dinosaurs like Murray remain in the game to seriously clean it all up. Until they do, we’ll be watching the Gillies’ and the Haley’s and the Carkner’s and Neil’s getting playing time while stars sit in darkened rooms and doctors offices. Garage league, indeed.

  24. Milo Hamilton says:

    Rick Neuheisel fired at UCLA. He’ll coach the Pac 12 title game. His Bruins are 31 point underdogs to Oregon.

    Black Monday rolls on.

  25. Drew71 says:

    CW – maybe this is just semantics, so not sure if this is a matter of agreement or disagreement with one of your points.

    You wrote: “They are not a good team.”

    My disagreement, if that’s what it is, is this:

    – Unlike some past Steelers editions, this is not a VERY good team. Certainly not a GREAT team. It is instead JUST a “good” team. The kind that with good or bad luck could end up 9-7, 10-6 or even 11-5, but probably not one designed to go very far in the post season.

  26. Bizrow says:

    I don’t know, you get on a roll in the playoffs and most anything can happen, not saying it will, but it might.

    Lots of new posters here, by the looks of 53 posts on the front page, I guess many need to be cleared for the first time. If I understand how things work here.

  27. JAL says:

    It is very difficult to go 8-3 in NFL without being a good team. Only two teams in the entire league are better than 8-3. Steelers do seem play to level of opponents but they still win most of the games.

  28. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    Was I the only one thinking Tyler Palko was turning into Brad Gradkowski a couple years ago??

    Ugly, but effective.

  29. CWalton_67 says:

    @Drew–point taken. I think you are right.

  30. Milo Hamilton says:

    Says here the Pirates are interested in Aaron Cook.

    You know, there are good players available too.

  31. Milo Hamilton says:

    Pittsburgh Police are starting an investigation into claims that the 3rd Bernie Fine accuser was molested in Pittsburgh.

    What ? No Lukie press conference condemning Jamie Dixon for continuing to play Syracuse ?

  32. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jamie’s son didn’t run against Luke for Mayor.

  33. JAL says:


    Jamie has no say in playing Syracuse except that he pull the team and forfeit. Big East makes the conference schedule, not the schools.

  34. Milo Hamilton says:

    Keith Law is reporting that the Pirates “will listen” to offers for Andrew McCutchen. I don’t think they’ll trade him, this winter. Remember, 2015 is the finish line & he’ll be a free agent after that season.

  35. Milo Hamilton says:


    I was being facetious, taking a cheap shot at Lukie.

  36. JAL says:


    Ok, wasn’t sure.

  37. Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl says:

    You are absolutely right about the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum! I was in KC for the game as well and was pleasantly surprised to find this gem, along with the American Jazz Museum, open on a Sunday. I did, however, “fail” to see the numerous signs saying no photography or use of cameras and somehow ended up with more than a few snapshots – including the same one as you – on my cell phone.

Other blogs
Sports: Rob Rossi | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | iPreps | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports
News: This Just In | Trib List | ICycle | Flow Back | Stories Behind Trib Stories  

» Top Sports
» Top News
» Top Breaking News