Monday, January 16, 2017

Living People Who...

R.I.P. Gene Cernan, retired U.S. Navy Captain, commander of Apollo 17, and thus the last man to walk on the Moon. 1934-2017.

Living People Who...

* Walked on the Moon: 6 of the 12: Buzz Aldrin (Apollo 11), Alan Bean (Apollo 12), David Scott (Apollo 15), John Young and Charles Duke (Apollo 16), and Harrison Schmitt (Apollo 17). Duke is the youngest. He's 81.

* Survived the attack on Pearl Harbor: Unclear, but it could be around the number who died there: 2,403.

* Played in what we would now call Major League Baseball in the 1930s: 1: Bobby Doerr, Hall of Fame 2nd baseman for the Boston Red Sox.

* Played on World Series-winning teams in the 1940s: 5: Ed Mierkowicz of the 1945 Detroit Tigers, Red Schoendienst of the 1946 St. Louis Cardinals, Bobby Brown of the 1947 and 1949 New York Yankees, Eddie Robinson of the 1948 Cleveland Indians, and Charlie Silvera of the 1949 Yankees.

* Played in the All-America Football Conference of 1946-49: As far as I know, only 1: Ben Agajanian, who preceded Tom Dempsey as a man who placekicked professionally without a full complement of toes. He was also 1 of 2 men, Hardy Brown being the other, to play in the AAFC, the NFL and the 1960s version of the American Football League. And he played for a Los Angeles team in all 3: The 1947 and '48 Dons, the 1953 Rams, and the 1960 Chargers. He won an NFL Championship with the 1956 New York Giants. He was still kicking in 1964, with the Chargers in San Diego, at age 45, and is now 97.

* Won the Heisman Trophy in the 1940s: 1: Johnny Lujack, Notre Dame, 1947. The next-earliest is Howard "Hopalong" Cassady, Ohio State, 1955.

* Played on NFL Championship teams in the 1940s: 5: Charlie Trippi of the 1947 Chicago Cardinals; Neill Armstrong (no relation to the 1st man on the Moon), Bill Mackrides and Jack Myers of the 1948 and 1949 Philadelphia Eagles; and Clyde Scott of the 1949 Eagles.

* Played on NBA Championship teams in the 1940s: 3: Carl Meinhold of the 1948 Baltimore Bullets, and Arnie Ferrin and Donnie Forman of the 1949 Minneapolis Lakers.

* Played on Stanley Cup-winning teams in the 1940s: 4: Gerry Plamondon of the 1946 Montreal Canadiens; Howie Meeker of the 1947, 1948 and 1949 Toronto Maple Leafs; Phil Samis of the 1948 Toronto Maple Leafs; and Tod Sloan of the 1949 Toronto Maple Leafs.

* Played on FA Cup-winning teams in the 1940s: 1: Reg Harrison of the 1946 Derby County squad. The next-earliest survivor is Cyril Robinson, the last survivor of the 1953 Blackpool team that featured Stanley Matthews and Stan Mortensen.

* Played on the U.S. team that beat England at the 1950 World Cup: 1: Walter Bahr, whose sons Matt and Chris were placekickers on Super Bowl-winning teams.

* Played in "The Bobby Thomson Game" on October 3, 1951: 2: Willie Mays of the New York Giants and Don Newcombe of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

* Played in "The Don Larsen Game" on October 8, 1956: 1: Don Larsen himself.

* Played on World Cup winners in the 1950s: 4: Horst Eckel and Hans Schaefer of the "Miracle of Bern" West Germany team in 1954, and Mario Zagallo and Pelé of 1958 Brazil.

* Played on the 1st team to win the European Cup (the trophy kept the name, but the tournament is now called the UEFA Champions League), 1956 Real Madrid: 1: Francisco Gento. "Paco" Gento is also the only man to win the European Cup 6 times.

* Have won baseball's Triple Crown: 3: Frank Robinson, Carl Yastrzemski and Miguel Cabrera.

* Managed or coached teams in the New York Tri-State Area to a World Championship: 7: Davey Johnson of the 1986 Mets; Bill Parcells of the 1986 and 1990 Giants; Mike Keenan of the 1994 Rangers; Jacques Lemaire of the 1995 New Jersey Devils; Joe Torre of the 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000 Yankees; Larry Robinson of the 2000 Devils; and Joe Girardi of the 2009 Yankees. That's it. Gil Hodges of the Mets, Weeb Ewbank of the Jets, Red Holzman of the Knicks, and Al Arbour of the Islanders are all dead.

* Managed Arsenal Football Club to major trophies: 3: Terry Neill, George Graham and Arsene Wenger. Between them, 16 trophies.

* Managed Tottenham Hotspur Football Club to major trophies: 4: Keith Burkinshaw, Terry Venables, George Graham (yes, the same one) and Juande Ramos. Between them, 6 trophies.

* Served as regular hosts of The Tonight Show: 3: Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Fallon. And Conan shouldn't even count.

* Appeared on The Honeymooners: As far as I know, only 1: Joyce Randolph, who played Trixie Norton. Even the child actors from the show have since died.

* Served as President of the United States: 5: Jimmy Carter, both George Bushes, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Come noon this Friday... that number will still be 5. Donald Trump may have the trappings of the office, but he sure as hell won't be serving anybody but himself. And maybe Vladimir Putin.

* Served as Prime Minister of Canada: 7: Joe Clark, John Turner, Brian Mulroney, Jean Chretien, Paul Martin, Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau.

* Served as Prime Minister of Britain: 5: John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May. All under 1 monarch, of course, Queen Elizabeth II, who has had 13 different PMs (not counting Harold Wilson, who lost the office to Edward Heath and then got it back).

* Served as Governor of the State of New York: 4: George Pataki, Eliot Spitzer, David Paterson and Andrew Cuomo.

* Served as Mayor of the City of New York: 4: David Dinkins, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Bloomberg and Bill de Blasio. de Blasio is up for re-election this year, although it's not yet clear who his Republican opponent will be. Regardless, it will be a tough fight, as "Blaz" is not nearly as popular as he was 4 years ago.

* Served as Governor of New Jersey: 8: Brendan Byrne, Tom Kean Sr., Jim Florio, Christine Todd Whitman, Jim McGreevey, Richard Codey, Jon Corzine and Chris Christie. This doesn't count the brief holders of the office when the preceding had to leave the State, or in the weird situation between Codey and Corzine due to McGreevey's resignation. Tom Kean Jr. is believed to be running for the Republican nomination for Governor this year, but he hasn't announced yet. Based solely on name recognition, he's got a chance. For the same reason, so does Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, also a Republican. So does Democrat Phil Murphy, due to his incessant TV commercials and mailings.

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