TERRE HAUTE —
Postseason baseball begins tonight and I can root for my team for the first time since 1992.
I’ve followed the Pittsburgh Pirates most of my life — I was born and lived in Indianapolis until 1950, and the Indians then were affiliated with Pittsburgh just as they are now.
The Bucs won more World Series (three) than most teams from 1960 to 1979 but last made the playoffs in 1992. That was the last year they posted a winning record until this season.
The Pirates swept Cincinnati last week to clinch the first wild-card slot in the National League but now must face the Reds again tonight. That’s scary, but the game will be played in Pittsburgh.
Win or lose, it’s been fun this season, especially after coming so close the last two years to ending that long dry run.
Andy Pettitte closed out his career last week with the New York Yankees by beating Houston. He finished 11-11 and never had a losing season. That’s some feat.
Houston, meanwhile, lost a record 111 games.
• • •
• Tom-Cattin’ It — Culley DeGroote is the new baseball coach for West Vigo High School, succeeding his dad, Steve, after being on his staff for eight years.
• Lane Kiffin was let go as Southern Cal’s football coach after the Trojans lost to Arizona State 62-41. The Trojans are 3-2 this season but have lost seven of their last 11 games.
• The Los Angeles Dodgers will not have Matt Kemp for the postseason because of a swelling in a bone in his left ankle.
n Joey Votto set an on-base record for the Cincinnati Reds. Pete Rose set the old mark, reaching base 311 times in 1969.
• Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers finished with a major-league-leading earned-run average of 1.83. He becomes only the third pitcher since 1901 to lead the majors in ERA for three straight seasons.
• You probably have noticed that the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants both are 0-4, the same as Jacksonville and Tampa Bay.
• Quentin Snider, a point guard from Louisville, says he will sign with Illinois. He originally had said he would go to Louisville.
JaQuan Lyle of Evansville Bosse says he has reopened recruiting. He earlier had said he would sign with Louisville.
• Robert Johnson, a 6-foot-3 guard from Richmond, Va.., says he is going to sign with Indiana. He also had been recruited by North Carolina, Virginia and Florida State.
• Donnie Hale has been granted his release to transfer from Purdue. The 6-8 sophomore appeared in 32 games last season for the Boilermakers and started eight.
• Johnny Johnson of Bloomfield is an old friend of mine. He recently ended 62 years of racing in action at Paragon Speedway at the age of 81.
• In last week’s prep football stats, Chase VanSchoyck of North Central ranked ninth in rushing average and that was before he set a record with 567 yards last week.
Keiontre’ Wilke of Rockville was 16th in the same department and Jake Kinnaman of Sullivan was 13th in receiving.
• Former World Boxing Council heavyweight champ Ken Norton has died at the age of 70. He had three bouts with Muhammad Ali and broke his jaw in the first matchup in winning, then lost twice to him.
Tom Reck may be contacted by telephone at (812) 232-3231, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at 4284 South 5th Street, Apt. 3, Terre Haute, IN, 47802.