Vernon oldtimer hockey teammates Steve White

Sporting best of 2014…

Highlights from the sports world in 2014.

Some year huh. The Giants win another World Series, the Canucks and Oilers fire their coach, the Seahawks claim the Super Bowl and jack up ticket prices and Sidney Crosby gets the mumps.

Perhaps the wackiest sports story of 2014 came in Idaho, where Seattle Mariner minor league catcher/first baseman Jesus Montero was on a rehab assignment with Everett.

Montero went after a cross-checker scout with a bat during a game in Boise after the scout heckled him. According to, Montero went into the stands with a bat after the scout ordered him to hustle off the field in Spanish and had an ice cream sandwich sent to him in the dugout.

The scout, who was overseeing other Mariner scouts, apparently was teasing Montero about his weight since he reported to spring training 40 pounds overweight.

After an exchange of words, Montero had to be physically restrained when he tried to enter the stands where the scout was sitting while carrying a bat in his hands. Montero swore at the scout and tossed the ice cream sandwich at him.

No word if Montero or the scout are still in the Mariner system.

It wouldn’t be my 95th annual Christmas column without mentioning the late John Baldwin, who celebrated his 100th birthday in 2006. He was the sole surviving member of the Keller Club in Minnesota.

He was quoted by the St. Paul Pioneer Press as saying he wasn’t playing much golf because he had a sore back.

“When you get to 100, you get some problems,” he said.

His secret to a long life?

“Moderation in everything. I quit smoking when I was 82.”

Wish I had met Johnny especially now that I’m playing the back nine.

Anyways, don’t forget to cheer on Vernon’s Curtis Lazar as you follow Team Canada in the World Junior Hockey Championships. He is one of the most grounded and grateful pro athletes out there these days.

It is now time to present the best-of-the-year list. Before doing so, I have to thank my wonderful family and friends for reading my Sunday column. Including Vernon Esso hockey great John (Wire) Price, who used to just look at the pictures in the paper, my readership total has reached 39.

We are all blessed with health and happiness in the Mitchell family. My wonderful folks are going strong at 80-something, my daughter Kristi is a child pyschologist in Calgary and is engaged, my oldest son, Max, is in college,. and my youngest son, Nick, is loving hockey and Grade 9.

And as you move forward, please include Dennon Leibel, Norm Amiel, Seb Gardner, John Pliszka and Haley McDougall in your prayers.

Here, then, are the best of 2014…

Gone But Not Forgotten: Duncan McLean, Larry Black, Jean Beliveau, Pat Quinn, Bob (Boog) Powell, Mel Briggeman, Miles Wohlford, Rodney Boring, Patrick Nicol, Sheldon Bloomer, Ralph Casperson, Brent Krusel, Bob Ross, Peter Brooks, Gary Oberle, Bruce Anderson, Carol Vadnais, Rubin (Hurricane) Carter, Don Zimmer, Earl Morrall, Bob Welch, Tony Gwynn, Jim Fregosi, Chuck Noll.

Viper of the Year: Riley Guenther.

Best TV Sportscasters: James Duthie, Squire Barnes, Jim Hughson, Greg Zaun, Ines Sainz, Evanka Osmak.

Canuck of the Year: Kevin Bieksa.

Rising Stars: Tye Kitzman, John Garvie, Zac Kronbauer, Cayleigh Graham, Zac Benn, Meredith Levorson, Andy Gilbert, Tyler Galenzoski, Kevin Hill, Ryan Vest, Jagger Williamson, Matt Kowalski, Noah Turanski, Powell Connor, Zach Andrusiak, Connie Kapak,

Best Steak: Blackened New York at Earls.

Best soup: Broccoli & Bacon at Kelly O’Bryans.

Best Pizza: Uncle Dave’s.

Best Cheerleaders: Tennessee Titans.

Busts: Kate Upton, Heidi Klum, Noureen Dewulf (Canuck G Ryan Miller’s wife), Surrey Eagles, Tennessee Titans, Jay Cutler, Johnny Manziel, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Blue Jays, Blind River Beavers, Northern Ontario Junior A Hockey League (0-29-0-1), Beaverlodge Blades, Alberta Jr. B (1-17-0-1).

Sparrow of the Year: Colton.

Best Wings: The Longhorn. Honourable mention: Rosters.

Best onion rings: Winfield Arena.

Best creampuffs: My mom’s. Honourable mention: Okanagan Bakehouse.

Best Names in Sports: Ben Lovejoy, Rob Kilinkhammer, Bastian Scheinsteiger, Lincoln Lane, Rusty Ryal, Coco Crisp, Homer Bailey, Burke Badenhop, Chapperon Chillihitzia, Golden Tate, Bo Horvat, Cal Clutterbuck, Emre Can, Martin Montoya, Wacey Rabbit, Madison Bowey, Max Unger, Ricardo Lockette, Preston Sparklingeyes, Charlie Zuccarini, Luke Shiplo, Diego Cuglietta, Rourke Chartier, Gabe Bast, Mitch Meek.

Best Smiles: Curtis Lazar, Meghan Mikkelson, Natasha Staniszewski, Missy Peregrym, Hannah Storm, Jennifer Hedger, Jennifer Garner, Marion Mitchell, Jacqueline Cote, Alyssa Racine, Brooklyn Decker, Anneke VanderVelde, Amanda Bedard, Paul Rush, Tori Haller, Scott Simpson, Andrea Pow, Craig Ferguson, Stana Katic (Kate Beckett on Castle), Karlie Kloss, Nicole Walker, Miranda Kerr, Zach Agar, Zayne Hanke.

Best Legs: Thomas Aldworth, T.J. Dumonceaux, Usain Bolt, Jay Henry, Kyle Neil, Ian Jensen, Christine Sinclair, Marie-Philip Poulin, Mia Hamm, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Hope Solo, Bob Powls, Wayne Hoover, Gerry Geisbrecht, (Lean) Lena Dean, Natalie Gulbis, Wayne Brown, Leryn Franco, Darrell Spencer, Joe Eggert, Edeen Ramsey.

Worst Legs: Steve Fitzpatrick, Chris Fleming, Peter Francis, Russ Parr, Darin Mundy, Erwin Schuur, Dave (Spyder) Specht, Kevin Manke, Jeff Parker, Mike Kakoske, Lloyd Mitchell.

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