I’m a little down this week. My choice to win a huge sports event didn’t win. Miss California, Leah Cecil, didn’t win Miss America. I thought she should have won it but I didn’t know even one of the 52 other contestants. I’m sure the winner, Miss New York, Mallory Hagan, was worthy too. All I know was that Leah is the woman you want to represent our great country anywhere in the world.
But then I thought a little deeper. Those 53 women represented millions of young ladies that really would like to change places with Leah. Who wouldn’t?
So Leah remains as Miss California, and will forever be the 2012 winner of the California Super Bowl of scholarship events. So she barely missed out in the pageant Olympics. She tried and missed in a situation where politics and judgment can vary considerably. Leah is really a big winner!
Garden Grove Rotary gave her an award for citizenship and academics when she was in sixth grade at Barker Elementary. They sponsored her when she made Miss Garden Grove while attending Pacifica High School and later when she won Miss California.
This newspaper has a done a great job telling you about Leah. But I personally want to thank her for playing her harp for my mother’s retirement home and then later at her funeral. And all this while she was so busy and was graduating from Cal-State Fullerton.
By the way, I want to give some kudos to her boyfriend, Keith, the most patient man on the planet. How many times I saw him sit on the sidelines while Leah was posing for pictures or talking to dignitaries. You’re the greatest Keith. It’s been a whirlwind few years, hasn’t it?
We rooted for her last Saturday. She ran a kickoff back 99 yards but came up a yard short as time ran out. Congratulations Leah.
Winning a scholarship pageant is a solo sport, even if a lot of people helped Leah get to where she is today. Something like golf or tennis. But this year’s “Miss America” vote of baseball was heart wrenching.
There were about 37 players eligible (you have to wait five years after you are finished playing) before you can hope that 75 percent of the 569 sports journalists who vote will put you on their ballot.
If 75 percent of the scribes, belonging to the Baseball Writers Association of America do, you get in! Only problem was that for the eighth time since this started many years ago, no one was named on more than 68 percent, and that was Craig Biggio. So no one got in! You can try again for up to 15 years if you get 5 percent of the vote the years preceding.
And this is where the controversy sets in. Barry Bonds has the most homers ever in one season and for a lifetime. He hit the ball farther and harder than any person I’ve ever seen! I can’t imagine a better hitter than Barry Bonds. But he apparently took some drugs “accidentally” so a lot of sports writers left him off for his first year of eligibility.
Did they do this to get back at the snobbish ballplayer or do they really think that if he used enhancers, he cheated?
How about Roger Clemens? I’m not sure if he took drugs or not but there is a lot of smoke. Too much for most writers. He was left off. Same for Mike McGuire, a great homerun hitter trying for the seventh time. How about Mike Piazza?
You already know the Pete Rose story about his betting scandals. Okay, you can vote! Do you forget about “enhancers” and “character” and just vote about what they did on the field? Or do you take into consideration the cheating that went on? Do you mitigate the drugs because “everyone” did it?
I made up my mind. To keep sports clean you have to win without cheating. If you win by cheating in any part of a sport, or even in life, you lost! That’s how I feel. E-mail me and let me know how you feel.
Here’s to a level playing field for everyone at all times. Cheers!
Contact Don Alexander at Journaldon@aol.com.