*Applauds for the continuing “Home Run for Life” series by the Oklahoma City RedHawks and INTEGRIS HEALTH. Last Friday night, University of Central Oklahoma sophomore Boston Tracy rounded the bases at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, signifying his successful battle against adversity.
In February 2011, Tracy and friends were walking to a concert venue when an approaching drunken driver failed to see the group. Tracy shoved his friends aside, but he was struck by the car. He was pronounced dead on the scene and did not receive treatment en route to the hospital. Emergency room physicians discovered that Tracy was alive but with 22 facial fractures and a significant brain injury. He was in a coma for three weeks before waking up. After more than a year of work at the INTEGRIS Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Center, Tracy is days away from beginning classes at UCO.
*The Oklahoma State soccer team notched win No. 200 in program history Friday night, beating Missouri-Kansas City 1-0 in Stillwater. The victory came with an unusual twist, though. The lone goal came in the 75th minute, when Kelsey Bass' free kick was deflected by a Missouri-Kansas City player into the Kangaroos' own net. OSU goalkeeper AD Franch notched an ongoing school-record 33rd career shutout.
*Hillary Bock, a Tulsa Holland Hall product who recently finished a college softball career at Arizona State, was named Pac-12 Woman of the Year. The league recognized Bock for success in the classroom and athletics and for community service. Bock carried a 3.73 grade-point average the last academic year while compiling a 22-1 record and 1.51 earned run average. She helped the Sun Devils reach the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City a third consecutive season.
Bits and pieces
*A week before training camp, saw St. Louis Rams and former OU quarterback Sam Bradford turn down an autograph seeker at an Oklahoma City convenience store. Here's the deal: In all fairness to Slingin' Sam, keys were clinched between his teeth as he hurriedly carried four dripping bags of ice toward his black SUV. And just before Bradford reached the door, one bag imploded. The autograph seeker, convenience store clerk and passer-by offered assistance, but Bradford smiled and politely said: “No, I've got it. Thanks.”
(FYI — clerk says Thunder stud Kevin Durant has made a couple of stops at the same store at MacArthur and Memorial.)
*Tony DeFrancesco is believed to be the first manager in Oklahoma City baseball history to take over the major league affiliate during the same season. DeFrancesco was named the Houston Astros' interim manager Sunday morning, just hours after the woeful National League team fired Brad Mills. DeFrancesco was in his second season with the RedHawks, who remain in playoff contention despite having lost numerous players this season to the Astros.
*For what it's worth: The Seattle Mariners' first baseman Wednesday for Felix Hernandez's perfect game was former RedHawk and Texas Rangers prospect Justin Smoak. ... The Oakland Raiders signed linebacker Korey Bosworth, the nephew of former OU 'backer Brian Bosworth. ... Another former Sooners linebacker, Mike Balogun, signed with the Indianapolis Colts. Balogun has played in just two NFL games over the previous two season, both in 2010 with Buffalo. He was on Tampa Bay's roster last season.