A farewell to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed the game day experience:
*Former Oklahoma assistant football coach Pete Elliott died recently at age 86 from congestive heart failure. He was one of four assistants on coach Bud Wilkinson's staff over the 1951-55 seasons. Elliott also spent one season as an assistant on Wilkinson's staff with the St. Louis Cardinals. The former All-American quarterback at Michigan served as head coach at Nebraska, Illinois, California and Miami. After coaching, Elliott worked as the executive director for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
*Red Witt pitched for the Oklahoma City 89ers in 1962 and part of the '63 season. Witt, a right-hander who was a Brooklyn Dodgers prospect in the 1950s, was 6-5 with a 2.79 earned run average for the '62 team. In 1960, Witt played for the world champion Pittsburgh Pirates. He appeared in three World Series games against the New York Yankees, throwing 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief in three appearances. Witt was a high school teacher after baseball. The Californian died of cancer at age 79.
*Baseball remained a love for David Vowell, an Oklahoma City resident who died Jan. 28 at age 53. The New York Yankees fan helped the Nichols Hills Rattlesnakes to the Little League state playoffs as a youngster. Vowell once led the 'Snakes in batting average.
*Third baseman Steve Demeter was at the tail end of his professional baseball career, most spent in the minors, when he played 26 games in 1970 for the Tulsa Oilers. A decade earlier, Demeter was part of a lopsided trade that sent him from the Detroit Tigers to the Cleveland Indians. The Tigers received future superstar Norm Cash in return. Demeter, a native Pennsylvanian, managed six seasons in the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league organization after retiring as a player. He died at age 78.
*Former St. Louis Cardinals prospect Fred Whitfield played parts of the 1959, 1960 baseball seasons with Tulsa. The first baseman's best season came in '60, when he hit 22 homers and batted .310 in 138 games. Whitfield went on the play 817 games in the majors over the 1962-70 seasons, most with the Cleveland Indians after he was traded by the Cards for shortstop Jack Kubiszyn and pitcher Ron Taylor. Whitfield died at age 75 from cancer.
*Joe Mike Allen played football at Moore High School, where he was chosen by The Oklahoman in 1962 as an All-City guard. He attended Murray State Junior College on a football scholarship. Allen later competed nationally driving dragsters and funny cars. A farmer and cattleman by trade, Allen died recently at age 68.
*Gary Readnour was a horseman who teamed with Jim Wells; together, they produced several winners at Remington Park and race tracks around the country. Tasca, Southern Etiquette, Dixie Doodle and Be A Prospect were some of the horses Readnour and Wells owned and raced during the 1990s. Readnour's other love was coaching Little League football. The Grasscutters and Blue Jays compiled a combined record of 62-7-3 with Readnour as a coach. The Pauls Valley resident also attended high school football games around the state on Friday nights and made treks to The Big House in OKC to watch the small-school state basketball tournaments. A certified public accountant by trade, Readnour died at age 66.
Yahoo! Sports reports that former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner has put his 11,000-square foot, six-bedroom home on the auction block. The Paradise Valley, Ariz., estate includes a theater, in-ground trampoline and separate rooms for billiards, massages and Ping-Pong. A 62-foot swimming pool with an overhead waterfall is icing on the cake.
Warner decided to sell the home by auction since it failed to sell by traditional real estate means. Although no minimum bid is required, the home is expected to sell on Feb. 27 for nearly $5 million.
“It's a great house for entertaining for sure,” real estate agent Rob Brown told Yahoo. “It's a stunning, stunning home.”
35: Oklahoma Baptist men's basketball coach Doug Tolan missed his first game in 35 years Feb. 11, when he was sidelined with an unspecified illness. Associate head coach — and Tolan's son — Kyle Tolan took the lead chair on sideline and guided the No. 10-ranked Bison to a 75-55 rout over crosstown rival St. Gregory's in the Noble Complex. “He wasn't too happy,” Kyle Tolan said of his father missing the Sooner Athletic Conference game.
42: Former Oklahoma running back Glyn Milburn and ex-Sooners basketball player Jeff Webster celebrate their 42nd birthdays on Tuesday. Milburn played 10 years in the NFL, mostly as a punt/kick returner, with the Broncos, Lions, Bears and Chargers. Webster, a former Carl Albert High School standout, had a brief career with the Washington Bullets.
5:13: Ping-fest in Albuquerque on Saturday. Oklahoma State's baseball team outslugged New Mexico 15-14 in 13 innings in a game that lasted 5 hours, 13 minutes. The teams combined for 36 hits, including four homers, five doubles and one triple. The teams used a cumulative 15 pitchers, with six of those throwing only one-third of an inning.
2,000: Mid-America Christian University in Oklahoma City has a pretty fair men's basketball team, standing No. 23 in most recent NAIA rankings. One man on the team who stands above the rest is 6-foot-1 guard Charlie Shorter. Last Saturday night, the senior eclipsed the 2,000-point mark for his career. Shorter scored 30 points during a loss to University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. He is the top scorer in the Sooner Athletic Conference, averaging 21.1 points per game.