Oklahoma Sports Milestones: Former OU wrestler Joe Reynolds was a 'ferocious competitor'
Joe Reynolds died at 44. The former Moore standout won the 142-pound national championship for the Sooners.
Oklahoma Sports Milestones recognizes people with state ties who make game days special no matter what they do.
*DIED: At age 44, national and state champion wrestler Joe Reynolds. A family obituary described Reynolds as a “ferocious competitor,” which undoubtedly helped as a wrestler and his trade as a defense attorney. Reynolds was Class 4A state champion in 1983 and 1985 at Moore High School. He signed with Oklahoma and captured the 142-pound national title as a senior, defeating Thom Ortiz of Arizona State. At the time, Reynolds, a two-time All-American, was the first Oklahoma-born wrestler to win a national championship for the Sooners since Rod Kilgore in 1977.
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37: Amount of letters in Abdul-Gafar Olatokumbo Ayodeji Lamar Karim. Friends, relatives and NFL fans otherwise know him as Deji Karim. The former Putnam City North High and Northeastern A&M Junior College running back signed with the starting-from-scratch Indianapolis Colts on April 30, a few days after he was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars. A sixth-round pick by the Jags in the 2010 NFL Draft, Karim had 290 yards on 98 carries over two seasons in a reserve role.
Former Oklahoma City Blazers coach Doug Sauter, now the color analyst on Oklahoma City Barons radio broadcasts, mentioned to play-by-play voice Jim Byers that the parents of defenseman Alex Plante drove from Brandon, Manitoba, to San Antonio to watch the second-round of an American Hockey League playoff series: “That's 1,900 miles. That's a lot of gas. And at $3.65 a gallon, I hope they brought an extra credit card.”
The Oklahoman's three-star awards for making sports news last week:
*1. Chris VandeVelde, forward, Barons: Scored overtime goals in back-to-back games in San Antonio to help Oklahoma City advance to the American Hockey League's Western Conference championship against Toronto. The centerman is one of eight players in the AHL's 76-year history to have two overtime winners in the same playoff series.
*2. Northwest Classen boys soccer: The Knights defeated Tulsa Cascia Hall 3-2 in double overtime for the Class 5A state championship. Senior Juan Campos scored the winner that gave Northwest the school's first team title since 1985.
*3. James Harden, guard, Thunder: Named NBA's Sixth Man of the Year. No duh. We knew this was coming, but a salute to the Bearded One anyway.
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Home Plate Farm, a suburban Boston estate where Babe Ruth lived from 1922 to 1926, is for sale. The current owners are asking $1.65 million, which is more than the baseball icon made during his 22-year big league career. Ruth made $911,000 total while playing for the Boston Red Sox (1914-1919), the Yankees (1920-1934) and the Boston Braves (1935). The 5,000-square-foot, five-bedroom home in Sudbury, Mass., has been renovated, but some personal touches by the Babe remain. One room still has burn marks on the floor where Ruth is said to have dropped cigar ashes.
*OBVIOUS: Choice for the BMX Hall of Fame, Mat Hoffman. He will be inducted June 16 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. The Edmond native is credited with saving freestyle BMX in the early 1990s, and he played a role in organizing the X Games with ESPN. Nicknamed “The Condor,” he is president of Hoffman Bikes and the Hoffman Sports Association. The Mat Hoffman Action Sports Park, which opened in 2005 in Oklahoma City, is considered as one of the top-10 facilities of its kind in the nation.
*SCHEDULED: For a trip around the bases at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, Anadarko resident Carletta Miller in the annual “Home Run for Life” series held by the Oklahoma City RedHawks and INTEGRIS HEALTH. Miller, who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, will do a home run lap in a wheelchair during a to-be-determined Hawks home game in June. Miller, who is in her 60s, has lost the ability to walk and speak. But she continues to forge ahead, communicating with a special device. Miller says, “I can always look around and find someone who has it harder than me.” Last season, paralyzed Oklahoma City police officer Chad Peery did the “Home Run for Life” lap. Peery continues to recover from his injuries and has regained some movement in his limbs.