Underdogs, productivity, and soft drinks

Shots in the Darke

Summer’s in full swing so it’s time for the NBA basketball and NHL hockey seasons to  finally be reaching the Finals stage of the playoffs! The Celtics hold a two game to none lead over the Mavericks, winning in convincing fashion in both contests held in Boston. With the next two games being played in Dallas I expect the Mavs to win at least one, sending the series back to Massachusetts and a chance for the Celtics to win a record 18th title at home. 

Meanwhile on the ice (even in Florida!) the Panthers took both home games over the Oilers as the teams head to Edmonton for the next two encounters. If the Oilers can’t solve the  Florida defense this will be a quick series as Lord Stanley’s Cup will return to the sunny South,  leaving an entire nation of Canadians crying in their Molsons wondering what has happened to their national sport since the last team up North to claim the title was the 1993 Montreal  Canadiens! 

How is this for a feel good story in high school sports? The Fort Recovery Indians baseball team entered the Ohio D-IV tournament, having lost five of their last seven games in compiling a  9-12 regular season mark. The Purple and White got hot at the right time however and ran off seven straight tournament wins in making their way to the state finals in Akron Sunday to face last year’s state champs, the Hawks of Berlin Hiland. Although the Fort took a 2-1 lead into the sixth inning Hiland was able to score two runs and hold off the Indians in the seventh inning to claim a second straight state title. Everyone in Mercer County should be proud of a team who came from nowhere only to come up just short in the ultimate game—congratulations to the Fort Recovery Indians!! 

In other state baseball finals, Mason took home the D-I trophy, Beloit West Branch claimed  D-II honors, and Heath was crowned champion of D-III. All in all a great weekend of prep  baseball at Canal Park in Akron! 

The Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin presented a challenge for most of the world’s best  golfers over the weekend, particularly on Sunday. Scottie Scheffler continued his dominance of the field this year winning his fifth tournament of the season in claiming the Memorial trophy and the $4 million first prize. Once again, if you’re a golf fan it has to be high on your list of  “must-sees” to make the trip over to the Columbus area and catch the tournament in person— as always the course was in immaculate condition.  

Here’s a trivia question for those of you into Presidential history—only two occupants of the  White House have lost their wives and remarried while in the Oval Office. One was Woodrow  Wilson, can you name the other? Answer to follow; you’re a true historian if you know!! 

One more question for you to ponder—the Coca Cola brand owns 19 percent of the $97  billion market for carbonated soft drinks. Since 1985 Pepsi Cola has been second almost  every year with an 8.3 percent share. What company is now tied with Pepsi for second place? 

The French Tennis Open was held in Paris the past two weeks with Spaniard Carlos Alvaraz  and Poland’s Iga Swiatek winning titles. The 23-year-old Swiatek won her fourth French trophy  (she must love to play on the clay surface) and fifth major overall while Alvaraz, who just turned 21 last month, claimed a third major title, each on a different playing surface. He’ll defend his  Wimbledon title next month in London. 

The 10th President of the United States, John Tyler, was widowed in 1842 when his wife  Letitia passed away from a stroke. Two years later while still in office at age 52 he married 23- year-old Julia Gardner. What’s unusual about this whole scenario is that Tyler had eight  children from his first marriage and then had seven more with his second wife for a total of  fifteen offspring. And you thought George Washington was the “Father of our Country”! 

If you guessed Dr. Pepper as the newcomer to the top echelons of the “Pop Wars” you were right! “I’m a Pepper, he’s a Pepper, she’s a Pepper, we’re a Pepper, Wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper, too?”! 

Finally, what a great display of community support here in Greenville and Darke County as the fundraiser to replace the trees lost in the City Park and the Cemetery has risen to almost  $45,000 the last I heard. If you haven’t contributed yet to the fund and wish to do so, contact  Zechar-Bailey Funeral Home at (937) 548-4141; it will make you feel good regardless of the size of your donation! Have a great week!