Monday, May 11 through Sunday, May 17, 2020
Issue No. 328
Sports Prep Star -- Ben Dillard
Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills -- Swimming -- Senior
The USC-bound Dillard would have been one of the top headlining swimmers at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Championships and the CIF State Swimming Championships this month. It was May 11 of 2019 that Dillard set a CIF finals record on his way to gold in the 100-yard breaststroke. He took silver in 200 individual medley and anchored Oak Ridge's gold-medal swim in the 400 freestyle relay. Dillard was recently ranked No. 13 in Swimswam.com's list of the nation's Top 20 recruits in the Class of 2020. His 200-meter breaststroke time of 1 minute, 54.74 seconds was the best in the nation among graduating seniors. Photo by Ike Dodson. Reprinted courtesy Sportstars Magazine.
Gems
Over the years we have reviewed thousands of photos to bring you the finest work from some of the Bay Area's top sports photographers. Each week during the Coronavirus-induced sports lull we will bring you one of our favorites.
The Stanford Cardinal, led by coach David Shaw, run onto the field before the game against the UC Davis Aggies at Stanford Stadium on Saturday, Sep. 15, 2018. Stanford would notch another victory over their guests, 30-10. To view an annotated photo album, visit our Facebook Page .
The BEST Bay Area sports photos from
Michael Zagaris, Ed Jay, Rich Yee, Darren Yamashita,
Ron Sellers, Alex Ho, Rob Edwards, Kenneth Wong,
Timothy Reynolds and Larry Rosa  

Where The Bay Comes To Play!
Dan - final
"It's an ocean planet. As the oceans go, so goes the planet."
-- Bill Carvalho, Wild Planet founder and president

Wild Planet Foods has been honored with TWO awards by Whole Foods Market -- Global Supplier of the Year AND Environmental Stewardship! The annual awards recognize suppliers who embody Whole Foods Market's mission and values through a proven commitment to quality, environmental stewardship, organic integrity, innovation,
and partnership.

More Awards and Counting!
Prevention   -- 100 Cleanest Packaged Food Awards
Men's Health  -- 125 Best Foods for Men
Prevention  -- Eat Clean Best Packaged Foods
Every Day with Rachael Ray  -- Brand New Buy
Better Homes and Gardens  -- Catch of the Day
Clean Eating  -- Clean Choice Awards
Natural Health  -- 3rd Annual Good Food Awards
Runner's World  -- Good Catch

For more information, visit   www.wildplanetfoods.com
Who Am I?
I didn't record an interception in 14 games in 2018 but in 2019 I grabbed three, including returning one for a 31-yard touchdown.
San Francisco 49ers 36, Arizona Cardinals 26
49ers wide receiver Richie James Jr. (#13) raced downfield for a 57-yard reception for his only catch of the day in the second quarter against the Cardinals. San Francisco rolled Arizona, 36-26, at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara on Nov. 17, 2019. The 49ers open their 2020 season with the Arizona Cardinals on Sun., Sept. 13 at Levi's Stadium and return the visit on Dec. 26/27 to AZ. To view a photo album, visit our Facebook Page . Caption and photo by Alex Ho.
San Francisco 49ers 2020 Schedule
Week Date Opponent Time TV
1 Sun., Sept. 13 Arizona Cardinals 1:25 p.m. FOX
2 Sun., Sept. 20 @ New York Jets 10 a.m. FOX
3 Sun., Sept. 27 @ New York Giants 10 a.m. FOX
4 Sun., Oct. 4 Philadelphia Eagles 5:20 p.m. NBC
5 Sun., Oct. 11 Miami Dolphins 1:05 p.m. FOX
6 Sun., Oct. 18 Los Angeles Rams 5:20 p.m. NBC
7 Sun., Oct. 25 @ New England Patriots 1:25 p.m. CBS
8 Sun., Nov. 1 @ Seattle Seahawks 1:25 p.m. FOX
9 Thu., Nov. 5 Green Bay Packers 5:20 p.m. NFL Network
10 Sun., Nov. 15 @ New Orleans Saints 1:25 p.m. FOX
11 Sun., Nov. 22 BYE
12 Sun., Nov. 29 @ Los Angeles Rams 1:05 p.m. FOX
13 Mon., Dec. 7 Buffalo Bills 5:15 p.m. ESPN
14 Sun., Dec. 13 Washington Redskins 1:25 p.m. FOX
15 Sun., Dec. 20 @ Dallas Cowboys 5:20 p.m. NBC
16 Sat./Sun.Dec 26/27 @ Arizona Cardinals TBD TBD
17 Sun., Jan. 3 Seattle Seahawks 1:25 p.m. FOX

The 49ers' opponents have a combined record of 134-120-2, which is a .528 win percentage. This is the toughest schedule in the NFC, and the fourth-hardest in the NFL overall.  
Las Vegas (Oakland) Raiders 31, Detroit Lions 24
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow (13) celebrates after his game-winning touchdown against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, Nov. 3 at the Oakland Coliseum. Final score: Raiders 31, Lions 24. To view a photo album, visit our Facebook Page.   Caption and photo by Ed Jay.
Las Vegas Raiders 2020 Schedule
Week Date Opponent Time TV
1 Sun., Sept. 13 @ Carolina Panthers 10 a.m. CBS
2 Mon., Sept. 21 New Orleans Saints 5:15 p.m. ESPN
3 Sun., Sept. 27 @ New England Patriots 10 a.m. CBS
4 Sun., Oct. 4 Buffalo Bills 1:25 p.m. CBS
5 Sun., Oct. 11 @ Kansas City Chiefs 10 a.m. CBS
6 Sun., Oct. 18 BYE
7 Sun., Oct. 25 Tampa Bay Buccaneer 5:20 p.m. NBC
8 Sun., Nov. 1 @ Cleveland Browns 10 a.m. FOX
9 Sun., Nov. 8 @ Los Angeles Chargers 1:05 p.m. FOX
10 Sun., Nov. 15 Denver Broncos 1:05 p.m. CBS
11 Sun., Nov. 22 Kansas City Chiefs 5:20 p.m. NBC
12 Sun., Nov. 29 @ Atlanta Falcons 10 a.m. CBS
13 Sun., Dec. 6 @ New York Jets 10 a.m. CBS
14 Sun., Dec. 13 Indianapolis Colts 1:05 p.m. CBS
15 Thu., Dec. 17 Los Angeles Chargers 5:20 p.m. FOX/NFLN
16 Sat./Sun.Dec 26/27 Miami Dolphins TBD TBD
17 Sun., Jan. 3 @ Denver Broncos 1:25 p.m. CBS

Based on 2019 combined winning percentage of their 2020 opponents
(127-129, .496) the Las Vegas Raiders have either the 12th easiest or 21st toughest schedule.
Golden Gate Fields
Out of respect to the Covid-19 virus epidemic, Golden Gate Fields will remain closed for the immediate future.
Elman Swings ...again
Chabot
Chabot Field, Chabot Elementary School, Oakland, CA
Glory Days...and Better Days
by Pete Elman
Today I went on my daily long walk around my North Oakland neighborhood. It’s Mother’s Day but the streets were surprisingly empty, perhaps because it was early, a bit cloudy and pleasantly cool. Great walking weather. For the first time in nearly two months, since my beloved Berkeley YMCA shuttered, I decided to revisit my kids’ old school, Chabot Elementary School in Rockridge.

As I approached I noticed the two new buildings which went up in 2010, lovely, well-built big wooden structures used for multi-purpose; tech lab, classrooms and library, spaces my kids could not enjoy when they were students. Progress continues to move forward, unswervingly.

I walked up to the large field above the school, part of which was converted to a then-state-of-the-art baseball field for North Oakland Little League back in 2001. I was one of several coaches who helped build the field; I worked on the batting cage with my good friend Erik, who still coaches a local high school team.

I saw those cages with the pitching machine and the L-screen, the well-kept bullpen, the grass infield, the low, inviting outfield fence 200 feet from home plate, the foul poles and nice dugouts, amenities I never had when I played little league. My mind drifted back in time to an unforgettable moment 17 years ago.

Last June on these pages I wrote a piece about the Golden State Warriors entitled Post Mortem for the Proud and how they played not afraid to lose in the 2019 NBA finals. At that time, I mentioned how it brought back memories of my then 12-year old son pitching in the 2003 regional finals, which is still talked about as the most dramatic game in the history of the North Oakland Little League. He came in to relieve in the top of the first inning with three runs in, nobody out and the bases loaded and proceeded to mow down the next 18 batters. A perfect game and we lost, 3-2, when his two-out bases-loaded hard shot through the middle was grabbed by the shortstop who made a heroic dive, tagging second base and ending the game.

That game, of course, was played on Chabot Field. And I thought way back to 1964, at Burning Tree Field, when I was the exact same age as my son was when he pitched that game. It was the last game of the season, with the game tied, against our rivals. The bases were loaded with two out in the top of the sixth inning. I was at shortstop but had not pitched at all that season. We were out of pitchers so the coach asked me if I could get one out. I looked at the on-deck circle and, there swinging his bat menacingly, was big Eddie Alberstadt, the most fearsome hitter in the league, who had already homered once in the game. He worked the count full and with the stands packed and the sky getting dark -- which no doubt helped me -- I took a deep breath, looked over at my smiling coach and whiffed Eddie on a high and inside heater, the hardest I had ever thrown a baseball. We won that game when my neighbor Larry hit the first pitch of the bottom half the sixth over the center fielder’s head for a walk-off homer.

As I continued my walk I thought about how my son is living in Washington, DC and going to law school across the street from the hospital room where I was born, and how my daughter, an accomplished musical theater actress whose dream is on hold, was--and will again, hopefully – be living in New York City, where my dad grew up. Things have truly come full circle.

And as I walked around my community, thankful that we are far more fortunate than many of our fellow countrymen, on a day that we are arguably in the middle of the worst crisis in all of American history, my mind and my emotions were racing. Will things ever be the same? Will my children get to live a normal life like we did? To ponder the imponderable is something I thought I’d never have to do.

It is in times like these that we often must look to the arts for diversion and entertainment— but also for guidance and inspiration. So I find myself listening to more music, reading books I’ve had on my shelf for years, and reaching out to old friends for that human touch. Sports are one such art. And I think about how much I miss baseball, which is, of course, the national pastime . Baseball is America.

We need courage now, more than ever. We have lost so much and so many already. We must be bold and fearless and loving, all at the same time. Hold your loved ones close today, especially if one of them is a mother—it’s her day. And it is okay to look back on those sweet memories of glory days, while at the same time looking forward to better days, for they will surely come…
 
Pete Elman
May 10, Mother’s Day, 2020
Oakland, California
* * * *
From 2000-2005 I wrote a column for the late great Oakland Athletics Fan Coalition (OAFC) entitled Elman Swings, a play on the fact that I'm a musician. Some of you may remember the OAFC, an East Bay organization that at its peak had several thousand members devoted to keeping the A's in Oakland and guess what? They've succeeded! -- Pete Elman
Who Am I?
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman!
San Francisco cornerback Richard Sherman did not have an interception in 14 games in 2018, his first season with the 49ers. But 2019 started much differently, as Sherman picked up his first INT in the season's first game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, returning one 31 yards for a touchdown. Above, Sherman breaks up a pass in the 49ers 24-20 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Levi's Stadium on Sept. 20, 2019. To view an annotated game photo album, visit our  Facebook Page . Concept and photo by Darren Yamashita .
In House!
The 2019 Fall/Winter edition of the Ultimate Sports Guide , a San Francisco Bay Area sports reference publication published twice a year for avid Bay Area and Northern California sports fans, is in the house. The Ultimate Sports Guide is distributed free of charge or may be ordered via subscription. Each seasonal edition provides professional and collegiate team coverage through commentary, photo essays and player profiles. To order, visit www.ultimatesportsguide.net or send $5 to: Ultimate Sports Guide ,
P.O. Box 4515, Berkeley, CA 94704. Write theultimatesportsguide@gmail.com
or call (510) 845-2035. Cover photo: Rich Yee .  

WEEKLY SPORTS CALENDAR
Monday, May 11 through Sunday, May 17, 2020
All games for major and minor league sports, including collegiate and high school teams,
have been cancelled .
Enjoy the
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The vast majority of student-athletes dreaming of athletic stardom won't make it to the pros. Yet, the discipline and skills they've developed while balancing a sport and academics make them ideally s uited for satisfying careers elsewhere. In  20 Secrets to Success for NCAA Student-Athletes Who Won't Go Pro , the authors draw on personal experience, interviews, expert opinion, and industry data to provide a game plan for student-athletes through key transitions at each stage of their careers, from high school through college and beyond. Modeled on Stephen Covey's   The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People , this book provides a much-needed strategy for achieving career success. Readable and concise, it will be a valuable tool for students, parents, and sports administrators. To order,  click here.
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