February 2014 (2) Candygrams

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Sunday, February 16, 2014---Unveiling the Rod Dedeaux Statue

CLICK HERE to see additional pictures in my Google plus album.

Dedeaux FieldMy husband Jim and I arrived a few minutes early at Dedeaux Field. It was a beautiful, sunny day. The perfect day for a baseball game.

Ed and Jeff SimpsonTrojan Candy managed to get an excellent spot to take pictures of the ceremony. The unveiling of the Rod Dedeaux statue was scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Standing next to me on the ramp was a tall gentleman with a camera on a tripod. We spoke for a few minutes before the ceremony started. Jeff told me that his father, Edwin M. Simpson, Jr. played first base for Rod Dedeaux in 1950-1953. Edwin was an All-American First Baseman in 1953. Jeff told me that his dad Edwin was given his Heritage Hall Medallion before Pat, Dudley, Jim and I were asked to distribute them. Jeff then spoke of his grandfather, Edwin Simpson, Sr. Edwin, Sr. played Center and Nose Guard at USC in 1919 and was all Pac-Coast. In all, sixteen Simpsons have attended USC. What a Trojan Family! Trojan Candy caught up with Jeff and his dad Edwin at the reception after the ceremony. FIGHT ON, Edwin, Jr.! FIGHT ON, Edwin, Sr.!

Don WinstonThe Spirit of Troy started the ceremony. They marched up the ramp right past yours truly. Don Winston opened the celebration. He said that Rod would have been one hundred years old tomorrow. Don thanked the Dedeaux Family and other donors, Vern Evans, Randy Johnson and Noble Studios.

Dan HubbsThe next speaker was USC Baseball Coach, Dan Hubbs (8/15/2013). Dan said that the kids are working hard, and we look forward to restoring the USC baseball legacy.

Up next, Athletic Director Pat Haden complimented all 650 USC athletes currently in our twenty-one sports.Pat Haden He said that in a national poll that named the best collegiate coaches in each of eighteen NCAA sports, Rod Dedeaux received a unanimous ballot vote as the best coach of the eighteen.

Max NikiasThe fourth speaker was President C. L. Max Nikias. President Nikias stated the Rod created a dynasty in college baseball and that Collegiate Baseball magazine named Rod the "Coach of the Century." He noted Rod's "love of the game" and "passion for his players." Furthermore, Rod was only a part-time coach who coached at USC for a salary of only one dollar a year! President Nikias finished his speech with this statement. "Rod Dedeaux's legend and legacy is larger than life."

Justin DedeauxRod's son Justin took the podium next. Justin spoke of his dad's dream to get baseball into the Olympics. The dream started in 1932 when Rod was a college freshman. After sixty years of hard work and dedication, his dad saw his dream come true! Baseball was an official sport in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics!

Randy JohnsonThe sixth speaker was a former player of Rod Dedeaux. Randy Johnson (2/1/2014) spoke fondly of his coach. He told the audience about the first time he pitched as a freshman at USC. Randy came in as a reliever when USC was playing Stanford in Palo Alto. Coach Dedeaux was standing on the mound. Randy said that he told the coach, "I'll pitch from the stretch." At that statement, Coach Dedeaux asked him, "Why?" "Because there is a player on first," Randy said he replied. Coach Dedeaux told him, "The Stanford player on first is their first base coach.... Go get 'em, Tiger." What a funny story! Randy finished his speech with this statement. "I'm proud to be a Trojan...I'm forever in debt to Rod Dedeaux." [Randy was one of the two donors for Rod's statue.]

Tommy LasordaIntroducing the last speaker, Justin Dedeaux said that for fifty years this man and his dad were inseparable. That man was Tommy Lasorda. It was hard for Coach Lasorda to speak. He was quite emotional. He did recall how for forty years, he walked through the Coliseum gate with Rod to attend football games. Now, that Rod is gone, he hasn't been back to the Coliseum since.

Justin, Shelly, and Terry

Now it was time to unveil the statue. Three of Rod's four children stood around the covered statue. They were Justin, Shelly (Engemann), and Terry. Denise Dedeaux had passed away last November.

The Rod Dedeaux statue is ready for its unveiling.
With lots of fanfare from the Spirit of Troy, the Rod Dedeaux statue was unveiled.
Shelly, Terry, and Justin
Joy was seen in his family's faces.

A Trojan with Anthony DavisAs Trojan Candy started walking to the reception on the upstairs balcony, I saw Anthony Davis. He politely posed for a picture. He had just received his Heritage Hall medallion last weekend.

Baseball alumni gathered upstairs for a delicious buffet of tacos, quesadillas, and finger foods. Our job was only beginning. There were Heritage Hall Baseball Medallions to be handed out. We knew that Hal Charnofsky's brother was going to meet us at the reception. Hal received his medallion in 1952. Jim had brought eleven more baseball medallions and left them in our car, just in case.

Stan CharnofskyTrojan Candy spoke with Stan Charnofsky, the twin brother of deceased Hal Charnofsky. We have something in common; both of us are teachers. Stan is currently a college professor at Cal State Northridge. He teaches Psychology. Stan's son and wife attended USC. Another Trojan family! FIGHT ON, Hal! FIGHT ON, Stan!

Hank Workman and Art MazmanianLuckily we found a second Heritage Hall medallion recipient. Hank Workman was sitting at our table with friend Art Mazmanian (11/23/2013). Jim and I had already given Art his 1948 Heritage Hall medallion at the Stanford football game. Art and Hank were 1948 teammates. FIGHT ON, Hank! FIGHT ON, Art!

Dan DavidsmeierJim walked around the reception asking guests if they knew of any All-American USC baseball players. Jim found a third recipient!

After retrieving his medallion from our car, Jim and Trojan Candy walked up to Dan Davidsmeier. Dan was honored with his medallion in 1981. Somewhat surprised, Dan graciously posed for this picture. FIGHT ON, Dan!

Success! Three more Heritage Hall medallions awarded....only 238 more to go!

Don Buford and Tommy LasordaNext Trojan Candy was able to take this picture of Don Buford and Tommy Lasorda.

Joey and Mark MalconianGuests gradually left to watch the USC-Northwestern baseball game. Just before we left, Trojan Candy met two new friends. I have seen them at many USC sporting events over the years. They donate glass trophies to the USC Baseball program. They are Joey and Mark Malconian. FIGHT ON, Joey! FIGHT ON, Mike!

Vahn BozoianBy now, most of the guests left the reception area to sit in the stands to watch our Trojans play Northwestern. When Trojan Candy finally sat in my seat in the stadium in the bottom of the third inning, I was happy to see that our Trojans were winning! The score was 5-2 after Trojan Vahn Bozoian hit his first homerun of the season to left field. This is a picture of Vahn about to touch home plate. FIGHT ON, Vahn!

Our Trojans had an amazing fifth inning! We batted around and scored seven runs on seven hits.

A.J. Ramirez
This is a picture of A.J. Ramirez getting a hit. He went 4 for 4. FIGHT ON, A.J.!
Here is one run scored in the fifth inning.
Another run scored.
And another
And another.
We scored our final run in the sixth inning when freshman Andrew Wright drove in a run. It was his first at bat as a Trojan! FIGHT ON, Andrew!

The final score was a 13-6 VICTORY. FIGHT ON, USC Baseball!

Rod Dedeaux statue

More Famous Heritage Hall Medallion Recipients

Trojan Candy has the honor again to feature USC Heritage Hall Medallion recipients.

Ron BarakThe first recipient I am writing about is Ron S. Barak. Trojan Candy was able to interview Ron via email. Here is his interview and his picture of him holding his medallion.

Ron, when did you become interested in gymnastics?

I first "discovered" and was immediately drawn to gymnastics when I was an 11 year old freshman at Louis Pasteur Junior High School in West Los Angeles. I loved it and was hooked from then on. I continued with it at Alexander Hamilton High School, which had an active gymnastics program. I won the Los Angeles City All Around Gymnastics Championship in my senior year before moving on to USC. In high school, various gymnastics coaches started telling me I had the potential to become an Olympian and that really motivated me.

Did you play other sports when you were young?

At the "sandbox" level, I enjoyed and played all sports, with the obvious exception of ice hockey. I probably would have tried that too if I could have found any ice. But I wasn't tall enough to really succeed at basketball, big enough to really succeed at football nor fast enough to really succeed at track. I was, however, just the right size for gymnastics.

Please list any honors that you received in your undergraduate years at USC:

1961: In my freshman year at USC, I was the lone U.S. gymnast to compete in the Maccabiah Games in Israel, the Jewish Olympics. I won eight gold medals, a record number of gold medals won in a single Maccabiah Games that stands to this day. As a result, Prime Minister Golda Meir invited me to a one-on-one lunch in her office. U.S. officials were very worried that, as a 17 year old youngster, I might do or say something to embarrass the U.S. I don't think I did.

1962: In my sophomore year, I was a member of USC's four man NCAA national gymnastics championship team, the only team gymnastics championship USC has ever won.

1964: In my senior year, I won three NCAA individual gymnastics championships, was a competing member of the 1964 U.S. Olympics Gymnastics Team that competed in Tokyo, Japan, and was selected as USC's Student Athlete of the Year over 1964 Heisman Trophy winner Mike Garrett.

Earlier you mentioned to me that you were the Gymnastics Coach at USC. Please tell us about that experience.

1965-68: I was USC's head gymnastics coach while I attended USC Law School. During this period, I coached USC to a second place finish in the men's NCAA gymnastics championships and I was also the coach of the men's U.S. Gymnastics team that finished second in the 1967 World University Games in Tokyo, Japan.

Those are some of the highlights of my USC college days.

What have you done after you graduated from USC?

From my days at USC, my life has been devoted to family and career.

My wife, Barbie, and I married during my undergraduate senior year at USC. Today, we have two children in their 40s and four grandchildren, two boys and two girls, ranging from 3 to 16. Our family has also included pets, right now a British Short Hair cat and a Havanese dog.

I started practicing real estate and business law after Law School and am still at it. I have written extensively as a lawyer, including a book about international investment in U.S. real estate.

In 2010, on a dare from friends, I published my first novel, A Season For Redemption, about the arrest and trial of a family man who loses everything in the economic crash of 2008 and is accused of acting out as a vigilante serial killer of high profile politicians perceived by him as abandoning their public trust. It was a Number One Amazon.com and Kindle Best Selling Hardboiled Mystery in 2010.

Barbie earned her undergraduate college degree in English and her graduate degree in Early Childhood Education and is active in Havanese Rescue and is a Docent working with young children at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. We both are active golfers and enjoy traveling, good books and good movies, and living life to its fullest.

Thank you, Ron, for your interview and picture. It has been an honor to meet you. Best of all, you are a fellow Trojan! FIGHT ON, Ron!

The next six Heritage Hall Medallion recipients emailed their pictures to Trojan Candy.

Fred LynnAfter receiving his Heritage Hall baseball medallion, Fred Lynn sent me his picture and some amazing facts about himself. Fred wrote that he was born in Chicago in 1952 and was raised in El Monte. He attended USC in 1970-1973. He was on the USC baseball team that won the NCAA Championship in 1971 through 1973. FIGHT ON, USC Baseball! Fred was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 1974. In 1975 Fred was chosen as the Rookie of the Year and as the MVP of the American League. He was the first MLB player ever to win both titles in the same year! In 1982, after hitting the only grand slam ever hit in an All-Star Game, Fred was chosen as the MVP of that game.

Fred retired from MLB after the 1990 season. He was honored, to name a few, by being named in 1994 to the USC Hall of Fame, in 2000 to the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame, and in 2007 to the College Baseball Hall of Fame. Fred worked as a baseball analyst for ESPN, CBS TV, and Fox until 2000. Since then, Fred has been a consultant/spokesperson for, to name a few, Subway, Mars Chocolate Company and MasterCard. Currently, Fred works with companies in various capacities such as corporate outings, speaking engagements, product endorsements, and charity events. What a storied career!

In what spare time he has, Fred likes to golf and fish.

Thank you and FIGHT ON, Fred!

Ginni PinckertFriend Emily Barth delivered Erny Pinckert's Heritage Hall football medallion to USC alumna Ginni Pinckert. Erny Pinckert was Ginni's great uncle. Ginni is holding his medallion in the picture. Erny played Halfback and Defensive Back at USC, and he was an All-American in 1930 and 1931. In 1957, Erny was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the USC Hall of Fame in 1995. His professional career started in 1932 with the Boston Braves and ended with the Washington Redskins in 1940. Another Trojan Family! FIGHT ON, Erny! Thank you and FIGHT ON, Emily! Thank you and FIGHT ON, Ginni!

Cliff BourlandHeritage Hall Medallion recipient Cliff Bourland emailed Trojan Candy this picture of himself holding his two medallions. One medallion was awarded to him for his USC track accomplishments in the national championships. The second medallion was awarded to him for winning an Olympic Gold Medal in the 1948 London Olympics. Trojan Candy thought that this exerpt from an article by Luci E. Aranibar in the DT Los Angeles View on August 1, 2012 tells Cliff's story perfectly:

"....Cliff Bourland demonstrated his running skills and became part of the track and field team participating in the 200 m. In 1942 and 1943 he would win the AAU championships in 400 m. and the NCAA championships in 440 yards.

All the preparation and discipline prepared to go to the 1944 Olympic Games were vanished due to the WWII. It was then and until the war ended, that Cliff Bourland went to serve in the Navy as Captain of a landing craft tank.

Once the war was over times were difficult for everyone. On 1947 his decision to make a return to study at USC would make a great turn in his life. Then 26 years old, not as young an athlete, he thought of running as a matter of "keeping myself in shape"...."

Cliff ran the second leg of the 4x400m relay race in the 1948 London Olympics. He ran his leg in a record 47.3 seconds, thus helping his team win the Gold Medal. Thanks for the picture and FIGHT ON, Cliff!

Don HavensUSC Swimming alumnus Don Havens sent Trojan Candy his picture holding his Heritage Hall Medallion. Don also sent me an update about himself.

After leaving USC, I spent my career as an acoustic engineer/physicist (and later manager) with Rockwell Collins. My daughter Courtney continued the USC tradition graduating in 2009. She played club water polo while at USC.

Another Trojan Family! FIGHT ON, Courtney! Thank you and FIGHT ON, Don!

Frank GiffordThe next Heritage Hall Medallion recipient has been in my blog before (5/10/2012), when his son Cody graduated from USC. Another Trojan Family! USC football great, Frank Gifford sent Trojan Candy this picture of him holding his Medallion [Since it is blurry, I have asked for a replacement]. Frank was an All-American in 1952. He was drafted in the first round of the NFL draft by the New York Giants and played from 1952-1964 with the Giants. Frank is a USC Hall of Fame inductee (1994),College Football Hall of Fame inductee, and a Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee. What a football career! Thank you and FIGHT ON, Frank!

Stacy Marglolin PotterThe last Heritage Hall Medallion recipient who sent me a picture is Stacy Marglolin Potter. Stacy played at the #1 Singles Tennis position at USC. She won the NCAA Singles Championship in 1977. Stacy was an All-American in 1977-1979. She earned a gold, silver and bronze medal in the 1977 Maccabiah Games in Israel. Two accomplished Trojans at the Maccabiah Games, Stacy in 1977 and Ron Barak in 1961! Stacy played professional tennis in 1979 to 1986. Thank you and FIGHT ON, Stacy!

Trojan Candy is so honored to write about these seven Heritage Hall Medallion recipients. There will be more articles to come as more USC athletes send me their pictures and stories.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014---USC Football Recruiting Dinner

This day started out with a bang! Trojan Candy enjoyed watching the announcement of three new Trojans on ESPNU today. Seeing Damien Mama, Adoree' Jackson and JuJu Smith commit to USC on national television was exhilarating!

Karen Koblitz, Lawrence Jackson, and Ewa WojciakThe excitement of signing nineteen high school players to this year's class carried over to the Football Recruiting Dinner at the Galen Center. Trojan Candy arrived early at 4:45 p.m. Since the lobby was empty, I had a chance to take pictures of some of the 9th Annual Louis Galen Artletics pieces on display. As I walked around the cases, I met three Trojans who were judges in the Artletics event. I met and spoke first with Associate Professor Karen Koblitz, who is Head of Ceramics in the USC Roski School of Fine Arts. There were several ceramic pieces on display. Then I met Lecturer of Fine Arts Ewa Wojciak who is also in the USC Roski School of Fine Arts. Professor Ewa was talking to an athlete Trojan Candy has interviewed before. It was Lawrence Jackson (3/24/2010)! Lawrence told me that when he was an undergrad nine years ago, one of his ceramic pieces was chosen to be an Artletic piece. Lawrence updated Trojan Candy about himself since we first met in 2010. He is retired now from the NFL and lives in the Los Angeles area. He said that he comes to campus quite often. He is involved in non profit endeavors now. So nice to see you again, Lawrence, and FIGHT ON!

Pictured next are some of the Artletic pieces that Trojan Candy took of athletes whom I have interviewed or taken pictures of.

Artletics sign
Artletics sign
Mudd Hall
Mudd Hall by Luis Strahinja Gavrilovic (11/16/2012)
Black and White Reality
Black and White Reality by Iskra Angelova (4/15/2010)
Natural History Museum
Natural History Museum by Leonard Williams (8/24/2013)
Waterfalls by Lamar Dawson (7/14/2011)
Lamar Jackson
Lamar Jackson by Lamar Dawson
Love Season
Love Season by Simi Vehikite (10/22/2009)
Girl on Fire
Girl on Fire by Ivan Kustic (10/22/2009)

Marques TuiasosopoThe Galen Center lobby was getting very crowded now. It seemed that every guest had a smile on his or her face! As Trojan Candy turned around I saw new Coach Marques Tuiasosopo. He coaches tight ends and is the Associate Head Coach of the offense. Coach Tuiasosopo came to USC from Washington. He politely posed for a picture.

Lenny VandermadeThen I saw a very familiar face! Trojan Candy was so happy to see friend Lenny Vandermade (6/24/2010). He is back at USC! After giving me a big hug, Lenny told me to take a picture of three young men. They were three of our new recruits who registered a semester early at USC. Jordan Austin, Toa Lobendahn and Don Hill.Jordan Austin, Toa Lobendahn and Don Hill

Just as Trojan Candy turned around, another football recruit, who entered USC a semester early, walked in the west doors. It was quarterback Jalen Greene. Jalen posed for this picture. Jalen GreeneFIGHT ON, Jalen!

Jalen arrived just in time because the Spirit of Troy marched into the lobby and led all the guests into the Founder's Room. We went through the buffet line first. Mmmm! We had salmon and prime rib. Once inside, Trojan Candy sat among friends and met two new ones. Everyone was so excited about our signed recruits. Smiles were seen everywhere. However, all of us knew that commit Adoree' Jackson had not faxed in his signed papers yet.

Claude Pelon and Alex RiosCall it intuition or just plain luck, Trojan Candy walked from our table, that was located near the wall furthest from the entrance, out into the lobby. I still don't remember why I did it! But, once in the lobby I saw a HUGE young man walking toward me in a white t-shirt! Then I saw a friend. Alex Rios (8/16/2012), who is a football manager, was wearing a USC cardinal shirt. Alex smiled "Hello," stopped the HUGE young man, and made him switch shirts! This happened right before my eyes! If I could wolf-whistle, I would have! Who was the HUGE young man? Our fifth commit who enrolled early at USC...defensive lineman Claude Pelon! All of us walked into the Founder's Room.

The chatter in the audience after dinner was still electric. Athletic Director Pat Haden began the program. He said all that Coach Steve Sarkisian did was, "He flipped colors and kept recruiting." Then SID Haden exclaimed, "Our sanctions are over!" A loud ovation ensued!

New coach Steve Sarkisian told the audience that he is excited to be back. He complimented coaches Tee Martin and Clay Helton with this statement, "None of what happened today would have happened without them." Coach Sarkisian's last statement was, "We're going to kick butt!"

Each position coach then introduced his recruit by position. High school recruiting footage was shown of each player. Audience members, including yours truly, were duly impressed. Best of all, they are all Trojans!

At this point, Coach Sarkesian rushed back into the room, took the podium and announced to everyone, "We just got Adoree' Jackson's signed fax! A roar erupted!

Jalen Greene, Don Hill, Claude Pelon, Toa Lobendahn, Jordan Austin, and Steve SarkisianHappily, Coach Sarkesian asked our five early signees to come to the stage. They were given USC baseball caps and loud applause. FIGHT ON, Jalen! FIGHT ON Don! FIGHT ON, Claude! FIGHT On, Toa! FIGHT ON, Jordan!

What a recruiting class! We can sign twenty-five recruits next year!

Jordan Austin, Don Hill, Jalen Greene, Claude Pelon, and Toa LobendahnAs Trojan Candy walked toward the exit door, I saw the five early recruits posing for pictures. I was there lickety-split!

My last picture shows my sister Pat and brother-in-law Dudley posing with their new John McKay Center locker tenant, Toa Lobendahn. Dudley and Pat Poon with Toa LobendahnMy husband and I also have a football locker, but the tenant's name is so far unnamed. Our locker is listed as "Safety." Hopefully we'll know who he is by spring practice.

What a perfect "Trojan Day!"

Trojan Candy can't wait for the 2014 football season to start!

FIGHT ON, until then!