Jim’s Journal, June 19th, 2024

Going into Wednesday’s conclusion of the road series in Pittsburgh, the Reds and the Pirates had exactly the same record, 35 wins and 38 losses on the major league baseball season.  But the final game ended up with suspense.  It was scoreless deep into the late innings, and then Pittsburgh’s Brian Reynolds hit the solo homer that put his Pirates up 1-nothing.  Cincinnati couldn’t come up with anything to match it in the 9th, so that was the final score, 1-0.  Our next Reds action comes up Friday night, when Cincinnati hosts the Red Sox of Boston.  The first of their broadcasts starts at 6:40 that evening, on your Home of the Reds, the Sports Voice, 103.9 WRBI.


Hundreds of Batesville locals have heard this week from former collegiate swimmer Riley Gaines, and the story of how she came face-to-face with a pressing issue of recent years–  who competes with whom.  Now, you can hear from her, too.  Gaines says in her University of Kentucky swim career, she’d been a highly-accomplished racer, a 12-time All-American, who’d also won multiple SEC titles, and held league records in several events…  all that changed at the N-C-Double A’s ultimate swim meet, in 2022…

Gaines says at that time, Lia Thomas, who claimed to be transsexual, was actually an un-altered man who easily dominated even the best women competitors, like Riley.  Thomas won a national collegiate championship in the women’s 500-meter freestyle.  Gaines says when she tied Thomas in the 200 free, down to the hundredths of a second, Thomas was declared the national winner, the NCAA telling her it had been “advised” it was “crucial” Thomas be seen in photos with the event trophy in hand.  Riley says that moment reduced her and many other women competitors’ years of work and effort to a photo op, to validate the feelings of a man.  Today, she runs the Riley Gaines Center, working to defend women’s rights and single-sex spaces for competition.


The IndyCars are going back to battling this weekend, at the Grand Prix of Monterey, California at Raceway Laguna Seca on Sunday.  Race 1 for the IndyNXT cars will be staged Saturday.  In the IndyNXT series, the field will be headlined by Great Britain’s Jamie Chadwick, who won a pole a couple weeks ago, and went on to win the NXT race.  Some of the big names taking part in the Sunday Grand Prix will include Alex Palou, Scott Dixon, Indy 500 runner-up Pato O’Ward, the circuit’s most recent winner Will Power, and Scott McLaughlin.


Congrats to Batesville High grad Jack Grunkemeyer, who’ll soon be be playing college baseball for Northwestern…  he keeps picking up accolades, Grunk getting selected to play in the North-South All-Star series of games, to be put on this weekend by the stat Baseball Coaches’ Association.  Players from all over the state and all sizes of schools will take part, with 2 games at Huntington University Saturday, and one Sunday.

Two more graduating Bulldogs, Carter Bohman and Eli Loichinger, have been named to the Academic All-State Team.


After a couple straight wins for a total of 5 on their record, the WNBA’s Indiana Fever and its rookie star Caitlin Clark go for a 3rd straight victory tonight, hosting the 2 & 12 Washington Mystics.  Clark seemed more like the Caitlin fans remembered from her college days Sunday, as she scored 23 points, pulled down 8 rebounds and dished off 9 assists, helping the Fever beat the Chicago Sky, 91 to 83.


And on a sad but sort of personal note, one of the first big-league baseball players I remember being a fan of, the great Willie Mays of the Giants, passed away Tuesday at age 93.  I always thought it pretty cool that we shared our birthday, May 6th.  Rest in Peace, “Say Hey Kid.”  Thanks for all the smiles you brought to so many.