SDBB – 2017-18 Coach K’s Assistants at Duke …

By Bill Wheeler

Duke is unique from other major college basketball programs with 4 Assistant Coaches who played their college ball at Duke under Coach K.   There are 3 who were on National Championship teams.   This brings solid continuity to communicating and implementing the Head Coach’s expectations.   One question we ask is if the impacts challenges to the Coach K’s idiosyncrasy of limiting player game development to 7 or 8 players in the past several seasons.  So, without further adieu, here are Coach K’s Right Hand Men …

Nolan Smith, Special Assistant to Coach K

Nolan is the latest Duke graduate to join the team as a Special Assistant in February 2016. He played for the Blue Devils from from 2009 to 2011, and helped lead Duke to the 2010 NCAA title.   His duties now include assisting the coaching staff in developing game strategies, breaking down game film, planning practices and contributing in staff meetings..

He has volunteered with Teen Cancer America and was named its North Carolina State Ambassador in the summer of 2016.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Jon Scheyer, Assistant Coach

Jon is in his 4th year as an Assistant Coach after joining the staff as a Special Assistant. Jon  Duke to the 2010 NCAA title, and named MVP in the Championship game.  After graduation in 2010, he played in the NBA’s summer league and suffered an eye poke to his right eye that resulted in optic nerve damage and legal blindness. “Mentally and physically, it took a lot of hours in the gym to get my skill back.”   Jon has been instrumental in developing Duke players Tyus Jones, Frank Jackson and Luke Kennard.    This year he recruited Alex O’Connell.   This past May, Jon married the former, Marcelle Provencial.

The following is a link to a Sporting News article about Scheyer’s injury:

http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-basketball/news/4498716-jon-scheyer-duke-assistant-blind-in-one-eye-blue-devils-2010-champions-coach-k

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Nate James, Assistant Coach

Nate is in his 11th year as a member of the Duke staff.  He played on Duke’s 2001 NCAA title team and was an assistant coach on the 2010 and 2015 title teams.    Following his Duke graduation, Nate played professionally in the United States and overseas.   He has served as an Assistant Strength Coach, Special Assistant and Assistant Coach.   Nate has a knack for training front-line players including Jabari Parker, The 3 Plumlee brothers, Jahlil Okafor and Harry Giles.  He was instrumental in recruiting 4 ranked forwards on this season’s team:   Jordan Goldwire, Javin DeLaurier, Marques Bolden, & Antonio Vrankovic,

Nate and his wife Bobbi have a son Nathanial.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Thanks for the read !!!

We remind you that we welcome your comments both here and at our Twitter site at:

@SimpleDukeBB

 

Advertisements

SDBB: 2 Special Observances of Memorial Day Weekend, 2017 – Part #2

For those of you who have enjoyed Part #1, we expect you will enjoy Part #2 equally.

By Bill Wheeler

 George B Tullidge, III

George Bowler Tullidge, III, was born on January 22, 1924 in San Francisco, CA, the son of George Tullidge and Anne Archer Hogshead.  By age one, he and his family had moved to Richmond, VA; and one afternoon he awoke from a nap and could not use his right arm.  He was diagnosed with Polio, the family was placed in quarantine, and precautions were taken to protect the other children in the apartment building.  After several months, the disease did not spread and George was able to use his atrophied right arm.  Shortly after getting out of quarantine, the family moved to Staunton, VA.

His parents encouraged George to participate in as many sports as possible and he attended “Buck” Pitt’s camp several summers as Counselor.  He attended Staunton Military Academy for the last 2 years of high school.  While at SMA, he met a young man named Peter Fick, who was on the swim team.  Peter encouraged 12-year old George to practice with the team and in May 1936, Mr. and Mrs. Tullidge drove Peter and George to the Olympic Trails in Washington DC.  Peter entered George in a Freestyle event.  That summer, Peter swam for the US Olympic team in Berlin and he went on to become a great swimmer.

George had to compensate for his atrophied right arm in the swimming pool and found that he competed best in the Backstroke and Freestyle.  His parents drove him to AAU and regional swimming events through out the Mid Atlantic states in which George continuously set records. Swimming was not his only passion, he also focused on church, its youth group, his two younger brothers, and he became an Eagle Scout.  George entered Virginia Polytechnic Institute (now Virginia Tech) in 1941 where he joined the swim team and was a member of the Cadet Corp.  On February 6, 1942, Duke held a joint varsity and Freshmen swim meet against VPI. Newspaper headlines stated “Six pool marks shattered in Duke Meet.” Duke’s varsity out swam VPI, but the VPI freshman distanced themselves from Duke’s Blue Imps 37-22.  Tullidge won the 100 yard backstroke in a new pool record of 1:05.  He also helped the 150 yard medley Relay Team set a pool record of 1:26.

During the winter of his Sophomore year, George struggled with fellow cadets going off to war and decided to enlist in the Army in January 1943.  He graduated from Paratroopers’ School and was assigned to the 507th Paratrooper Infantry Regiment (PIR) of the 82nd Airborne Division.  George was sent to the United Kingdom to train.  While there, his mother sent him a small handwritten notebook of Bible verses, poems and uplifting quotes.  George shared this booklet with some fellow soldiers and mentioned it in a May 10, 1944 letter home to his brother, Tommy:

“… I just know and pray that you will turn out to be the kind of boys Mother and Dad are teaching you to be …”

“Another thing that has helped me a lot is my firm belief in the Lord. Often times when I feel depressed and blue it does me an awful lot food to read my Bible and a little book that Mother sent me…”

The 507th PIR’s D-Day mission was to assist the 505th PIR take the Mederet River at La Fiere, and advance to the western flank in St Mere Eglise.  This town had been occupied by the Germans since June 1940 and was in a strategic location for access to 2 beaches on Normandy (Omaha and Utah).  On June 6, 1944, around 1 am, members of the 505th began to drop into Normandy.  Low clouds prevented a lot of the C47s carrying the paratroopers to miss their marks by miles. A home next to a church in St Mere Eglise caught fire and illuminated the skies, which alerted the Germans.  They shot many of the paratroopers before they made it to the ground.  2,400 paratroopers from the 507th descended on their mission around 2:30 AM.  Tullidge successfully made his jump, and his next few hours were recounted by George Slosson, a fellow soldier in paratroopers’ school:

About an hour after we landed, George and I met each other near a small farmhouse.  10 minutes later we were fired upon by a German Sniper almost hitting us both.  The sniper was not alone, so we tried to outflank them but ran into all kinds of machine gun fire.  (Our officers) told us to set up positions.  It was hard for us believe we were in combat.   The Germans began shelling out positions so we had to move.  We walked down a road and onto a railroad track.  A Colonel called us out to come help his unit.  George went up a bank to get on a (Le Fiere Bridge) a bridge … I went on the other side of the tracks.  Tullidge took up a machine gun position and helped hold off the Germans.  Later I found out George had been wounded in the right hip and evacuated to a field hospital, but only Tullidge refused to withdraw until the enemy had been routed.  On June 8, 1944, Sergeant Tullidge died from his wound and was buried at Cambridge American Cemetery, England.

Mrs. Tullidge’s grief over her son’s death and love, led to her publishing and distributing over 300,000 copies of “A Paratroopers Faith” for 50 years.  The small booklet was a printed version of the notebook she sent George in England..  In 1989, she received a “Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service” from the Pentagon for her dedication to her moral support of soldiers. Today at Fort Bragg, NC, there is a road named Tullidge Way in honor of George Tullidge.

*************************************

References

  1. Polio to Paratrooper by Anne Tullidge
  2. Camp Virginia notes and WWII Memorial
  3. Sainte Mere Eglise – US Paratroopers WWII
  4. BE – 507th PIR

SDBB: 2 Special Observances of Memorial Day Weekend, 2017 – Part #1

All too often we give lip service to our recognition of Memorial Day.  Oh, we can be assured of TV war movie marathons, local VFW events, parades, and this is the day cemetery gravestones receive new flags if they don’t on Flag Day, but unless we have a Veteran in our family, I’ll bet we don’t know of another. 

We’d like to change that this year. 

Thanks to a good friend of SDBB, regular contributor Bill Wheeler, we are connected to 2 very special men, with links to Duke University Sports.  These are not names that roll out of anyone’s consciousness, so we wanted to turn over SDBB to Bill for the weekend, and let him tell you about these members of “The Greatest Generation” you’d otherwise probably never hear of.

**************************************

By Bill Wheeler

Etched in my mind are fond memories of the summers I spent at a camp run by the infamous University of Richmond Baseball Coach, Malcolm Pitt and his son Malcolm “Buck” Pitt, Jr.

“Buck” served in the Navy in WWII and was seriously wounded in the D-Day invasion of France. My appreciation for veterans began with Buck’s influence.  It has immensely grown during the last 4 years of my volunteer activities at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, VA.  The Memorial honors Virginians who sacrificed their lives in conflicts beginning with WWII.  Whenever the opportunity arises, I try to share stories of veterans.  The following article is about one of two young men who attended Coach Pitt’s camp, ultimately exchanged their athletic skills and college education to serve our country in WWII.

 James “Jimmy” C. Trimble, III

 James C. Trimble, III, was born October 25, 1925 to James Trimble, Jr. and Ruth Alverson.  He grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and by age 4, his parents had separated and eventually divorced.  Without a father figure around, Jimmy gravitated to playing baseball on the streets with older boys where he developed solid athletic skills.  He often rode a streetcar with his friends to Griffith Stadium to see the Washington Senators, and on one of his trips, he saw Bob Feller pitch as a Reliever.  The popping sound of Feller’s pitches hitting the Catcher’s mitt resonated in his mind.

As a teenager, Jimmy attended Pitt’s summer camp, attended and graduated from St. Albans School.  Jimmy was an All-District end in football, captained the basketball team, and was an outstanding baseball Pitcher under the direction of Bill Shaw, a member of the 1932 US Olympic baseball team.  By Jimmy’s Senior year, Washington DC Sports Reporters were following his baseball prowess.  He threw 3 No-Hitters at St. Albans and his team went undefeated as a Senior.   His baseball abilities drew the attention of Clark Griffith, owner of the Washington Senators, who wrote a letter to Jimmy in May 1943.

Griffith wrote Jimmy a letter inviting him to a tryout, he was so impressed with Jimmy’s skills that he wanted to sign him to the Senator’s Farm System, but his mother insisted he finish school.  In June 1943, Griffith gave Jimmy a $5,000 Signing Bonus and agreed to pay for a 4 year scholarship to Duke University.  In exchange, Jimmy would play for the Senators in the summers.  Jack Combs, a former professional Pitcher, coached Duke.  Jimmy entered Duke and played fall baseball, yet Service to his country remained forefront in his mind.

Jimmy tried to join Officer Training but was disqualified because of defective sight in one eye. Instead of getting a waiver, he chose to enlist in the Marines in January 1944.  After Basic Training, he stayed two additional months and played for the Paris Island baseball team.  He was shipped to Guam to work on Reconnaissance Patrols that routed out any remaining Japanese on the island.  While in Guam, Jimmy shared Griffith’s letter with his Commanding Officer and got a tryout and spot on the Third Division Baseball Team.  He achieved a record of 21 straight victories and played for the Marine All Stars where he earned a 6-2 record against many fellow soldiers who were professional baseball players.  He often wrote letters home to his mom and his girlfriend.  As the time passed it was evident that his belief in God grew and asked for their prayers.

Jimmy was shipped off to Iwo Jima.  Officers had estimated this battle to last 4 days, but it turned into more than a month.  Torrential rains made the volcanic ash on the island into mud, and bodies were scattered everywhere when the Third Marine Division’s landed on Iwo Jima on February 24, 1944.  The Third Marine Division took heavy casualties from Japanese rockets and on February 27, a Platoon Commander asked for 8 volunteers to find the location of the rocket sites. Donald Mates had been with Jimmy on Guam and remained with him on Iwo Jima.  He and Trimble were 2 of the 8 volunteers.

At midnight, Mates and Trimble were in a foxhole when a Japanese flare went off.  Peering into our hole was a Japanese soldier, who struck Jim in the back right shoulder blade with a bayonet.  As flares lit up the sky, 2 grenades landed in the foxhole, one between my legs.  The brunt of both explosions hit Jim and one blew part of my thigh off.  He was still alive with his back, upper arms and the back of his head a mass of wounds.  Just then, another Japanese soldier jumped into the hole with a mine strapped to his stomach and proceeded to wrap himself around Jim.  Both of them were killed.

Two months after Private Trimble’s death, a ceremony was held on Guam and the Third Division baseball field was named in memory of Trimble.  Trimble was buried in Rockcreek Cemetery in Washington, DC.   He was remembered at a Veterans Day 2000 tribute to the baseball heroes of WWII. Today the Young Marines offers the Jimmy Trimble Scholarship for the outstanding male and female applicants.

***************************

References:

  1. Ancestry.com
  2. Camp Virginia notes and WWII Memorial
  3. Albans history
  4. The Legacy of Jimmy Trimble by James C Roberts – Special to ESPN

SDBB – Two Special Observances of Memorial Day Weekend, 2017 – Part #2

For those of you who have enjoyed Part #1, we expect you will enjoy Part #2 equally.

By Bill Wheeler

 George B Tullidge, III

George Bowler Tullidge, III, was born on January 22, 1924 in San Francisco, CA, the son of George Tullidge and Anne Archer Hogshead.  By age one, he and his family had moved to Richmond, VA; and one afternoon he awoke from a nap and could not use his right arm.  He was diagnosed with Polio, the family was placed in quarantine, and precautions were taken to protect the other children in the apartment building.  After several months, the disease did not spread and George was able to use his atrophied right arm.  Shortly after getting out of quarantine, the family moved to Staunton, VA.

His parents encouraged George to participate in as many sports as possible and he attended “Buck” Pitt’s camp several summers as Counselor.  He attended Staunton Military Academy for the last 2 years of high school.  While at SMA, he met a young man named Peter Fick, who was on the swim team.  Peter encouraged 12-year old George to practice with the team and in May 1936, Mr. and Mrs. Tullidge drove Peter and George to the Olympic Trails in Washington DC.  Peter entered George in a Freestyle event.  That summer, Peter swam for the US Olympic team in Berlin and he went on to become a great swimmer.

George had to compensate for his atrophied right arm in the swimming pool and found that he competed best in the Backstroke and Freestyle.  His parents drove him to AAU and regional swimming events through out the Mid Atlantic states in which George continuously set records. Swimming was not his only passion, he also focused on church, its youth group, his two younger brothers, and he became an Eagle Scout.  George entered Virginia Polytechnic Institute (now Virginia Tech) in 1941 where he joined the swim team and was a member of the Cadet Corp.  On February 6, 1942, Duke held a joint varsity and Freshmen swim meet against VPI. Newspaper headlines stated “Six pool marks shattered in Duke Meet.” Duke’s varsity out swam VPI, but the VPI freshman distanced themselves from Duke’s Blue Imps 37-22.  Tullidge won the 100 yard backstroke in a new pool record of 1:05.  He also helped the 150 yard medley Relay Team set a pool record of 1:26.

During the winter of his Sophomore year, George struggled with fellow cadets going off to war and decided to enlist in the Army in January 1943.  He graduated from Paratroopers’ School and was assigned to the 507th Paratrooper Infantry Regiment (PIR) of the 82nd Airborne Division.  George was sent to the United Kingdom to train.  While there, his mother sent him a small handwritten notebook of Bible verses, poems and uplifting quotes.  George shared this booklet with some fellow soldiers and mentioned it in a May 10, 1944 letter home to his brother, Tommy:

“… I just know and pray that you will turn out to be the kind of boys Mother and Dad are teaching you to be …”

“Another thing that has helped me a lot is my firm belief in the Lord. Often times when I feel depressed and blue it does me an awful lot food to read my Bible and a little book that Mother sent me…”

The 507th PIR’s D-Day mission was to assist the 505th PIR take the Mederet River at La Fiere, and advance to the western flank in St Mere Eglise.  This town had been occupied by the Germans since June 1940 and was in a strategic location for access to 2 beaches on Normandy (Omaha and Utah).  On June 6, 1944, around 1 am, members of the 505th began to drop into Normandy.  Low clouds prevented a lot of the C47s carrying the paratroopers to miss their marks by miles. A home next to a church in St Mere Eglise caught fire and illuminated the skies, which alerted the Germans.  They shot many of the paratroopers before they made it to the ground.  2,400 paratroopers from the 507th descended on their mission around 2:30 AM.  Tullidge successfully made his jump, and his next few hours were recounted by George Slosson, a fellow soldier in paratroopers’ school:

About an hour after we landed, George and I met each other near a small farmhouse.  10 minutes later we were fired upon by a German Sniper almost hitting us both.  The sniper was not alone, so we tried to outflank them but ran into all kinds of machine gun fire.  (Our officers) told us to set up positions.  It was hard for us believe we were in combat.   The Germans began shelling out positions so we had to move.  We walked down a road and onto a railroad track.  A Colonel called us out to come help his unit.  George went up a bank to get on a (Le Fiere Bridge) a bridge … I went on the other side of the tracks.  Tullidge took up a machine gun position and helped hold off the Germans.  Later I found out George had been wounded in the right hip and evacuated to a field hospital, but only Tullidge refused to withdraw until the enemy had been routed.  On June 8, 1944, Sergeant Tullidge died from his wound and was buried at Cambridge American Cemetery, England.

Mrs. Tullidge’s grief over her son’s death and love, led to her publishing and distributing over 300,000 copies of “A Paratroopers Faith” for 50 years.  The small booklet was a printed version of the notebook she sent George in England..  In 1989, she received a “Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service” from the Pentagon for her dedication to her moral support of soldiers. Today at Fort Bragg, NC, there is a road named Tullidge Way in honor of George Tullidge.

*************************************

References

  1. Polio to Paratrooper by Anne Tullidge
  2. Camp Virginia notes and WWII Memorial
  3. Sainte Mere Eglise – US Paratroopers WWII
  4. BE – 507th PIR

SDBB – Two Special Observances of Memorial Day Weekend, 2017 – Part #1

All too often we give lip service to our recognition of Memorial Day.  Oh, we can be assured of TV war movie marathons, local VFW events, parades, and this is the day cemetery gravestones receive new flags if they don’t on Flag Day, but unless we have a Veteran in our family, I’ll bet we don’t know of another. 

We’d like to change that this year. 

Thanks to a good friend of SDBB, regular contributor Bill Wheeler, we are connected to 2 very special men, with links to Duke University Sports.  These are not names that roll out of anyone’s consciousness, so we wanted to turn over SDBB to Bill for the weekend, and let him tell you about these members of “The Greatest Generation” you’d otherwise probably never hear of.

**************************************

By Bill Wheeler

Etched in my mind are fond memories of the summers I spent at a camp run by the infamous University of Richmond Baseball Coach, Malcolm Pitt and his son Malcolm “Buck” Pitt, Jr.

“Buck” served in the Navy in WWII and was seriously wounded in the D-Day invasion of France. My appreciation for veterans began with Buck’s influence.  It has immensely grown during the last 4 years of my volunteer activities at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, VA.  The Memorial honors Virginians who sacrificed their lives in conflicts beginning with WWII.  Whenever the opportunity arises, I try to share stories of veterans.  The following article is about one of two young men who attended Coach Pitt’s camp, ultimately exchanged their athletic skills and college education to serve our country in WWII.

 James “Jimmy” C. Trimble, III

 James C. Trimble, III, was born October 25, 1925 to James Trimble, Jr. and Ruth Alverson.  He grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and by age 4, his parents had separated and eventually divorced.  Without a father figure around, Jimmy gravitated to playing baseball on the streets with older boys where he developed solid athletic skills.  He often rode a streetcar with his friends to Griffith Stadium to see the Washington Senators, and on one of his trips, he saw Bob Feller pitch as a Reliever.  The popping sound of Feller’s pitches hitting the Catcher’s mitt resonated in his mind.

As a teenager, Jimmy attended Pitt’s summer camp, attended and graduated from St. Albans School.  Jimmy was an All-District end in football, captained the basketball team, and was an outstanding baseball Pitcher under the direction of Bill Shaw, a member of the 1932 US Olympic baseball team.  By Jimmy’s Senior year, Washington DC Sports Reporters were following his baseball prowess.  He threw 3 No-Hitters at St. Albans and his team went undefeated as a Senior.   His baseball abilities drew the attention of Clark Griffith, owner of the Washington Senators, who wrote a letter to Jimmy in May 1943.

Griffith wrote Jimmy a letter inviting him to a tryout, he was so impressed with Jimmy’s skills that he wanted to sign him to the Senator’s Farm System, but his mother insisted he finish school.  In June 1943, Griffith gave Jimmy a $5,000 Signing Bonus and agreed to pay for a 4 year scholarship to Duke University.  In exchange, Jimmy would play for the Senators in the summers.  Jack Combs, a former professional Pitcher, coached Duke.  Jimmy entered Duke and played fall baseball, yet Service to his country remained forefront in his mind.

Jimmy tried to join Officer Training but was disqualified because of defective sight in one eye. Instead of getting a waiver, he chose to enlist in the Marines in January 1944.  After Basic Training, he stayed two additional months and played for the Paris Island baseball team.  He was shipped to Guam to work on Reconnaissance Patrols that routed out any remaining Japanese on the island.  While in Guam, Jimmy shared Griffith’s letter with his Commanding Officer and got a tryout and spot on the Third Division Baseball Team.  He achieved a record of 21 straight victories and played for the Marine All Stars where he earned a 6-2 record against many fellow soldiers who were professional baseball players.  He often wrote letters home to his mom and his girlfriend.  As the time passed it was evident that his belief in God grew and asked for their prayers.

Jimmy was shipped off to Iwo Jima.  Officers had estimated this battle to last 4 days, but it turned into more than a month.  Torrential rains made the volcanic ash on the island into mud, and bodies were scattered everywhere when the Third Marine Division’s landed on Iwo Jima on February 24, 1944.  The Third Marine Division took heavy casualties from Japanese rockets and on February 27, a Platoon Commander asked for 8 volunteers to find the location of the rocket sites. Donald Mates had been with Jimmy on Guam and remained with him on Iwo Jima.  He and Trimble were 2 of the 8 volunteers.

At midnight, Mates and Trimble were in a foxhole when a Japanese flare went off.  Peering into our hole was a Japanese soldier, who struck Jim in the back right shoulder blade with a bayonet.  As flares lit up the sky, 2 grenades landed in the foxhole, one between my legs.  The brunt of both explosions hit Jim and one blew part of my thigh off.  He was still alive with his back, upper arms and the back of his head a mass of wounds.  Just then, another Japanese soldier jumped into the hole with a mine strapped to his stomach and proceeded to wrap himself around Jim.  Both of them were killed.

Two months after Private Trimble’s death, a ceremony was held on Guam and the Third Division baseball field was named in memory of Trimble.  Trimble was buried in Rockcreek Cemetery in Washington, DC.   He was remembered at a Veterans Day 2000 tribute to the baseball heroes of WWII. Today the Young Marines offers the Jimmy Trimble Scholarship for the outstanding male and female applicants.

***************************

References:

  1. Ancestry.com
  2. Camp Virginia notes and WWII Memorial
  3. Albans history
  4. The Legacy of Jimmy Trimble by James C Roberts – Special to ESPN

SDBB – 2 Special Observances of Memorial Day Weekend, 2017 – Part #2

For those of you who have enjoyed Part #1, we expect you will enjoy Part #2 equally.

By Bill Wheeler

 George B Tullidge, III

George Bowler Tullidge, III, was born on January 22, 1924 in San Francisco, CA, the son of George Tullidge and Anne Archer Hogshead.  By age one, he and his family had moved to Richmond, VA; and one afternoon he awoke from a nap and could not use his right arm.  He was diagnosed with Polio, the family was placed in quarantine, and precautions were taken to protect the other children in the apartment building.  After several months, the disease did not spread and George was able to use his atrophied right arm.  Shortly after getting out of quarantine, the family moved to Staunton, VA.

His parents encouraged George to participate in as many sports as possible and he attended “Buck” Pitt’s camp several summers as Counselor.  He attended Staunton Military Academy for the last 2 years of high school.  While at SMA, he met a young man named Peter Fick, who was on the swim team.  Peter encouraged 12-year old George to practice with the team and in May 1936, Mr. and Mrs. Tullidge drove Peter and George to the Olympic Trails in Washington DC.  Peter entered George in a Freestyle event.  That summer, Peter swam for the US Olympic team in Berlin and he went on to become a great swimmer.

George had to compensate for his atrophied right arm in the swimming pool and found that he competed best in the Backstroke and Freestyle.  His parents drove him to AAU and regional swimming events through out the Mid Atlantic states in which George continuously set records. Swimming was not his only passion, he also focused on church, its youth group, his two younger brothers, and he became an Eagle Scout.  George entered Virginia Polytechnic Institute (now Virginia Tech) in 1941 where he joined the swim team and was a member of the Cadet Corp.  On February 6, 1942, Duke held a joint varsity and Freshmen swim meet against VPI. Newspaper headlines stated “Six pool marks shattered in Duke Meet.” Duke’s varsity out swam VPI, but the VPI freshman distanced themselves from Duke’s Blue Imps 37-22.  Tullidge won the 100 yard backstroke in a new pool record of 1:05.  He also helped the 150 yard medley Relay Team set a pool record of 1:26.

During the winter of his Sophomore year, George struggled with fellow cadets going off to war and decided to enlist in the Army in January 1943.  He graduated from Paratroopers’ School and was assigned to the 507th Paratrooper Infantry Regiment (PIR) of the 82nd Airborne Division.  George was sent to the United Kingdom to train.  While there, his mother sent him a small handwritten notebook of Bible verses, poems and uplifting quotes.  George shared this booklet with some fellow soldiers and mentioned it in a May 10, 1944 letter home to his brother, Tommy:

“… I just know and pray that you will turn out to be the kind of boys Mother and Dad are teaching you to be …”

“Another thing that has helped me a lot is my firm belief in the Lord. Often times when I feel depressed and blue it does me an awful lot food to read my Bible and a little book that Mother sent me…”

The 507th PIR’s D-Day mission was to assist the 505th PIR take the Mederet River at La Fiere, and advance to the western flank in St Mere Eglise.  This town had been occupied by the Germans since June 1940 and was in a strategic location for access to 2 beaches on Normandy (Omaha and Utah).  On June 6, 1944, around 1 am, members of the 505th began to drop into Normandy.  Low clouds prevented a lot of the C47s carrying the paratroopers to miss their marks by miles. A home next to a church in St Mere Eglise caught fire and illuminated the skies, which alerted the Germans.  They shot many of the paratroopers before they made it to the ground.  2,400 paratroopers from the 507th descended on their mission around 2:30 AM.  Tullidge successfully made his jump, and his next few hours were recounted by George Slosson, a fellow soldier in paratroopers’ school:

About an hour after we landed, George and I met each other near a small farmhouse.  10 minutes later we were fired upon by a German Sniper almost hitting us both.  The sniper was not alone, so we tried to outflank them but ran into all kinds of machine gun fire.  (Our officers) told us to set up positions.  It was hard for us believe we were in combat.   The Germans began shelling out positions so we had to move.  We walked down a road and onto a railroad track.  A Colonel called us out to come help his unit.  George went up a bank to get on a (Le Fiere Bridge) a bridge … I went on the other side of the tracks.  Tullidge took up a machine gun position and helped hold off the Germans.  Later I found out George had been wounded in the right hip and evacuated to a field hospital, but only Tullidge refused to withdraw until the enemy had been routed.  On June 8, 1944, Sergeant Tullidge died from his wound and was buried at Cambridge American Cemetery, England.

Mrs. Tullidge’s grief over her son’s death and love, led to her publishing and distributing over 300,000 copies of “A Paratroopers Faith” for 50 years.  The small booklet was a printed version of the notebook she sent George in England..  In 1989, she received a “Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service” from the Pentagon for her dedication to her moral support of soldiers. Today at Fort Bragg, NC, there is a road named Tullidge Way in honor of George Tullidge.

*************************************

References

  1. Polio to Paratrooper by Anne Tullidge
  2. Camp Virginia notes and WWII Memorial
  3. Sainte Mere Eglise – US Paratroopers WWII
  4. BE – 507th PIR

SDBB – 2 Special Observances of Memorial Day Weekend, 2017 – Part #1

All too often we give lip service to our recognition of Memorial Day.  Oh, we can be assured of TV war movie marathons, local VFW events, parades, and this is the day cemetery gravestones receive new flags if they don’t on Flag Day, but unless we have a Veteran in our family, I’ll bet we don’t know of another. 

We’d like to change that this year. 

Thanks to a good friend of SDBB, regular contributor Bill Wheeler, we are connected to 2 very special men, with links to Duke University Sports.  These are not names that roll out of anyone’s consciousness, so we wanted to turn over SDBB to Bill for the weekend, and let him tell you about these members of “The Greatest Generation” you’d otherwise probably never hear of.

**************************************

By Bill Wheeler

Etched in my mind are fond memories of the summers I spent at a camp run by the infamous University of Richmond Baseball Coach, Malcolm Pitt and his son Malcolm “Buck” Pitt, Jr.

“Buck” served in the Navy in WWII and was seriously wounded in the D-Day invasion of France. My appreciation for veterans began with Buck’s influence.  It has immensely grown during the last 4 years of my volunteer activities at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, VA.  The Memorial honors Virginians who sacrificed their lives in conflicts beginning with WWII.  Whenever the opportunity arises, I try to share stories of veterans.  The following article is about one of two young men who attended Coach Pitt’s camp, ultimately exchanged their athletic skills and college education to serve our country in WWII.

 James “Jimmy” C. Trimble, III

 James C. Trimble, III, was born October 25, 1925 to James Trimble, Jr. and Ruth Alverson.  He grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and by age 4, his parents had separated and eventually divorced.  Without a father figure around, Jimmy gravitated to playing baseball on the streets with older boys where he developed solid athletic skills.  He often rode a streetcar with his friends to Griffith Stadium to see the Washington Senators, and on one of his trips, he saw Bob Feller pitch as a Reliever.  The popping sound of Feller’s pitches hitting the Catcher’s mitt resonated in his mind.

As a teenager, Jimmy attended Pitt’s summer camp, attended and graduated from St. Albans School.  Jimmy was an All-District end in football, captained the basketball team, and was an outstanding baseball Pitcher under the direction of Bill Shaw, a member of the 1932 US Olympic baseball team.  By Jimmy’s Senior year, Washington DC Sports Reporters were following his baseball prowess.  He threw 3 No-Hitters at St. Albans and his team went undefeated as a Senior.   His baseball abilities drew the attention of Clark Griffith, owner of the Washington Senators, who wrote a letter to Jimmy in May 1943.

Griffith wrote Jimmy a letter inviting him to a tryout, he was so impressed with Jimmy’s skills that he wanted to sign him to the Senator’s Farm System, but his mother insisted he finish school.  In June 1943, Griffith gave Jimmy a $5,000 Signing Bonus and agreed to pay for a 4 year scholarship to Duke University.  In exchange, Jimmy would play for the Senators in the summers.  Jack Combs, a former professional Pitcher, coached Duke.  Jimmy entered Duke and played fall baseball, yet Service to his country remained forefront in his mind.

Jimmy tried to join Officer Training but was disqualified because of defective sight in one eye. Instead of getting a waiver, he chose to enlist in the Marines in January 1944.  After Basic Training, he stayed two additional months and played for the Paris Island baseball team.  He was shipped to Guam to work on Reconnaissance Patrols that routed out any remaining Japanese on the island.  While in Guam, Jimmy shared Griffith’s letter with his Commanding Officer and got a tryout and spot on the Third Division Baseball Team.  He achieved a record of 21 straight victories and played for the Marine All Stars where he earned a 6-2 record against many fellow soldiers who were professional baseball players.  He often wrote letters home to his mom and his girlfriend.  As the time passed it was evident that his belief in God grew and asked for their prayers.

Jimmy was shipped off to Iwo Jima.  Officers had estimated this battle to last 4 days, but it turned into more than a month.  Torrential rains made the volcanic ash on the island into mud, and bodies were scattered everywhere when the Third Marine Division’s landed on Iwo Jima on February 24, 1944.  The Third Marine Division took heavy casualties from Japanese rockets and on February 27, a Platoon Commander asked for 8 volunteers to find the location of the rocket sites. Donald Mates had been with Jimmy on Guam and remained with him on Iwo Jima.  He and Trimble were 2 of the 8 volunteers.

At midnight, Mates and Trimble were in a foxhole when a Japanese flare went off.  Peering into our hole was a Japanese soldier, who struck Jim in the back right shoulder blade with a bayonet.  As flares lit up the sky, 2 grenades landed in the foxhole, one between my legs.  The brunt of both explosions hit Jim and one blew part of my thigh off.  He was still alive with his back, upper arms and the back of his head a mass of wounds.  Just then, another Japanese soldier jumped into the hole with a mine strapped to his stomach and proceeded to wrap himself around Jim.  Both of them were killed.

Two months after Private Trimble’s death, a ceremony was held on Guam and the Third Division baseball field was named in memory of Trimble.  Trimble was buried in Rockcreek Cemetery in Washington, DC.   He was remembered at a Veterans Day 2000 tribute to the baseball heroes of WWII. Today the Young Marines offers the Jimmy Trimble Scholarship for the outstanding male and female applicants.

***************************

References:

  1. Ancestry.com
  2. Camp Virginia notes and WWII Memorial
  3. Albans history
  4. The Legacy of Jimmy Trimble by James C Roberts – Special to ESPN

 

SDBB: Duke “Scrubbed” From a Deserving #1 Seed by Flawed Selection Committee

By Bermuda Bob

Each and every year, the Selection Committee comes under severe scrutiny for who they admitted to the Big Dance, and who the omitted.  This year, the consensus seems to be that everyone admitted deserved to be there, and those omitted were “no brainers” !!!

The problem this year is that the Selection Committee came up with a term never revealed before … They call it “scrubbing” and regardless how many times the Committee Chair, Mark Hollis of Michigan State, answered queries from CBS or ESPN Commentators, he offered an expert version of circumlocution.

It appears that this year’s Selection Committee decided, without telling the teams, that the season’s performance would outweigh the respective Conference Championship Tournaments.  They obviously could are less who was injured early on – like Duke, or who was peaking going into Conference Championship Tournaments – like Duke, and thereby, the Big Dance !!!

Hollis admitted that Duke started off as a #7 Seed going into the ACC Championship Tournament, and moved up to a #4 Seed, and then finally a #2 Seed.  There seemed to be no chance for Duke to have acceded to a #1 Seed as the Selection Committee had leaked that the #1 Seeds were “locked” before most finished their Conference Championship Tournaments.

If you haven’t noticed, I have chosen to use the correct name (and inference) for each Conference Championship Tournament.  They are called this because winning the Conference regular season is a combination of winning Home and Away, and while often dealing with a myriad of problems, injuries, disciplinary situations, and generally being at full strength.  Of course, I’m referring to Duke’s season going into the ACC Championship Tournament.

So, my question is simple:  Why does the Selection Committee disregard that each and every Conference considers their Championship Tournament to reflect the Champion of their Conference for the Season.  Even if a team were to win the Regular Season, they are not truly considered Champions if they did not win the Championship Tournament.

There you go … Every Conference was disregarded by the Selection Committee because they, in their infinite, but clearly flawed, wisdom “scrubbed” them from seeding the Conference Champions to reflect their earned position as Champions !!!

Syracuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim, while accepting that his team was being spurned for very good reasonings, lamented a simple, but profound request when he simply asked the Selection Committee to … just tell us what you want to see …

In Duke’s defense, here are the obvious reason for their being named a #1 Seed:

  • Duke earned 8 –  RPI top 25 wins …
  • Duke had 13 RPI Top 50 wins …
  • Duke prevailed over North Carolina 2 out of 3 times …

The questionable aspect of this “scrubbing” baloney is that the Selection Committee admitted that they never once considered the Duke – North Carolina rivalry … without a doubt, the greatest rivalry in all of sport.  To quote Jay Leno:

“What were you thinking ???”

Such a ridiculous faux pas justifiably gives pause to consider my annual rant:

“Why aren’t there Basketball People on the Selection Committee ???”  

If you consider the plethora of retired Head Coaches out there, I see no reason why they are not called on to apply their considerable knowledge, experience, and insight to thoughtfully picking who ought to be seeded where and why.  When you need to create a term like “scrubbing,” which brings to mind things like Brillo, Mr. Clean, and Dawn, you have failed before you have begun.

So, Mr. Hollis … instead of the knee-jerk seeding of Gonzaga, who virtually played nobody of any substance except Arizona, why wasn’t Duke seeded #1 ???  Sure, North Carolina won the Regular Season, but Duke beat them twice !!!   Sure, Duke had a difficult, injury ridden season that included their Head Coach, but they still survived to win their Championship Tournament in the toughest – as reflected by their mammoth number of teams in the Big Dance – conference in the nation.

You have dropped the proverbial ball once again.  While you got the right inclusions, you totally screwed a number of programmes with your seeding.  Just ask the Shockers of Wichita State …

Thanks for listening …

*********************************************

Thanks for the read …

Please tell us what you think, either here or on our Twitter site:

@SimplyDukeBB

SDBB: Congratulations to The Duke Blue Devils on Winning the 2017 ACC Tournament !!!

By Bermuda Bob

Congratulations are in order for our Duke Blue Devils, who, despite wearing those inappropriate black uniforms, won the 2017 ACC Tournament in Record Setting form.  No other team in ACC history has won four (4) games in a row to win the event.

Duke needed to go thru four (4) very tough opponents …

  • First was Clemson, who they dispatched 79-72 …
  • Next came Louisville, who they prevailed against 81-77 …
  • Next was the “Rubber Game” of the Best Rivalry in Sport, UNC.  They won 93-83 …
  • Last was Notre Dame, who they outlasted 75-69 …

The major aspect that was demonstrated soundly, was the fact that a healthy Duke was “peaking” at the right time after a season that saw them often disappoint causing many fans to wonder about their voracity going into the post-season.  It was indeed a wonderful metamorphosis to behold !!!

Congratulations, and Good Luck in the Big Dance !!!

**************************************

Thanks for the read !!!

As always, please feel free to comment here or on our Twitter site:

@SinplyDukeBB

SDBB – After Sleeping On It – The Wake Forest Game

SDBB - Duke ZZZ's

Saturday’s Wake Forest game was not broadcast everywhere, so Bermuda Bob didn’t get to see it, but Bill Wheeler got lucky and was able to see the game … After Sleeping on It, Bill gives us his impressions, while Bermuda Bob comments on what he gleaned just from the Box Score …

Bill:    Frank Jackson is already a good Point Guard, but he has a tendency to favour passing to the right side of the Arc.  Sooner or later, teams are going to pick up on this.

Bermuda Bob:     Once again, Frank was subverted to Bench.  He HAS to be the Point Guard for this team to establish some sort of continuity …

Bill:     Wake was disrupted by Duke breaking out of their traditional man-to-man defense in favour of a Zone and trapping.

Bermuda Bob:   While is was disrupting, it still didn’t cause double digit TurnOvers, but it apparently DID disrupt their shooting outside the Arc as Wake shot 6 of 20 for only 30% !!!

Bill:     Antonio got 6 minutes and made the most of them, nailing a dunk and hoofing it to the other side of the Floor for a stop.  I’m glad he was praised by Coach Capel.  This is not the first time this year or last year when Antonio has done something like this …

Bermuda Bob:     We have both been begging for more Floor time for Antonio.  When you consider that Giles played 18 minutes and did little more than contribute 6 Points, 4 Fouls, and a TurnOver with Antonio, it proves my idea of RedShirting him would not have hurt this team …

Bill:
Tatum took several untimely shots.  A couple were just bad shots he took, hoping they’d go in to boost his stature, not necessarily the team’s.  Once he fouled out, Duke became a different team.

Bermuda Bob:      I hate to say things like this, but I told you so … Tatum stole 21 minuted from another player who would be more productive and less harmful.

Bill:     Grayson Allen has become a lightening rod for opposing teams.  I think he needs to be benched.  He got knocked down once on a drive to the basket and immediately began to mouth off, which drew a “T” !!!

Bermuda Bob:    I don’t get it.  I love a player with verve, but he might not have tripped anyone for a while, but his overly-fiery conduct is something to be concerned about.  I think he needs a shrink PLUS the threat of being benched !!!   As I’ve said before, what if he does something down the road in the Big Dance that adversely affects the team, and/or even the outcome of a game ???

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Bermuda Bob:     I watched the Virginia/Villanova game yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it because it was played at a fast pace where both teams excelled on both sides of the Court …  Last week I also saw ‘Nova beaten by WoJo’s Marquette’s team.  Duke would get slaughtered by all 3 of these teams !!!

Duke plays Notre Dame tonight, a very good team with discipline, talent, and huge scoring abilities.  Duke NEEDS to win this game, or winning against Wake means nothing !!!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Thanks for the Read …

Weigh in on the topics we’ve discussed here, or anything else you’d like to …  You can dohere here, or at our Twitter site: 

@SimplyDukeBB