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Phi Alpha Theta presents Stigall’s Family Tradition Lecture


Coach Terry Stigall presents his lecture titled, “Boston Red Sox: A Family Tradition.” at the Phi Alpha Theta lecture.

Williasmburg, Ky - University of the Cumberlands’ (UC) Upsilon-Upsilon Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta held the fourth lecture of the 2010-2011 series on Tuesday, April 12, in the Bennett Building Auditorium. The group annually sponsors the oldest continuous lecture series on campus.

Coach Terry Stigall, professor of health, exercise, and sports science, presented the lecture titled, “Boston Red Sox: A Family Tradition.”

“It was a joy to hear Coach Stigall speak,” stated Dr. Eric Wake, the faculty advisor for Phi Alpha Theta and their lecture series. “He is so passionate about the Red Sox and it is always interesting to hear about the history of such a successful organization. We hope to have him speak again in the future.”

Coach Stigall spoke about his favorite team and its illustrious history from the “Curse of the Bambino” to their improbable comeback in 2004 to win its first World Series in 86 years. Stigall was born on July 11th 1950, the same day of the 1950 MLB All-Star Game. His father, the late Jim Stigall, began to poke fun at Terry later on in his life telling him that he was part of the curse because the legendary Ted Williams, the last person to ever hit for a .400 batting average in a season (.406 to be exact), broke his elbow in the All-Star Game the day he was born.

At the age of 8, Stigall and his father Jim had planned on taking a trip to Boston to see the Red Sox for the first time. After getting everything planned and ready to go, Stigall contracted measles postponing his dream of seeing the Red Sox.

During the lecture, Stigall placed emphasis on Red Sox great Carl Yastrzemski being the last player to ever hit for the MLB Triple Crown, which means you lead the entire league in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in.

In 1967, Yastrzemski hit for a .326 average with 44 home runs and 121 RBIs. Stigall also discussed the pitfalls of his beloved Red Sox, including the Yankees’ Bucky Dent hitting a home run against the Red Sox in 1978 to keep them out of the playoffs. He also touched on the famous 1986 World Series when Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner let a ground ball go through his legs to allow the winning run for the Mets cross the plate in game 6 of the series. The Mets went on to win that World Series.

In the mid 90s, Stigall still had yet to see the Red Sox play in person. Current UC head men’s basketball coach Don Butcher contacted Stigall and asked, “You still want to go see the Red Sox play?” Thinking it was all just a crude joke, Stigall played along and to his surprise, Butcher took him to see his beloved Red Sox in Boston play two games against the Texas Rangers and one against the Kansas City Royals.

Wrapping up the lecture, Stigall reminisced about the great years of the Red Sox in the mid 2000s when, after 86 years, they came back from a 3-0 deficit in the American League Championship Series against the hated New York Yankees to win the American League Pennant and go on to beat the St. Louis Cardinals in 4 straight games to win the World Series in 2004. The Sox went on 3 years later in 2007 to defeat the Colorado Rockies in 4 straight games to win the World Series.

“People get the idea that history is boring,” said UC student Jared Stafford (Morehead, KY), a member of Phi Alpha Theta. “But everything can be considered history and Coach Stigall took the great game of baseball and presented us with a fantastic lecture and it was all about history. People enjoyed it, I know I did.”

Coach Terry Stigall commented, “I really enjoyed the opportunity to talk about my favorite team and their illustrious history. I always enjoy doing the question and answer session at the end because it shows how the students truly respond and it gives me a sense of pride to know the people in attendance got an understanding of how the history of one team has made such an impact on the league as a whole. This is the second time I’ve been given the opportunity to do this lecture and I thank Dr. Wake for allowing me the opportunity to speak on behalf of their organization. I hope to be able to do it again in the future.”

The Upsilon-Upsilon chapter of Phi Alpha Theta was established at UC in 1974. The group publishes “The Upsilonian,” a journal that has won the outstanding journal award for schools with less than 150 majors.