Sunday, July 8, 2012

Big shot: Bill Self homers — yes, homers — in losing cause

KU basketball coach Bill Self is greeted by American League teammates after hitting a second-inning home run during the All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game Sunday, July 8, 2012, at Kauffman Stadium. From left are Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel, Self, Joe Carter, Rollie Fingers and George Brett.

KU basketball coach Bill Self is greeted by American League teammates after hitting a second-inning home run during the All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game Sunday, July 8, 2012, at Kauffman Stadium. From left are Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel, Self, Joe Carter, Rollie Fingers and George Brett.


— Bill Self, who was booed heavily by Missouri fans and cheered wildly by Kansas supporters, stepped into the batters box during the second inning of Sunday’s all-star celebrity softball game in Kauffman Stadium.

Wearing a powder-blue American League jersey, white pants and a K.C. Royals cap, Self, KU’s basketball coach, measured the first pitch from Olympic softball hurler Jennie Finch and blasted it over the left-center-field fence.

Yes, in storybook fashion, Self actually lined a home run in the AL’s 21-8 loss to the National League, before 40,095 fans.

Self, who hadn’t played softball in 20 years until last week when he visited the batting cages twice at Clinton Lake Softball Complex, was mobbed at home plate by his teammates. His homer was preceded by a Mike Sweeney dinger and was followed by a round-tripper from singer David Cook.

“I was surprised as anybody hitting a home run,” Self said. “I don’t know if anybody actually swung and missed the whole night. I was worried I’d do it three times. To actually put the bat on the ball was pretty cool.”

In the fourth inning, Self hit a screaming foul ball down the left-field line, then grounded out to third, holding his right hamstring — which he pulled Saturday in preparing for the game — as he jogged down the baseline.

In the sixth inning, Self made it a 2-for-3 night at the plate by stroking a hard single to left field. He was immediately replaced by a pinch runner.

“I was nervous because I couldn’t run to first,” Self said, explaining how he hurt his hammy.

“I thought I better do some running for this and I mistakenly put the treadmill on ‘four-minute mile,’” Self cracked.

At least Self did receive a hug from model Chrissy Teigen as he hobbled to the bench after the ground out.

“The hug from Chrissy was nice. Jennie gave me a hug after the game, too,” Self laughed of pitcher Finch.

Self, who played second base for the first two innings of the six-inning game, had one play in the field. He caught a pop-up off the bat of first-inning leadoff man Ozzie Smith to loud cheers. Once the Missouri fans figured out it was Self who clutched the pop up, however, boos cascaded through the stands.

Self also was booed during pregame introductions by MU fans. KU fans tried their best to drown out the nasty reception.

“I always kind of thought Mizzou people liked me for some reason. I guess I was off base on that a little bit,” said Self, who wasn’t the only local player booed. Fans booed K.C. Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel during introductions, but gave him polite applause during his at-bats.

“I didn’t think it (reception) would be great. When I left the bus to go to the batting cage (in Little K in left field before game), I didn’t feel a lot of love walking through the crowd. I thought it’d be pretty much like it was,” Self said.

He was asked if it felt good to “shut up” the MU faithful.

“I don’t know if it (home run) actually shut them up,” said Self, who was booed as he rounded the bases.

Self was amazed by the huge throng of fans, who also were treated to the Baseball Futures game, won by the U.S. over the World team, 17-5.

“I told (wife) Cindy before we came over here. She said, ‘What time do we need to leave?’ I said, ‘I can’t imagine there will be more than 5,000 or 10,000 people there to come watch softball.’ Little did I know. I was dead wrong,” Self said.

Self wore jersey number 8.

“It was supposed to be ’08,” he said, signifying the 2008 national champs. “I asked the manager what number should I wear? Right off the top of his head he said ’08. I requested ’08, and they gave me 8. I wish I could have wore ’12. That would have been good the way we played this year.”

Self said he’d tape tonight’s ESPN replay of the softball game (to be aired following the 7 p.m. Home Run Derby).

He’ll be back at Kauffman Stadium watching the Derby as a fan.

“This is pretty cool. There are some unbelievable athletes here, some big guys. I lockered next to Bo Jackson,” exclaimed Self, who before the game and during the game caught baseballs from fans, signed them and tossed ’em back into the crowd.

“Two of the greatest athletes combined lockering next to each other. That was pretty cool,” Self added with a smile.

Jackson, by the way, made a surprise appearance at the plate. Jackson, who has a bad hip, popped up to end the game after being convinced to pinch hit for Joe Carter by fans who chanted Jackson’s name.

Frankamp wins

Future KU guard Conner Frankamp scored 22 points Sunday in the United States’ 95-62 rout of Australia in the championship game of the FIBA Under 17 world championships in Lithuania.

Frankamp, a 6-foot-1 senior from Wichita North, hit seven of nine shots, including four of six threes for the U.S., which went 8-0 at the tourney. He started and played 22 minutes.


Jayhawk3 1 year, 9 months ago

If we won't play against misery on the hardwood or field, maybe we can schedule our basketball team versus their basketball team in softball. Self and Haith can be the pitchers. Play the game at Community America Ballpark (T-Bones). Let Self hit some homers off Haith. :D


Martin Rosenblum 1 year, 9 months ago

I loved the observation by one of the commentators regarding the crowd's reaction to Bill Self. He said that there was more reaction for him than for George Brett, even if it was more noticably negative in nature. How pathetic is that? George Brett in uniform on the field at Kauffman Stadium, coaching for the "American League" team and the Mizwho faithful would rather show their low class mentality to the viewing audience by more loudly booing the coach of the KU Jayhawks than to more aptly recognize Brett, the icon of the KC Royals.


Ron Franklin 1 year, 9 months ago

Frankamp grew an inch since the last article. That's good.


Janet Scott 1 year, 9 months ago

Did Samantha Ryan hit a homerun -- in the stands? A four bagger?


jaybate 1 year, 9 months ago

Closing thought: so glad there was no bad news about the pot story today. Hope there never will be.


jaybate 1 year, 9 months ago

After some thought, it occurs to me that we need to make Jennie Finch an honorary Jayhawk for serving up that melon for Bill.

Also, how serious of a competitor is Self, really?

Did he cork his soft ball bat?


jaybate 1 year, 9 months ago

"Some Things that Will Be Done to MU in the SEC"

~Beaten by Bama.

~Flogged by Florida.

~Lanced by Louisiana State.

~Sodomized by South Carolina.

~Tourniquetted by Tennessee.

~Arc welded by Arkansas

~Castrated by Kentucky.

~Eviscerated by Vandy.

~Annihilated by Auburn.

~Owned by Ole Miss.

~Amputated by Aggies.

Couldn't happen to a more deserving school.


hawkmoon2020 1 year, 9 months ago

I think TT is a good fit for he NBA. His natural and honed "abilities and style" should provide him with legitimate success compared to other KU "greats" that have yet to cultivate or produce much. Time will tell. I love to see any Jayhawk succeed in the NBA or the Euro League. I also don't mind seeing them succeed in other pursuits besides Basketball. I do think though that many will be pleased with TT's and TRob's NBA careers. Those guys DON"T give up!


lhohman3 1 year, 9 months ago

Tyshawn Taylor's first official NBA summer league game was this morning. He looked pretty good. The fastest guy on the court by far and got into the lane anytime he wanted to. His defense could be super special in NBA. He looked fast and long out there. Unofficial stats from what I saw: 23-27 minutes, 17 pts. 4-6 assists. 2-4 steals. 2-3 turnovers. Also hit a 3 on a fast break to tie the game with less than 30 seconds left in regulation.


REHawk 1 year, 9 months ago

Here's a fine thing about Conner Frankamp. He might not be ranked among the top 20 seniors in the country, but when USA Basketball chose a squad to go after the gold, Conner was selected. He proved his worth by producing the best scoring numbers on his team while providing lots of assists and few turnovers. A 14 pt. average for a world championship age group squad, playing essentially half the game minutes: WOW!


hawkmoon2020 1 year, 9 months ago

Regarding Conner, I saw where he did not get the MVP award, Nor did he make the 1st All Tour Team. I am not surprised, but a bit disappointed since 2 USA guys made it. One second in scoring and first in rebounding on team. The other third in scoring and second in rebounding. I guess Conner really needs to work on his rebounding stats . . . as a PG/SG. LOL


milwaukeeJAYHAWK 1 year, 9 months ago

Bill Self owns Kansas City. Not just in basketball, apparently...


Preston Dwiggins 1 year, 9 months ago

There is no such thing as "SEC". How does one get SEC out of Southeastern Conference? It should be the "SC", not "SEC".


REHawk 1 year, 9 months ago

I think that Haith and Pinkel were hiding way up in the backseats of the stands, hoping that Bill, Bo and Brett wouldn't blast balls thru their dismal SEC t-shirts. Word has it that they were holding a little striped cat on a kitestring, waving a banner, "Bye-Bye, KC."


KUbsee69 1 year, 9 months ago

How did Frank Haith do in this all star celebrity softball game? Surely the coach of the year got invited to play.

Wait ... what? Oh, I'm told he didn't get invited. Wow, I thought the MU folks said that Kansas City was THEIR town ... he he he!


William Blake 1 year, 9 months ago

Mizzou fans:

I usually support the underdogs in this world, sometimes even reaching down to the bottom of the barrel, but I absolutely refuse to support the spillage in the gutter.


dhinkansas 1 year, 9 months ago

Poor Muck Fizzou...always the homely bridesmaid and never the bride.


Steven Mathew 1 year, 9 months ago

Here is's player evaluation of Conner Frankamp:

STRENGTHS 3-Point Range / Ballhandling / Changes Speeds

AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT Athleticism / Defensive Presence / Explosiveness

Not an explosive athlete, Frankamp just finds a way to get things done. He is a big time scorer on the perimeter as he can get hot in a hurry from three, and then also has enough to him off the dribble to keep defenders honest. His savvy with the basketball is impressive, and allows him to create despite not being super explosive or athletic.

Is it just me or does this evaluation remind anyone else of Steve Nash?


jaybate 1 year, 9 months ago

Did Bill point before he dinged?

That would be a topper.

Regardless, this one is going in the scrap book.

Way to go Coach.

And now you will have a feed to show the team about how to play thru injuries, too!

But there is room to "get better."

Next time hit for the circuit.

Rock Chalk, Coach Self!


StirrrThePot 1 year, 9 months ago

I'll have to catch this game, it looked like fun. All those baseball greats and Self, and JON HAMM. Need more HAMM!

If you all haven't done so, people need to check out Jeff Jacobsen's photos from the game on KUAthletics too--fastastic photos of the players and of Kauffman Stadium.


Ron Prichard 1 year, 9 months ago

Believe me, Self got a lot of love at the game last night. I was at the Futures Game and the celebrity softball game and the crowd was great. After sitting through the entire first game, we weren't sure if we wanted to stay for the entire softball game. I'm glad we did, because it was more fun than the futures game. I think the crowd actually got larger for the softball game. It was clear the players were having a blast and there were actually some pretty impressive plays. As for Self's homerun, it was perfect. There were a lot of boos, but there were also a lot of cheers. I think he took it all in stride. He joked about it on the Crownvision later in the game and said fans only boo good players. He also signed all sorts of baseballs, etc, when he was not in the game. The dude is just an all around class act. We are absolutely lucky to have him as a coach. They are replaying the softball game on ESPN tonight (maybe after the home run derby?) so make sure to watch.


CrimsonAndBlueForLife 1 year, 9 months ago

I bet that home run silenced the Mistake fans at the ballpark! Way to go, Coach!


Tony Bandle 1 year, 9 months ago

I'll give $10 to anyone who can come up with a great nickname with the word Frankcamp in it!!


Jesse Johnson 1 year, 9 months ago

So, despite besting him in every single statistical category for the tournament (except rebounds), Jahlil Okafor was awarded the tournament MVP over Conner Frankamp. Oh well, just keep doubting him and he will be stronger for it I guess.


clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 9 months ago

Who is Chrissy Teigen and does Cindy Self know about this?


IlBastardo 1 year, 9 months ago

This is an appeal to eradicate two more fan behaviors which aren't befitting of Allen Fieldhouse or the KU Basketball program. We've already done our best to put an end to the subdued roller-coaster whooping during the Rock Chalk Chant, and the "home of the Chiefs" during the National Anthem. It's time we turned our attention to two more unbecoming practices. I'm referring, of course, to the "1...2...3...See yuhhhh!" nonsense upon the fouling out of an opposing player, and the Chris Farley "That was awesome!" clip which completely removes the magic from a special play. That's an infamia. Everyone is quick to chastise the bravado of the hat-selection ceremony (I realize this is partly due to the "sour grapes" mentality). Do we want to reduce the KU Basketball tradition to hollow fist-pumping, chest-bumping, and wise-cracking? It may well be naive of me to expect the Me Generation to hold on to the last vestiges of the ideals of dignity and modesty that run deep in this program and this state, but heed my warning. Even a century of tradition means nothing in this age of capricious loyalty in the conferences, the media, and the fans. A team and a fanbase have never "arrived". The values that got us where we are must be upheld and respected every game. They are as relevant today as they were in the Phog Allen era. What makes a winner hasn't changed since the beginning of competition.


Keith Hummel 1 year, 9 months ago

I have never seen a bigger collection of classless butt-hurt fans in all my life. I swear they must spend every waking moment stewing about how much they hate "beakers", and blaming the entire state of Kansas for their miserable lot in life. I hope some folks from the SEC front office watch the game tonight so they can see first-hand what kind of misery they just acquired. And could their be any better poetic justice than to have the head coach of their most hated rival smack one out of the park? If they weren't such a colossal pain in the butt I would almost feel sorry for them.


Martin Rosenblum 1 year, 9 months ago

Was there one of those temporary outfield walls used in the game to shrink the field or did Bill really go yard? Knocking a softball over the left field center fence is pretty impressive, even if it was off of a girl pitcher! (Yeah, I know who she is!)


nuleafjhawk 1 year, 9 months ago

moo fans really are something.

Something sub-human.

If the U.S. is ever destroyed by nuclear attack, the only thing that will be left is moo fans and cockroaches.

Same thing.


Adam Gerval 1 year, 9 months ago

Oh Mizery. Does your classlessness have no bounds?


Alohahawk 1 year, 9 months ago

Frankamp with 22 points on 7 of 9 shooting. Wow! That should make him leader in points scored for the USA in the tourney. There shouldn't be any "Doubting Thomas's" when it comes to his playing at KU. He obviously hit 4 freethrows. Curious as to what % he shoots from the line. Eight days until Conner's birthday, on the 16th. Question: Will he be selected for the USA U18 team next year? He should have an inside track to qualify.

As for Self's homer, after a break of 20 years? That sounds like the movie line from "The Natural". Way to go, Coach Self. And way to stick it to those miserable turncoats across the border.


TheUniversityofKansas 1 year, 9 months ago

The boos just reaffirm my belief that everything in the state of Missouri is tainted, even though I do enjoy KC.

Did Frankamp get any sort of all-tournament accolades?


Lance Hobson 1 year, 9 months ago

Yes, not sure why Cassel would be booed. Probably not even worth trying to figure out people from Missouri.


Lance Hobson 1 year, 9 months ago

Nice poke. Frankamp is for real.


ukanjhox 1 year, 9 months ago

Just reaffirms my belief that anything in Missouri is just horrible. Even though I actually do enjoy Kansas City.

Did Frankamp earn any sort of all-tournament honors, if such a thing exists? 22 ain't too shabby in the championship game.


ahpersecoachingexperience 1 year, 9 months ago

Not mentioned:

Mizzou fans stayed until both games were complete and cheered wildly as Gary Pinkel cleaned the stadium to fulfill his community service hours.


BillSelf4Prez 1 year, 9 months ago

Haha Misery fans are pathetic. And why boo Cassel? At least he got us to the playoffs..


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