Friday, July 6, 2012

Batter up: Bill Self to play softball

Kansas head coach Bill Self watches with the bench as the Jayhawks make a run against Illinois during the second half on Sunday, March 20, 2011 at the BOK Center in Tulsa.

Kansas head coach Bill Self watches with the bench as the Jayhawks make a run against Illinois during the second half on Sunday, March 20, 2011 at the BOK Center in Tulsa.


Kansas City Royals greats George Brett, Bo Jackson and Mike Sweeney, as well as MLB sensations Ernie Banks, Andre Dawson, Rollie Fingers, Rickey Henderson, Ozzie Smith, Dave Winfield, Joe Carter and Mike Piazza, will compete in Sunday night’s All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game at Kauffman Stadium.

Oh, yes — so will 10th-year Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self.

“With those guys, they probably need a big stick,” Self said with a smile. “I’ll be a fish out of water.”

Actually, Self was a good softball player back in the day.

“We had a big-time team in Stillwater (Okla),” Self recalled. “Seven, eight years after graduation, we pretty much ran that city league down there.”

Thus, Self should be able to hold his own with the non-MLB participants: Emmy Award winner Eric Stonestreet, Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel, “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm, “Glee” actor Chord Overstreet, “American Idol” contestants Haley Reinhart and David Cook, “Desperate Housewives” actor James Denton, soccer’s Carlos Bocanegra, comedian Horatio Sanz, country singer David Nail, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, “Extreme Makeover” carpenter Paul Dimeo and USA Softball pitcher Jennie Finch.

“I hope I get at least one at-bat,” said Self, who said he has “gone to the cage with my son in the past five years (but) haven’t hit a softball in 20 years. The tendency could be I’d be a little nervous and get out on my front foot a little prematurely. I better work on staying back.”

As far as the other part of the game — defense — Self doesn’t know where he’ll play in the field.

“If they put me there, I’ll play there,” he said of the pitcher’s mound. “I don’t think they are going to want me to pitch. Jenny Finch is also playing. I would think (out of) Self/Finch, maybe she’d get the starting nod on that as well.”

Self, who will wear jersey No. 08, signifying KU’s 2008 national title, hopes he plays for the good guys.

“I’m an American Leaguer all the way,” he said of the AL-NL matchup.

The softball game will be played after the 4 p.m. SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, featuring some of MLB’s best young prospects.

The softball game will be televised by ESPN approximately 9:30 p.m. Monday, immediately following the State Farm Home Run Derby, which begins at 7 p.m.

“It should be a lot of fun. I always watch those, not in its entirety,” Self said of the annual softball game.

Other all-star week events to take place Sunday:

• MLB All-Star Charity 5K & Fun Run presented by Nike, 7:30 a.m., Power and Light district.

• MLB All-Star Sponsor Zone at Kauffman Stadium Lot H, 12-8:30 p.m.

• Chevy Test Track at Kauffman Stadium Lot J, 12-8:30 p.m.

Tyshawn signs: The Brooklyn Nets announced Friday they have signed second-round draft pick Tyshawn Taylor of KU.

Terms were not disclosed. He was the No. 41 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

Taylor and former KU forward Julian Wright will be teammates on the Nets’ summer league team, which will play games July 9-13 in Orlando, Fla.

Former KU forward Darnell Jackson may be playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder’s summer league team, also in Orlando. He’s listed on the team roster at

Frankamp in semis: Future KU guard Conner Frankamp scored seven points and had five steals as the United States pounded Canada, 113-59, in Friday’s quarterfinals of the FIBA Under 17 world championships in Lithuania.

Frankamp, a 6-foot-1 guard from Wichita North High, hit three of eight shots and one of five threes. He also had three assists against one turnover in 23 minutes.

The U.S. will meet Spain (4-2) in today’s semifinals at 10:10 a.m., Central time. The game will be shown on


ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 10 months ago

I thought I saw somewhere that TT would get right around 500k.

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 10 months ago

Great news for TT to get signed right away. Kind of surprising for a 2nd round pick right to be signed so soon right? League minimum is around $470k, will be interesting to see the details whenever they come out. I would guess TT was willing to take minimum to get signed quickly before summer league and suspect that it's a fairly short-term deal. Will have to watch some summer league games to see how he's doing.

David Leathers 9 years, 10 months ago

I hope Self doesn't do anything to piss of Jon Jones...

Alohahawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Thanks, LJW, for the continued heads up on Frankamp's USA U17 games. I've been following the games on, and when they didn't mention his name in the most recent article, I wondered if he had played or not. Sounds like he had a solid defensive game (5 steals), but was off on his 3's against Canada. I can't remember every final score but it sounds like the USA hasn't had much in the way of competition so far, with most teams losing at least 2 games. Only one other team has a 6-0 record going into the semi-final match-ups. BTW, the medal rounds are being shown over the internet, according to

IMHO, these non-pro match-ups (U17's and U18's) are what Olympic basketball used to be all about.

lv_jhwk 9 years, 10 months ago

Sounds like you might be getting your wish regarding the Olympics. Reports are that the NBA wants the IOC to make basketball a U23 competition so that it can establish its own World Cup sort of tournament for the pros.

KEITHMILES05 9 years, 10 months ago

Very slow sports reporting? This is Self's private business so leave him alone.

KUDOS to Tyshawn. A dream come true.

Gary Wirsig 9 years, 10 months ago

Doesn't sound too private when Self is openly talking to the press. But yes, slow day for KU sports.

rockchalk_dpu 9 years, 10 months ago

I'd agree with you if they were interviewing Self about his weekend league with the buddies, but this is great exposure for the program and nationally televised as part of the All Star festivities so it's hardly "private business"

RJ King 9 years, 10 months ago

It's not like it's a softball game at a family picnic. BS is there strictly because he's the head coach at UKU. The event is intended to enhance the All Star event by providing additional entertainment.

Participants know exactly what they're in for and why they are there. TV actors are promoting their shows. BS is branded UKU basketball. He is hardly a recluse and is probably enjoying himself. So should we.

DrPepper 9 years, 10 months ago

"Self should be able to hold his own with the non-MLB participants:" I find it hard to believe that one would put USA Softball pitcher Jennie Finch in with the singers and comedians. I hope she is the best one on the field!

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago

Ernie Banks!

Who would not play just to say they had been on the same field as him?

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago

“It’s probably a schedule that was done knowing that we also have eight freshmen,” Self added.


Gary Wirsig 9 years, 10 months ago

Jaybate, no does a comment concerning the non-con schedule article end up on this thread? Just askin'...enjoy your comments otherwise.

REHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Not that jb needs defending, but this is a thread of many colors, subject to fitful sleep re yesterday's publications...or last week's quotes and stats. We can't expect to throttle the mental meanderings of a dedicated post contributor, one of the scribbling giants of the Jayhawk Nation.

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago


I'm a big kid. You can pick on me. But please don't diss the coach.

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago

Thanks, REHawk. I don't know what to say, so I will just say thanks again.

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago


No offense taken. Thanks for asking. I've always thought the threads were most interesting when posters commented on what they cared about most, rather than what tied in best with any particular story. Stories are good triggers for discussion, but for me the posters are far more interesting than the stories in most cases. I'm also engaged by posts that cover multiple topics, not just those tied into the spine of the story. I like to read posts that comment on the thread, on previous threads, and on other subjects, all at the same time. Threads are also for me dynamic things that evolve into all kinds of stuff other than what the stories are about. At times the stories just are not interesting enough to comment on much and so I like it when posters take off in other directions. And sometimes, if one posts on prior threads, readers miss it, because they focus on today's thread today. Some times I post just for a work out in the logonasium, i.e., just to practice writing, and so it matters little if folks see them and respond. In those cases, I often post at the ends of threads, often on prior day threads. But when I want to communicate something to people, I tend to post on today's thread today; that was how this post ended up on this thread. Other times, I post things that are completely unrelated to today's thread, or to a prior day's thread, on today's thread, if I think it would be entertaining, or if I want to learn something through responses. Hope that helps. Rock Chalk!

Alohahawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Baste the turkey, or thread the needle and sew the dressing up inside, Jaybate. I've posted a similar message to the above a few times myself. When there's no biggy news (especially during the slow, summer months), but you just want to say what's on your mind, don't hold it in. If there's no new threads/articles, many will miss a new message on an old article from a few days before. (Thanks must go to the avatars for quick referencing.)

As the oldie, late 60's song used to go, I think it was a Bill Cosby tune (?), "Little ol' man, sittin' on the steps, tears kinda trickling down his cheeks ......Let It All Hang Out".

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago

When I read it, I wondered if it was referring to the feeling of being hit by a pitched ball, of dusting your hands with rosin, of a bat breaking, etc.

But then I read on. :-)

kufreak1512 9 years, 10 months ago

Who allowed the University of Northern Iowa ad on a KU page

Martin Rosenblum 9 years, 10 months ago

I'm glad the broadcast time was clarified for the softball game. I was under the impression that it was going to be televised live on Sunday. If anybody knows of a live link that we can watch Sunday, please post it.

I didn't know that "Bo knows softball", too!

kellerman411 9 years, 10 months ago

Bo jackson played a couple years ago too when that big time softball picture from Texas was throwing. I think her name was Kat. He was totally CRANKING those pitches. The guy is still a freak.

REHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Conner Frankamp scores 13 today in the USA U17 semifinal game vs. Spain. Side note: Ben McLemore's former St. Louis teammate Brad Beal was the MVP of the U17 Championship in 2010. Beal played at Florida, and was a top 3 lottery pick in the recent NBA draft.

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