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.


BillSelf4Prez 9 years, 10 months ago

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

yates33333 9 years, 10 months ago

They are working on an expanded vocabulary. Duh! isn't enough now-a-days even for a Mizzzoo fan.

Matt Kenton 9 years, 10 months ago

The "boos" for Cassel were actually chants of CHIIIIIIEFS!

And yes, pathetic and classless to vehmently boo someone at a celebrity softball game that is all in fun, but what do we expect. Good riddance.

KU79 9 years, 10 months ago

Mizzou fans boo anything that is "good." It confuses them and they don't understand it. Much like the caveman and fire.

cklarock 9 years, 10 months ago

Caveman have a "fight or flight" response, whereas Mizzou fans have a "lose and boo" lifestyle.

jaymike2 9 years, 10 months ago

Missouri fans have the fight or flight response as well. They chose the flight option... to the SEC

RJ King 9 years, 10 months ago

I agree that booing is classless. But can we honestly say that not a one of us would be at least slightly amused at a boo chorus aimed at certain conference coaches, national championship coaches, Raiders or Yankees personnel, or certain former basketball or football coaches?

Granted, it's not very creative, but I think a lot of it is pretty innocent - mostly fueled by envy, respect, and a weak attempt at humor. There's always a small element that is truly hateful or delusional, but we likely have a few of those on our side of the border as well.

Just cautioning against the pot calling the kettle black.

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 10 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.

David Leathers 9 years, 10 months ago

Some days you're funnier than my son, "tater tot." Others, you're as dumb as Can't-Get-Right.

Al Salazar 9 years, 10 months ago

You should have went to bed early instead of staying up to try and post first with that nonsense.

RJ King 9 years, 10 months ago

I usually agree, but this time Ahperse PHOF'd big time.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 10 months ago

LJW..please delete this message so that it looks like I said something really mean and nasty even though I thought ahperse's post was kind of hilarious!! :) [PS LJW...just kidding]

Freedman Moor 9 years, 10 months ago

I don't care what they say. I thought that was funny as h311!

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 10 months ago

Steadily climbing up the rankings. Should be a 5-star before all is said and done.

Lance Hobson 9 years, 10 months ago

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

Alohahawk 9 years, 10 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.

REHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Conner did not shoot many freethrows in the 8 games; but was 100% of those he did shoot. Was also 45+% from outside the arc, over 65% from two. Very good assist to turnover ratio, and five steals in one game. Our coach is bigger than life, hitting a softball over the fence, in spite of a pulled hamstring. The guy is an intense competitor.

kellerman411 9 years, 10 months ago

He was shooting over 90% from the line back in Wichita. Beastly

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 10 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.

Martin Rosenblum 9 years, 10 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!)

Preston Dwiggins 9 years, 10 months ago

Or as my daughter says...yellow, orange, gold, old gold. All I know is they are UM-C to me ; )

Tony Bandle 9 years, 10 months ago

Maybe you need to take a deep breath, have another cup of coffee and go outside and thank the Lord you live in America, my friend....just sayin'.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 10 months ago

Works for me..then I'd high five Jesus and buy him a beer!!!

clevelandjayhawker 9 years, 10 months ago

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

KUFan90 9 years, 10 months ago

Wow. I may need to change my avatar...

Jesse Johnson 9 years, 10 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.

REHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Conner posted a very nice array of stats. The kid's got GAME!

Tony Bandle 9 years, 10 months ago

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

Matt Kenton 9 years, 10 months ago


Doubt he'll be throwing down too many monster jams. Monster 3's maybe.

justinryman 9 years, 10 months ago

This one time at Frankcamp.....

Ok it's really not a nickname, but

Martin Rosenblum 9 years, 10 months ago

His film highlights are replayed on the "FranCam"

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Not that it will be much easier, but could we go for something with Frankamp in it instead?

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Not a nickname - but maybe when he hits a long three we could call it an F-bomb.

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago

I give up, but I do know that when he has a basketball camp of his own it has to be called:

Camp Frankcamp

Alohahawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Not quite a complete "Frankamp", but "Frantastic".

John Randall 9 years, 10 months ago

How long does it take to come up with FranChamp ?

Ron Prichard 9 years, 10 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.

StirrrThePot 9 years, 10 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.

jaybate 9 years, 10 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!

Steven Mathew 9 years, 10 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?

Bville Hawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Don't know about the evaluation, but from his stat he reminds me some of J.J. Reddick in college.

RJ King 9 years, 10 months ago

When Steve Nash was a couple years into the league, he was scheduled for a radio interview during a road trip to the Bay Area. When his ride got stuck in traffic, Nash got out, ran 20 blocks to the station, and arrived on time. I've always been a fan.

Doubt Conner will be rockin' the long greasy locks, but any other similarities are more than welcome!

dhinkansas 9 years, 10 months ago

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

KUbsee69 9 years, 10 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!

Preston Dwiggins 9 years, 10 months ago

The 2012 Naismith Coach of the Year is Bill Self.

REHawk 9 years, 10 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."

Preston Dwiggins 9 years, 10 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".

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago

PHOF observation!

No wonder MU chose that conference. They have as much trouble with English as Missourians do.

milwaukeeJAYHAWK 9 years, 10 months ago

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

hawkmoon2020 9 years, 10 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

REHawk 9 years, 10 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!

Trey Hohman 9 years, 10 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.

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago

Tyshawn is FANtastic.

He's going to make a lot of money in the NBA the next 10 years.

hawkmoon2020 9 years, 10 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!

jaybate 9 years, 10 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.

jaybate 9 years, 10 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 9 years, 10 months ago

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

Ron Franklin 9 years, 10 months ago

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

kellerman411 9 years, 10 months ago

Hahaha!!! Bill Self that crusty old sailor still has it. I like how when he pulled his hamstring he laughed and Jenny Finch helped him off the field. What a hard life Bill has!!

I'm happy for Bill and this gave the University some really good publicity. I'm disappointed that the Home Run Derby lasted so long and most of Bill's game got cut out.

Martin Rosenblum 9 years, 10 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.

Jayhawk3 9 years, 10 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

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