The Times West Virginian

Mickey Furfari

September 20, 2013

FURFARI COLUMN: Blaney hits two-way jackpot on same day

MORGANTOWN — Dale Blaney of Hartford, Ohio, isn’t likely to ever forget what happened joyfully to him on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013.

The famed two-sport athlete was inducted into the West Virginia University Sports Hall of Fame that morning, then at night he became the all-time record-setting leader of the National Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series.

Finishing first in Saturday’s race gave Blaney the 99th victory of his amazing sprint racing career. He had been tied at 98 wins with Kenny Jacobs.

In order to prepare for and then compete in the $10,000 record-setting race was the reason that Blaney could not attend Saturday’s Hall of Fame ceremony, which preceded WVU’s 41-7 football runaway victory against inept Georgia State.

Blaney’s memorable triumph came on a sprint race track in Freemont, Ohio.

Blaney, who’s 49, earned numerous honors as an outstanding basketball guard on West Virginia’s men’s team from 1983-86. He was a rare two-year team captain.

During his four-year career here, he was a major contributor to consecutive season records of 23-8, 20-7, 20-9, and 22-11.

West Virginia, with his help, made it to three NCAA tournaments and one National Invitation Tournament.

Blaney currently ranks 18th among the leading career scorers in school history with 1,522 points. In 1986 he was the 23rd cager ever to reach the 1,000-point total in a career.

He ranks 16th all-time in career assists (331), 10th in career double-figure games (89), 10th in career free throws made (376), and 10th in career free-throw percentage (.813).

Blaney, who’s on WVU’s all-time team for the period 1980-89, averaged 17.0 points per game as a senior and wound up with a 12.3 average for his career.

In all, Blaney started a total of 110 games as a Mountaineer. The four-year letter-winner logged more minutes than most players per game.

His career-high scoring performance was 29 points against George Mason in an 83-67 victory on Jan. 10, 1986, in Fairfax, Va.

Jack Brautigam, who was the WVU men’s basketball trainer in the 1980s and still is a close friend of Blaney, sent a message to retired head coach Gale Catlett to inform him of his former star’s historic success on the race track.

Brautigam, who’s now vice president of Morgantown’s HealthWorks Corp., said he received this message in reply from Catlett: “Great news, great day (for) a great guy!”

Blaney was named to the Atlantic 10 all-conference first team in 1986 and the Atlantic 10 all-rookie team in 1983. He was selected to the Atlantic 10 all-tournament team in 1984 and again in 1986.

He also made the All-NIT team that toured Korea and Hong Kong.

Selected by Los Angeles in the fourth round of the 1986 NBA draft, he decided not to join the Lakers after a promising tryout. But Blaney did play a year and a half in the Continental Basketball Association, first with Tampa Bay and then with the Charleston Gunners.

In his sprint car racing career, Blaney was named World Outlaw Rookie of the Year in 1998. He also was Sprint Car Rookie of the Year in 1990, and the All-Star Series points champion in 1995, 1996 and 2008.

Blaney has two daughters, Ashley and Leah.

1
Text Only
Mickey Furfari
  • FURFARI COLUMN: Ex-Mountaineer track star dies; WVU athlete arrests may be concern

    I’ve learned belatedly that James Gordon “Jim” Dial, an outstanding men’s track and field sprinter at West Virginia University during the late 1940s, has died.
    He was a native of Huntington who earned All-State first team status. The Huntington High star led all scorers in the state Track Championship meets in both 1946 and ’47.

    July 18, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Jedd Gyorko running and taking batting practice now

    A report on the internet at this week’s start indicated that Morgantown’s Jedd Gyorko might be ready finally to rejoin the San Diego Padre’s starting lineup.
    He has been on the Major League’s disabled list since June 3. Problems with his feet was given as the reason Gyorko was unable to keep playing.

    July 16, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: WVU hopes to boost season-ticket sales

    West Virginia University’s season-ticket sales for football are the lowest in nine years just two months before this season’s first home game.
    That will be on Saturday, Sept. 6, against Towson State. The Big 12 portion of the schedule follows.

    July 10, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: San Diego Padres’ Gyorko remains on disabled list

    Stringing together some odds and ends that may interest you:
    • Jedd Gyorko still is not active with the San Diego Padres. The former West Virginia University standout has been on the baseball’s disabled list for just over a month and hopes to return soon.

    July 9, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: It had to feel like ‘Ol’ Home Week’ for the Tricketts

    It might have felt like a bit of “Ol’ Home Week’ to West Virginia University starting quarterback Clint Trickett.
    His parents, Rick and Tara Trickett, were in the Morgantown area and stopped by to spend some time with Clint. They still live in Tallahassee, Florida.

    July 3, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: WVU football season-ticket sales approximately 26,000

    Stringing together some odds and ends about sports that may be of interest to you:
    • West Virginia University season-ticket sales for the 2014 football campaign have reached approximately 26,000. That’s some 2,000 since the count of 24,000 when the renewal deadline was reached.

    June 27, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: USA Today has WVU 78th in football countdown from No. 128 to No. 1

    Like Las Vegas oddsmakers, USA Today’s sports writer Paul Myerberg doesn’t rank West Virginia highly in that newspaper’s early college football predictions in a copyrighted piece.
    In one of its thorough pieces, USA Today analyzed West Virginia in its No. 78 ranking among 128 college teams. That’s what is called a countdown from No. 128 to No. 1.

    June 24, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Las Vegas oddsmakers not kind to WVU in early listings

    Not long ago, I guessed that the West Virginia University football team will go 6-6 during the 2014 football season.
    That was based strictly on a hunch. It would show at least some improvement over last year’s pitiful 4-8 finish.

    June 22, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Five different items about a variety of sports

    Stringing together some odds and ends which may be of interest to you:
    • In a continuing federal court case out West, an economist recently testified that student athletes could receive as much as $1 million were he or she given a half share of a major college’s revenue from network game broadcasts over a four year period.

    June 18, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Noll was the most successful football coach I ever knew

    Charles Henry “Chuck” Noll was without question the most successful football coach at any level that I’ve ever known in my writing career.
    Noll, who died in his sleep at 82 last Friday night, served 23 enjoyable – and most memorable – years as mentor of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    June 17, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads