The first night Bernie Fratto become an official credentialed member of the sports media he was working for WTKA-AM (1050) in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Tigers were hosting the Blue Jays at old Tiger Stadium.
The date was June 17, 1994.
Instead of replays of home runs by Toronto’s Paul Molitor and Detroit’s Junior Felix on the newly installed press box monitors, Fratto watched O.J. Simpson lead authorities on a low-speed chase in Los Angeles as a fugitive of the law.
A man named David Gascon, media relations commander for the LAPD, appeared on those monitors to provide members of the Detroit working press with regular updates. Or at least he would have had the sound been turned up.
Many years later, a younger man named David Cascon — the lawman’s son — would become an update anchor and content provider on “Straight Outta Vegas,” Fratto’s Fox Sports Radio syndicated talk show.
The host didn’t didn’t know it at the time, but the first chapter of “The View from the Cheap Seats,” Fratto’s collection of witty sports stories, anecdotes and observations, had just been written.
“Stories are important,” he says about why he decided to put his down on paper, or at least in electronic book form (“Cheap Seats” is available via several book apps, including Amazon Kindle). “They connect people to each other. Stories spark communication, imagination and curiosity.”
Fratto dedicated the book to Dick Schaap, and it includes a letter of recommendation from the noted sports writer and author written shortly before his death.
“If anyone is ever thinking of hiring you or eulogizing you, please share the following with them,” wrote Schaap. “ I’ve met lots of people who know their sports facts inside and out, but Bernie Fratto, my friend for more than a decade, goes one step further.
“He knows all the facts and he knows all the good stories, the stories that bring the people in sports to life … and sometimes I steal them from him.”
Around the horn
— NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Noah Gragson of Las Vegas said this week he’s still not sure of his 2022 plans. “I’d like to be a lot further along at this point,” said Gragson, who sits eighth in points and still is seeking his first win of 2021.
Gragson, who turned 22 Thursday, said his preference is to return for another season with Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Xfinity team next season.
Noah Gragson said his 2022 plans are up in the air and “I need to win some races.” pic.twitter.com/5E0x9WHNC6
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) July 14, 2021
— For the person who asked what happened to former Henderson resident Miki Sudo in her quest to win an eighth consecutive women’s title at the Nathan’s Hot Dog speed eating contest July 4, the answer is she was pregnant and didn’t compete.
Four days after serving as a guest analyst on ESPN’s broadcast, Sudo (who recently moved to Florida) gave birth to a baby boy. Her husband, Nick Wehry, also is a competitive eater; he proposed in Las Vegas after scarfing down 50 hard-boiled eggs in three minutes.
You saw the #babybump on ESPN a few days ago… well, here he is now! I can't believe we made this adorable little specimen 😍. Please welcome Max Wehry! (Ranked #42 by @gcshea 🤣) pic.twitter.com/2lC6OKSwDO
— Miki Sudo (@OMGitsMIKI) July 10, 2021
— And for another person who wondered why hot dogs come in packages of eight and buns in packages of 10, here’s the reason according to the National Hot Dog Sausage Council:
“Sandwich rolls, or hot dog buns, most often come eight to the pack because the buns are baked in clusters of four in pans designed to hold eight rolls. While baking pans now come in configurations that allow baking 10 and even 12 at a time, the eight-roll pan remains the most popular.”
BIGGER BUN BAGS: Should hot dog buns come in packs of 10 instead? 🌭https://t.co/n83zrP2qQj
— KHQA News (@KHQA) July 11, 2021
Former UNLV and NFL Pro Bowl wide receiver Keenan McCardell posted a picture of the 1990 UNLV basketball starting lineup on his Twitter account and challenged followers to name a better starting five.
One responded by posting a photo of “The Hardway Eight,” UNLV’s first Final Four squad in 1977.
Technically, that was a starting five plus three super subs. But as they say on TV, we saw what you did there.
— Las Vegas Locally 🌴 (@LasVegasLocally) July 15, 2021