Let's support Carl Kasey's special night

By Steve Sell
April 20, 2017

Thursday’s thoughts...

• TICKETS REMAIN FOR LEGION CELEBRATION – There’s still plenty of tickets remaining for the celebration of the 1949 American Legion basketball team that won the national championship.

Guest of honor is Carl Kasey, the last surviving member of the team. Even though he’s “only” 94, Carl is still very active in the McPherson community and in his church. As part of the program, Carl is expected to make some remarks and share some of his experiences that should be highly entertaining.

Carl was of course a teacher for USD 418 for nearly three decades and many in McPherson no doubt had him for a teacher. It would be great if some of his former students were on hand for his special day.

The evening begins at the Legion Post 24, 401 N. Main, with a 5 p.m. social hour, followed by a steak dinner at 6:00. A program begins at 7. There will be a time set aside during the program for audience members who want to comment about Carl.

Tickets for the event, which are just id="mce_marker"0, can be purchased from Dan Hervey at the Investment Center at 210 E. Euclid; Jim LaDuke at State Farm Insurance, 900 N. Main; or the American Legion lounge on Thursday and Friday after 4 p.m. Tickets also will be available at the door.

I believe the McPherson community should attend this event and honor Carl and the Legion program, which was a forerunner to the great McPherson High teams we have today.

• VARGAS ON FIRE — For now, Jason Vargas is the hottest pitcher going in the American League.

The Kansas City Royals’ lefty has started 3-0 and given up just one earned run on the season. He missed all of last year with Tommy John surgery.

Now history tells us Vargas will come back to earth at some point as he’s been a journeyman pitcher, but where would the Royals be without him? They have climbed back to the .500 mark at 7-7 as they head into a four-game series tonight at Texas, a place they typically struggle. The Rangers are off to a slow 5-10 start, but are the consensus pick to win the American League West.

In a related Royals note, there’s a lot of clamoring around Kansas City about second baseman Raul Mondesi Jr. and the fact he’s just 4 of 35 to start the season with 13 strikeouts. While he’s a slick fielder, he looks terribly overmatched at the plate after he teased the Royals with an outstanding spring training.

Mondesi, who is only 21 and obviously needs another year of Triple A, needs to get it figured out because he’s penciled in as the Royals’ shortstop in 2018 since longtime regular Alcides Escobar is expected to leave as a free agent.

• WHERE WILL BRAGG LAND? — According to a published report, former Kansas Jayhawk basketball player Carlton Bragg has pared his list of potential schools to transfer to down to five.

Bragg, the 6-10 center who had a promising freshman year before off-the-court problems made a shambles of his sophomore year, left KU following the season.

The most interesting school on the list is Illinois, now coached by McPherson native Brad Underwood. He probably saw the potential of Bragg when the teams met twice last year.

Xavier, Cincinnati, North Carolina State and Arizona State are others reportedly on the list. Xavier and Cincinnati make sense as Bragg hails from nearby Cleveland.

He has to sit out next year as a transfer no matter where he goes.