Thursday, February 10, 2011

10 FEB 11: Picking Up the Save

As people across the area wondered about possible snow Wednesday night, a baseball player from Columbus made two of the "big three" national newscasts. Isn't that a sign spring is approaching? Or are you waiting until next Thursday, and the twin 150 races at Daytona?

The baseball player receiving national attention is Kevin Jordan - but not because of his play. The former Northside outfielder had kidney failure a few days ago. Yet he's alive and well, because of an organ donation from his college coach -- who realized kidneys are a bit like hitting. If you go "one out of two," you'll still do well.

Kevin Jordan was halfway through his senior season at Northside when he was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease called ANCA vasculitis. I had to check the Ledger-Enquirer's website for the proper spelling of that. I didn't think Paul Anka had a disease named after him, to match Lou Gehrig.

The condition was so bad that Kevin Jordan had to undergo kidney dialysis 20 hours per day. Think about that for a second. Thar's almost as long as some teenagers spend each day on text messaging.

Kevin Jordan's immediate family was ruled out as a match for a kidney transplant. But the baseball coach who recruited him to Wake Forest was found to be a match in December. I would have no idea about who qualifies as a match. I'll leave to the doctors who know beans about kidneys.

The kidney transplant occurred Monday, then both Coach Tom Walter and his player met the media Wednesday in Atlanta. Kevin Jordan appeared to be in good shape, and he said he feels a lot better. Jordan is still sore in his right side - but he can pretend a Georgia Tech pitcher threw too close to him.

Tom Walter told reporters his main concern was NOT about getting Kevin Jordan into the Wake Forest baseball lineup. It was about giving Jordan a normal college life. It may not be completely normal for awhile, though - as I don't think doctors will recommend he drink pitchers of beer right away.

If the recovery goes as planned, Kevin Jordan will be able to do light physical activity in mid-April. He hopes to be back in class at Wake Forest next fall - and Jordan might be so thankful, he'll actually buy and wear one of those "red shirts" college athletes receive for injuries.

How ironic that Coach Tom Walter has made "sacrifice" a motto for his Wake Forest baseball team this coming season. But how do you top donating one of your kidneys to a player? Will the pitchers dare to make wisecracks about needing "another arm" in the bullpen?

You won't find Kevin Jordan's name on the Wake Forest baseball roster for 2011 -- probably because of the transplant. But if Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford can make a big medical comeback, so can he. And I don't expect Jordan ever will declare his coach a "Demon Deacon" - at least not the demon part.

BLOG UPDATE: The Russell County Commission voted down a proposed new landfill Wednesday. The vote was one in favor, five opposed and one abstaining - as if Larry Screws wanted the property turned into a giant recycle bin.

After dropping hints she might support the landfill in her south Phenix City district, Cattie Epps voted against it. The only "yes" vote came from Ronnie Reed, who said the entire issue has been "overblown." Come to think of it, the wind pattern was about the only thing NOT brought up by critics.

(I can hear the skeptics across Russell County now - saying Ronnie Reed voted for the landfill because the managers guaranteed it would be named after President Obama.)

Russell County Commission Chair Peggy Martin told WTVM no one contacted her in support of the landfill. Really now - how many people would dare to become a "Facebook friend" of a landfill? That's about as silly an idea as Waste Management sponsoring a pro golf.... oh wait....

-> We had a big night of online poker last week. Read what happened at our other blog, "On the Flop!" <-

E-MAIL UPDATE: "Super Bowl" read the title of the message in my InBox Monday. Still not knowing Sunday's final score, I dared to open it....

Did you go on the breaking news site of the Ledger the night of the Super Bowl? They posted last yr's game as if it was being played then,scores and touchdowns and plays..THe other happening news articles were correct.

Why, of course I didn't. Checking any newspaper site probably would have revealed the winner to me. But it's nice to know Drew Brees of New Orleans hasn't lost anything in the last year.

Let's see what else we found in the Wednesday news....

+ A Double Churches Middle School student won the Muscogee County spelling bee. His name is Norjuan Johnson - and I think he had an unfair advantage, because he's had to spell that first name aloud for so long.

+ The Dothan Eagle reported a Mobile man is wanted for stealing $95,000 worth of hamburger meat. If I drove a bread truck in southeast Alabama, I'd be extremely careful today....

+ WRBL reported former Northern Little League hero Cody Walker signed a letter of intent to play junior college baseball at Chattahoochee Valley next year. It's the next big step for Walker, on his way to becoming an arch-villain in the Japanese League.

+ Roundball Night in Dixieland (tm) is in serious danger of being canceled, if the scheduling doesn't improve. My best option again Wednesday night was a Georgia State game -- and the Panthers lost to Hofstra, which changed its nickname a few years ago so I can't do any more "Flying Dutchman" jokes.

+ Instant Message to everyone upset with Columbus Water Works increasing rates: It could be worse, you know. They could invoke Monopoly rules - and force you to roll two dice, then pay ten times the amount shown.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author -- not necessarily those of anyone else in Columbus living or dead, and perhaps not even you.

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