SIOUX CITY -- Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future.

With apologies to Steve Miller and his band. there is a solution to rendering some credence to selective memory,

It is referred to as research.

That goes for sport, too.

Many times in the here and now the term "greatest'' in reference to individual athletes or teams or history-making feats drift all the way back, to say, the turn of this century.

Which is the year 2000 if you're among the unwashed and uneducated Rush Limbaugh ridicules.

Last week, a young man from Cedar Rapids was the sixth pick in the 2016 Major League Baseball June Amateur Draft.

A.J. Puk, who throws a lot of heat -- at times -- was drafted out of the University of Florida, where he just completed his junior season.

There was conjecture, and it wound up to be just that -- on social media that the Philadelphia Phillies among others would make the graduate of C.R. Washington High the overall No.1 pick in the first round.

That would have been historical in that the Puk selection would have been the highest for an Iowan ever picked in the June Draft.

Had it happened it would have upstaged the selection by the Seattle Mariners, who tabbed former Marshalltown High School grad and Southern Cal collegiate star Jeff Clement with the third pick in the first round in 2005.

Clement had a brief MLB fling, but ostensibly played his last pro game in 2012.

Now comes the irony of it all.

Puk didn't make history because the Oakland Athletics made him the sixth pick last week.

That put him third overall among Iowans, trailing Clement and Our Town's Mike King, an East High grad who pitched brilliantly at Morningside College.

King, also a purveyor of heat and wicked curveball, was the fourth pick overall in 1980 by, you guessed it, Oakland.

Mike never got into a big league game, but spent two seasons with Triple-A teams and four with Double-A clubs during his five-season career.

He pitched 390.2 innings, struck out 244 batters, walked 325 and issued 40 wild pitches with a 5.87 career ERA.


Muhammad Ali might have been "The Greatest'' as he called himself. But was he?

Was he a greater boxer -- heavyweight -- variety than Joe Louis? Or Rocky Marciano? Or Jack Johnson, "The Galveston Giant'' who, at the height of the Jim Crow Era, became the first African-American world heavyweight champ.

In 1945, at 67 years of age, Johnson fought an exhibition match at a New York City rally to sell war bonds.

Marciano, who perished in an private plane crash on Aug. 31, 1969, was 49-0 with 43 knockouts.

The fatal plane crash came within a few hundred yards of what is now the highly-acclaimed NASCAR/IndyCar Series Iowa Speedway just south of Newton.


Whichever version you prefer, you're going to view large doses of both in the upcoming months.

In futbol, Americans call it soccer, the U.S. men's national team has saved the coach's job,

And, before you know it, college football season will open with an NAIA small-college showcase featuring teams from Great Plains Athletic Conference and Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.

The KCAC-GPAC Challenge wasn't much of a challenge for the GPAC in the initial event in 2015, winning eight of nine contests with the KCAC home schools.

The GPAC hosts this season on Sept. 3.

Morningside hosts Ottawa and Briar Cliff entertains Kansas Wesleyan.

Kansas Wesleyan upheld the KCAC honor last year, beating Midland.

Ottawa, where current Morningside Coach Steve Ryan, got his first full-fledged coaching start, came close, losing 23-22 to Dakota Wesleyan.

The current football mags are now on newsstands and Sporting News lists Marian (Ind.), Southern Oregon, Saint Francis (Ind.), Baker (Kan.) and Morningside as its pre-season top five.

TSN's top three in NCAA Division III are Linfield (Ore.), Mount Union (Ohio) and Wisconsin-Whitewater, which hosts Morningside in a non-conference contest.

There are no Iowa Conference schools in the D3 Top 25.


Sports reporter

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