Thursday, November 11, 2010

Craig Biggio's Son Signs With Notre Dame

Connor Biggio, a second baseman at St. Thomas High School (Houston, TX) and the son of Houston Astros' all-time great Craig Biggio -- signed a National Letter of Intent yesterday --  fulfilling a dream to attend the University of Notre Dame.  Here's a link to the story:


Veteran's Day Salute: A Second Chance

Gene Dixon, the just elected president of the Notre Dame Club of Detroit, earned a MBA from the University of Notre Dame in 1969.  But, on graduation day -- June 1, 1969 -- Dixon was wearing the uniform of the US Army at Fort Knox, not the cap and gown his classmates were wearing that day in South Bend.  Well, 41 years later (May 21, 2010) -- Dixon received the opportunity to wear that cap & gown as he walked across the stage at Notre Dame's 2010 Commencement and received a standing ovation from the entire crowd.  Congratulations Gene!  Here's a link to Notre Dame's press release:


Veteran's Day Salute: Green & Bleier

Former Notre Dame student athletes; Danielle Green '99 and Rocky Bleier '68 had the distinct honor of wearing the uniform of the Fighting Irish and the uniform of the US Army.  We salute these two and all Veterans today -- for the sacrifices they and their families have made for our country!

Danielle Green-Byrd is a former left-handed shooting guard for Muffet McGraw's Irish in the late 90's -- she graduated as the 17th leading scorer in Notre Dame history.  After graduation she became an assistant coach at Washington High School (Chicago) and then Chicago State University.  In January 2003, she enlisted in the US Army -- a year later, Green-Byrd was deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Freedom. On May 24, 2004 -- while on duty on the roof of a Baghdad police station, Green was hit by what she believes was a grenade. She lost her left hand, the shooting hand that helped her score 1,106 points at Notre Dame. She also has significant damage to her left leg, a dislocated left shoulder and shrapnel wounds down the left side of her body.  Danielle was one of the first women, in the US Miltary wounded in Iraq.  Green-Byrd's inspirational story has been told a number of times by ESPN, CBS, etc. -- here's a profile the US Department of Defense did on Danielle:

Rocky Bleier is a former running back for Ara Pareseghian's teams in the mid-60's.  A member of the 1966 national championship team and captain of the 1967 team -- Bleier left Notre Dame to go to the Pittsburgh Steelers who drafted him on the 16th round of the 1968 NFL Draft.  The 412th overall pick -- Bleier was drafted into the US Army after his rookie season (December 1968) with the Steelers.  He volunteered for duty in the Vietnam War and was sent there in May of 1969.  On August 20th, while on patrol in Heip Duc, Bleier was wounded in the left thigh by a rifle bullet when his platoon was ambushed in a rice paddy. While down, an enemy grenade landed nearby, sending shrapnel into his lower right leg.  While Rocky was recovering in a Tokyo hospital, doctors told him that he would not play football again. Soon after, he received a postcard from Steelers owner which just read "Rock - the team's not doing well. We need you. Art Rooney".  Well, the rest is history...   A book and movie "Fighting Back" memorialized Bleier's struggles over a two-year period to get back on the football field.  It should be noted that Rocky has four Super Bowl rings for his efforts.  Here's a link to a story that ESPN did on Rocky this past year: