Ron Agostini

The 1980 Modesto JC Pirates reunite to retell the old stories

Reading time, two minutes:

▪ The 11-0 Modesto Junior College Pirates of 1980 reunite Saturday night. Their stories grow as the years pass.

▪ They upset Pasadena City College in the Rose Bowl for the 11th win, but that wasn’t the first time MJC won in the famed Arroyo Seco.

▪ The 1943 Pirates, led at quarterback by Dean Sensenbaugh – later the great MJC wrestling coach who died last week – smoked Pasadena 50-6 at the Rose Bowl en route to a state title.

▪ Defense was the 1980 team’s forte. It allowed only 6.8 points and 46 rushing yards per game. They’ll return to watch an MJC offense that goes 100 mph and never huddles.

▪ Could that old 6-2 defense stop today’s pass-everywhere attack? Former Atlanta Falcon John Rade might insist, “Of course,” but reality says, “Not a chance.”

▪ Why? Today’s offense forces the defense to defend every yard on the field, horizontally and vertically, with quarterbacks and receivers who train year-round. Not the case 30 years ago.

▪ One good man will be missing – defensive coordinator Bob Hoegh, who died last Christmas Eve.

▪ Dick Loyd’s last year as head coach was 1990, when he campaigned toward a league title with a scrappy freshman running back – Rusty Stivers, who makes his debut tonight as MJC head coach.

▪ Noteworthy: Pacheco High grad Frank Ginda started at linebacker as a true freshman Thursday night for San Jose State.

▪ Our thoughts to a great coach: MJC Hall of Famer Karl Finch, Modesto High.

▪ You may have heard of one of Finch’s granddaughters – former Texas All-American swimmer Karlee Bispo.

▪ Maybe he’s not yet done: Chuck Hayes (Modesto Christian), the 10-year NBA veteran, signed by the Clippers. He’ll earn $1.49 million if he makes the team.

▪ Still amazing: Hayes, at only 6-foot-6, somehow carving a spot for himself in the NBA as a power forward or center.

▪ I liked the Giants’ Bruce Bochy getting tossed (twice) while he was defending his team. Conversely, the Dodgers’ Don Mattingly stayed in the dugout after what should have been Sergio Romo’s game-ending balk.

▪ Managers arguing balks automatically are ejected, but Mattingly had to take that one for Dodger Blue. As balks go, it was obvious.

▪ That no-call hurt both teams, which had to burn their bullpens for five innings.

▪ Great series at L.A. with three one-run games capped by a performance for the ages by Clayton Kershaw. Too bad umpire Mike Winters let a petty feud get in the way of the game.

▪ The faster the Giants acquire players, the faster the injuries pile up.

▪ Are the Giants in trouble? Does Tom Lasorda need sleep in the 14th inning?

▪ Tim Lincecum underwent hip surgery and probably has pitched his final game as a Giant. Before season’s end, the Giants must arrange a “thank you” day.

▪ Before Lincecum: Barry Bonds and a team going nowhere.

▪ After Lincecum: Three championships, three pennants, two Cy Youngs, two no-hitters, and a fan base that can’t get enough of No. 55.

▪ Of the six Giants players making $10 million or more this season, the only one who hasn’t been on the disabled list is Buster Posey.

▪ One blazing losing streak and the season hasn’t yet started: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

▪ Tom Brady’s suspension was overturned, but the Patriots still were fined $1 million and lost two draft picks, a punishment the team accepted.

▪ Doesn’t sound like “vindicated” to me.

▪ The first words from the next suspended player: See you in court, Roger.

▪ A first: The U.S. Open women’s tennis final sold out before the men’s final. Has to be Serena Williams chasing history.

▪ When the 1980 season ended, MJC was ranked No. 1 in the nation by JC Gridwire. Which is one more good reason the Pirates again gather and reminisce.