The very best of 2017 sports…

Some year huh? The Astros win the World Series for $30 million and Toronto the Grey Cup for $16K

Some year huh? The Astros win the World Series worth a $30 million bonus, the Oilers almost make the Stanley Cup final, the Toronto Argos take the Grey Cup worth $16K for each roster player, the Toronto FC rule Major League Soccer to share $275K and Vegas rolls in an NHL franchise for a measly $500K.

It wouldn’t be my 96th annual Christmas column without mentioning the late John Baldwin, who celebrated his 100th birthday in 2006.

He was the sole surviving member of the Keller Club in Minnesota. He was quoted by the St. Paul Pioneer Press as saying he wasn’t playing much golf because he had a sore back.

“When you get to 100, you get some problems,” he said. His secret to a long life? “Moderation in everything. I quit smoking when I was 82.”

Wish I had met Johnny especially now that I’m playing the back nine. It is now time to present the best-of-the-year list.

Before doing so, I have to thank my wonderful family and friends for still reading my stuff. Including Vernon Esso hockey great John (Wire) Price, who also curls these days, my readership total has reached a staggering 49. We are all blessed with decent health and happiness in the Mitchell family.

My wonderful folks are going strong at 80-something, my daughter Kristi is a children’s psychologist in Edmonton and married to a pretty nice lawyer, my oldest son, Max, is working hard and my youngest son, Nick, had to shut down his hockey career after a fourth concussion but is still smiling.

Here, then, are the best of 2017…

Gone But Not Forgotten: Blair Campbell, John Sharp, Moe Halat, Larry Walthers, Ron Corbett, Ken Brown, Martin Van de Leest, Jim Domokos, Ron Schwab, Hermann Quint, Vic Rantio, Ken Wadsworth, Seb Gardner, Justin Onufreiw, Aaron Lawrence, Roy Halladay, Terry Glenn, Y.A. Tittle, Jake LaMotta, Bryan Murray, Don Baylor, Darren Daulton, Dave Semenko, Frank Deford, Jim Bunning, Cortez Kennedy, Dan Rooney, Mike Illitch, Milt Schmidt.

Best TV Sportscasters: James Duthie, Squire Barnes, Jim Hughson, Ines Sainz, Evanka Osmak.

Canuck of the Year: Bo Horvat.

Rising Stars: Josh Prokop, Steven Jandric, Ty Taylor, Jack Judson, Jimmy Lambert, Brett Stapely, Brooke Henderson, Jordyn Cullum, Mackenzie Horst, Danny Aspenlieder, Laura Hall, Zac Benn, Meredith Levorson, Tyler Galenzoski, Ryan Vest, Hannah Bennison, Caden Doyle, Ben Hladik, Bradley Hladik, Levi Nicholas, Zac Hyer, Jagger Williamson, Matt Kowalski, Powell Connor, Jenna Fletcher, Conner Kozak, Matt Kreutz, Connie Kapak, Zack Smith, Charles Lemay, Matthew Reich, Caden Danbrook.

Best Steak: Blackened New York at Earls.

Best soup: Broccoli & Bacon at Kelly O’Bryans. Best Pizza: Uncle Dave’s. Best Cheerleaders: Tennessee Titans.

Busts: Surrey Knights (1-28-0-1) , Noureen Dewulf (Canuck G Ryan Miller’s wife), Ryan Lochte, Colin Kaepernick, Cleveland Browns, Golden Rockets (1-26-1-2).

Best Team Names: Onion Lake Border Chiefs, Frog Lake T-Birds, Fargo Force, Brampton Beast, Wheeling Nailers, Syracuse Crunch, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Biloxi Shuckers, Akron Rubberducks, Sioux City Musketeers.

Sparrow of the Year: Jim.

Best Wings: The Longhorn. Honourable mention: Wings.

Best onion rings: Winfield Arena.

Best creampuffs: My mom’s. Honourable mention: Okanagan Bakehouse.

Best Names in Sports: Brooke Pancake, Griffen Outhouse, Jesper Brett, Martin Frk, Jasper Fast, Boo Nieves, Shayne Gotishehere, Christian Cakebread, Tom Kuhnhackl, Mitch Marner, Alex DeBrincat, Ethan Bear, Nii Noi Tetteh, Boone Jenner, Nolan Zweep, Chris Klack, Brendan Budy, Ben Lovejoy, Rob Klinkhammer, Bastian Scheinsteiger, Lincoln Lane, Coco Crisp, Homer Bailey, Burke Badenhop, Chapperon Chillihitzia, Golden Tate, Bo Horvat, Cal Clutterbuck, Emre Can, Martin Montoya, Wacey Rabbit, Madison Bowey, Max Unger, Ricardo Lockette, Preston Sparklingeyes, Darnell Nurse, Mitch Meek.

Best Team Names in Sports: Onion Lake Border Chiefs, Frog Lake Thunderbirds, Sioux City Musketeers, Wheeling Nailers, Leigh Valley Iron Pigs, Akron Rubberducks, Biloxi Shuckers, Brampton Beast, Fargo Fog, Syracuse Crunch.

Best Smiles: Curtis Lazar, Stacy Pavlov, Taylor Swift, Drake, Kevin Bieksa, Meghan Mikkelson, Mary-Louise Parker, Natasha Staniszewski, Missy Peregrym, Hannah Storm, Jennifer Hedger, Jennifer Garner, Marion Mitchell, Brooklyn Decker, Anneke VanderVelde, Amanda Bedard, Paul Rush, Scott Simpson, Andrea Pow, Stana Katic, Karlie Kloss, Anita Black, Miranda Kerr, Zach Agar, Zayne Hanke, Makenna Hoffman, Lawrie Skolrood, Chad Pieper, Jesse Crowe.

Best Legs: Keyvan Mohktari, Usain Bolt, Jay Henry, Kevin Cleland, Dale McAllister, Christine Sinclair, Marie-Philip Poulin, Mia Hamm, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Hope Solo, Wayne Hoover, Gerry Geisbrecht, Ray Michelin, Edeen Ramsey, Kevin Balfour, Tom Ouchi.

Worst Legs: Glenn Jespersen, Gene Anderson, Steve Fitzpatrick, Moe Irving, Chris Fleming, Peter Francis, Russ Parr, Kevin Manke, Wayne Wicklund, Darin Mundy, Erwin Schuur, Dave (Spyder) Specht, Jeff Parker, Mike Kakoske, Lloyd Mitchell, Dave Hampton.

—-Kevin Mitchell is the sports editor and newsroom funnyman at the Vernon Morning Star.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Missing boy was dehydrated but in good health

The boy who went missing near Mackenzie was found to be somewhat… Continue reading

All Nations Driving Academy gets $360K boost from province

Terrace-based driving school bridges gap in services for remote northwest B.C. communities

Skeena Watershed reopened for recreational pink and coho

Four sections and tributaries remain closed

Skeena-Bulkley Valley candidates react to finding Trudeau broke ethics law

The election campaign is heating up before the writ has even dropped

Parking lot rework effort begins

Work is well underway on the Downtown Parking Lot Redevelopment Plan, which… Continue reading

VIDEO: Canadian zoos’ captive breeding programs help preserve endangered species

Programs considered last-ditch effort to prevent local extinctions of turtles, butterflies and more

Man launches petition to bring charter schools to B.C.

The move could see up to 20 charter schools come to the province

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Unseasonable snow forces campers out of northeastern B.C. provincial park

Storm brought as much as 35 centimetres of snow to the Fort Nelson, Muncho Lake Park-Stone Mountain Park

B.C. log export rules killing us, northwest harvester says

NorthPac Forestry says Skeena Sawmills has plenty of timber

Environment groups warned saying climate change is real could be seen as partisan

Talk of climate change could be viewed as advocating against Maxime Bernier, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada

Search crews find 4-year-old boy who went missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Most Read