Reflections for May 2018

We look back on past events that took place this month, with a focus on sports and athletic achievements. At the end, you will also find a fun fact about something that was created during this time in history.

On May 29 1977, Janet Guthrie became the first woman driver to compete in the Indianapolis 500 since its creation 66 years prior. Janet was also the first woman to compete in the Daytona 500 and the NASCAR Winston Cup Speedway Race.

Born in Iowa City, Iowa on March 7th 1938, Janet earned her pilots license at age 17. Her parents were also pilots, which fueled her enthusiasm. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in physics, she worked at Republic Aviation as a research and development engineer. She worked on projects that were the precursor to Project Apollo. In 1964, she applied for the first Scientist-Astronaut program, and got through the first round of eliminations. Ultimately, she was disqualified when a doctorate was made a requirement.


In 1963, Janet got involved in racing, which like being a pilot can be a very thrilling adventure. For the next 9 years, her career as an engineer helped fund her racing quest. By 1972, she committed to racing on a full time basis. Janet slept in her car outside of the racetrack. She had no sponsorships and funded everything herself. She built her own engines and did all the repairs to her car.

Janet’s big break came in 1976 when she was asked to test drive a car for the Indianapolis 500 by team owner and car builder Rolla Volllstedt.

Janet’s best finish was 5th place in 1979 at the Bettenhausen 200. Her last major race was the Daytona 500 in 1980. Regardless of her accomplishments, the male-dominated field of racing did not welcome a female driver. She tried to find sponsors, but her career fizzled out due to lack of funds.


Some other achievements include:

  •  Fastest time of day, opening day practice, Indy 500, 1977
  • Fastest time of any driver, second weekend of qualifications, Indy 500, 1977
  • Top Rookie at Rockingham, Charlotte, Richmond, Bristol, and Daytona 500, 1977
  • Finished in Top 12 ten times in 19 races at NASCAR Winston Cup rookie season
  • Finished 9th in the Indianapolis 500 (1978)
  • Inducted into the Women’s Sports Hall of Fame, 1980
  • Inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame on April 26, 2007

Creation Fun Fact:


Debut of the first all-color, full-length talking picture, On With the Show!


Reflections of July 2017


By Alanna Burwell

We look back on past events that took place this month, with a focus on sports and athletic achievements. You will find a fun fact that was created during this time in history at the end.

Sunday, July 18, 1999 (Yogi Berra Day)

This date in history we focus on New York Yankees pitcher David Cone, and the rarity of a perfect pitch game that he accomplished with 27 outs at Yankee Stadium.

This game was placed as the 16th perfect game in major league history. It was the 2nd perfect game for the Yankees. At the start of the game Don Larsen, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Coincidently, Larson threw a perfect game in the 1956 World Series against the Dodgers.

The perfect pitch involves a lot of practicing. There are many different ways to get an object to a target.  One must learn the basics of gripping the ball, the delivery, windup, pivot, stride, and follow through.  Not only must the pitcher have good pitching skills, but others on the team come into play too. Cone’s teammate Paul O’ Neil made a diving catch in the first inning on a fly ball hit by Montreal Expos, (Now, named Washington Nationals) Terry Jones. This lead David Cone on a track to pitch a perfect game. He finished the game with 88 pitches and 68 of them were strikes. There were 13 fly outs, 10 strike outs, and 4 ground outs that led it to being 27 outs.


“You probably have a better chance of winning the lottery than this happening, but what an honor.” – David Cone


Cone played with the Yankees for two more seasons helping them win the World Series in 1999 and 2000. The World Series win in 2000 was their 3rd consecutive championship and 26th overall. It was their 4th win in the past 5 years. The 2000 season was known to be their weakest performance since 1995.

Cone had a 17-year baseball career and pitched until 2003 for five different teams. He retired and became a color commentator for the New York Yankees on the Yes Network.

Some of Cone’s accomplishments include:

ballNY Yankees all-time leader in strikeouts per 9 innings pitched

ball Last Yankees pitcher to strike out 200+ batters in 2 consecutive seasons

ballStruck out 19 batters in one game, October 6,1991

ballOnly pitcher to have 20-win season with both Mets (1988) and the Yankees (1998)


Creation Fun Fact:

July 12, 1960.

The Etch A Sketch created by French electrical technician Andre Cassagnes goes on sale. The device uses electrostatic charge and aluminum powder creating hours of entertainment and frustration. Ohio Art Company invested in the license and it was the must have Christmas Toy for that year.


Keep The DREAM Alive

Keep the dream alive. Come together and strive.

Keep the dream alive. Come together and unite.

Keep the dream alive. Love is greater than hate.

Keep the dream alive. Take the first step when no one else dares.

Keep the dream alive. Be the one to lend and to care.

Keep the dream alive. Come together and unite.

Keep the dream alive.

The dream is up to you to keep alive and understood.


Reflections for the month of September. Athletic Achievement.

Love sharing my articles with you. Reflections is a concept I created back in college and was changed up a little for my job to focus on athletes. Now, these articles are featured at my workplace and can be found internally on our website.

Hear I focus on Mark Spitz, who  was a very good and fast swimmer in the olympics . He still holds many world records. Hope you enjoy the read. Please follow and leave feedback.

“Life is true to form; records are meant to be broken.”