East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, August 03, 2019, WEEKEND EDITION, Page B3, Image 13

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    SPORTS
Saturday, August 3, 2019
East Oregonian
B3
Seahawks’ Dissly trying for rapid recovery from knee injury
sive coordinator Brian Schot-
tenheimer said. “You got
George Fant there, you got
(Dissly) coming back, Nick
Vannett scored a lot of touch-
downs for us, Ed Dickson,
that veteran leadership that he
brings is awesome. It’s a really
good group, so again we think
that’s its very flexible.”
Another option is Jacob
Hollister, who was acquired
in a trade with New England
and has the ability to play off
the line and create matchup
advantages.
The preseason will be
an important test for Dissly.
While he hasn’t had any dis-
comfort in the knee during
his first week of activity, Dis-
sly is trying not to get ahead
of himself.
“I’ve been going every
day, putting pads on. It’s been
feeling really good and I’m
excited to see the next day
and what it has to offer,” Dis-
sly said.
By TIM BOOTH
Associated Press
RENTON, Wash. — Will
Dissly spent Thanksgiving
with his family in Montana
last year for what he guesses
was the first time since 2013.
The Seattle Seahawks
tight end would rather have
been on the field with his
teammates.
But Dissly, who missed
several other Thanksgiv-
ing celebrations while play-
ing in college, was in the
initial stages of recovering
from surgery for a torn patel-
lar tendon. The chance to be
at home was a much-needed
break after going from wrap-
ping up his career with the
Washington Huskies, to pre-
paring for the NFL draft, to
beginning his pro career.
“I was in a straight-leg
brace for six weeks and it was
a good opportunity to go and
spend time with them, spend
Thanksgiving with the fam-
ily and kind of just heal and
rest. If I’m here I would just
want to do more and more,
and I think rest and recovery
is important,” he said. “It was
almost like a mini vacation.”
Once he returned to Seat-
tle, however, he turned his
entire focus to recovering
from the injury that derailed
his promising rookie season.
Seattle’s fourth-round pick
in the 2018 draft had quickly
developed into a contributor
when he went down in Week
4 against Arizona.
Ten months later, Dissly
is going through full team
NOTES
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly runs at an NFL football training camp on Thursday in Renton, Wash.
drills in training camp and
feeling optimism that he will
be ready by the start of the
season.
“I think anytime you go
down and you’re kind of
removed from the spotlight a
little bit, it really puts you in a
humbling state,” Dissly said.
“I really tried to self-reflect,
kind of figure out what got
me here. That’s work ethic,
that’s my family. Dedication
to the game, love for game.
That’s just something you
don’t lose.”
Dissly is part of a posi-
tion group that is vital to the
success of Seattle’s offense.
With the Seahawks returning
to a run-first mentality a year
ago, the need for tight ends
that can block on the edge
became even more import-
ant. It’s why drafting Dissly
was critical — he was argu-
ably the best blocking tight
end in last year’s draft.
When Dissly went down,
Seattle had to adjust. Ed
Dickson and Nick Vannett
were solid at the position,
but the Seahawks regularly
turned to using offensive
tackle George Fant as a sixth
lineman lined up at tight end.
Seattle still intends to use
Fant in that role, but Dissly’s
return would be a boost.
“There’s a lot of really
good pieces there. I don’t
know if it’s going to be one
guy, I think it could be a little
more by committee,” offen-
QB Russell Wilson was
absent from practice Fri-
day. Wilson’s grandfather,
Dr. Harrison B. Wilson,
died Sunday and his memo-
rial services were Friday and
Saturday in Virginia. It’s the
first training camp or regu-
lar season practice Wilson
is believed to have missed
in his career. ... DE Ezekiel
Ansah was in a helmet and
shoulder pads for the early
portions of practice for the
first time Friday as he con-
tinues to recover from off-
season shoulder surgery.
Hank Aaron still fighting for more diversity in baseball
ing his wife, Billye, by his
side.
“After it was over with,
my wife and I ... prayed and
thanked the Lord for bless-
ing me with that moment,” he
said.
Royster was in the Dodg-
ers’ dugout when Aaron hit
his record-breaking 715th
homer on April 8, 1974.
Royster said he was so happy,
By CHARLES ODUM
Associated Press
ATLANTA, Ga. — When
Brian Hunter and other for-
mer major league players
were in the presence of Hank
Aaron, they acted like teen-
agers, standing, pointing and
trying to get pictures when he
entered the room.
Someone
whispered,
“there he is.”
The vibe in the room
quickly changed upon Aar-
on’s arrival at an Atlanta
restaurant Friday to talk with
44 high school players, mostly
African-Americans. The visit
was part of Aaron’s ongoing
efforts for more diversity in
baseball.
Hunter, who has been
coaching some of the play-
ers, said that the 85-year-old
Hall of Famer has that effect
on baseball players of all
ages. The high school play-
ers in attendance had a simi-
lar impact on Aaron.
“It fills my heart, really
makes me feel very proud,”
Aaron said.
The players were selected
to participate in the inaugu-
ral Hank Aaron Invitational
exhibition game at SunTrust
Park on Saturday. The event,
formerly called the Elite
Development
Invitational,
was renamed for Aaron last
year.
Aaron has lobbied for
efforts to encourage more
young black athletes to
choose baseball and he sup-
ports this diversity initiative
by Major League Baseball.
AP Photo/Steve Schaefer
Hank Aaron answers questions from the crowd during the
Hank Aaron Invitational at SunTrust Park in Atlanta on Friday.
On Friday, the play-
ers were taken on a civil
rights tour of Atlanta that
included the home of Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr., the
King Center and King’s for-
mer church, Ebenezer Bap-
tist. Former Atlanta mayor
Andrew Young, 87, joined
Aaron for a question-and-an-
swer session with the teens.
The high school sopho-
mores, juniors and seniors
were coached by Hunter, the
former first baseman with
the Atlanta Braves and other
teams, and other former play-
ers, including Marquis Gris-
som, Tom Gordon, Marvin
Freeman, Michael Tucker,
Jerry Royster and Ty Waller,
in Vero Beach, Florida. The
top 44 — Aaron’s uniform
number — were selected
from a field of 250 players
ages 13 to 18.
The program is designed
to encourage teens from
diverse backgrounds to
remain in the game.
Hunter quickly confirmed
“I’m a fan” of Aaron “and all
our guys.”
Aaron answered questions
about the pressures of being a
black player when he began
his career in 1954 and how he
dealt with racism.
Sitting in a wheelchair,
Aaron told the teens about
his childhood in Mobile, Ala-
bama. He said he was told
by his mother to crawl under
his bed to avoid the Ku Klux
Klan outside his home.
He also talked about the
final days of his home run
chase in 1974, when team-
mates were afraid to sit too
close to him in the dugout
due to threats that he would
be shot before breaking Babe
Ruth’s career record.
“The last four or five days
were probably the toughest
days of my baseball career,”
Aaron said, adding he took
comfort from having his
mother and father alive to see
him break the record and hav-
history in a
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used performance-enhancing
drugs.
Aaron said “the saddest
part” of his career was never
winning the Triple Crown,
always falling short of leading
the National League in hom-
ers, RBIs or batting average.
“I wanted to do that so
bad,” Aaron said, turning to
Young and adding “Andy, I
still dream about it right now.”
Umatilla County
We Hear You!
You deserve total audiological care.
Professional. Experienced. Local.
even though the homer at old
Atlanta-Fulton County Sta-
dium was against his team,
“I jumped up so high I hit my
head on the top of the dugout.”
Aaron finished his career
with 755 homers. The record
was broken in 2007 by Barry
Bonds, who finished with 762
but has failed to land enough
votes to enter the Hall of
Fame due to allegations he
City
State
Phone
E-mail
From the archives of Athena Public Library, City
of Echo, Milton-Freewater Area Historical Society,
Pendleton Round-up, Tamástslikt Cultural Institute
and Umatilla County Historical Society
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