Top 100 Irish America's Finest In Sport "What we talk about is great effort outstanding preparat
Curran and Archbishop Molloy have won the double - the New York City basketball and baseball title in the same year - four times. No other school has even done it once. In fact, with five basketball titles and 17 baseball titles, the Molloy trophy cabinet is pretty full. In terms of wins, in basketball Curran is around the 900 mark and in baseball he is hovering around 1,600.
But coaching was not his first calling. Curran was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers as a pitcher and ended up in the Philadelphia Phillies farm system in the early 50s before a back injury put an end to his playing career. After working as a recreations director, Spalding rep and building material salesman, Curran came across a newspaper ad for a coaching position at Archbishop Molloy. The rest, as they say. . .
During his time, six former Stanners (as the basketball players are named) have gone on to the NBA, but as Curran told The New York Times in an interview recently, "I've been told that the true measure of a coach is the quality of the people he has turned out long after they have left him. In that regard, I think I measure up pretty good."
Carolina Hurricanes center Matt Cullen comes from a family with ice hockey in its blood. Cullen's father was the hockey coach at Moorhead Senior High School (the Minnesota town where Matt grew up and the school he graduated from in 1995). One of his younger brothers, Mark, plays for the Detroit Red Wings and another, Joe, played for the Toronto RoadRunners.
After two years at St. Cloud State University, Cullen was drafted in 1996 to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. After five and a half years with the Ducks, it was on to Florida and then to the Carolina Hurricanes, where he won the Stanley Cup in 2005. He was then traded to the New York Rangers but returned to Carolina after one season. As we go to press on Feb. 23, Cullen scored twice to help the Hurricanes beat the Washington Capitals, helping Carolina maintain its hold on the Southeast Division lead.
Outside the rink, Cullen is very active in the community. He and his wife set up the Cullen's Children Foundation in 2004, to help fund children's healthcare, especially those affected by cancer. The couple have a son, Brooks.
There's no avoiding the obvious. Baseball pitching great Tom Glavine did not leave the New York Mets on the best of terms. He pitched poorly in the last game of the 2007 season, a game which happened to decide whether or not the Mets were going to make the playoffs.
But another fact is just as obvious. There was plenty of blame to go around when it came to the Mets' 2007 collapse. And in terms of Glavine's entire stellar career, the final Mets game, while unfortunate, does not change the fact that he will one day be inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame.
Glavine, an Irish-American who was born in Massachusetts, won his 300th baseball game last August. When he reached this milestone, he joined an exclusive club whose first three members were Irish-Americans: Pud Galvin, Tim Keefe and Mickey Welch were the first three major league pitchers to win 300 games.
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