Jump to content


Photo

Rich Sanders


  • Please log in to reply
24 replies to this topic

#1 The_Historian

The_Historian

    Gold Member

  • Members
  • 2,394 posts

Posted 12 June 2011 - 09:44 AM

Stan Dziedzic told me an interesting story about Rick Sanders and his battles to make weight. He was from the Randy Lewis school of losing it all in the last few hours.In 1969, when Sanders, along with Fred Fozzard, became the first US world champions, he was having a tough time making 114.5. Larry Kristoff locked him in the sauna, using a screwdriver to jam the door shut. Kristoff forgot about Sanders and went to a movie.He finally remembered and Sanders was not amused. He had enough energy to chase after Kristoff with the screwdriver, but not enough to catch him.
Jay Hammond
Historian
National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum
www.wrestlingstats.com

#2 MorrisJohnson

MorrisJohnson

    Gold Member

  • Members
  • 2,447 posts

Posted 14 June 2011 - 04:11 AM

My favorite Rick Sanders story was told to me by my 1st college coach, Buck Deadrich. Apparently Rick was wrestling in the finals of the AAU nationals, which were being held in Stillwater (I think, perhaps Edmund,OK) back in the late 60's or early 70's. Buck said that back then, Oklahoma was "the last and tightest notch in the bible belt" and people who looked like Sanders - long hair, shaggy beard, peace button on his jacket, etc, were not fully "appreciated" in OK. Anyway, Rick's opponent in the finals was the great Gene Davis, who was both an OK St. alumn as well as a clean-cut member of the tough Athletes in Action-Campus Crusade for Christ wrestling club. Clearly Gene was coming in as the fan favorite. When it was time for their match, Davis walked out into the spot-light, and the PA annoucer said something to the effect of "Now wrestling in the 114 lb final, wrestling for the Lord- Mr. Gene Davis!" while the crowd cheered long and loud. As the noise died down a bit, but before the PA annoucer could say anything else, Sanders ran out onto the mat, droped to his knees and shouted "...AND WRESTLING FOR THE DEVIL..RICK SANDERS!!!" Buck said there was a slight, stunned pause, before the crowd rained booo's down on Sanders, who promptly pinned Davis in the 1st period!

#3 The_Historian

The_Historian

    Gold Member

  • Members
  • 2,394 posts

Posted 14 June 2011 - 09:41 AM

Good story, but there is no way that Gene Davis was wrestling at 114 pounds. Sanders wrestled for a time at 136.5, after he could no longer make 114.5. Behm was at 125.5, so Rick tried 136.5 for awhile. He moved back down to 125.5 for the 1972 Olympics and won a silver medal.
Jay Hammond
Historian
National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum
www.wrestlingstats.com

#4 MorrisJohnson

MorrisJohnson

    Gold Member

  • Members
  • 2,447 posts

Posted 15 June 2011 - 03:25 AM

Brother Jay,

Now that I am a couple of months away from the 1/2 century mark, I certainly could be getting some facts/details incorrect, but I am pretty sure I am repeating this story the way Buck told it to me. Of course Buck may have had some of the details wrong as well, but I take him at his word regarding the core facts. One way to get some clarity would be to see if Davis and Sanders ever wrestled in the finals of the AAU or USWF nationals when it was held in OK. Any idea if that matchup ever took place?

#5 The_Historian

The_Historian

    Gold Member

  • Members
  • 2,394 posts

Posted 15 June 2011 - 09:05 AM

I am not disagreeing that they wrestled, but it would have been at 136.5, not 114.5. As I noted, Sanders wrestled at that weight for awhile, but went down to 125.5 for the 1972 Olympics.
Jay Hammond
Historian
National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum
www.wrestlingstats.com

#6 oldcougar

oldcougar

    Gold Member

  • Members
  • 3,614 posts

Posted 15 June 2011 - 02:00 PM

Re: AAU National Championships. All I have access to is the place winners. I don't have the brackets.

Still:

In what must have been a tremendous upset, Rich Sanders lost to Richie Sofman of U of P in the 1966 championships at 125.5. Sofman was a kid I used to roll around with when I was in HS and Penn was recruiting a buddy of mine and invited us to their practices a lot.

in 1971 Sanders won at 136.5 and Gene Davis won at 149.5 (Sanders was a multiple AAU National Champ, as was Davis)

in 1970 Sanders won at 125.5 and Davis dnp at any weight. Don't know if they met, but I doubt it.

Gene Davis won a time or two after that, but Sanders dnp in his weight class, so I assume they never met.

I noticed an old friend of mine, Joe Bavaro of Gettysburg, took 2nd in 1969, losing to Lee Detrick of Michigan, who was the same guy who beat him in the NCAA finals in 1966.

I haven't reported my missing credit card to the police because whoever stole it is spending less than my wife.

#7 KeithLowrance

KeithLowrance
  • Members
  • 3 posts

Posted 16 June 2011 - 01:59 AM

Not sure which year it was, but Rich did wrestle Gene in the finals at Oklahoma State at 136.5. I was in the weight and the 3 of us made it to the round robin. In those days we wrestled under the blackmark system. If you accumulated 6 blackmarks you were out. When Rich and I met, I had 4 blackmarks, 3 from an earlier 7-4 loss to Gene. Rich had 3. Ties were allowed, but cost you 2 blackmarks. There was no stalling in freestyle, so Rich's strategy was to wrestle for a tie, knock me out and wrestle Gene in the finals. It worked, except at the end I made a desperation shot and Rich scored on a counter. Rich was by no means a little guy. He had to cut weight to make 136.5. Gene, however, was a very big 136.5 pounder. I do not recall the announcing, but I do recall that Rich wrestled well and beat Gene in the finals. The tournament was the Federation Nationals not the AAU.

Rich's weight cutting practices were legendary. At the trials for the Pan Am team in Minnesota a couple of us were running when we came across Rich. He was hiding something in the bushes. I asked him what he was doing and he said he was said Keith you always need a plan for weight cutting. He went on to say the was driving around his route he planned to run hiding cans of beer every 2 miles. He said that could keep him going for 10 to 12 miles and he could lose the 10 plus pounds he needed to lose by the next day. He jumped in his car and went to his next hiding spot.

#8 MorrisJohnson

MorrisJohnson

    Gold Member

  • Members
  • 2,447 posts

Posted 16 June 2011 - 03:48 AM

Thanks Brother Keith for the clarification (and the great additional story about Sanders.) That really sounds like Rick from the many stories that Buck would tell about him, on our long van trips back in the 80's. As is the case with many an "urban legend" tale, usually some percentage of the story has been "polished up" a bit in the interest of good storytelling. I always hope that the ones that I hear are mostly true though. Adds to the "That's Incredible!" factor! Thanks again for the clarification.

#9 TheCanaveralCannibal

TheCanaveralCannibal

    Bronze Member

  • Members
  • 292 posts

Posted 21 June 2011 - 06:10 AM

http://www.flowrestl...ders-scrap-book

Here's a look at his actual scrapbook.

Also read storys of him setting a Russians hair on fire during a weigh-in;

Another where a coach was doing bed check on him and caught Rick with two girls in his bed...the Coach told him when he returned in an hour he wanted "those girls out of here" ...when the coach returned those girls were replaced with two different girls.

#10 StanDziedzic

StanDziedzic

    Bronze Member

  • Members
  • 664 posts

Posted 04 July 2011 - 01:08 AM

I did nto know Rick well, but @ the final Olympic Wrestle-offs in 1976 I had a few lbs to cut and was going into the tunnel between the bldgs to run. Rick was also preparing to lose a few lbs or maybe more than a few.
He introduced himself and then pulled out a bottle of whisky from his bag and offered me a swig. He said, it is much easier to cut weight if you heat up from both the inside and outside. I declined, but I remember well the battle between Don Behm and Rick for the team. Among the best matches ever!

#11 Stove_Pipe

Stove_Pipe

    Gold Member

  • Members
  • 6,527 posts

Posted 04 July 2011 - 02:02 AM

^^^Some of my favorite Rick Sanders stories were told to me by Oregonian Larry Nugent and Erie (PA) native Tom Canavan, Jr. Here's one from the young Tom Canavan. Rick Sanders was hitch-hiking (or something) one night through Erie County (maybe clinician at summer camp in PA?) and a local sherriff stopped to question him. Story goes that Sanders quickly grappled the sherriff to the ground, disarmed him, left him at the side of the road and drove off in the police car.

Tom Canavan said Erie police saw Sanders driving the car "very slowly down the middle of the road" and pulled him over, without further incident. Sanders was taken to the Erie jail and explained to the officers that he was a famous amateur wrestler and that he had taked the car so he could "drive to the moon." (Hey, don't ask - remember this was Rick Sanders.)

Hearing Sanders was a wrestler, the officers at the station phoned Erie wrestling guru Tom Canavan, Sr., and Mr. Canavan drove down to the station. Mr. Canavan promised the police he would drive Rick out of Erie County the next day, to his destination, and Sanders was released to Mr. Canavan. -Stove Pipe

#12 Buckeyebison

Buckeyebison

    Bronze Member

  • Members
  • 945 posts

Posted 04 July 2011 - 08:14 AM

I did nto know Rick well, but @ the final Olympic Wrestle-offs in 1976 I had a few lbs to cut and was going into the tunnel between the bldgs to run. Rick was also preparing to lose a few lbs or maybe more than a few.
He introduced himself and then pulled out a bottle of whisky from his bag and offered me a swig. He said, it is much easier to cut weight if you heat up from both the inside and outside. I declined, but I remember well the battle between Don Behm and Rick for the team. Among the best matches ever!

Thought it was 1972. Rick passed away after 1972 Olympics (RIP), did he not?

Sent from my Tapatalk

#13 Stove_Pipe

Stove_Pipe

    Gold Member

  • Members
  • 6,527 posts

Posted 04 July 2011 - 09:47 AM

^^^Yes, I think Rick got killed in Eastern Europe, hit by a truck while hitch-hiking. I one particularly zany story (told by Wayne Baughman) about Sanders that is a bit too much to post on a public forum.

#14 Buckeyebison

Buckeyebison

    Bronze Member

  • Members
  • 945 posts

Posted 05 July 2011 - 02:15 AM

I enjoyed the Rick Sanders stories. He was one of few wrestlers who happened to defeat Dan Gable.

I have seen some terrific pictures of Rick Sanders wrestling. I think one of my favorites was the Rick Sanders accidentally kneeling the Asian wrestler's privates while completing ankle pick. Asian wrestler's expression was a funny classic.

Can anyone put up the pictures of Rick Sanders wrestling?

Sent from my Tapatalk

Edit: Just saw the flowrestling.org scrapbook on Rick Sanders. The first page was that classic picture I talked about. Look like Rick was kneeling on his ribs or somewhere lower but the expression of the opponent still was funny. I liked the beard look on Rick Sanders. Without beard, he looked like Alfred E. Neuman

#15 StanDziedzic

StanDziedzic

    Bronze Member

  • Members
  • 664 posts

Posted 05 July 2011 - 06:31 AM

Sorry, I meant the '72 wrestle-offs in Winnetka, Mn not '76

#16 BigApple

BigApple

    Gold Member

  • Members
  • 5,980 posts

Posted 05 July 2011 - 08:03 AM

Tommy Evans the 1968 Olympic coach told me two stories about Rick Sanders.

On the flight from the U.S. to Mexico City, Rick ran up and down the aisle of the aircraft with his sweats on to lose weight.

In a match in the Olympics, Sanders was declared the loser. Sanders told Tommy, I won this match and I am not leaving until they change the call. Rick said he didn't care if he had to sit there until hell froze over, or words that effect. After about 30 minutes they changed the call Rick was declared the winner, and wound up with a silver medal.

#17 weh

weh

    Silver Member

  • Members
  • 1,190 posts

Posted 05 July 2011 - 09:29 AM

Sorry, I meant the '72 wrestle-offs in Winnetka, Mn not '76


I believe it was Anoka, MN .... not that its important anymore.

#18 StanDziedzic

StanDziedzic

    Bronze Member

  • Members
  • 664 posts

Posted 06 July 2011 - 02:38 AM

I believe it was Anoka, MN .... not that its important anymore. weh Silver Member
Posted Image Posts: 1100 Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:40 am

weh,
The trials were in Anoka. Were the final wrestle-offs also in Anoka?

I don't remember, but I do remember the match between Behm and Sanders. Like the match between Li of N. Korea and Biro of Hungary in the '86 World Championships in Budapest, it sticks in my mind.

Perhaps because Behm was so conventional and Sanders was so unorthodox; Sanders so creative and unique and Behm so focused and proficient.

Each was intensely competitive, yet regardless of the outcome both would retain the respect for the other. It was unfortunate only one could make the team.

To this day, Rick Sanders remains the USA's most unique wrestler (in many ways).

#19 Buckeyebison

Buckeyebison

    Bronze Member

  • Members
  • 945 posts

Posted 06 July 2011 - 03:09 AM

Here is the image of Rick Sanders and that Hidekai Yanagida. I got it from Japanese Google. Hidekai Yanagida is two time world champ and a Olympic Champ.

Posted Image

#20 DAA

DAA

    Bronze Member

  • Members
  • 748 posts

Posted 21 January 2012 - 06:04 AM

First, I want to say hello to an old friend, Keith Lowrance -- haven't seen him in a long long time -- but I used to work out with him about every day in the MSU wrestling room -- and I will say this about him -- he could take me down virtually at will.

I have worked out with the best of them -- even Uetake. Nobody was slicker than Keith in my opinion. NObody!

More some time later about this as Sanders was NOT my favorite person.

DA




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users