Lance Briggs will be formally minted as regional royalty in November.
That’s when the former Chicago Bears linebacker will be presented a key to the city of Elk Grove in a morning ceremony at his restaurant, Double Nickel Smokehouse, on Nov. 6. He will cap the day by attending a Kings home game against the Houston Rockets at which he will be acknowledged for his 12 years of NFL service and for hosting charity youth camps locally and across the country. Briggs will be flanked by family and friends, none more special than his mother, Brenda, whom he calls “my everything.”
The Double Nickel restaurant in Elk Grove represents the No. 55 jersey Briggs wore his entire career with the Bears through last season. Briggs wore No. 27 while leading Elk Grove High School to back-to-back championships (1997 and ’98) while earning Bee Player of the Year honors as a senior.
12 Years played in the NFL by Lance Briggs
Baker still waiting – Dusty Baker wants to manage in the big leagues again but feels like he’s in an eternal holding pattern.
The Del Campo High graduate and three-time National League Manager of the Year was fired by the Reds after the 2013 season. Baker told USA Today that he is baffled at not getting any feelers from teams. At 66, he fears another managerial shot may not come.
“Everybody asks me the same question,” Baker said in the report. “If I wasn’t interested, I would have said that a long time ago, but nobody in baseball has called.
“Look, I didn’t fire myself. So I can’t hire myself. People say, ‘Oh, you’re on this list or that list,’ but I haven’t heard from anybody. And people say, ‘Come out from hiding.’ I’m not hiding at all. I’m just living my life. You get tired of disappointment.
“What’s a little bit shocking is that after I got fired, my agent called three other organizations and never even got a call back.”
Knapp honored – Andrew Knapp was named by the Philadelphia Phillies as their best minor-league player. Knapp, a catcher out of Granite Bay and Cal, batted .307 with 35 doubles, 13 home runs, 84 RBIs and 77 runs in splitting time with Class-A Clearwater, Fla., and Double-A Reading, Pa. He was drafted in the second round in 2013.
“Andrew made as much progress as any position player in our system this year,” Joe Jordan, the Phillies’ director of player development, said in a statement. “He had a tremendous offensive season and certainly put himself in a position to be under consideration for our major-league club in the future. What many people don’t know is how much progress he made defensively. We challenged him early in spring training with a plan of improvement behind the plate, and he answered many questions with his play.”
.307 Andrew Knapp’s batting average in the Phillies’ minor-league system this season
Career firsts – It seems fitting that pals Arik Armstead and Shaq Thompson recorded their first NFL sacks on the same day. Thompson (Grant) got his as a linebacker with the Panthers, and Armstead (Pleasant Grove) got his as a 49ers defensive lineman.
Bounce-back Beavers – Since a 41-10 loss at Modesto while ranked No. 5 in the state, American River College has won three consecutive games, punctuated by a 20-17 victory over state No. 3 City College of San Francisco.