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Must-click link: The Sam Khalifa story

Jan 2, 2013, 9:13 AM EDT

Sam Khalifa

I remember watching some Reds-Pirates and Braves-Pirates games on TV in the mid-80s and seeing a guy named Sam Khalifa play shortstop for Pittsburgh. I don’t recall anything notable. I just remember the name and some announcer noting that the American-born Khalifa was (my memory had it) of Libyan or Egyptian or Tunisian extraction. Or something like that. I had completely forgotten about him until this morning.

Why this morning? Because this morning I read Paul Brownfield’s engrossing story about Khalifa in the New York Times, and I now know everything I’d want to know. And so much of it is sad: in 1989 Khalifa had reached a crossroads in his baseball career and left his minor league team. Five months later his father — an idiosyncratic and divisive Muslim leader in Tucson — was brutally murdered. Khalifa never played ball again. He now drives a taxi in Tucson. The story is about Khalifa, his father and the trial of the man accused of his murder.

It’s a slow news day. Take some time to read this fascinating story.

  1. chew1985 - Jan 2, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    We saw him play for the Buccos and also at AA Harrisburg in 1987. He smiled a lot then. As Tom Tresh once said, for every Mickey Mantle there are a hundred Tom Tresh’s.

    Sammy is in that category. Sad story. I wish him as much happiness as is possible given his situation. There is an etherial link between baseball players and their fathers (read: “Field of Dreams”). Sammy lost that at a very vulnerable time in his career.

    God bless the guy.

  2. hushbrother - Jan 2, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    I read the story. Khalifa seems like a guy who’s trying to bury his past. Understandable, as he carries with him an unfortunate combination of unfulfilled potential and dark memories.

    Incidentally, kind of ironic that Khalifa played for Pittsburgh. You know, black n’ yellow?

  3. modellforprez - Jan 2, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    word is bond dunn!! where do you think Wiz khalifa got his name from.. that Man was that dude, nymsayin or nymeans. well wa wa erybody not posed to see that shit

    • cur68 - Jan 2, 2013 at 3:29 PM

      What? Does anyone know what this guy has written here?

      • jwbiii - Jan 2, 2013 at 3:52 PM

        I think it translates to, “There is a rapper named Wiz Khalifa. He took his last name from Slammin’ Sammy Khalifa. He was good at some point in the past. Not everybody knows or cares about this.”

      • cur68 - Jan 2, 2013 at 3:55 PM

        I thought it was an updated version of “See a broad to get dat booty yak ‘em …leg ‘er down a smack ‘em yak ‘em! COL’ got to be! Y’know? Shiiiiit.” Anyways, I don’t know what to make of that.

      • louhudson23 - Jan 3, 2013 at 5:26 AM

        It translates to “I am an idiot and after I write this stupid ass shit,everyone here will know it’….no wut m sayin…..

  4. byesac - Jan 3, 2013 at 12:54 AM

    Reblogged this on Math and Politics.

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