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For the Record

Sept. 24, 2007
Sept. 24, 2007

Table of Contents
Sept. 24, 2007

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SI Bonus Section: Golf Plus
SI Players: LIFE ON AND OFF THE FIELD
PRO FOOTBALL
  • It's a whole new ball game in Houston, where the pass-catch combo of Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson is turning the Texans into a team to reckon with

GOLF
  • The first FedEx Cup is over and—surprise, surprise!—Tiger Woods took home the trophy, though he was far from the only winner

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
BASEBALL
  • Leading the Detroit Tigers into the playoff hunt, centerfielder Curtis Granderson is having a historic season—and it couldn't happen to a nicer guy

MIKE COOLBAUGH

For the Record

Clubbed
By White Sox DH Jim Thome (below), his 500th career home run. With none out in the bottom of the ninth inning on Sunday, the lefty slugger drove a pitch from Angels righthander Dustin Moseley over the left centerfield wall, giving Chicago a 9--7 win and delighting a crowd that included 25 of Thome's friends and family members. For Thome, the 23rd big leaguer to reach the milestone and the third this season after Frank Thomas and Alex Rodriguez, the home run ended an 0-for-11 slump. Said his wife, Andrea, who has been attending Thome's games all week, "I've eaten like a whole bottle of Tums. He's been so relaxed and so loose."

This is an article from the Sept. 24, 2007 issue

Died
At age 82, former Cavaliers owner Ted Stepien. The Stepien era, which lasted from 1980 to '83, wasn't a distinguished one: Cleveland went 66--180, churned through five coaches and lost $15 million. Stepien did have a lasting effect on the NBA, however. Because he made a habit of trading future draft choices for mediocre players, the league passed the so-called Stepien Rule, requiring teams to have at least one first-round pick every two years.

Fined
A record $100 million by Formula One's governing body, the FIA, F/1 team McLaren, for spying. In July a 780-page Ferrari technical manual was found at the home of Mike Coughlan, McLaren's chief designer. The FIA suspended Coughlan, and Ferrari fired the mechanic who allegedly supplied the secret documents; last Thursday the FIA fined McLaren and expelled the team from this year's world championships. The next day the FIA released McLaren e-mails that show that McLaren driver and two-time F/1 champion Fernando Alonso received some of the information. "There was a clear intention on the part of a number of McLaren personnel to use some of the Ferrari confidential information in its own testing," the FIA said.

Charged
With robbery with a deadly weapon by Las Vegas police for his alleged role in a hotel break-in, O.J. Simpson (below). Last Thursday night Simpson and five accomplices allegedly broke into a room at the Palace Station casino hotel to take a collection of sports memorabilia. (Simpson told police the items belonged to him and that no weapons were used.) Much of Simpson's personal memorabilia has been auctioned off to pay some of the $33.5 million judgment against him in the wrongful death suit brought by the family of Ron Goldman, who in 1994 was murdered along with Simpson's ex-wife. Police identified Simpson as a suspect the next day; he was arrested on Sunday and held without bail. If convicted for robbery, Simpson faces up to 60 years in jail.

Auctioned
To fashion designer Marc Ecko for $752,467, the ball Barry Bonds hit for his 756th home run, breaking Hank Aaron's career record. The ball was caught at AT&T Park on Aug. 7 by Matt Murphy, a 21-year-old student from Elmhurst, N.Y. On Monday, Ecko said fans could vote online on what he should do with the ball: donate it as is to the Hall of Fame, brand it with an asterisk and give it to the Hall or blast it into space on a rocket.

Indicted
On charges that he sexually assaulted two girls, former major league outfielder Mel Hall. In June police in Tarrant County, Texas, arrested Hall, 47, after a woman accused him of assaulting her in 1999, when she was 14, as she was babysitting for his child in his apartment. The woman also alleges that Hall raped her a week later, and another woman claims Hall assaulted her when she was 12. Hall is due in court on Oct. 4.

Suspended
For 15 games without pay by the NHL, Maple Leafs forward Mark Bell (left), who last month pleaded no contest to drunken driving and hit-and-run charges. Bell, 27, was arrested in September 2006 after his sedan rear-ended a pickup truck in Milpitas, Calif. He is expected to serve six months in a California jail after the '07--08 season.

Bought
For $10,200 by television writer Carol Leifer, the notes Michael Vick purportedly referred to during his public apology after pleading guilty to dogfighting charges on Aug. 27. The notes were auctioned on eBay by the Humane Society of the United States, which said one of its employees found them on the podium after Vick delivered his speech. The group says the proceeds will benefit its crusade against dogfighting.

Go Figure

56 Stolen bases by Julio Lugo (30) and Coco Crisp (26) at week's end, the first pair of Red Sox to have at least 25 steals each since Tris Speaker and Hal Janvrin in 1914.

1 Rookies in major league history who have had 30 home runs and 25 stolen bases: the Diamondbacks' Chris Young, who had 30 and 26 through Sunday.

$100 million Donation by Texans owner and Baylor trustee Robert McNair to the Baylor College of Medicine, equaling the largest gift the school has received.

1 NFL teams that have traded their opening day quarterback before Week 2 since 1970: the Browns, who dealt Charlie Frye to the Seahawks on Sept. 11.

3 Times two NFL QBs have thrown at least five TDs in the same game; the Bengals' Carson Palmer and Frye's replacement, Derek Anderson, did so in the Browns' 51--45 win on Sunday.

34 Career Association of Surfing Professionals World Tour wins by Kelly Slater, breaking the record set by Tom Curren from 1982 to '91.

SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE

A man in Guangzhou, China, died of exhaustion in an Internet cafe after playing an online game nonstop for three days.

They Said It

DAVE ST. PETER
Twins president, on having real grass in the ballpark that Minnesota plans to open in 2010:
"It will be a great joy to see somebody riding a mower instead of a vacuum cleaner."

PHOTOJOHN GRESS/REUTERS (THOME)PHOTOJAE C. HONG/AP (SIMPSON)PHOTOMARK J. REBILAS/US PRESSWIRE (PICTURE THIS)PICTURE THIS SEPT. 15 An engine explodes at the San Diego Thunderboat Regatta.PHOTOJOHN MEDINA/WIREIMAGE.COM (BELL)PHOTORICH PILLING/MLB PHOTOS/GETTY IMAGES (MOWER)