Into baseball's Hall of Fame, outfielders Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice(above). A supreme leadoff hitter for nine teams, Henderson, the alltime leaderin stolen bases (1,406) and runs (2,295), gained entry into Cooperstown in hisfirst year of eligibility, being named on 94.8% of the ballots cast by baseballwriters. The induction of Rice, an eight-time All-Star and the 1978 AL MVP forthe Red Sox, ends a long climb. After seeing his vote totals slowly increase,he made the Hall in his 15th and final year of eligibility with 76.4% of thevote. Players must be named on 75% of ballots for induction.
After 13 years as an NFL head coach, the Colts' Tony Dungy. On Monday, ninedays after Indianapolis was upset in the AFC playoffs by the Chargers, Dungy,53, told the team he was stepping down, ending a seven-year run during whichthe Colts were 92--33 and went to the playoffs each season. In 2007 he becamethe only black coach to win a Super Bowl. Associate head coach Jim Caldwell,who had previously been anointed as Dungy's successor by owner Jim Irsay, takesover the team.
That she is pregnant, reigning WNBA MVP and Rookie of the Year Candace Parker(below). The Los Angeles Sparks forward, 22, and her husband, Sacramento Kingsforward Shelden Williams, are expecting their first child in May. Parker islikely to miss a chunk of the WNBA season, which begins June 6. "Sheldenand I are very excited," said Parker.
Bob Knight as the NCAA's winningest men's basketball coach, Northern State'sDon Meyer. The Wolves' win over the University of Mary last Saturday was the903rd for Meyer, who began coaching at Hamline in 1972 and spent 24 years atLipscomb before moving to Northern State, in Aberdeen, S.D., in '99. Meyer, 64,is coaching in a wheelchair after his lower left leg was amputated following acar crash in September (SI, Dec. 15, 2008). He is 76 wins behind alltime leaderHarry Statham of NAIA McKendree University.
January 19, 2009
At age 80, longtime horse racing writer Joe Hirsch. He joined the Daily RacingForm in 1955 and quickly became the nation's preeminent turf writer, known forhis wit ("Once upon a time, there was a horse named Kelso," he wroteabout the five-time Horse of the Year, "but only once") and for beingan ambassador for the sport of kings. In the '60s New York Jets owner SonnyWerblin, a close friend, asked him to live with Joe Namath to help keep theyoung QB on the straight and narrow. "Joe learned a lot about women from meover the years," said Namath, "but I learned so much more fromhim." Hirsch, who battled Parkinson's disease, retired in 2003.
By more than 1,000 people at a funeral in Minneapolis last Thursday, Twinsowner Carl Pohlad, who died on Jan. 5 at age 93. Pohlad, a billionaire in thebanking industry, bought the Twins in 1984. At the time he was credited forkeeping the team in the Twin Cities, and Minnesota won the World Series in '87and '91. But Pohlad later became a target of fans' anger for keeping the team'spayroll low and threatening to move if lawmakers didn't finance a new stadium.A ballpark built mostly with public funds will open in 2010.
After being shot by a police officer in Bellaire, Texas, on New Year's Eve,Robbie Tolan, the son of former major leaguer Bobby Tolan. The younger Tolan,23, was outside the family's home when he was approached by officers whomistakenly believed the SUV he was driving was stolen. An unarmed Tolan wasforced to the ground; when he moved as if he might get up, he was shot in thechest. The bullet punctured a lung and lodged in his liver. Tolan, a formerNationals minor league outfielder who played in the Continental Baseball Leaguelast year, is expected to recover but remained hospitalized as of Monday. Theincident, which has sparked protests and complaints that Tolan was the victimof racial profiling, is being investigated by the city.
They Said It
Thrashers coach, after a listless 4--1 loss to the Lightning:
"Our give-a-crap level was, like, at zero."
SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
Cricket fans in the hometown of India's national teamcaptain are building a temple where he will be worshiped as a god.