At age 86, Hall of Fame third baseman George Kell (above). The redhead fromSwifton, Ark., hit .306 for five teams over a 15-year career. Kell was one ofthe most difficult hitters to strike out: In 1949, when he went 2 for 3 on thefinal day of the season to edge Ted Williams for the AL batting crown, hefanned just 13 times in 612 plate appearances for the Tigers. Kell retired in1957 and began calling Detroit's games on TV two years later. While hisSouthern accent stood out in Michigan, that didn't hamper his career: Kellstayed on the job for four decades.
At age 87, peripatetic football coach and administrator Lou Saban. Afterplaying linebacker for the Browns, Saban went on to coach the Patriots, Billsand Broncos. His college gigs included major programs such as Miami (Fla.),Army and Maryland, as well as smaller schools like Peru (Neb.) State, Alfred(N.Y.) University and Canton (N.Y.) Tech. He also found time to run the Yankeesin 1981 and '82. (Saban had hired George Steinbrenner as an assistant coach atNorthwestern in 1955.) After resigning from Chowan following an 0--10 season in2002, Saban said he would be open to coaching again (though he didn't)."Hell, I don't know anything else but coaching, know what I'm saying?"he said. "That's where I belong."
At age 25, Alysheba, who won the first two legs of the Triple Crown in 1987.Going off as the sixth choice in the Kentucky Derby, the son of Alydar stumbledbadly near the top of the stretch as he clipped the heels of leader Bet Twicebut was able to make the pass and win. Alysheba then took the Preakness beforeBet Twice exacted revenge in the Belmont, winning handily as Alysheba finishedfourth. "He looked majestic on the track," said Chris McCarron, hisprimary jockey. "He'd stop and let people take photographs. I believe heloved it."
On charges of abducting a baby, Amalia Tabata Pereira, 43, the wife of20-year-old Pirates prospect Jose Tabata. Police say Pereira posed as animmigration official and persuaded a Florida couple to hand over theirtwo-month-old girl. She then attempted to pass the child off as her own. (Thebaby was safely returned to her parents.) "She completely falsified herpregnancy and the eventual birth of a baby girl, which would have made me afather for the first time," said Tabata, who was not implicated."Imagine how that made me feel." Pereira is being held on $750,000bail.
April 5, 2009
To two batters in an independent league game, Eri Yoshida, the first woman toplay against professional men in Japan. The 17-year-old sidearmingknuckleballer walked her first hitter on four pitches, fanned her second andwas then removed from the game. The 5-foot, 114-pound Yoshida signed with theKobe 9 Cruise of the new Kansai Independent League last December. Her debut,against the Osaka Gold Villicanes, drew 11,592 fans to the Osaka Dome. "Iwant to be able to pitch more innings and become a pitcher who can be reliedupon," said Yoshida.
On charges of stalking Shawn Johnson, Robert O'Ryan, 34. Now a contestant onDancing with the Stars, Johnson (left, with partner Mark Ballas) won fourgymnastics medals at the 2008 Olympics. O'Ryan was arrested at the show'sstudio when he tried to jump a security fence. He was allegedly carrying loadedguns, duct tape and love letters. O'Ryan pleaded not guilty to a felony chargeof stalking and two weapons misdemeanors; a preliminary hearing is scheduledfor April 27.
That he will transfer to Duke, Liberty guard Seth Curry. The son of former NBAplayer Dell Curry and younger brother of Davidson junior Stephen Curry, who ledthe nation in scoring, Seth averaged 20.2 points per game as a freshman withthe Flames. The Blue Devils have two shooting guards returning, but both willbe gone when Curry, who must sit out a year as a transfer, becomes eligible in2010.
They Said It
GARY PLAYER On how his golf game has changed now thathe's 73:
"I hit it so short, I can hear the ballland."
SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
On Reading to Succeed Night at the Target Center, theTimberwolves handed out posters with their nickname spelled W-O-V-E-S.