A no-hitter in his final home start for San Diego State, righthander Stephen Strasburg (above), the likely No. 1 pick in the June 9 draft. Strasburg's no-no against Air Force last Friday came in front of a standing-room-only crowd of more than 3,000, including three representatives from the Nationals, who own the first pick in the draft. Before the game, acting Washington G.M. Mike Rizzo told The Washington Post, "If the draft was today, he'd be our guy. But the draft is a month from now, so a lot of things can happen. Guys can turn up their intensity and their performance." Strasburg did; his first pitch was clocked at 100 mph, and he fanned 17 of the 28 batters he faced.
As mayor of Detroit, Hall of Fame guard Dave Bing. The seven-time NBA All-Star, who spent most of his 12-year career with the Pistons, defeated Kenneth Cockrel in a special election on May 5 to finish out the term of Kwame Kilpatrick, who resigned last September. After retiring in 1978, Bing, now 65, started an auto supply business and has been very involved in philanthropic projects in Detroit. The mayoral election was the Democrat's first foray into politics.
At age 77, writer Edwin (Bud) Shrake. Along with fellow SI writers Dan Jenkins and George Plimpton, Shrake—a Texan known for capturing the essence of his home state—was an early practitioner of the emerging "new journalism," most notably his episodic essay on the destruction of the southeast Texas forest by lumber companies (his Harper's piece The Land of the Permanent Wave). He joined SI in 1964 and for 15 years covered a variety of sports, usually with a liberal dash of humor. When the much-anticipated Oklahoma-Texas football matchup in 1976 turned out to be a boring 6--6 tie, Shrake's story was filled with analysis and detail—and written as a letter from the only fan who enjoyed the game, fictional hayseed farmer Grover Gurley, to his wife, Wilma Mae. (Sample line: "Football coachers say a tie is like kissing your sister. Far as I am concerned, this tie was more like kissing your Uncle Gooch.") Shrake also wrote novels and screenplays and co-authored Harvey Penick's Little Red Book, the best-selling sports book of all time.
At age 85, Danny Ozark, who managed the Phillies to three consecutive NL East titles in the late 1970s. A career minor leaguer whose career was interrupted by a stint in the military during World War II—he received a Purple Heart and five battle stars—Ozark took over in Philadelphia in '73 and led the team to 71 wins, a 12-game improvement. He became known for his malaprops (he once insisted that "even Napoleon had his Watergate") and for being a players' manager, which ultimately hastened his demise. "If Danny Ozark had one fault," former Phillies owner Ruly Carpenter told The Philadelphia Inquirer, "it was that he was too nice. He was tremendously loyal to his players." Ozark's 1976 and '77 teams were the winningest in franchise history, but he never won a playoff series and was fired during the 1979 season.
May 17, 2009
At age 78, Chuck Daly. A fine X's-and-O's coach, Daly's greatest strength was his ability to foster team harmony no matter how discordant his players might be. After making his name in coaching at Penn, where he won four Ivy League titles, Daly guided Detroit's Bad Boys—featuring mavericks such as Dennis Rodman and Bill Laimbeer—to consecutive NBA titles, and he led arguably the greatest collection of egos ever assembled (the 1992 Olympic Dream Team) to gold in Barcelona, where the U.S. won its eight games by an average of 43.8 points. In his 14 years in the NBA, Daly (above, with Rodman) was 638--437.
Of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound, former NASCAR driver Kevin Grubb, 31. Grubb's nine-year racing career was cut short by drug problems. In 2004 he failed a drug test after a Nationwide Series race and was suspended. NASCAR reinstated him two years later, ordering him to submit to random testing. When Grubb refused a test following a second-lap wreck in Richmond—he later claimed he had a concussion and didn't remember refusing—he was suspended indefinitely.
By the International Tennis Federation after he tested positive for cocaine, Richard Gasquet, the No. 23 player in the world. Gasquet, 22, failed a test at a tournament in Key Biscayne, Fla., in March. The ITF is expected to convene a tribunal within 60 days; if it finds Gasquet guilty, he could be banned for two years. The Frenchman was ranked as high as No. 7 in the world after reaching the Wimbledon semifinals in 2007. On Sunday he said he was gathering evidence to prove that he's innocent.
By Dan O'Brien (below), a world record for the fastest game of hopscotch. The 1996 Olympic decathlon champ showed a penchant for an 11th sport last Thursday in New York City. With schoolchildren and Guinness officials looking on, O'Brien hopped, skipped and jumped his way through a game in just over one minute, 23 seconds as part of a Crayola initiative to encourage kids to be more active. He shaved two seconds off the old mark.
THEY SAID IT
Rays reliever, on why he calls his split-finger pitch the Vulcan Changeup: "It was either going to be Nanu Nanu or the Vulcan. Spock just seemed like a cooler character than Mork."
Runs the Red Sox scored in the sixth inning of last Thursday's 13--3 win over the Indians, tying the record for most runs scored in an inning before making an out.
Career games pitched by Yankees closer Mariano Rivera before giving up back-to-back homers for the first time, to the Rays' Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria, last Thursday.
Consecutive games the Marlins went without a win from a starter until Ricky Nolasco beat the Rockies last Friday; the rotation had been 0--10 since April 16.
Consecutive double-digit playoff wins by the Cavaliers through Sunday, the longest streak in NBA history.
Indy 500 poles won by Roger Penske—the most ever by an owner—after Helio Castroneves had the fastest qualifying speed last Saturday.
Fouls called in Game 3 of the Nuggets-Rockets series, or one every 47.2 seconds.
Field goals in the game, which Denver won 106--105.