At age 88, Jack Kramer (above), a former champion who became one of tennis's leading ambassadors and innovators. Kramer, who grew up in Los Angeles, used a powerful serve, a lethal forehand and one of the first serve-and-volley attacks to win Wimbledon in 1947 and the U.S. singles titles—the precursor to the U.S. Open—in '46 and '47. Later millions of weekend warriors used the popular Jack Kramer--model wooden rackets sold by Wilson. More important, after turning pro in December 1947 he helped usher in the Open era during the late '60s by pushing for changes in the sport's prize money system; Grand Slam events, which had been for amateur players only, opened up to the pros. In '72 Kramer cofounded the Association of Tennis Professionals, the men's union, and served as its executive director.
To enter his prized filly in the Breeders' Cup Classic on Nov. 7, Rachel Alexandra co-owner Jess Jackson. The 3-year-old has won nine straight races, including this year's Preakness, Haskell Invitational and Woodward Stakes. Last week organizers of the $5 million Classic offered to add $1 million to the winner's purse if Rachel Alexandra ran against the undefeated colt Zenyatta. Jackson turned down the offer, citing Santa Anita Park's synthetic surface: "These false tracks create potential for injury, a risk I am not willing to take with Rachel."
September 20, 2009
By Ichiro Suzuki, the 108-year-old major league record for consecutive 200-hit seasons. The Mariners' outfielder reached 200 for the ninth straight time on Sunday with an infield hit against the Rangers. Ichiro, who had been tied with Wee Willie Keeler, said he felt a "sense of liberation" after setting the mark, adding, "I'm just relieved the battle's over." He's now one short of Pete Rose's mark for most 200-hit seasons in a career.
From South Africa's cross-country championships last weekend, women's 800-meters world champion Caster Semenya (right), after reports that she possesses both male and female sex organs. Speculation about her gender swirled when Semenya, 18, blew away the field at the track and field world championships in Berlin last month (SI, Sept. 7). The IAAF ordered her to undergo a gender test, and last week two Australian newspapers reported that the test showed Semenya was born with both male and female characteristics. (The IAAF would not confirm or deny the reports.) Semenya's coach said she dropped out of last weekend's race in Pretoria because she wasn't feeling well. "We think her human rights have been violated and her privacy invaded," said South Africa's sports minister, Makhenkesi Stofile. "I don't know why she is being subjected to this."
By the San Diego district attorney, reality-TV star Tila Tequila's accusations that Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman assaulted her. On Sept. 6 Tequila, 27, who starred on MTV's A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, filed a citizen's arrest warrant stating that Merriman choked her and threw her to the ground as she tried to leave his suburban San Diego home. Merriman, 25, who said he was trying to keep Tequila from driving drunk, was arrested and charged with felony counts of battery and false imprisonment. But after an investigation the DA's office cleared him last Friday and closed the case because of insufficient evidence.
After five years in prison, former NHL winger Mike Danton, who pleaded guilty in 2004 to plotting to have his agent killed. Danton, 28, a Brampton, Ont., native who played parts of three seasons for the Devils and Blues from 2000 to '04, was sentenced to 7½ years after admitting to hiring a hit man to murder David Frost, a former junior coach who became his agent, in St. Louis. But last Friday, Danton, who changed his surname from Jefferson as a teenager, told a parole board in Kingston, Ont., that his plot's intended victim was his father, Stephen Jefferson, and that the person he hired mistakenly targeted Frost. Last year Frost was acquitted of sexual-exploitation charges related to an Ontario youth team that he coached and Danton played for in 1996 and '97. Under the terms of his release Danton can have no contact with his father and no face-to-face contact with Frost unless it's approved by his parole officer.
At age 95, Norman Borlaug, a star college wrestler who became a Nobel Peace Prize--winning agricultural scientist. Borlaug developed a high-yield variety of wheat that helped double the world's food production between 1960 and '90; his innovations transformed farming methods, helped stave off famine around the world and made him known as the father of agriculture's Green Revolution. Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1970. Before beginning his science career, Borlaug excelled as a wrestler at Minnesota, reaching the Big Ten semifinals twice in the mid-1930s. He helped organize and promote Minnesota's first high school tournaments and was elected to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1992. "Wrestling taught me some valuable lessons," he said. "I always figured I could hold my own against the best in the world. It made me tough."
Minimum amount Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was reportedly fined for violating a league gag order on labor issues when he said that revenue sharing is "on its way out."
Aces in an 11-hole span by Pirates broadcaster and former pitcher Steve Blass at the team's alumni golf event last week.
Games in which Royals first baseman Billy Butler has hit three doubles, the most by a player in one season since 1954.
Winning time, in seconds, by Carmelita Jeter of the U.S. in the 100 meters at the World Athletics Final in Greece, the third-fastest women's time ever and the best since 1998.
Wins as a starter by Peyton Manning after Sunday's 14--12 victory over the Jaguars, tying Johnny Unitas's Colts franchise record.
Turnovers by Panthers QB Jake Delhomme in his last two games: six in a 2008 playoff loss to the Cardinals and five in Sunday's season-opening 38--10 rout at the hands of the Eagles.
THEY SAID IT
Michigan coach, after his undersized, underdog Wolverines upset Notre Dame (page 66):
"Did you see the size of the [Fighting Irish] linemen? They could eat peanuts off our guys' helmets."