By Lindsey Vonn last week in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, her third straight World Cup overall title, awarded to the skier with the most points in all five of Alpine skiing's disciplines combined. Less than a month after winning gold (downhill) and bronze (Super G) medals in Vancouver, Vonn (above) sealed the title with her 33rd Cup win, passing Bode Miller, who shut down for the season after medaling three times in Vancouver, as the most successful World Cup racer in U.S. history. Her three titles match Switzerland's Vreni Schneider and Croatia's Janica Kostelic and trail only the six won by Austria's Annemarie Moser-Pr√∂ll from 1971 through '79.
After signing a one-day contract last week with the Red Sox, Nomar Garciaparra, 36. In 1994 Garciaparra's Arizona Fall League manager, Terry Francona, told Boston coaches, "I don't know who you have at short, but ... you might want to move him." Three years later, Garciaparra had an AL-rookie-record 30-game hitting streak and was named the league's Rookie of the Year. Off the field No-Mah's cult hero status in Boston would be parodied on Saturday Night Live. On the field he would rack up 178 home runs, a .323 batting average and two batting titles in nine seasons with the Red Sox before being traded to the Cubs at the 2004 deadline. While Boston would go on to two World Series titles over the next six years, Garciaparra would struggle with injuries during stints with the Cubs, Dodgers and A's, hitting more than 10 homers and batting over .300 only once more.
March 21, 2010
By the WNBA's Tulsa Shock, two-time Olympic sprinter Marion Jones, who in 2000 was considered the fastest woman in the world. The signing of Jones, 34, comes 27 months after she was formally stripped of her five medals from the '00 Games for anabolic steroid use and 18 months after she was released from federal prison, where she'd served nearly six months for perjury related, in part, to her steroid use. Jones was the starting point guard on North Carolina's 1994 national championship team and was subsequently drafted by the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury in 2003, though she never played for the team. Shock coach Nolan Richardson believes she'll fit well in his trademark 40 Minutes of Hell offense. "The one thing I do know," says Richardson, "is she can run."
At age 69, longtime Los Angeles Dodgers centerfielder Willie Davis (above, right). A track star when the Dodgers signed him out of high school in 1958, Davis scored from first on singles nine times in his one season on the farm. He would later set still-standing Los Angeles records for hits (2,091), extra-base hits (585), runs (1,004), triples (110) and total bases (3,094). Davis, who would gain notoriety during his baseball career for his devout Buddhism (and after it for a police run-in during which he was carrying a samurai sword), played briefly for five other teams before retiring in 1979 with a .279 batting average and 398 stolen bases.
By commissioner Bud Selig to supervise the overhaul of MLB's initiatives in the Dominican Republic, Sandy Alderson. The 62-year-old Alderson, a former A's G.M. and Padres CEO who was also MLB's executive vice president of baseball operations from 1998 until 2005, listed his three top priorities as curbing the alarming rate of steroid use among Dominican prospects, cracking down on age and identity fraud and repairing MLB's image in the country, which has taken a hit in the wake of a bonus-skimming scandal involving MLB scouts and club executives. "It's clear that many of those problems are of our creation," Alderson said in a departure from MLB's past stance that it was limited in helping to clean up rampant fraud in the scouting and signing of prospects. Rather than distance MLB from the country's buscones—the middlemen who train prospects in exchange for a percentage of their signing bonuses and who have been at the center of the country's scandals—Alderson, in an interview with SI's Melissa Segura, expressed an interest in working with them to identify and weed out corruption. "I didn't want anyone to come away with the notion that we're just going to kick ass and take names," Alderson told SI.
The April 9 Apple Blossom Invitational showdown between 4-year-old filly Rachel Alexandra, the reigning Horse of the Year, and undefeated 6-year-old mare Zenyatta, champion of November's Breeders' Cup Classic. Zenyatta ran her career record to 15--0 last Saturday by romping at the Santa Margarita Invitational at Santa Anita, passing all seven of her rivals in the stretch to win by a widening 1¼ lengths. Just a half hour earlier, however, Rachel Alexandra had come up empty in her first start after a six-month layoff, in the New Orleans Ladies Stakes. Seizing the lead late, she was run down by a 6-year-old mare named Zardana, a stablemate of Zenyatta's, who had been entered by trainer John Shirreffs to test Rachel's mettle. Says Rachel Alexandra's owner Jess Jackson, who backed out of the race at Arkansas's Oaklawn Park the next day, "We now regret we tried to accelerate her training in order to meet the Apple Blossom schedule."
Winning shots in the last 10 seconds of a game this season by Kobe Bryant, whose 17-footer with 1.9 seconds left sank Toronto on March 9. Bryant's season total is the most by any player since the stat was first kept in 2000--01.
Consecutive losing seasons by the Knicks, a franchise record.
New season-ticket orders for 2010--11 handled by the LeBron-hopeful Knicks as of March 9, the fastest the team has ever reached that figure.
Condoms shipped by the UK's Department for International Development to South Africa, site of the 2010 World Cup and home to 5.7 million HIV-infected people.
Dollars of Antonio Cromartie's $1.7 million '10 salary reportedly fronted by the Jets to the recently acquired corner to help resolve paternity obligations involving his seven children by six women.
Consecutive NCAA basketball tournament bids by Arizona until this season, when the Wildcats failed to make the cut. Only North Carolina (27 straight from 1975 to 2001) has a longer streak.
THEY SAID IT
Hall of Fame running back, to SLAM magazine, on Redskins owner Daniel Snyder: "He's not a compassionate person at all from what I understand. And that makes me just want to pummel somebody."