Sports

The Two-Way
6:46 pm
Sun March 1, 2015

Minnie Miñoso, Major League Baseball's First Black Latino Star, Dies

Minnie Miñoso smiles in front of a sculpture of him before throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at U.S. Cellular Field. Major League Baseball's first black Latino star, Miñoso died March 1, 2015.
Nam Y Huh AP

Major league baseball legend Minnie Miñoso, known as the Cuban Comet and Mr. White Sox, has died. Miñoso, who hailed from Havana, Cuba, played 12 of his 17 seasons with the Chicago White Sox, after getting his start in the majors with the Cleveland Indians in 1949.

The left fielder hit 135 homers and 808 RBIs for the White Sox. His number 9 was retired by the team in 1983, and today there's a statue of Miñoso at the field where the White Sox play.

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Code Switch
8:03 am
Sat February 28, 2015

A 'Show Boat' With An Asian-American Cast Hits The Rocks

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 11:45 am

A heads-up to our readers: This post quotes a racial slur.

When actress Erin Quill saw a casting notice earlier this month for a Show Boat musical revival with a completely Asian-American cast, she raised an eyebrow.

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Sports
6:04 am
Sat February 28, 2015

The Week In Sports: Spring Training, Cleveland Cavaliers

Originally published on Sat February 28, 2015 8:40 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Code Switch
6:04 am
Sat February 28, 2015

'The Black Summit' Draws African-American Skiers And Boarders To Aspen

Art Clay, 78, of Chicago takes a run in a light snowfall on Wednesday. Clay is a co-founder of the National Brotherhood of Skiers.
Sonya Doctorian for NPR

Originally published on Sat February 28, 2015 1:28 pm

We've all heard the old adage that every snowflake is different, but they do have one thing in common: They're all white. That's also the image that many have of the people taking part in winter sports, including skiing and snowboarding, here in the U.S.

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Remembrances
2:44 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

NBA's First Black Player Paved Way For Others In League

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 8:42 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Three-and-a-half years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball, there was Earl Lloyd. Lloyd was the first African-American to play in the NBA. He died yesterday at 86. NPR's Nathan Rott has this remembrance.

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The Two-Way
12:00 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

5 Quotes From Earl Lloyd, The First Black Player In The NBA

Earl Lloyd, who became the first black player to play in the NBA in 1950, died Thursday at 86. He's seen here (center) being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame's Honors Ring in 2003.
Jim Bourg Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 5:31 pm

Earl Lloyd, who became the first black player in the NBA nearly 65 years ago, died Thursday at age 86.

Lloyd had a long career that stretched from West Virginia State to basketball's Hall of Fame. He once told a young man who thanked him for being a pioneer, "Man, you owe me absolutely nothing."

As a player, the 6-foot-5-inch Lloyd was nicknamed The Big Cat. He was drafted in the same year as other black players, but he was the first to play in the regular season, for the then-Washington Capitols.

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Code Switch
7:41 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

As First Black American NHL Player, Enforcer Was Defenseless Against Racism

Val James of the Toronto Maple Leafs takes warmup prior to a preseason game against the Boston Bruins at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1986.
Graig Abel Collection Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 8:03 am

The first black American hockey player in NHL history is telling his story almost 30 years after he retired.

Val James was a revered and feared fighter — known in hockey as an enforcer — during short stints for the Buffalo Sabres and the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1980s. But he was defenseless to the racist taunts and slurs that showered down on him from opposing teams' fans.

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The Two-Way
7:46 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Afghans Make History, Winning Thriller Against Scotland In Cricket's World Cup

Afghanistan's Shapoor Zadran celebrates as he leaves the field after guiding his team to victory against Scotland in the Pool A game of the Cricket World Cup in Dunedin, New Zealand, on Thursday.
Dianne Manson AP

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 12:04 pm

Afghans celebrated on the streets of Kabul as their national cricket team, playing half a world away, won its first World Cup game.

Scotland, in its allotted 50 overs, scored 210 runs. In a nail-biting finish, the Afghans scraped past Scotland in Dunedin, New Zealand, by one wicket with three balls to spare.

No. 4 Samiullah Shenwari top scored with 96 and opener Javed Ahmadi scored 51, but it was an unbeaten last-wicket stand between Hamid Hassan, not out on 15, and Shapoor Zadran, batting on 12, that took the Afghans past their more fancied opponents.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Inglewood Approves Plan For NFL Stadium, In Deal Involving Rams Owner

Fans hold a "Los Angeles Rams" sign during a San Diego Chargers game against the St. Louis Rams last year. Both teams are part of proposals to build new NFL stadiums in the LA area.
Donald Miralle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 11:04 am

The Los Angeles area is another step closer to hosting an NFL team, after the Inglewood, Calif., City Council approved a proposal for an 80,000-seat NFL stadium. The development plan includes St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke.

The unanimous vote Tuesday night came after "a consultant compared stadium noise in surrounding neighborhoods to that of bird calls," member station KPCC's Ben Bergman reports.

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Sports
3:10 am
Wed February 25, 2015

FIFA Panel Recommends 2022 World Cup Be Played In Winter

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 6:05 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Sweetness And Light
2:11 am
Wed February 25, 2015

An Uneventful Week In Sports Could Still Go Down In History

Kurt Busch drives during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race in Fort Worth, Texas, on Nov. 2, 2014. Busch was recently suspended indefinitely amid domestic violence accusations.
Larry Papke AP

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 12:42 pm

Sometime in the future, when the Winter Olympics are being held in the tropics, in Zimbabwe, because there are no other dictators that want them and Robert Mugabe promised the International Olympic Committee he'd build an artificial ski mountain, historians will study what happened in sports during these last few days in February of 2015.

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Sports
2:16 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

FIFA Considers Proposal To Move 2022 Qatar World Cup To Winter

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 5:16 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
8:08 am
Tue February 24, 2015

FIFA Panel Backs Winter World Cup In Qatar In 2022

An artist's impression of the Qatar Foundation Stadium, one of the venues for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. A FIFA task force recommended today that soccer's showcase tournament be played from late November to the end of December.
AP

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 1:22 pm

A panel within soccer's governing body has recommended that the FIFA World Cup in Qatar be played from late November to the end of December 2022, a period that coincides with the schedule of Europe's highly lucrative club season.

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Sports
4:40 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

'Cold Actually Feels Good' At The U.S. Winter Swimming Championship

Daina Bouquin competes in the first U.S. Winter Swimming Championships on Saturday in Lake Memphremagog near Newport, Vt. The event drew swimmers from around the world to race in icy water that was below 32 degrees F.
Herb Swanson for NPR

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 5:37 pm

One way to test your mettle in winter is to take one of those quick penguin plunges in icy water. But some stoic swimmers actually carve pools out of frozen lakes and race each other.

The sport of winter swimming is popular abroad, especially in Russia, Scandinavia and China. But last weekend, a newly formed organization to promote winter swimming in the United States held its first national competition on the Vermont-Quebec border.

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The Two-Way
9:43 am
Mon February 23, 2015

12 Feet: A Soaring New Broad Jump Record Is Set At NFL Combine

University of Connecticut defensive back Byron Jones takes off for the broad jump at the NFL combine Monday. Jones recorded an NFL record of 12 feet 3 inches.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 12:10 pm

If you're ever standing near Byron Jones when he jumps, you might want to stand well back. At Monday's NFL scouting combine, the cornerback from the University of Connecticut nearly flew off the grid that measures the standing broad jump. He landed more than 12 feet away.

Jones recorded 12 feet 3 inches in the broad jump, a discipline that was once in the Olympics. No other player came close to Jones' mark at the combine, the scouting event for players who want to be considered in pro football's draft.

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The Two-Way
7:31 am
Sun February 22, 2015

Chilean Cyclist Nearing Record Killed By Truck In Rural Thailand

A rural highway in southern Thailand photographed in 2013. Congestion and reckless driving are not uncommon on the country's roads and thoroughfares.
Sumeth Panpetch AP

Originally published on Sun February 22, 2015 6:09 pm

A Chilean man who began an around-the-world bicycle journey four years ago and was closing in on a Guinness distance record has been killed.

Juan Francisco Guillermo was hit by a passing pickup truck while stopped on the side of a highway in rural Thailand. His Singaporean wife and 2-year-old son, who were traveling with him, sustained minor injuries.

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Sports
6:01 am
Sun February 22, 2015

The Week In Sports: 76ers On A Rebuilding Spree

Originally published on Sun February 22, 2015 10:36 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Code Switch
8:43 am
Sat February 21, 2015

NASCAR Hall-Of-Famer Helped Open The Track For Black Drivers

Wendell Scott, pictured here in 1969, is the first — and only — black man to win a race in NASCAR's top series.
AP

Originally published on Sun February 22, 2015 10:36 am

On Dec. 1, 1963, Wendell Scott became the first African-American to win a race in NASCAR's top division. More than 50 years later, he is still the only African-American to have done that.

The new NASCAR season begins this weekend, and some in the sport are using Scott's recent induction into its Hall of Fame to celebrate a pioneering achievement — but also to examine why NASCAR still struggles with diversity.

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Sports
6:03 am
Sat February 21, 2015

NASCAR And Mayweather Vs. Pacquiao: The Week In Sports

Originally published on Sat February 21, 2015 7:20 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Sports
3:18 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Play Ball ... And Hurry Up: MLB Changes To Speed Up The Game

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 8:43 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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The Two-Way
12:34 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Batter Up, Already: MLB Tries To Speed Up The 2015 Season

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 2:36 pm

Concerned by game times that have bloated beyond three hours, Major League Baseball is putting baseball on a diet for the 2015 season. In upcoming games, timers will regulate the pause between innings, and hitters must now keep one foot in the batter's box nearly all the time.

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The Two-Way
4:38 am
Fri February 20, 2015

At Baseball's Spring Training, Giants' Manager Bochy Has Heart Surgery

San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy (right) had two heart stents inserted Thursday. He's seen here during the Giants' World Series victory parade last year.
Jason O. Watson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 11:34 am

Pitchers and catchers have reported for Major League Baseball's spring training in Florida and Arizona. But for defending champions the San Francisco Giants, the excitement is being tempered by concern for manager Bruce Bochy, who underwent heart surgery Thursday.

The procedure, in which doctors inserted heart stents, came one day after Bochy underwent a physical exam. The Giants say that the team's medical staff was monitoring Bochy, 59, after he experienced some discomfort.

From Arizona, Mark Moran of member station KJZZ reports:

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Sports
3:11 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Daytona 500 Kicks Off NASCAR Sprint Cup Season

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 6:10 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Sports
2:25 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

NASCAR Enters New Season After Shifting Gears To Bump Viewership

NASCAR drivers Kevin Harvick (in car on left) and Ryan Newman lead the pack during the Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 16, in Homestead, Fla.
Patrick Smith Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 6:13 pm

The green flag drops on the NASCAR season this Sunday, with the Daytona 500. NASCAR enters its new year with a giant TV contract and a revamped playoff system that led to wrecks, fights and some higher ratings last year.

But the sport is still nowhere near as well-viewed or attended as it was before the recession.

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Sports
3:02 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Captivated Afghans Watch Cricket Team's World Cup Debut

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 5:56 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
10:03 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Poll Shows Bloom Has Fallen Off Olympic Bid For Most Bostonians

The U.S. Olympic Committee has chosen Boston to bid on hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics. Committee Chairman Larry Probst is seen speaking last February.
Joe Scarnici Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 11:24 am

Just a little more than a month since Boston was chosen to become the next American city to put together an Olympic bid, Bostonians seem to be getting cold feet.

A poll commissioned by NPR member station WBUR found that a plurality of Bostonians (46 percent) "oppose the idea of bringing the Olympic Games to the Boston region in 2024."

WBUR's Asma Khalid tells our Newscast unit that just 44 percent of those polled support the bid.

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Sweetness And Light
2:38 am
Wed February 18, 2015

John Calipari Gets The Best Out Of His One-And-Done Bench

Kentucky's Aaron Harrison and coach John Calipari watch from the sideline during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Mississippi on Jan. 6. Kentucky won 89-86 in overtime.
James Crisp AP

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 8:27 am

You may have your Bill Belichick and another Super Bowl, you may salute Mike Krzyzewski and his over 1,000 college basketball wins or you may even worship at the altar of Joe Maddon, who's the latest savior ballyhooed to lead the Cubs to heaven above. Forget them all. In the here and now, there is only one coach who stands tallest.

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The Two-Way
1:06 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Reduced To Her Knees, Marathoner Finishes Race In A Crawl

Kenyan runner Hyvon Ngetich didn't win the Austin Marathon — but she's being celebrated for the way she finished it.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 1:32 pm

After showing herself to be in the elite class of female runners at the Austin Marathon, Kenyan Hyvon Ngetich hit the wall — hard. She didn't win, despite leading for most of the day. But the way Ngetich finished the race is being celebrated, because she did it by crawling, refusing to quit.

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The Two-Way
11:59 am
Tue February 17, 2015

Alex Rodriguez Says 'Sorry' As He Returns From Seasonlong Suspension

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has apologized for his mistakes.
Patrick Smith Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 12:47 pm

Just as he prepares to return after a one-season suspension, Major League Baseball slugger Alex Rodriguez is saying he is sorry.

"I take full responsibility for the mistakes that led to my suspension for the 2014 season," Rodriguez says in a handwritten letter. "I regret that my actions made the situation worse than it needed to be. To Major League Baseball, the Yankees, the Steinbrenner family, the Players Association and you, the fans, I can only say I'm sorry."

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Sports
6:40 am
Tue February 17, 2015

Meet The Dogs Whose Names Are Too Long To Fit In This Headline

A French bulldog waits to enter the ring at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. Fulla Bull Soulja Boy got the nod as best of breed.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 5:24 am

Plenty of people like to use their dog's name in their passwords. Yet, for many of the owners competing in this year's Westminster Kennel Club dog show, that might be a tough proposition. Some of these dogs may be small — but just about all of their names are big.

Take, for instance, the border terrier who answers to the name Gizmo. His real name is actually McHill's His Royal Highness Prince Gizmo House of Gremlin. Then there's the basset hound named Easthill Broxden Woodland Lettuce Entertain You.

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