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Sports

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And speaking of flights of fantasy, meet our next guest.

MICHAEL SNIVELY: Full-time, I design speakers, but part-time and on weekends, I am a skydiving instructor.

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

As the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals entered the bottom of the ninth inning tied 3-3 on Thursday night, all but one run had been the result of balls smacked into the stands.

Giants leftfielder Travis Ishikawa sent a fastball from Michael Wacha into the right-field bleachers to end the game, and the National League Championship Series, in San Francisco's favor. It's the third time in five years the team has reached the World Series.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And now this - the Kansas City Royals still have not lost a playoff baseball game since 1985. Of course, for 28 consecutive seasons since that World Series victory in '85, they did not have any post-season games at all.

The Kansas City Royals, who had not seen the playoffs since 1985, have swept the Baltimore Orioles, winning the American League pennant and securing a spot in the World Series.

As The New York Times puts it, right now, the Royals can do no wrong. The team has yet to lose a playoff game, stringing together eight straight victories, a feat no other team has accomplished.

Today, they perfected that run by beating Baltimore 2-1.

For me, 45 years ago today — Oct. 15, 1969 — was one of those rare days, a day you remember all your life. It was Game 4 of the World Series. Mets vs. Orioles. My Mets were up two games to one. And I was at Shea Stadium.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

That familiar old preface we so often hear — usually from long-winded people — is: "To make a long story short." I've noticed lately that that expression has become more common, but, to make a long story short, it's been shortened to just "long story short." I'll even bet it's gotten initialed in the text universe to LSS.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

He didn't want to play Friday, but in the end, U.S. soccer legend Landon Donovan was glad he did.

The setting was a farewell game to honor the retiring 32-year-old forward, a friendly game between the U.S. team and Ecuador. Donovan played only 40 minutes and didn't score — although he came close, when he bounced the ball off the goal post in the 25th minute — and the game ended in a 1-1 tie.

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In 1955, Harley Clark was a cheerleader at the University of Texas when he introduced a hand signal that would become one of the most recognizable signs in college athletics.

At a pep rally, Clark displayed his index and pinky fingers extended, with his two middle fingers tucked under his thumb.

Theater should be as thrilling as a football game, as far as playwright — and Chicago Bears fan — Andrew Hinderaker is concerned. In fact, Hinderaker is so fascinated with the influence of football on society, he wrote a play about it called Colossal, which opens this week in Minneapolis. Productions in Dallas, New Orleans and Boston are planned for early next year.

Probably the three biggest recent stories involving women in sports have been Mo'ne Davis, Michele Roberts and Becky Hammon.

The St. Louis Cardinals will be playing in the National League Championship Series for the fourth year in a row and the ninth time since 2000 after their 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night.

First baseman Matt Adams cracked a three-run home run for St. Louis in the seventh inning off Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Bernie Miklasz sets the scene:

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The Baltimore Orioles will meet the Kansas City Royals in the American League Championship Series beginning Friday in Baltimore.

Both teams swept their opponents in the best-of-five AL Division Series on Sunday.

The Royals only needed nine innings to put away the Los Angeles Angels 8-3.

Their two previous games went 11 innings, and their wild-card game against the Oakland Athletics went 12 innings.

The beginning of the NFL's 2014 season has been marked by scandals around players' off-field behavior. But each time the league mustered an official response, it seemed to invite even more criticism — especially in the case of Ray Rice, the former Baltimore Ravens running back who was seen on surveillance video punching his then-fiancee and knocking her unconscious.

Georgia Southern Runs Over NMSU

Oct 5, 2014

  Kevin Ellison ran for two touchdowns, including a late fourth quarter score to lift Georgia Southern over New Mexico State 36-28 on Saturday night.

Brandon Betancourt ran for a 5-yard touchdown to pull the Aggies within 29-21. Ellison answered with a quarterback draw from 32-yards out to stretch the Eagles' lead to 36-21 with 2:34 to play. Betancourt ran for a 3-yard touchdown with 20 seconds remaining to cap the scoring.

Ellison finished with 145 yards on 16 carries, including a 7-yard score in the first quarter.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. You know, October isn't just for pumpkin spicy drinks, it's time for sports.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Team USA soccer player Heather O'Reilly talks about the lawsuit she and other players from the U.S. and abroad have filed against FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association. Turf fields are planned for the 2015 Women's World Cup, while their male counterparts played on grass, thought to be a superior playing surface. The players are alleging gender discrimination.

What do you do when you already have beaten Michael Phelps' record at 16 years old?

For swimmer Justin Lynch, who turned 18 last month, he just keeps practicing, chasing that record-breaking performance, with an eye on the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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The San Francisco Giants decisively beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-0 in the National League wild-card game Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.

The record crowd on hand at PNC Park, mostly dressed in black, was no match for the Giants' bats and their pitcher's arm.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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