Done deal: Arenado traded from Rockies to Cardinals
A person familiar with the swap tells The Associated Press that the St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to acquire All-Star third baseman Arenado from the Rockies in a trade needing approvals before it can be finalized. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Cardinals completed their blockbuster trade to acquire All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado from the Colorado Rockies on Monday night. St. Louis dealt left-hander Austin Gomber and four minor leaguers to the Rockies: infielders Elehuris Montero and Mateo Gil along with right-handers Tony Locey and Jake Sommers. As part of the trade, Colorado will send cash to St. Louis to offset part of the money Arenado is due in his contract. Arenado is the latest established star acquired by St. Louis in his prime.
Baseball gathers behind home plate to honor Hammerin' Hank
(Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves via AP Pool)ATLANTA – Brian Snitker choked back tears as he remembered Hank Aaron’s affection for those who didn’t possess his unparalleled talent on the baseball field. During his post-playing career running the Atlanta Braves farm system, the Hammer had a penchant for looking beyond the can’t-miss prospects. Noting the 10 Baseball of Famers who have died in the past year, Manfred said Aaron “belongs on our sport’s Mount Rushmore. “The reason I’m here today is because of Hank Aaron,” Snitker said, pausing to maintain his composure. “Hank was very instrumental in me becoming an Atlanta Brave,” Jones said.
Don Sutton, Hall of Fame pitcher for Dodgers, dies at 75
The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, said Sutton died at his home in Rancho Mirage, California, after a long struggle with cancer. (AP Photo, File) (AP Photo, File)LOS ANGELES – Don Sutton, a Hall of Fame pitcher who was a stalwart of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ rotation spanning an era from Sandy Koufax to Fernando Valenzuela, died Tuesday. The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, said Sutton died at his home in Rancho Mirage, California, after a long struggle with cancer. Shortly before the start of the following season, Sutton broke his left leg. Sutton pitched for Dodgers Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda, who died on Jan. 7.
From Kobe to Maradona, a year of staggering losses in sports
Not long after came a seismic jolt, the helicopter crash of Kobe Bryant in the fog-shrouded California hills that reverberated across sports and across continents. Deep into the year, a bookend to Bryant, Diego Maradona died from a heart attack in Argentina weeks after brain surgery, the waves of grief rippling across soccer. The losses, of course, came against a backdrop of a pandemic, its number of fatalities rolled out daily on TV screens. Niekro won 318 games and pitched until he was 48, his knuckleball dancing and mystifying batters across the decades. Kurt Thomas in 1978 became the first U.S. male gymnast to win a world title but lost an Olympic shot in 1980 because of the boycott.
Lamentation for sports in 2020: A year of living virally
File-This Jan. 28, 2020, file photo shows a remembrance board at a memorial for Kobe Bryant near Staples Center in Los Angeles. LeBron, on court, gives heartfelt shout,A declaration: “Mamba out.”Sports still reeling by Super Bowl,Where Patrick Mahomes takes control. Defying odds, even reason,Baseball makes it through its season,Leaving summer and into fall --Bob Gibson ’s time, October ball. Through it all, a truth emerges:Games go on while COVID surgesAnd records fall, that much is clear --Consider Tara VanDerveer. But we’ll toast, of course, don’t think twice --Take a deep breath and roll the dice.
Final goodbye: Recalling influential people who died in 2020
The world also said goodbye to U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a lion of the civil rights movement who died in July. Other former political figures who died this year include Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, New York Mayor David Dinkins, Arizona Gov. Here is a roll call of some influential figures who died in 2020 (cause of death cited for younger people, if available):___JANUARY___David Stern, 77. The guitarist who supplied the scratching, seething sound that fueled the highly influential British punk band Gang of Four. He fused African rhythms with funk to become one of the most influential musicians in world dance music.
Joe Morgan, driving force of Big Red Machine, dies at 77
And to his star-powered teammates, Joe Morgan was a driving force, too. “Joe Morgan was quite simply the best baseball player I played against or saw,” Reds Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench texted to The Associated Press. The Reds decided to dismantle the Big Red Machine, prompting Morgan to also leave. Morgan also was board vice chairman of baseball's Hall of Fame and on the board of the Baseball Assistance Team. ″Bench probably had the most raw baseball ability of any of us,” Morgan said before his Hall of Fame induction.
Joe Morgan, driving force of Big Red Machine, dies at 77
Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan has died. And to his star-powered teammates, Joe Morgan was a driving force, too. “Joe Morgan was quite simply the best baseball player I played against or saw,” Reds Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench texted to The Associated Press. “Small in stature like his idol Nellie Fox, Joe played every game at the highest level. ″Bench probably had the most raw baseball ability of any of us,” Morgan said before his Hall of Fame induction.
Reaction to the death of Hall of Fame pitcher Whitey Ford
FILE - In this Oct. 8, 1960 file photo, New York Yankees pitcher Whitey Ford throws against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third World Series game at Yankee Stadium in New York. (AP Photo, File)Reaction to the death of Hall of Fame pitcher Whitey Ford, the ace of the mighty New York Yankees teams in the 1950s and ’60s. Obviously, a great pitcher. They never say Whitey Ford. It’s Whitey Ford.
Whitey Ford, Hall of Fame ace for mighty Yankees, died at 91
FILE - In this June 12, 2016 file photo, former New York Yankees pitcher Whitey Ford waves to fans from outside the dugout at the Yankees' annual Old Timers Day baseball game in New York. A family member tells The Associated Press on Friday, Oct. 9, 2020 that Ford died at his Long Island home Thursday night. Ford won 236 games and lost just 106, a winning percentage of .690. Ford holds records for World Series wins (10), games and starts (22), innings pitched (146) and strikeouts (94). Ford won 18 games in his first season back and never won fewer than 11 for 13 straight seasons.
Gibson the Great: Rose, others recall the fearsome Cards ace
(AP Photo, File)It was the summer of 1963, Bob Gibson was already well on his way to establishing himself as one of the most fearsome, intimidating pitchers in big league history. As Rose recalls that night in St. Louis, he was playing second base when Gibson hit a double early in the game. “He just walks by and says, ‘It was a slider, rook.‘”The baseball world and beyond was talking about the great Bob Gibson, a day after the Hall of Fame ace died at 84 in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. No way to even imagine that in this era: Nine starts in the World Series, eight complete games, including a 10-inning win over Mickey Mantle and the Yankees. Rose, without looking it up, knew he hit .307 lifetime against Gibson, going 35 for 114.
Bob Gibson, fierce Hall of Fame ace for Cards, dies at 84
Gibson's death came on the 52nd anniversary of perhaps his most overpowering performance, when he struck out a World Series record 17 batters in Game 1 of the 1968 World Series against Detroit. Gibson died less than a month after the death of a longtime teammate, Hall of Fame outfielder Lou Brock. During the regular season, Gibson struck out more than 200 batters nine times and led the National League in shutouts four times, finishing with 56 in his career. (When the two faced off a decade later, at an old-timers game, Gibson beaned him). Gibson was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1981, and the Cards retired his uniform number.
Wieters has 19-pitch at-bat as Cardinals split DH with Twins
St. Louis Cardinals' Harrison Bader celebrates after scoring during the third inning in the second game of a baseball doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)ST. LOUIS Backup catcher Matt Wieters acknowledges he might have to get in better shape for the St. Louis Cardinals. Wieters hit 14 foul balls during a grueling 19-pitch at-bat that finished with a deep flyout with the bases loaded during a wild rally that sent the Cardinals over the Minnesota Twins 6-4 Tuesday night for a doubleheader split. Wieters set the Cardinals record for a plate appearance in that span, topping 17 pitches seen by Rick Ankiel in 2008. Everyone says St. Louis is a baseball town, and my father absolutely was a baseball guy.
Hall of Fame outfielder Lou Brock dies at age 81
FILE - In this April 9, 1965, file photo, Lou Brock, of the St. Louis Cardinals, poses in Missouri. The Cards were World Series champions in 1964 and 1967 and lost to the Detroit Tigers in seven games in 1968. Brock was even better in postseason play, batting .391 with four homers, 16 RBIs and 14 steals in 21 World Series games. For Brock, base stealing was an art form and a kind of warfare. He also made two damaging mistakes that helped cost St. Louis the 68 World Series.
Batter Up! Baseball, soundtrack of summer, is back - sort of
The Los Angeles Dodgers play the Los Angeles Angels at sunset during the fifth inning of a preseason baseball game, Tuesday, July 21, 2020, in Los Angeles. Rather than keeping players and club personnel sealed in a bubble environment, baseball teams will fly around the country, raising more health concerns. Fans won't be permitted at Nationals Park or at Dodger Stadium when Los Angeles plays San Francisco - or at any field. Going to be 2020 coronavirus baseball, Yankees star pitcher Gerrit Cole said. Its that sound, its the summer sound.___AP Baseball Writers Ronald Blum and Janie McCauley and AP Sports Writers Howard Fendrich and Joe Reedy contributed to this report.