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.
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.
Whitey Ford, 91, pitcher who epitomized mighty Yankees, dies
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. The World Series record book is crowded with Ford’s accomplishments. Ford still holds records for World Series games and starts (22), innings pitched (146), wins (10) and strikeouts (94). Ford was Stengel’s choice to pitch World Series openers eight times, another record. Ford won 18 games in his first season back and never won fewer than 11 for 13 straight seasons.
LeMahieu, Soto batting champs in shortest season in century
The .245 big league batting average was the the lowest since .237 in 1968 and down from .252 last year. LeMahieu hit .364 for the New York Yankees, the highest for an AL batting champion since Minnesota’s Joe Mauer hit .365 in 2009 and well ahead of 2019 AL batting champion Tim Anderson of the Chicago White Sox, who finished second at .322. LeMahieu won the NL batting title with Colorado in 2016. “You've got to just roll with it.”Soto batted .351 for Washington and at 21 years, 11 months, 2 days became the youngest NL batting champion. Bieber and the Chicago Cubs’ Yu Darvish tied for the major league lead in wins with eight.
Scherzer fans 11, Nationals beat Red Sox 10-2
Soto and Howie Kendrick hit back-to-back homers in Washington's five-run third inning, and Max Scherzer struck out 11 to lead the Nationals to a 10-2 victory over the Red Sox on Friday night. Trea Turner and Victor Robles had three hits apiece for Washington, which handed Scherzer (3-1) a 5-0 lead in the third. The Red Sox scored one in the ninth and loaded the bases before Ryne Harper got the last two outs. The Nationals snapped a three-game losing streak and sent the Red Sox to their fourth loss in five games; it's Boston's worst start since the Great Depression. Red Sox: RHP Chris Mazza (0-1) starts in the second game of the series.