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.
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.
Giolito dazzles, Abreu slugs White Sox past A's in opener
Giolito simply dazzled in his postseason debut, stymieing the Oakland Athletics through six perfect innings and sending the White Sox to a 4-1 victory in the opener of their best-of-three wild-card series Tuesday. “It was a different feel though because throwing a perfect game, no-hitter is a great personal accomplishment, but we’re in the playoffs, the goal is to win the game,” Giolito said. They lost in the AL wild card game each of the past two seasons after 97 wins both times. No big deal for the White Sox, apparently. RHP Chris Bassitt, drafted by the White Sox before being traded to Oakland in December 2014, takes the ball for the A's with victories in his last three decisions.
Chisox ace Giolito loses bid for perfect game in 7th vs A's
Tommy La Stella hit a single to become the first runner for the A's on Tuesday. Giolito pitched a no-hitter against Pittsburgh on Aug. 25. The White Sox lead 3-0 in Game 1 of the best-of-three series. The late Roy Halladay of the Phillies in 2010 threw a perfect game in the regular season and then tossed a no-hitter against the Reds in the playoffs — the only person to have a regular-season and postseason no-hitter in the same year. Halladay and Don Larsen, who pitched a perfect game for the Yankees in the 1956 World Series against Brooklyn, have the only two postseason no-hitters.
Don Larsen, who threw only perfect World Series game, dies at 90
Don Larsen, the journeyman pitcher who reached the heights of baseball glory in 1956 for the New York Yankees when he threw a perfect game and the only no-hitter in World Series history, died Wednesday night. On the night before his perfect game, he had been out on the town, believing he was not in Stengel's plans for the next day. He won Game 2 of the 1957 series against Hank Aaron and the Milwaukee Braves, but lost the decisive Game 7. Pitching against the Yankees on Oct. 8, the sixth anniversary of his perfect game, he won in relief at Yankee Stadium. When the Yankees' David Cone pitched a perfect game during the 1999 season, Larsen was in attendance, having thrown out the first ball.cnbc.com