Vince Carter’s season-high 24 leads Kings past Cavs

first_imgOSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Meralco ‘never the same’ after Almazan injury in PBA Finals “The shot was falling tonight but it was our ball movement, and the ball found the open guy,” Carter said. “It just made it fun to watch. If we play that way we could be a pretty good basketball team.”Carter made a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to give Sacramento an 85-80 lead heading into the fourth quarter. He connected again from long range to make it 101-87 with 5:38 left, and then made a 16-foot double-pump shot over Jae Crowder before leaving to a standing ovation with 20.1 seconds left.“He had some bombs,” Cleveland’s LeBron James said. “Once he got going, we couldn’t slow him down.”James had 16 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists for the Cavs, and Kevin Love scored 23 points.Cleveland was coming off a 99-92 loss at Golden State on Christmas Day, stopping the Cavaliers’ 26-game streak with 100 points or more. Cleveland had not dropped consecutive games since a four-game slide from Oct. 25-Nov. 1.ADVERTISEMENT Carter scored a season-high 24 points, and the Kings handed the Cavaliers their second straight loss with a 109-95 victory on Wednesday night.“He’s always been a guy, big stage, big moment, that’s been his time to shine,” said Lue, who faced Carter during his playing days. “Couldn’t stop him tonight. He had it going.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Butler’s 39 points lift Wolves past Nuggets Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson Brian Heruela arrival bolsters Phoenix backcourt, defense OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Scottie Thompson also worthy of Finals MVP, thinks Cone Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina View comments LATEST STORIES MOST READ SPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkThe 40-year-old Carter had missed the previous three games due to a rib injury and coach’s decision. The former dunk king gave Cleveland all kinds of problems in his return, shooting 10 of 12 in 30 minutes.It was the first time in NBA history that a 40-plus-year-old reserve scored at least 20 points in a game, according to the Kings. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, left, turns the ball over as he goes to the floor against Sacramento Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)SACRAMENTO, California—Vince Carter delivered a big performance for the Sacramento Kings.Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue wasn’t surprised. Not one bit.ADVERTISEMENT “They out-scrapped us,” Lue said. “They changed their lineup. We didn’t prepare for that but that’s no excuse.”James cited the team’s transition defense as the primary reason for its loss to Golden State. This time it was an inconsistent offense and a big night by Carter that did in the reigning Eastern Conference champs.Cleveland has lost three of four after winning 18 of the previous 19.“We had zero rhythm,” James said. “Had some early in the first, had some in the third when we cut the lead but other than that we just didn’t have rhythm.”Willie Cauley-Stein had 17 points and nine rebounds for Sacramento, and Bogdan Bogdanovic added 16 points and eight assists. Zach Randolph had 14 points and seven boards.Isaiah Thomas’ long-awaited debut for Cleveland was held off for at least for another game. The veteran point guard, who is coming back from a right hip injury, worked out before the loss and there was speculation he might play against the Kings before being ruled out. Lue left open the possibility that he could be activated for Saturday’s game in Utah.Carter wasn’t the only Sacramento reserve that came up big. Cauley-Stein was a rebound shy of a double-double while Bogdanovic shot 6 of 9 with three 3s.“We had a lot more zip to us tonight,” Kings coach Dave Joerger said. “You don’t beat a team like that without having everybody contribute, and they did.” Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player awardlast_img read more

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Bullish tactics to local governance approach

first_imgDear Editor,Convincing evidence of willful discrimination and futile cover-up attempts of shameless bullish tactics, permeates almost every aspect of the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Local Governance approach. With these on the rise, the often-complete silence from the Government, or the contradicting attempts to convey acceptance, spurns and flies in the face of even the ordinary supporters.The muteness may have come from a rather alarming number of times APNU/AFC Ministers were exposed for making empty and shallow public pronouncements.It cannot be denied that this Government has utilised tremendous amounts of State resources in political witch-hunts, while turning a blind eye to glaring breaches of standing legislation by many among its ranks.Such approaches will never constitute any acceptable measure of democratic governance. Rather, it implies the handing down of internal political party directions to get unacceptable things done outside of the approved approach, and often in violation under the Constitution.The deaf ears tactic is equally revealing and tantamount to telling citizens, that their outcries are damned in the eyes of the Government.The demonstration of disrespect by this Government towards citizens, reaches a new threshold daily. How can a known People’s National Congress activist, who is appointed as Regional Executive Officer in a region, be allowed to divert budgeted appropriations for key production support projects, to plant palm trees on the road shoulders.The actions of REO Rupert Hopkinson in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) deserves strongest condemnations and firm sanctions. He has admitted to utilising monies allocated for up-keeping the ‘Roads and dams and clean trenches to plant palm trees on the road shoulders. Citizens could and must visit the Essequibo Coast and look at millions of dollars that are being spent to grow and maintain the Palm trees, while farmers are suffering and losing millions of dollars because of Government neglect.The time is most opportune for the Local Government Commission to open their mouth and start speaking out on all these serious ‘staff’ issues. It is the Local Government Commission that has direct responsibilities for all staffing matters in the Local Authority Areas.On another front of significant community importance, the increasing propensity of armed robberies has reached new heights almost unchecked. It is indeed distressing to know that a poor and dedicated market vendor was shot in the presence of three City Constables. According to reports, the unarmed Constables saw the bandits lurking around and suspicious of their intent, urged the vendors to hurry-up and pack their goods and leave the place.The reluctance of the City Constables to seek assistance from the Ruimveldt Police Station which is within walking distance from the spot where the vendor was shot is questionable and perhaps reflective of lack of training.There is a less than shallow approach in dealing with these emerging treats, and one must not forget that in 2015, the collation Government had done much to undermine the policing group relations with communities. There is no comprehensive strategy to protect the citizens and the Government has demonstrated their cluelessness in this regard, leaving citizens at the mercy of the bandits who often quietly walk away.The situation begs the question: what is City Hall doing with its failing Constabulary Officers who continues to prey on the vendors on a daily basis for their perks?Notably, City Hall has increased its 2018 budgetary allocations to the Constabulary for employment costs and training. It suggests that the staff complement of the Constabulary would be increased and training would be enhanced. One only hopes the funds allocated for training is not wasted.The municipality of Georgetown needs to have security professionals with psychologically based knowledge, to assess situations and provide the relevant and courteous services to the vendors and the people to avoid the transgressions at the municipal Council of Georgetown.Sincerely,Neil Kumarlast_img read more

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Victoria Vikings Hosting Local Soccer Clinic

first_imgThe Fort St. John Soccer Club will be hosting a special soccer clinic for everyone between the ages of 8 and 18.The Clinic will be hosted by the University of Victoria Vikings. The Clinic will be July 28th-August 1st, 2008 from 9am to 3pm. Registration is open to members of the Fort St. John Scoccer Club. You must register by July 11th, 2008. To register visit www.fsjsoccer.com and drop the registration form in our drop box with payment.- Advertisement –last_img

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There’s a catch to Angels’ depth

first_imgJose Molina, with his veteran status and $1.45 million guaranteed base salary this season, figures to make the roster. That means good friends Jeff Mathis and Mike Napoli will fight it out for the other spot. Napoli would appear to have the inside track with more experience and a torrid offensive stretch on his resume. He batted .288 with 12 home runs and 29 RBIs in his first 50 games last season. So how do guys like Napoli and Mathis prepare for such an intense battle? It appears they each took a Zen-like approach this off-season. “I’m just coming in and relaxing and remembering the game is fun and playing it like I always have my whole life,” Mathis said. “Last year I just put a lot of pressure on myself, I think. I’m not saying that was the reason I played the way I played, but I think coming in relaxed and making the game fun is going to help.” TEMPE, Ariz. – The Angels’ battle at catcher this spring will not be just an interesting in-camp drama, it will be the envy of baseball. While most teams seem to struggle to simply find a backup, the Angels will have to choose between two of their three major-league capable catchers for the opening-day roster and send the other on his way, either to Triple-A Salt Lake or in a trade. As a former catcher himself, manager Mike Scioscia is charged up over the competition and has already rolled up his sleeves while getting to work with the catching crew. “If you look at other organizations and you do a depth check, we’ve got to be at the top of the list in all of baseball,” Scioscia said. “I’m not taking something away from some of the guys, (the Minnesota Twins’ Joe) Mauer and a lot of these great young catchers that are in the game today, but our depth sets us apart from a lot of organizations.” center_img Napoli has a similar approach. “I actually got home (from last season) and took a month off to mentally and physically get away from the game a little bit just relax,” Napoli said. “Coming into this year we have three good catchers here so I’m just going to go out and play the game and whatever happens, happens.” For Molina, his sights are set on the opening-day job. “I have too much other stuff to worry about than what they will do with them and what they will do with me,” Molina said. “I feel good. I’m healthy and that’s the main thing. When you’re healthy you can do a lot of stuff.” Unlike at first base where Scioscia would be willing to go with a platoon situation if a No. 1 candidate does not emerge, he would prefer for one player to handle the bulk of the catching duties. “There’s an element of (stability) when one guy is able to bring his pitch-calling ability and his receiving ability to the park every night,” Scioscia said. “You saw it with Bengie Molina when he was here. “If one guy steps up and wins the job and is out there everyday, then that’s beautiful. But I think the reality means some combination. Some guys are going to catch more than others depending on production and if there are any tendencies that start to develop on the individual pitcher. If a guy is performing well with an individual pitcher, that’s something you’ll consider.” Molina insists he holds no grudges for missing out on a $25,000 bonus when he was benched for most of the final week last season. Molina needed just a handful of plate appearances to reach 250 and activate the bonus. He did not play in the final five games. “I don’t even think about that anymore,” he said. “That’s already in the past. It doesn’t matter if I get the bonus or anything like that. I will come to spring training ready to go and ready to do my job. That’s in the past. I don’t care anymore and don’t even bring it up any more.” Francisco Rodriguez, nursing a sore right hamstring, is expected to take part in pitchers’ fielding practice for the first time today and throw from a mound Monday or Tuesday … Kendry Morales, Nick Gorneault and Curtis Pride were the latest to report to camp in advance of Monday’s reporting day for position players. The first full-squad workout is Tuesday … Jered Weaver had the day off but will throw from flat ground today, as will Bartolo Colon. doug.padilla@sgvn.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2731 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Yet another fire reported in Santa Clarita

first_imgAnother brush fire has now scorched about 14 acres near San Fernando Road just near the Eternal Valley Memorial Park cemetery in Santa Clarita, according to NBC4. The station reports that some homes are being threatened by the blaze. It was unclear if the fire was an offshoot of existing blazes in the area. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Protesters, big media left behind

first_imgAS major protests continue by illegal aliens and rebellious students over pending congressional legislation, their dated tactics imitate the 1960s and 1970s in a communications world that long ago left them behind. At one time, major liberal newspapers and network news would be the only voices heard on this issue, spinning the protests as an expression of oppressed people who deserve rights to American largesse. College campuses and political and church elites would follow suit, making average, law-abiding people feel marginalized in their belief about the wrongness of the protesters’ race-based arguments and expectation of protection from immigration laws. But the army of talk-show hosts and Internet news sites have changed the information and communication landscape to such a degree that a street rally now creates only one part of the picture. It does not command the central position it once enjoyed. Protesters cannot pretend that they represent the mainstream, and they cannot win the propaganda war a crucial component in their attempt to assert power. With these new media, Americans no longer feel intimidated by anger-based protests. Many remain firm in their opposition to giving financial privileges to illegal aliens. Although protesters amassed a half-million people in March, local talk-radio hosts boast millions of devoted listeners to their radio rallies, where they argue against the arrogant attitude that breaking the law and stealing from taxpayers are justified. And so, the hard questions the sort that Big Media would like to ignore are getting asked nonetheless. Some ask why protesters shout “Viva Mexico,” when the Mexican government oppresses its own citizens and drives them out with its corruption and Third World politics. Talk-show host Dennis Prager asks why protesters have not thanked America for what this country gives them. But their movement, based on resentment, not gratitude, sees itself like angry Palestinians who view Israel as the occupier of their land. To them, the real civilizing force is the enemy that took what belongs to them, and the corrupted regime is seen as their ally. It’s a shame protesters don’t start considering some of the tough questions for themselves. They should begin by asking why it is that America, and not Mexico, is the place where they find opportunity, prosperity and the opportunity to have a political voice. At all the various rallies and protests, we don’t see any capitalists on the podium saying that the Western democratic system not protesters charging down the street in a rage will free economic refugees. But isn’t that the message we’re supposed to be delivering in Iraq? If free markets and democracy can purportedly save the Middle East, can’t they save Mexico? Aren’t these protesters protesting the wrong government? And what about the activists, the teachers and the media outlets who have encouraged students to ditch school to blockade streets? What about school districts that are now considering a day of silence to honor their activities? Can we expect a similar reaction when students organize to block streets as a protest against the lack of prayer in schools? Or how about if students want to ditch class to bring attention to the need for vouchers to go to private schools and escape the moral ineptitude of public schools? Will the American Civil Liberties Union bring a civil-rights action against the protesters who block streets and steal the right of the citizenry to access public areas and their school, similar to the action it took against New York for blocking anti-Bush protesters last year? Will school districts accept this sort of civil disobedience, or just civil disobedience in pursuit of policies their officials support? These are questions that protesters, elites and Big Media all strenuously ignore, but that doesn’t keep them from entering the public conversation. The elites no longer control the debate. The rest of us are asking these questions and getting a voice on the Internet, on the blogs, on talk radio and other alternative media. The conversation and attitudes shaped over these issues no longer arise from Big Media, but rather from alternative news sources. That is the real news. Caroline Miranda is a freelance writer in North Hollywood. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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HEALTHWISE PHARMACIES TEAM UP WITH BABYLISS FOR SPECIAL OFFERS THIS CHRISTMAS

first_imgHealthwise Pharmacies have teamed up with BaByliss to bring their full range of premium products, at discounted prices, to the heart of communities in Donegal. All Healthwise pharmacies now stock the BaByliss brilliant shine brush, reduced from RRP 39.99 to a special Healthwise price of 32.99.This revolutionary new brush fights static to produce silky smooth hair and is this years must have accessory as featured on multiple reviews in beauty magazines, Xpose etc. http://www.reallyree.com/2014/06/babyliss-brilliant-shine-ionic-brush-review.htmlHealthwise also have stocks and special prices on the ever popular Curl Secret @ 139.99 , which does the opposite and delivers salon quality curls from home.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FJOsTg6D_wHealthwise also have half price deals on a range of professional Hair Straightners , curlers and extra powerful hair dryers. Director James Cassidy told Donegal Daily, “We are delighted to be partnered with this prestigious company, and to offer special prices and access to the full range of BaByliss premium products in the heart of our own communities.“As always we aim to provide local access to premium products, while making sure we offer better value than competitors in larger urban centres. HEALTHWISE PHARMACIES TEAM UP WITH BABYLISS FOR SPECIAL OFFERS THIS CHRISTMAS was last modified: December 17th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BusinessFeaturesHealthwise Pharmaciesnewslast_img read more

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Man United plotting to sign another Arsenal contract rebel in January

first_img Ramsey scored one of the goals of the season against Fulham last weekend 3 LATEST LIVING THE DREAM 3 Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father IN DEMAND The box-to-box star is able to sign a pre-contract agreement with a European side in January, as he will have six months remaining on his contract.Moving abroad is also thought to be of serious interest to Ramsey, with several Serie A sides reportedly eyeing a move.LaLiga giants Real Madrid are also rumoured to be interested as international colleague Gareth Bale would welcome the signing of a fellow Welshman. The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti RANKED Ramsey on international duty for Wales against Spain Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January Manchester United will try to sign Aaron Ramsey for the third time in his career as his Arsenal contract talks are put on hold.The Wales international has vowed to stay with the Gunners until the summer, when his current £110,000-a-week deal comes to an end. 3 REVEALED Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ However, this will not deter United, who hope to finally sign the midfielder after pursuing him for more than a decade.According to the Daily Mirror, Jose Mourinho failed with a bid to land Ramsey last summer after making a discrete enquiry.Sir Alex Ferguson also desperately wanted to sign the former Cardiff City starlet, who left the Bluebirds in a £4.8million deal in 2008.And his latest contractual woes have put Jose Mourinho and Ed Woodward on high alert, with the Red Devils set to make a third move. moving on targets Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer Ramsey, who will be 28 in December, has fallen out with new boss Unai Emery after being left out of the starting XI for the 3-2 defeat to Chelsea earlier in the season.It is understood the former Paris Saint-Germain boss wants to make more of his own signings at the Emirates, with a lucrative new deal for Ramsey potentially eating into those funds.With such a huge wage bill already, allowing the midfielder to walk away for free is seen as a more cost-effective way of managing the squad to free up money for new signings.Manchester United are not the only Premier League side with an interest in Ramsey however, with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp reportedly a huge admirer as well. The 27-year-old has not seen eye-to-eye with new boss Unai Emery targets Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Latest Transfer Newslast_img read more

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COLEMAN NOT DROPPED BECAUSE OF LIVERPOOL LINK

first_imgEVERTON manager David Moyes has dismissed rumours on Merseyside this weekend that Donegal star Seamus Coleman was dropped from the clash with Norwich on Saturday because of new rumours linking him with a move to Liverpool next month.“Seamus had a thigh strain,” insisted Moyles today.His non-inclusion in the match – a 1-1 draw at Goodison came as a surprise – particularly as the Killybegs man had been the players interviewed by the Press in the run-up to the game. But Moyles said it was an injury – and not the rumoured €7M move to Anfield which led to him being dropped.Leon Osman’s deft second-half finish rescued a point for Everton as they finally broke Norwich’s resistance.The hosts dominated throughout and created a series of chances, but it was City who took the lead when Grant Holt turned and shot low into the corner.Meanwhile another Premier League star with Donegal links is under severe pressure. Owen Coyle’s Bolton are rooted to the bottom of the table after being beaten 2-0 by Fulham on Saturday.© 2011 donegaldaily.com, all Rights ReservedThe copying, republication or redistribution of donegaldaily.com Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited by law.Follow us on www.twitter.com/donegaldailyFollow us on www.facebook.com/donegaldaily Sell anything on www.donegaldailyclassifieds.comCOLEMAN NOT DROPPED BECAUSE OF LIVERPOOL LINK was last modified: December 18th, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:evertonKillybegsLiverpoolseamus colemanlast_img read more

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Chicago-style softball trying to stay alive

first_imgCHICAGO – In this city where the history of softball begins, there is growing concern that Chicago’s unique brand of the game – played with 16-inch balls and without mitts – may be following the steel mills into the history books. Leagues have dwindled, the players that carried the sport for decades are growing old, and players who might otherwise have filled the void are being siphoned off by everything from soccer to video games. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “The growth is slow, but it’s coming around,” said Mike North, a Chicago radio sports personality who helped launch the school league in the hope players will fall in love with the game the way their parents and grandparents did and want to keep playing after they graduate. Whether he’s right remains to be seen. Those who track the adult leagues say they’re starting to see a few new faces. But it will take years before it becomes clear if high schoolers who now enjoy the game will want to keep playing it as adults. If they do, they will be keeping alive a sport that, in its way, was as much a part of Chicago as the corner tavern and deep-dish pizza. The way the story goes, softball was born in November 1887 inside Chicago’s Farragut Boat Club. A Yale alumnus – excited that his school had beaten Harvard in a football game – threw an old boxing glove at a Harvard alum, who tried to hit it with a stick. The exchange caused George Hancock, a reporter for the Chicago Board of Trade, to envision a version of indoor baseball. He spent years promoting the game, eventually adapting it for outdoors play. Now, enthusiasts are trying to bring back the sport played with a ball about the size of a cantaloupe. And they’re hoping to do it with, of all people, teenagers – a group typically about as interested in playing a game from the good old days as they are hearing their parents talk about the good old days. Six years ago, 16-inch softball was introduced as a varsity sport in the Chicago Public Schools. Played in the fall, so as not to compete with baseball, it allows players to learn a game they can keep playing for years to come. The number of teams has more than doubled from 25 to 50. And at least five more schools plan to join next year. center_img Over the years, there were different variations of the game in different parts of the country. Some played with a smaller ball and some used gloves. In Chicago, the game was played with a 16-inch ball and without gloves. “The 16-inch game came out of Chicago and they stayed with it,” said Bill Plummer III, manager of the National Softball Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. The game became an integral part of life in Chicago. Talk to Chicagoans in their 50s, 60s and 70s and you’ll hear stories about games on every block, “money games” between powerful neighborhood and league teams, playing in gym class in grade school and after school in parks until dark. “When you used to go to picnics everybody had a 16-inch ball and a bat in the car,” said Dave Novak, director of the park district in nearby Forest Park and organizer of a No Gloves Nationals tournament in the Chicago suburb for the last 32 years. “Every park had a league,” said Ed Zolna, a retired Chicago detective who is the only softball player in Chicago’s 16-inch Hall of Fame and the national Hall of Fame. “Sometimes we’d have at least 1,000 people watching us.” Jim Hallgren, 58, said it was not uncommon to play three games a night for three different teams. “You had to race between parks,” he said. Players loved the game because the size of the ball made it a lot tougher to hit out of the park than a 12-inch softball. That meant thinking about where to hit the ball rather than just muscling up and hitting it as far as possible, and thinking about where to play hitters – because without mitts there would be no one-handed diving catches. Their game was chess, the other one checkers. They loved that it took guts to put bare hands in front of screaming line drives and that broken fingers were common, and laughed out loud when the late newspaper columnist Mike Royko, an avid player, once wrote that any player who wore a glove “ought to also wear a bra.” So deep was their affection for the game that to this day, when they die, their loved ones often include a mention of the game in their obituaries. In recent years, just as the number of people playing softball has dropped around the country, Chicago’s own version of the game has lost its grip on the city. While 16-inch softball remains a popular recreational sport – one Chicago sports group estimates 4,000 people play in its leagues – it’s getting tougher to find highly competitive leagues, or kids who know anything about it. Valerie Gemskie, the 31-year-old coach of Walter Payton College Prep, last year’s city champs, compares her childhood when every kid “on my block … got 16-inch softballs for their birthday” with her high school players, many of whom never played the game before joining the team. “Do you have a stronger word than decline?” asked Nick Santo, of Santo Sports Store, a major supplier of equipment in the Chicago area. “It’s a pretty bad situation.” Enthusiasts say a number of factors have contributed to the drop, starting with the growing popularity of other sports, particularly soccer, and activities such as roller blading and electronic games. Then there are girls’ leagues, which have all but disappeared. Santo said in the last 10 years or so his company’s sales of boxes of 16-inch softballs – each box contains a dozen balls – have dropped from 4,000 a year to about 400 annually in the Chicago area. But talk to high school players, and that may change. “If I’m back in Chicago (as an adult), I’ll play,” said Aiden O’Dowd-Ryan, a captain of the team at Walter Payton. “I want to keep playing.” Teammate Sam Sherman agrees. “It will be pretty cool to play when you’re older,” he said. On the Internet: Visit the National Softball Hall of Fame at www.softball.org/halloffame/index.asp. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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