Teams across Major League Baseball paid tribute to Tony Gwynn on Monday night after the Hall of Famer lost his battle with cancer. Gwynn was one of the most well-liked players in MLB history, and almost every player, fan, coach and anyone else connected to the game felt the sting of his passing on some level. The Detroit Tigers honored Gwynn in a very unique way.
The Tigers wrote Gwynn’s initials and the number 5.5 on the back edge of the infield dirt between third base and shortstop. It was a reference to what Gwynn called the “5.5 hole,” and it’s a spot on the field where he picked up a ton of hits.
Gwynn was such a good hitter that he could pretty much place the ball wherever he wanted. If he got a pitch that was low and outside, he’d just slap it through the “5.5 hole” and get on base. In reality, you could put Gwynn’s initials on any spot in the field where no fielder was standing. That was his favorite place to hit it.
We have more must-read stories about the San Diego Padres legend here.
H/T For the Win
Unless you have been in hibernation for the past 14 hours or so, you have likely heard about the game-winning goal 21-year-old John Brooks scored for the United States against Ghana on Monday night. The well-placed header instantly turned Brooks into an American hero.
Credit the Philadelphia Inquirer for coming up with the best headline after Team USA’s thrilling victory. As Mike Jensen pointed out, the paper went with “Johnny Futbol” in bold letters across its Sports section cover. Clever, right?
Brooks’ Wikipedia page was also briefly changed to describe how much of a great American he is shortly after he scored. He must be riding the high of a lifetime right about now.
H/T The Big Lead
Rory McIlroy has returned to Ireland after his disappointing 23rd-place finish at the US Open over the weekend, but he is missing some precious cargo. McIlroy is scheduled to compete in the Irish Open in Cork this week, and he kind of needs his golf clubs for that.
Unfortunately, it appears that United Airlines somehow lost McIlroy’s magic wands. Believe it or not, 25-year-old pro golfers who have more money than they know what to do with have the same travel issues as people like us.
Hey @united landed in Dublin yesterday morning from Newark and still no golf clubs… Sort of need them this week… Can someone help!?
— Rory Mcilroy (@McIlroyRory) June 17, 2014
Naturally, United responded to McIlroy and said they would follow up once he provided a bag reference ID number (again, just like the rest of us). The airline seems to have located the clubs.
@McIlroyRory We understand how important your clubs are to you. Please follow and DM us you bag reference ID. We'd like to follow up. ^JH
— United (@united) June 17, 2014
@McIlroyRory We have good news. Your clubs will be in tomorrow and we'll deliver them to the tournament for you. ^JH
— United (@united) June 17, 2014
Wait, guys who are signed to $100 million endorsement deals use the same clubs twice? Who would have thought?
H/T Washington Post
- Rory McIlroy
The Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings were honored on Monday with a parade through the streets of LA and a rally at the Staples Center. In traditional fashion, the mayor of the city gave fans a pep talk and spoke about how proud of the team he is. However, LA mayor Eric Garcetti’s speech was a bit different from most.
Garcetti stole the show by dropping a premeditated F-bomb.
“There are two rules in politics,” he said. “They say never, ever be pictured with a drink in your hand and never swear. But this is a big f—in’ day. Way to go, guys.”
Garcetti held up an aluminum Bud Light bottle as he dropped the F-bomb, so I guess he felt the occasion called for breaking both rules.
Kings president of business operations and hockey Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille was later called upon to address to crowd.
“Well, we told our players not to cuss,” Robitaille said jokingly. “Thanks.”
That’s certainly one way to secure some votes for reelection.
Video via Eye on Hockey
Tony Gwynn dying on Monday was a huge blow to the Padres franchise, Major League Baseball, the city of San Diego, and sports fans as a whole. Tony was one of the best hitters of all time, and he had a special personality to match his incredible talent.
As a way of honoring and preserving the legacy of the man we all loved so much, below are some of the best stories about Tony Gwynn as a ballplayer.
We don’t have all the best stories about Tony, so if you know of any, please please please notify us via email or by leaving a comment on this post. Our aim is to make this as complete as possible.
Below are some of the best tales about Tony Gwynn that all baseball fans and TG lovers will adore.
Longtime Padres player and coach Tim Flannery recalls how Tony Gwynn called his shot in a rain-postponed game against the Reds.
[Flannery] recalled a road game at Cincinnati that was hit by a deluge of rain, a game the Reds were winning 2-0 when Gwynn stepped up with two runners on base.
For all the good it would do, a left-hander was summoned from the Cincy bullpen, whereupon the rain resumed in buckets before he could deliver a pitch to the plate. The game was suspended at that point, to be resumed at that exact point the next day.
“Because of all the rain delays, it’s now about 11:30 at night,” said Flannery. “Tony and I are walking back up the tunnel at Riverfront. He said, “Hey, Flan, I want you to be ready tomorrow, because this guy’s gonna throw me a first-pitch slider, I’m gonna hit it into the left-center gap, it’s gonna score two and we’re gonna be tied.’
“Sure enough, next day, first-pitch-slider, boom, left-center field, both runners socre, tie game. Tony looks at me and smiles. I’ll guarantee you this: Before he went to bed that night, that lefty didn’t know he was gonna throw that. But Tony knew.
“Amazing. Just an amazing, amazing player.”
How Tony Gwynn once beat Omar Daal and his little ****** slider
So if you asked him a question about an at-bat, or something that he was doing at the plate, Tony would pull you into a side room and run back the video and narrate what was on the screen for you. Once, he mashed a pivotal hit against the Dodgers, and afterward, he explained to me exactly what he had said to a teammate in the on-deck circle — that Omar Daal would try to beat him with his little (expletive) slider and then he would turn on it and drive it into the gap.
Tony Gwynn won 8 batting titles in his career, but the story of how he beat out Will Clark over the last weekend of the season in 1989 might be the best.
Gwynn finished at .336 and Clark at .333. Tony won it by getting 3 hits in the final game of the season, while Clark had 1. Their two teams faced each other that weekend.
- Tony Gwynn
Evan Longoria is absolutely styling with his new haircut.
The Tampa Bay Rays third baseman was seen sporting a new ‘do during his team’s game against the Baltimore Orioles Monday. He’s got a bleached-blond mohawk happening:
— Dirk Shadd (@DirkShadd) June 17, 2014
I think he needs a few teeth knocked out to complete the badass look. The blond hair is cool, but I would have preferred to see him go Demolition Man instead of mohawk.
- Filed Under:
The name Holly Sweeney hasn’t graced the pages of sports blogs for years. If you know anything about LBS, you know that’s been a real disappointment for myself and Steve DelVecchio. After all, Holly was not just golfing great Rory McIlroy’s first love, but ours as well.
When we first heard about Rory breaking up with Caroline Wozniacki, one of our first thoughts (and hopes) was that Holly might be back in the picture. When you’re feeling down, you oftentimes look to someone familiar to help you feel better. Holly could have been that person for Rory.
Unfortunately, that’s not happening. Sweeney has a new boyfriend and is actually pregnant.
The Irish Mirror reports that LBS’ dear Holly has a new boyfriend — hockey player Jeff Mason — and that she is pregnant. Mason is from Easthampton, Mass., and played hockey at Providence College. He’s been with the Belfast Giants for four seasons after several seasons in the ECHL. Sweeney lived in Belfast the last few years.
The two have avoided posting photos of their relationship on Twitter for the most part, but here’s Holly holding a button of Mason:
— Holly Sweeney (@HFCSween) December 24, 2013
Holly is now 23 and supposedly has been dating Mason for two years. She’s said to be six months pregnant. Rory broke up with her three years ago and quickly began seeing Wozniacki. Later in the year, Holly took a shot at Rory by throwing a “golf pros and tennis hoes” party, but the beef between them didn’t last very long.
Bottom line in all this: We miss you, Holly!
Clint Dempsey in all likelihood suffered a broken nose against Ghana in Group G play of the World Cup on Monday.
Dempsey scored in the first minute to give the US a 1-0 lead over Ghana in the 2-1 victory. A little over 30 minutes later, he was kicked in the face and began bleeding. Despite his bloody nose, Dempsey kept playing in the game.
After the contest closed, Dempsey said he thought it was broken. Washington Post reporter Steven Goff says Dempsey said he was coughing up blood and that he hopes to begin breathing through his nose again in the next few days.
Based on Dempsey’s nose being shaped like a Christmas tree, I’d say his diagnosis is spot on. And credit to LBS’ Steve DelVecchio for calling this one:
Dempsey's nose looks huge and he's bleeding again. Wouldn't be surprised if it's broken
— Steve DelVecchio (@SteveDelSports) June 16, 2014
Image via Pete Blackburn
- Filed Under:
- Clint Dempsey
John Brooks scored the winning goal for the USA against Ghana in their Group G World Cup game on Monday, and his Wikipedia page receive an appropriate update to reflect his accomplishment.
See what happens when you score a goal to give the US a win in the World Cup? You become on the level of Abraham Lincoln. And that dude ended slavery!
I think Clint Dempsey’s Wiki page needs an update too, because his goal was freaking nifty.
Below is video of all the goals from the game:
And how about Brooks’ great reaction? It was beautiful!
Video via Michael Shamburger
- John Brooks
Just minutes after the US lost striker Jozy Altidore to what looked like a hamstring injury, Clint Dempsey was booted directly in the face by a high kick. Dempsey, another American striker, was left with a bloody nose and briefly left the field. He quickly returned.
No foul was called on the play, which infuriated Dempsey and US coach Jurgen Klinsmann. That was obviously a dangerous play that should have resulted in a whistle at the very least, if not a yellow card.
Dempsey gave the US an early 1-0 lead over Ghana less than two minutes in. The Americans paid a steep price for the goal from a physical standpoint.
GIF and photo via @cjzero