Memories of Royals broadcaster Fred White

The Royals announced on Wednesday that former radio broadcaster Fred White died of complications from melanoma. This came just 24 hours after White announced that he’d be retiring from his post-broadcasting role with the team, which was to help build up and maintain the vast Royals Radio Network.

Fred White. Picture from the Kansas City Star.

I grew up with two parents and three older brothers, so it’s not like I was lacking for childhood presences. But Fred White, along with Denny Mathews, were a profound staple of my childhood summers. Continue reading

Hit & Run: Seriously, I’m OK, you guys!

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(Photo: Getty Images)

First of all, many thanks to my friends (including Games Mistress and various members of Red Sox Nation) for pulling me out of my Pinstriped Spiral of Gloom last Friday morning after receiving word that Mariano Rivera suffered a season-and-possibly-career-ending torn ACL last Thursday while shagging fly balls in Kansas City. Honestly, there is nothing like a devastating injury to a beloved future Hall of Famer to remind you who your truest friends in baseball are. Red Sox fans and I may be bitter frenemies when wins are on the line, but when something like this happens, we all feel for the biggest fans of the affected team and athlete. So thanks you guys – you are the best!

And what a difference a day made. It wasn’t long until Rivera’s competitive nature bounced back as he declared to reporters “I’m coming back. Write it down in big letters. I’m not going out like this.” So it won’t be long until you can go back to hating my kind again, Red Sox Nation (know that I say this with love). It’s been reported that three doctors at two hospitals examined his knee today, so hopefully surgery and rehab go smoothly enough to get him back on the mound in 2013. Until then, it’s the Soriano-Robertson Show from here on out. Continue reading

Support for the ‘stache

Yankees

Just try to top the "State Trooper Giambi" look, as sported by Mike Mussina a few years back.

It’s been well-documented that we at Ladies… have a love/hate/complicated relationship with the moustache (and why is it so often associated with the mullet?), but this is clearly a case in which we wholeheartedly support its existence. As you may be aware, we are halfway through Movember, a movement designed to bring awareness to men’s health and specifically prostate cancer.

Community support always makes our hearts melt, so we salute the numerous athletes who have taken up the moustachioed cause. Continue reading

Reason 127 why Steve Nash is a wonderful human being

Terry FoxI’m not one to make assumptions, but I’ll go out on a limb and state that I’m quite certain there isn’t a Canadian born before 1975 that wasn’t moved by Terry Fox.

Here at home, Fox is considered one of our greatest. He wasn’t a hockey player, a politician, a writer or a rock star. Terry was just one of us, except that he lost a leg to cancer in the prime of his life, and then spent his remaining time on earth running across Canada to raise funds and awareness of the disease (and, sadly, fighting the cancer that would cut his marathon – and life – all too short). So, yeah, he transcended that ordinary guy role and became an inspiration for millions.

I have two vivid childhood memories of Terry Fox: a campy but cool 1980 jingle promoting his Marathon of Hope on television, and footage of his funeral on CBC. I was at my grandmother’s that summer, and I remember reflecting how unfair it was that he was taken from us so soon when we were just getting to know him. Here I am 29 years later, and I am still amazed at the legacy Terry left Canadians. And we’re still running for him.

Steve Nash is about my age and was as equally moved during that era, so much that he co-directed a new movie about Terry’s life, Into The Wind, which premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. Terry’s story has been told several times through print and film, although I’m unsure how many times his life has been examined through the lens of another athlete, let alone one as prolific as Nash.

The film is part of ESPN’s “30 for 30″ series and will premiere September 28 on the network. If you’re unaware of Terry’s story, please tune in. I don’t imagine that Nash will be breaking new cinematic ground or finding a future beyond the NBA, but give him credit for his desire to share this story of one of Canada’s most beloved icons. And I will promise you this: you will be moved.

A fire still Burns

Pat Burns 2010

There are few things in life more devastating than watching cancer slowly steal away a loved one. There are also few things more beautiful or inspiring than the emergence of the human spirit when facing death head on.

I found it difficult to watch the coverage of former NHL coach Pat Burns speaking at a special event on Friday in Quebec’s Eastern Townships – without sobbing, anyway. A new hockey arena is being built in Stanstead to replace an aging facility. The Pat Burns Arena will serve the surrounding towns along the Quebec-Vermont border and is expected to be completed by 2011. Sadly, Burns will most likely never see it open.

Burns has been quietly battling terminal lung cancer. It is his third fight with the disease – he was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2004 when his New Jersey Devils were in the first round of the NHL playoffs. He fought liver cancer in 2005. This time, as you are probably aware, he is forgoing treatment.

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Mid-week Inspiration Break

I was diagnosed this week with a sinus infection and tonsilitis.   I missed three days of work, couldn’t sleep for two days because my throat hurt so bad, and basically felt so terrible it felt like I’d never be healthy again.  Then, while staring blankly at some random digital channel yesterday, I was introduced to someone who put all of my recent woes into perspective.

Meet Seun Adebiyi.

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Thank you, Ted Kennedy, from the Ladies of Ladies…

We here at Ladies…don’t like getting into politics. The love of sports is supposed to bring people together. Politics, it seems, always drives people apart. We’re stepping away from that policy today for one reason and for one reason only. You see, we here at Ladies…are, well, ladies. We’re ladies who grew up after Title IX passed, and we have, in no small part, Sen. Ted Kennedy to thank for that.

Whether we competed as high school athletes or not (I ran track until the track season started running headlong into the school musical season, and who can resist greasepaint and the roar of the crowd?), it doesn’t matter. We like sports, and we like watching sports, and like knowing that women can excel at sports. Without Title IX, could we have watched Brandi Chastain tear off her shirt after the women’s World Cup championship in ecstatic glee? Without Title IX, could we have watched Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh dominate in two straight Olympic Games? Without Title IX, would we be able to see Venus and Serena mop up the court, match after match? Maybe. Probably not.

Frankly, it’s interesting that most people think of Title IX in terms only of athletics. (Understandably, since most of the challenges under the law have come in the field of athletics.) That’s not all Title IX did, though. In fact, the original statute never even mentioned athletics. It reads “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” It has been used to ensure equal access to education, and to prevent discrimination against either sex in the classroom. It applies to every aspect of academic life, from your college dorm to your ability to get care at the student health clinic. And ‘you’ means all of you, not just us ladies.

So thank you, Ted Kennedy. We may or may not have agreed with your stances on the issues. We may have voted for you, or we may have campaigned against you. But all of us grew up under Title IX, and for that, as ladies, we thank you.