Category: Sports

Oldest Manager to Win World Series Still Enjoys Kid’s Game
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Oldest Manager to Win World Series Still Enjoys Kid’s Game

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Most 80-year-olds would never consider managing a professional baseball team. Then again, most 80-year-olds would never be asked to manage a professional baseball team. Yet, in June 2011, Jack McKeon accepted the then-Florida (now Miami) Marlins’ offer to lead the team as interim manager. McKeon’s previous stint with the Marlins included a World Series Championship in […]

When the Game Stands Tall
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When the Game Stands Tall

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It’s not about winning or losing but about how you play the game. Those words are usually reserved for losing teams, but legendary football coach, Bob Ladouceur, who shattered the record for all American sports, taught his team to live them; win or lose. He took the Spartans of De La Salle High School in […]

Standing Tall
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Standing Tall

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Sports movies have a built-in source of drama. In every contest there are winners and losers, hard work and teamwork, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Yet such movies also can lapse into melodrama and cliché: slow-motion metaphors that elevate sports above other challenges of life. Yet the best sports movies fit […]

From Merciless Linebacker to Merciful Messenger
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From Merciless Linebacker to Merciful Messenger

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Eric Mahl has always loved a challenge. In his youth, it was the prospect of being the best football player ever. This desire drove him to bench press 450 pounds, earn an NCAA Division I football scholarship and later a place on the Cleveland Browns’ roster. The 30-year-old Ohio native’s challenge now, however, is sharing the […]

Raising the Bar in Every Area of Life
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Raising the Bar in Every Area of Life

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As a two-time NCAA Division I All-American and National Champion high jumper, Bill Thierfelder had long been accustomed to raising the bar in a literal sense. Now, he does so in a metaphorical way by promoting excellence and virtue in every aspect of life. In fact, each light post at Belmont Abbey College is adorned with a […]

Alabama v. Auburn: A Metaphor for Life
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Alabama v. Auburn: A Metaphor for Life

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College football fans across the country are still buzzing over the shocking outcome of the Alabama-Auburn game. As a graduate of Florida State University, I couldn’t be more proud of Auburn. What a game! War Eagle! As expected, the odds makers picked Alabama to win. Who wouldn’t? Alabama has been unstoppable all year, and this […]

Baseball Park - PNC Park, Pittsburgh
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Bonding Over Baseball

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Baseball still brings friends and families together.

Baseball Park - PNC Park, Pittsburgh
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Bad Sports: Virtue & Vice at the Ballpark

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It really comes down to that — virtue vs. vice.

Olympic Bronze Medalist Transformed Through Crucible of Suffering
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Olympic Bronze Medalist Transformed Through Crucible of Suffering

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If things had gone according to his original plan, Mario Ancic would have played tennis at the Olympic Games in London last year. However, his life took a different course than he expected. The 6-foot-5-inch Croatian was riding high at the end of 2006. He was already an Olympic bronze medalist, a Wimbledon semifinalist and […]

Posing Nude: A Symptom of Illness in the Church
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Posing Nude: A Symptom of Illness in the Church

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The nude photograph of Agnieszka Radwanska has caused quite a stir inside and outside of the Catholic Church. Agnieszka is the fourth ranked world tennis champ who posed naked for ESPN Magazine. When the photo went public – and viral – she was dropped from the Polish Catholic youth movement, Krucjata Mlodych (Youth Crusade), where […]

He’s Not a Hitter, He’s a Baby Sitter!
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He’s Not a Hitter, He’s a Baby Sitter!

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“Let’s go, he can’t hit, he can’t hit.” “Stop the game! How dare you suggest that the batter, an innocent 12-year-old child who only wants to make contact with the ball, cannot hit! Have you considered how your ridicule will harm his self-esteem? As the umpire of this game, I forbid you to utter such […]

Yankees First Baseman Mark Teixeira on the Importance of Fatherhood
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Yankees First Baseman Mark Teixeira on the Importance of Fatherhood

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Mark Teixeira is widely known as one of the best all-around players in baseball. After being awarded the 2000 Dick Howser Trophy, college baseball’s equivalent of college football’s Heisman Trophy, he was taken in the first round of the Major League Baseball Draft in 2001. His professional career includes a World Series championship, two All-Star Game […]

Is God a Methodist? 42 Inspires and Moves
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Is God a Methodist? 42 Inspires and Moves

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In an opening scene of Brian Helgeland’s moving film, 42, Branch Rickey, the famous president of the Brooklyn Dodgers and played by Harrison Ford, is reviewing files of potential black baseball players whom he might bring into major league baseball in the face of inevitable hate, vitriol, and racism. He picks up Jackie Robinson’s file. “He’s […]

Is God a Cardinals Fan?
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Is God a Cardinals Fan?

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Screaming erupted in our family room this past Friday as the St. Louis Cardinals came up with four runs in the ninth inning to derail the estimable Washington Nationals in the early morning hours not long after midnight. They managed to resurrect themselves from a 6-0 deficit from the early innings, thereby duplicating their performance […]

“It Has Something to Do With the Power of Love”
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“It Has Something to Do With the Power of Love”

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In 2001, I wrote the following first paragraph:”On January 22–on the 28th anniversary of Roe v. Wade–North Carolina Superior Court Judge Charles Lamm sentenced 27-year-old Rae Carruth to a minimum of 18 years and 11 months in prison for his role in the execution-style murder of his pregnant girlfriend. Miraculously, doctors were able to save […]

St. Louis Rams' Quarterback Is 'Catholic by Blood'
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St. Louis Rams’ Quarterback Is ‘Catholic by Blood’

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Kellen Clemens has been playing football as far back as he can remember. After learning the game from his father on their cattle ranch, he went on to set high-school records for the state of Oregon in passing yards and touchdowns. At the University of Oregon, he set single-season passing records and ended his collegiate […]

Olympic Medalist Transformed Through Suffering
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Olympic Medalist Transformed Through Suffering

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If things had gone according to his original plan, Mario Ancic would have been playing tennis at the Olympic Games in London this week. However, his life took a different course than he expected. The 6-foot-5-inch Croatian was riding high at the end of 2006. He was already an Olympic bronze medalist, a Wimbledon semifinalist […]

The Lessons of Little League are Not So Little
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The Lessons of Little League are Not So Little

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Sports are often said to be a microcosm of life. But for kids playing on their first team, sports can provide valuable life lessons and opportunities for developing virtues. Coaches, then, can be influential mentors who start youngsters on the right road. Yet it’s not as simple as it looks. I had been thinking about […]

San Diego Baseball Camp Has Christ at Its Center
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San Diego Baseball Camp Has Christ at Its Center

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Mike Sweeney’s Catholic Baseball Camp, to be held July 24-26 at Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego, is not your average baseball camp. In addition to the customary fielding, hitting and base-running, this camp will include daily Mass, confession and praying the Rosary. Participants will learn not only how to become great baseball players, […]

An Excerpt from The Summer of 43: R.A. Dickey’s Knuckleball and the Redemption of America’s Game
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An Excerpt from The Summer of 43: R.A. Dickey’s Knuckleball and the Redemption of America’s Game

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A fastball is a young man’s pitch. Arrogant and overpowering. An exercise in green strength and the flexibility of young bones and tendons. Oh, older pitchers can sometimes throw the high-velocity things, barreling toward the plate at more than 90 miles an hour. Even in his last seasons, a forty-year-old man playing in the early […]

Importance of Catholicism Hits Home for Arizona Diamondbacks Player
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Importance of Catholicism Hits Home for Arizona Diamondbacks Player

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The way Willie Bloomquist sees it, he’s living an impossible dream. Of all the players who try to make it to the major leagues, only a relative few actually get there. Bloomquist is one of those few, but he doesn’t attribute this to his own skills. The 34-year-old Port Orchard, Wash., native says he’s not […]

Cleveland Indians' Player Thankful
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Cleveland Indians’ Player Thankful

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If you ask Jack Hannahan what he’s thankful for, be prepared to listen for a while. Hannahan, 32, has plenty to appreciate, starting with the realization of his dream of playing in the major leagues. In 2001, he was named Big Ten Player of the Year at the University of Minnesota and was drafted in […]

Otherworldly Series
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Otherworldly Series

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Rich Donnelly has a baseball story that is out of this world. Donnelly’s daughter Amy had passed away four years before his trip to the World Series in 1997 with the Florida Marlins, but her presence was felt keenly at the end of the seventh game. The coach has recounted the story to thousands of […]

Hating Tim Tebow
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Hating Tim Tebow

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I grew up in Denver and am admittedly biased. I’m a Denver Broncos fanatic. In the Mile High City, the Broncos are more than just a football team; they’re an institution. Everybody loves a comeback. Former Broncos quarterback John Elway — one of the greatest QBs in NFL history — had comebacks in his DNA. […]

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