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All-Star starters

For the millions of you Major League Baseball fans who did not pass on your patriotic duty to vote for your favorite 2014 All-Stars, the votes have been counted and the starters are:

American League starters: first base, Miguel Cabrera, Detroit; second base, Robinson Cano, Seattle; shortstop, Derek Jeter, New York; third base, Josh Donaldson, Oakland; catcher, Salvador Perez, Kansas City; DH, Nelson Cruz,

Baltimore; outfield Mike Trout, California, Adam Jones, Baltimore, and Jose Bautista, Toronto, who was the number-one vote-getter, receiving 5.6 million votes. National League starters: first base, Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona; second base, Chase Utley, Philadelphia; shortstop, Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado; third base, Aramis Ramirez, Milwaukee; outfield Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh, Carlos Gomez, Milwaukee, and Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles. The Twins had two players selected as reserves — catcher Kurt Suzuki and reliever Glen Perkins. Here’s an interesting symmetry: This year’s mid-summer classic, the 85th All-Star game, is being held in the same city, Minneapolis, as the 1985 All-Star Game. For the most part, all those that have been voted in are very deserving and, as always, many deserving stars were not — at least not yet — selected. Continue Reading →

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Current NBA stars honor their Black Fives predecessors







As we approach the wind-down days of Black History Month 2014, it’s refreshing to see other Black contributors besides the usual few names often presented — such as overlooked Black athletes who labored in virtual obscurity during the Jim Crow era. Thanks to the nonprofit Black Fives Foundation in New York for “tell[ing] the story of the pre-1950 history of African Americans in basketball.” The “Black Fives” name comes from the all-Black basketball teams that played in Brooklyn, Harlem, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Pittsburgh, Newark and Los Angeles. These teams “ushered in the Harlem Renaissance period, smashed the color barrier in pro basketball and helped pave the way for the Civil Rights Movement,” wrote founder Claude Johnson on the foundation’s website (www.blackfives.org). Johnson and director Loren Mendell teamed up with Fox Sports Net, which broadcasts NBA games for 13 teams including the Minnesota Timberwolves, to create a series of 30-second TV vignettes honoring Black Fives era pioneers during Black History Month. They are aired during halftime of the telecasts. Continue Reading →

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Vikings pound Eagles 48-30

First-place Philadelphia, the hottest team in the NFL, winners of five in a row looking to pad their NFC East lead, ran into a frustrated group of Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Playing the next-to-last game in the history of Mall of America Field (the Metro Dome), the Vikings finally put it all together even with starting quarterback Christian Ponder, NFL MVP Adrian Peterson and several others unable to play due to injuries. The Vikings released some frustration by jumping all over the Eagles 48-30. The wrecking ball cranes are all lined up outside the Dome as the countdown has begun to destroy the historic second home of Vikings football since 1982. Reserve running back Matt Asiata, in his first NFL start at running back, scored three touchdowns. Continue Reading →

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Watkins eased into coaching for Twins

 Tommy Watkins is one of two Black coaches in the Minnesota Twins farm system.  After his season at Single-A Cedar Rapids concluded in September, he was called to join the major league team’s coaching staff for the remainder of the season. “I thought so as my career went on,” admits Watkins when asked if becoming a coach was part of his post-playing career plans. He spent 12 years in the Twins organization (1998-2009) but played only nine games with the big league club in 2007, mostly at third base after being drafted by Minnesota in 1998 out of high school. “I started helping out at my high school (in Riverside, Florida) in my third or fourth year as [an active] player. I always thought when I got done playing I would want to coach somewhere.”

Watkins completed his fourth season as a coach in the Twins organization. Continue Reading →

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London Vikings game a ‘hook’ to plug state business, tourism

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Meet Minneapolis Executive Director Melvin Tennant was a member of the 24-person delegation that traveled to London for the September 29 Minnesota-Pittsburgh football game. But he was there for more than watching the local NFL club play a regular-season contest. “I had the opportunity to represent Meet Minneapolis [the city’s convention and visitors’ bureau],” Tennant told the MSR last week after his return from the week-long trip to England. He added that the traveling party included both Minneapolis and St. Paul mayors; representatives from the convention and visitors bureaus of St. Continue Reading →

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