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LeBron James: The Incredible Journey to the NBA 0

Posted on October 21, 2020 by Tiffany Watts

King James, The Chosen One, Greatest of All Time – these are just a few of the names that LeBron James has been known for his entire career. Indeed, the last one may seem contentious and is the source of constant dispute, but there’s no denying that he belongs in that conversation.

After winning the 2020 NBA Championship, LeBron has once again proven that he is one of the best basketball players in the world, if not the absolute and undisputed greatest player today.

At the age of 35, LeBron continues to dominate the competition which is unprecedented for someone who’s already spent 17 straight years playing in the NBA at the highest possible level. People remain wondering when Father Time will catch up to him, but that’s beside the point.

In his already historic career, LeBron has served as an inspiration not just for the young players in the league today, but also for regular people around the world. But it would be wrong to say that he was merely destined for this greatness. Much like other people, LeBron has had his fair share of struggles. A look back at his life and journey to the NBA into becoming one of the greatest athletes of all time is something that will truly motivate and inspire anyone, basketball fan or not.

LeBron’s Childhood

LeBron Raymone James Sr. was born on December 30, 1984, in Akron, Ohio. His mother, Gloria Marie James, was 16 at the time. LeBron’s father did not have a presence in his life, and it was only him and his mother since day one.

The early years of LeBron’s life were filled with constant movement from home to home. His mother struggled to find steady employment. He struggled to make friends in school, and he found it difficult to focus on his studies due to his situation. He fortunately found an outlet for himself by playing sports. He mainly played basketball and football.

He began playing organized basketball when he was in the fifth grade, and later on joined the Northeast Ohio Shooting Stars in the Amateur Athletic Union. This was where the seeds of greatness were planted.

A Star Athlete

LeBron went to high school in St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, where he played for the school’s football and basketball teams.

He immediately made an impact in the school’s basketball program. During his freshman year, he led the Fighting Irish to a perfect 27-0 record. He remained stellar throughout his high school playing days, being named Ohio Mr. Basketball and getting selected to the USA Today All-USA First Team consistently.

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Stan Jones – Weight Training Trailblazer 0

Posted on October 11, 2020 by Dean Hybl
Stan Jones

The Sports Then and Now Athlete of the Month was one of the great linemen of his era and is considered a trailblazer for using weight training and conditioning to develop his skills.

After a standout career at the University of Maryland, Stan Jones spent nine seasons as an offensive lineman for the Chicago Bears, making seven Pro Bowl appearances and earning first team All-Pro three times.

In 1962, assistant coach George Allen suggested Jones move to defense to help solidify that unit for the Bears. He played both ways in 1962 and then in 1963 moved permanently to the defense.

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Baseball World Says Goodbye to Several All-Time Greats 0

Posted on October 04, 2020 by Dean Hybl

There is no question that 2020 has been a tough year for everyone, but it has been an especially sad year for long-time baseball fans. Bob Gibson, who passed away this weekend, is the fourth member of the Baseball Hall of Fame to pass away in 2020. The other members of the HOF to pass away this year are Al Kaline, Tom Seaver and Gibson’s long-time teammate Lou Brock.

Bob Gibson facing Al Kaline in the 1968 World Series.

In addition, the game has said goodbye to several other notable players including Don Larsen, Jimmy Wynn, Tony Fernandez, Tony Taylor, Bob Watson and Claudell Washington. Here is the full list from Baseball Reference.

Gibson, Brock and Kaline were all part of the dramatic 1968 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers. As should be the case on the World Series stage, all three of the future Hall of Famers were at their best during the seven-game series.

For Kaline, who played his entire 22 year career with the Tigers, the 1968 World Series marked the first post-season opportunity of his career. He definitely made the most of it as he registered at least one hit in each of the first six games and finished with a team-high 11 hits and a .379 average. He also hit two home runs and drove home eight runs.

Gibson and Brock were both playing in their third World Series in five seasons in 1968. The Cardinals claimed World Series titles in 1964 and 1967. Both Gibson and Brock were key performers in both of those wins.

In the 1964 World Series against the New York Yankees, Gibson won two of three starts, including a 7-5 victory in the decisive seventh game. Brock had two hits, scored a run and drove home a run in the seventh game. Over the full seven game series, Brock had four multi-hit games and drove home five runs.

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25 Years Ago: Cal Ripken Jr. Passes the Iron Horse 0

Posted on September 05, 2020 by Dean Hybl

It is hard to believe that a quarter century has passed since Cal Ripken Jr. put Major League Baseball on his back and helped it get past one of the darkest periods in its illustrious history.

On September 5, 1995 Ripken matched the seemingly unbreakable record of Lou Gehrig by playing in his 2,130th consecutive game. After the game became official and the streak numbers on the B&O Warehouse turned to 2,130, he punctuated the night with a sixth inning home run.

The drama was even better the following night as Ripken hit a home run in the fourth inning. Then, with Baltimore leading 3-1 midway through the fifth inning the game was halted for the dramatic unveiling of the number 2,131.

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Randy White: The Manster 0

Posted on September 04, 2020 by Dean Hybl

In recognition of the start of football season, we have selected a two-time All-American from the University of Maryland who went on to earn a spot in both the College and Pro Football Hall of Fames as our Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month.

Randy White actually came to the University of Maryland as a fullback, but as a sophomore new head coach Jerry Claiborne recognized that he had the skills to be a great defensive lineman and quickly moved him to defense.

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The Role of Baseball in the American Culture 0

Posted on August 07, 2020 by Bijoy Hembram

Playing baseball is a leisure and pass time activity for American families. Baseball plays a significant role in the development of children in the states. Most American baseball fans grew up knowing and playing baseball. This is the reason that millions of American citizens follow the sport.

A Brief History of the Sport

The history of baseball dates back to hundreds of years in the past. In the 1800s, the sport received recognition from the government and set on the path to create a formal league. The Major Baseball League came into existence in the 1900s. In the modern era, the Jackie Robinson jersey portrays the end of racial segregation in professional baseball.

Unity through Baseball

In the past, when America was undergoing a civil war baseball was a factor in unifying the people. Not only was the sport efficient in the unity of the North and South of America but it brought people together because of the athleticism and ability to play the sports. After the game broke the New York borders, the sport gained popularity as a national symbol of unity. The pastime was responsible for building a rapport between soldiers of the different sides and the conclusion of the war.

Fast-forward to modern times and the sport is a factor in unifying rivals in the global political scene. Amid the growing political divides in residents of Washington DC, the locals come together to support their team. The game presents the chance for Americans of different social and political views to put the differences aside.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Stan Jones – Weight Training Trailblazer
      October 11, 2020 | 1:48 pm
      Stan Jones

      The Sports Then and Now Athlete of the Month was one of the great linemen of his era and is considered a trailblazer for using weight training and conditioning to develop his skills.

      After a standout career at the University of Maryland, Stan Jones spent nine seasons as an offensive lineman for the Chicago Bears, making seven Pro Bowl appearances and earning first team All-Pro three times.

      In 1962, assistant coach George Allen suggested Jones move to defense to help solidify that unit for the Bears. He played both ways in 1962 and then in 1963 moved permanently to the defense.

      Read more »

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