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Sunday
May142017

New York Yankees retire Derek Jeter's No. 2 jersey

Elsa/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The New York Yankees have officially retired Derek Jeter's No. 2 jersey.

In a ceremony before Sunday night's game against the Houston Astros, the team retired his number and unveiled a plaque that will be placed in Monument Park in his honor.

Jeter was joined by family and told the sold-out crowd the Yankees were "the only team I ever wanted to play for."

"There isn't a person or player I would trade places with that's playing now or ever," he said to cheers and applause. "And the reason why I say that is because I got a chance to play for a first-class organization and in front of the greatest fans in the history of sports."

He also thanked fans "for pushing me, for challenging me, for making me accountable, and more importantly, for embracing me since day one."

Jeter received framed replicas of his retired number, the plaque, and was given a 14-karat white gold ring, according to ESPN.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
May142017

NASCAR driver Aric Almirola injured in devastating crash Saturday night

Allen Kee/ESPN Images(KANSAS CITY, Kan.) -- NASCAR driver Aric Almirola suffered a compression fracture to his T5 Vertebra after his car got in a vicious crash during the Go Bowling 400 on Saturday night. Richard Petty Motorsports released an update on his condition Sunday morning after he stayed in the hospital overnight.

He has since been released and will fly back to his North Carolina home on Sunday.

A broken brake rotor on Joey Logano's car started the crash according to an ESPN report.

Logano hit fellow driver Danica Patrick and the two skidded into the wall, and seconds after Almirola smashed into the back of Logano's car. The rear of Almirola's vehicle went airborne and his car skidded along the track.

Almirola dropped the window net by his door, indicating he was conscious, but he was put in an ambulance and airlifted to University of Kansas Medical Center. He did not lose consciousness at any point.

Logano said afterwards that something in the right front of his vehicle broke while he was racing:

"I tried to back off, but you're going 215 [mph], and it's hard to check up, and the car just took a big step sideways into the corner. I'm OK. Just saying prayers for Aric right now."

Patrick, who was frustrated after getting out of her car, told Logano:

"'I'm not sure if it was you, but I'm pretty sure it was you.' Then he said it was a failure of some sort, which didn't make me feel better in that moment. I hope Aric is OK. He's definitely feeling the worst of everybody.''

Richard Petty Motorsports says it will provide further updates on Almirola's status when it becomes available.

Martin Truex Jr. won the race on the final restart. It marks Truex’s second win of the season and his first career victory at Kansas Speedway.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
May142017

Scoreboard roundup -- 5/13/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE
Chi White Sox   5  San Diego   4

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Boston        6  Tampa Bay     3
Toronto       7  Seattle       2
Minnesota     4  Cleveland     1
Kansas City   4  Baltimore     3
Texas         6  Oakland       5
Detroit       4  L.A. Angels   3
Houston  at  N-Y Yankees   2:05 p.m.

NATIONAL LEAGUE
San Francisco   3  Cincinnati     1
St. Louis       5  Chi Cubs       3
Washington      6  Philadelphia   4
Atlanta         3  Miami          1
Milwaukee      11  N-Y Mets       4
Pittsburgh      4  Arizona        3
L.A. Dodgers    4  Colorado       0

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
OT  Ottawa   2  Pittsburgh   1

WOMEN'S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
N-Y Liberty   73  San Antonio   64
L.A. Sparks   78  Seattle       68
Atlanta       81  Connecticut   74

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
May132017

NFL legend Jim Kelly discusses his battle with cancer and offers tips for those fighting their own battle

Phil Ellsworth/ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- Jim Kelly did not expect what life would have in store for him after football. The longtime Buffalo Bills quarterback has spent much of his post-playing career promoting wellness and spreading awareness about cancer, sharing his own experience fighting the disease.

Kelly was diagnosed with cancer in his upper jaw in 2013, and after undergoing surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, he lives cancer free today.

He also established the non-profit "Hunter's Hope Foundation" after retiring in 1997 to honor his son Hunter, who was diagnosed with the rare, degenerative disorder, Krabbe disease. Hunter Kelly died in 2005 at the age of 8.

The Pro Football Hall of Famer spoke exclusively with ABC News about spreading awareness through Your Cancer Game Plan, offering advice to those impacted by cancer and other serious illnesses.

He talked about a few keys that helped him win his battle:

1. Communication

"The key is always early diagnosis"

Kelly told ABC News one of the reasons he was able to beat the disease is because he spoke to medical professionals soon after he was feeling pain.

In fact, he visited doctors numerous times before they determined he actually had cancer. He was experiencing pain in his teeth and headaches, subsequently undergoing at least five root canals before a second biopsy determined he had cancer.

Kelly knew little about how cancer can affect people in their head and neck region, and says consulting with a doctor was not only a way to determine how he could actually treat the disease, but also improve his emotional state.

After he was diagnosed, he talked about feeling left in the dark, facing an unknown battle that caused him stress. His family had already lost their son, and faced the possibility of losing their husband and father, and he did not know how he was going to tell them he had cancer.

Health professionals helped him and his family understand the different options he had for treating the disease, providing comfort, relief, and some hope during an emotional time.

2. Nutrition and Eating Right

"I never was a real good eater... I ate pretty much anything I wanted."

Kelly, who says he used to have a poor diet, discovered it was vital for him to get proper nutrients in his body both ahead of and after treatment, and believes improving his diet was a key part in his recovery process.

Cancer affected his taste buds and the way he chewed, forcing him to take steps to change his diet. He adds that he had to remove some foods from his diet even though he still enjoyed them.

3. Positive Attitude


"It's All About Your Attitude"

Maintaining a positive attitude was almost counterintuitive for Kelly. How was he going to attack this potentially fatal disease that he knew so little about?

He applied the lessons he learned from the hardships he experienced during his playing career to get him through. Not winning the Heisman Trophy, undergoing multiple surgeries in the pros, and losing four Super Bowls were just a few on-field challenges Kelly faced. He says he tries to stay "Kelly Tough" like when he was playing in the NFL, and also rely on his team, in this case, his family and support system, to help him through his difficult time.

But Kelly adds that individuals go through their own hardships, and they can recall how they made it through those difficult times as they fight their own battles.

4. Finding Support

"The Four F's"

Kelly relied on what he calls his Four F's: faith, family, friends, and fans when he was undergoing treatment. He says many people reached out to him and offered their best wishes, including Jets and Dolphins fans, supporters of the two teams that are rivals of the Buffalo Bills!

Kelly adds that others who feel unsure about their disease or insecure about the way it can affect their physical image can find support groups online.

5. Act and Encourage Others

"You can be a difference-maker... you don't have to be Jim Kelly"

According to Kelly, your platform is not really all that important. As long as you act, you are making a difference.

The football legend encourages those who are not affected by cancer to get involved. Whether it is participating in a fundraising event, or, as Kelly put it, just giving a loved one a hug, patients are often looking for continued support.

Even offering small gestures can make a difference in the lives of those fighting their own battle.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
May132017

Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Chris Iannetta hospitalized after taking pitch to face

iStock/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) -- During the bottom of the seventh inning of the Arizona Diamondbacks Friday night game with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Diamonbacks catcher Chris Iannetta was hit in the face with a 93 mile per hour fastball while he was batting.

Iannetta remained on the ground for several minutes with blood dripping from his face, eventually being helped to his feet and walking off the field while holding a cloth to his nose.

Manager Torey Lovullo addressed Iannetta's injury in his postgame press conference before taking any questions, saying:

"Everything was OK. He split his lip open and he's at the hospital right now to get further exams. Anytime there's head trauma, anytime there's something that hits you in that area, you're never comfortable until a diagnosis has been made so we're using every precaution to make sure that he's OK."

He added that the team should know more about Iannetta's status on Saturday.

The hit by pitch ignited speculation that Pirates pitcher Johnny Barbato was intentionally targeting Iannetta, who hit a home run earlier in the game.

The two clubs have a history of bad blood. In 2014, Diamondbacks star Paul Goldschmidt was hit in the hand by a pitch and missed the rest of that season. The day after that game, Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen was drilled in the back by a pitch. Tempers flared again in May 2016, when Arizona's second baseman Jean Segura was hit on the helmet with a pitch.

When asked about it at his press conference, Lovullo paused, then told reporters he believes the pitch just "got away" from the pitcher.

Barbato said just that afterwards:

"It got away from me. Definitely a relief when he can get up on his own. I'm going to try to reach out to him and make sure he is all right. It's kind of scary. Hopefully he is all right."


The Diamondbacks won the game 11-4.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
May122017

11-year-old Special Olympics player surprised with trip to NBA Draft Lottery

iStock/Thinkstock(CHANDLER, Ariz.) -- Noah Smith may just be 11 years old, but he's going to the NBA Draft Lottery next week!

Smith, who was born with a hole in his heart, was surprised Friday by Phoenix Suns shooting guard Devin Booker with a seat at the exclusive event. The 5th grader at Navarrete Elementary in Chandler, Arizona, loves basketball and plays the sport in the Special Olympics.

Booker has become close with Smith over the past few months and was so taken with his story that he felt the need to invite him along to New York for the big event on Tuesday, a spokesman for the NBA told ABC News.

On Tuesday, Noah and Booker, 20, will spend all day Tuesday in Manhattan playing ball together and checking out Big Apple attractions before they hit the big event that will determine who is the top pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Booker is no stranger to the lottery. He was the 13th pick just two years ago and averaged just over 22 points per game last year for the Suns.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
May122017

Soccer coach comes out to team as transgender: 'I'm still me'

Kristin Soldevilla(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- A beloved soccer coach coming out to his team as transgender has been captured on video.

Kaig Lightner, 36, founder and director of Portland Community Football Club in Portland, Oregon, revealed his story to the kids on May 1.

"I thought it was really fantastic that the first question was, 'How old are you?" Lightner told ABC News. "Kids don't have as many concerns about these larger social issues as adults do. They just want to know what age I am."

As for the video, the response had been amazingly positive, he added. "They were like 'OK you're our coach, we're glad you did this now lets go play soccer.'"

Lightner was assigned female sex at birth. But, as a child, he recognized that "something was different," he said.

"As I became older, more into my 20's, is when I really started to think about transitioning," Lightener added. "I recognized that my identity fit more towards the masculine end of the gender spectrum."

Lightner began taking testosterone at age 26 and in 2005, he legally changed his first name. A year later, he received top surgery, he said.

Lightner's mom, Betty Lightner, from Whidbey Island Washington, told ABC News that she and her family embraced his journey from the very beginning.

"We didn't want him to be alone for one minute," Betty Lightner said. "Because this whole thing kind of started in high school, that she, at the time, was totally ridiculed and put-off by a lot of people and left out of a lot of things, which pained us."

She said once Lightner began taking testosterone, the family noticed he was happier.

"The top surgery, it was hard and we went with him," Betty Lightner added. "But it was the last step that completed the circle and made him who he is now. He is a gorgeous, intelligent, amazing, loving strong, intelligent man. He's a great friend, a great person and he is making a difference in the world and there's nothing more a parent can ask for than that."

In 2013, Lightner launched the Portland Community Football Club, which accepts players and coaches from racially and economically diverse backgrounds. The club is also a welcoming environment for many different identities, including LGBTQ players, parents and coaches.

Throughout the years, Lightner said the soccer club became a "family" to him. Earlier this month, he decided it was time to share his past with the kids.

"I had just gotten to this place with them that I thought they need to know and deserve to know," he said. "To have them learn about this from somebody they already love and respect is better than learning from a second source about my identity."

After a group warm-up during practice, Lightner gathered the kids and began his speech.

"Some of you may or may not know this, but I am transgender," Lightner said in his speech, captured in the seven-minute video.

"That means that I was born a girl and that I grew up playing this soccer as a girl and that’s not something that I share with players or people in the sports world very often because it’s not an easy thing," he said. "We have a lot of rules in sports about how boys play and how girls play and that’s not very fair."

"I got told a lot of things about being a soccer player as a girl," he continued. "I wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t strong enough, or I was too strong, I acted too much like a boy."

"I bet you all had things said to you about your color of your skin, or the way you talk, or the country your parents are from or any of that, that's really similar to how I got treated as a kid too."

In the video, the players are listening to Lightner's story and one walks up and gives him a hug.

Lightner continued: "I may have this white skin and I may look like I just cruised right through life with a lot of privilege, which I have had, but I have one thing that a lot of people don’t know about me."

Lightner admitted that he was nervous to come out to his players.

"We got to love each other no matter what ... I'm still me," he said. "I'm still the same guy who comes out here, gets you guys to be better soccer players, gets on you when you're not playing hard, loves you no matter what."

Kurt Borchardt is an assistant coach and helps coordinate fundraising for the soccer club. Borchardt met Lightner just after he began transitioning from female to male, he told ABC News.

Borchardt said he was "very proud" of the players and of Lightner after viewing the video of his speech.

"He's amazing," Borchardt said of Lightner. "They know he cares about them. He's invested in them and he's an awesome mentor. He's been a great role model to all of us as his friends in terms of his courage to be who he is, while at the same time, investing in our community."

Betty Lightner said prior to the video, she was unaware that her son had not come out to the soccer club, but is glad that he did.

"We realized it was freeing to Kaig," she added. "Maybe there are some trans kids out there who want to play soccer and are afraid they won't be accepted. It opens a huge door for trans people who want to be accepted and loved."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
May122017

Patriots' Tom Brady to cover "Madden NFL '18" video game

Business Wire(NEW YORK) -- With the Patriots' most recent Super Bowl win, quarterback Tom Brady holds a record five championship rings. Now video game company Entertainment Arts (EA) is giving Brady another record. Brady will be the oldest player to appear on the cover of it's popular Madden NFL game, ESPN reports. He turns 40 in August.

Brady is perhaps more familiar with EA than some gamers. The game developer's headquarters opened in the his hometown of San Mateo, California, when Brady was just a young athlete, according to ESPN. Brady even used the EA gym for his workouts as a youth with the help of a close friend and neighbor who worked for the company.

"When this all came about," Brady said, according to ESPN, "I thought, 'How cool is that to do this knowing when I was a kid in high school I was tagging along down there, working out where it all started?'

Despite playing the Madden games during his childhood, Brady said he doesn't get to indulge as much anymore. When he does play, though, his 9-year-old son Jack is his frequent opponent. The Madden cover man says Jack usually selects the Patriots as his team, forcing Brady to compete against his own real-life teammates.

"I don't like doing it," Brady said. "It does feel weird. I feel like I'm going up against my own guys that I love."

The four-time Super Bowl MVP and two-time league MVP is happy to represent the Patriots franchise on the game cover. When Madden NFL '18 releases Aug. 25, he said it's likely to be a popular topic for conversation in the Patriots lockerroom.
 
"When it comes out, that's a topic of conversation in our locker room for weeks and weeks, even as we go into the season. ...I think I represent a lot of people when I do something like this. And only one person gets to do it every year."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
May122017

Scoreboard roundup -- 5/11/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE
Boston   4  Milwaukee   1
Texas    5  San Diego   2
Baltimore  at  Washington   7:05 p.m., postponed

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Kansas City   6  Tampa Bay       0
Houston       3  N-Y Yankees     2
Toronto       7  Seattle         2
Minnesota     7  Chi White Sox   6
Detroit       7  L.A. Angels     1

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Colorado    10  L.A. Dodgers    7
Arizona      2  Pittsburgh      1
Cincinnati   3  San Francisco   2

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS
San Antonio  114  Houston   75

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
May112017

Mets' Familia diagnosed with blood clot in shoulder

Jim McIsaac/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) – Another New York Met is set to miss an extended period of time.

Mets closer Jeury Familia has been diagnosed with a blood clot in his right shoulder and will be evaluated by Dr. Robert Thompson in St. Louis, the team announced Thursday.

Familia allowed four runs in the top of the ninth inning on Wednesday, blowing a save against the New York Giants.

The 27-year-old was suspended for 15 games to start the season under the league’s domestic violence policy.

Starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard was placed on the 60-day-disabled list due to a torn muscle behind his right arm.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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