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Sports Columns

Jaywalking: Headline gripes

A couple weeks back, Greenfield High School girls’ track & field athlete Claire Abelson asked through her father and Recorder editorial page editor Justin Abelson why her team never got a headline. I responded half-jokingly that you need to win or do something special to get headlines. Truth be told, the stories that get the headlines are generally the best games of the day, whether it be because the game features two of the best teams, or because the game was what you might call

Keeping Score: Sogard’s pop

Good morning! Two Oakland A’s players caught my attention last weekend on NESN. Bearded catcher Derek Norris looked like Sasquatch, and bespectacled infielder Eric Sogard looked like my nephew Pete Weiss, who lives in Athens, Vermont and plays in a band called the Weisstronauts. That was the extent of it until an anonymous tipster emailed me that Sogard’s father grew up in Wendell and played on Vic Colo’s Mahar Regional baseball team. “Dad’s name is Bruce,” said the source. “I believe he went to college

On the Trail: Living proof

Observations. They jolt me, jostle me, spin my wheels awhirl, often propelling me off to the most unusual and unlikely places, real and imagined. With devilish spring air tickling my lungs, there has been much visual impetus this past week as the sympathy cards, emails and phone calls keep pouring in after the tragic passing of son Ryan, at 28, too young to die. I’m in touch with the boy daily — be it applying the Old Spice deodorant stick he scoffed from me weeks

Jaywalking: Real deal

It has been about a month since Deerfield’s Mae Emerson won the Under-14 Tier II Girls’ Hockey National Championship with her Assabet Valley hockey team, and her team’s national-champion status still hasn’t totally set in. “It feels a little weird,” she said of being the best Under-14 Tier II team in the country. Regardless of how it feels, Emerson, who’s given name is actually Elizabeth, is exactly that after Assabet Valley went to the National Championships in Amherst, N.Y., during the first week of April.

Keeping Score: Tempting fate

Good morning! When nominations to this year’s Triple Crown series closed on Jan. 25, the owners of 413 3-year-old thoroughbreds had dished out $600 per horse thinking theirs might be the colt to wear the blanket of roses on the first Saturday in May. Prep races and veterinarian visits culled the number to what are arguably the top 19 standing and shortly after 6:24 p.m. today those horses will break from the starting gate for what’s popularly called “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports.” Among

On the Trail: Rynie’s song

Small table-top urns, two of them, showed up recently on my cluttered library’s desk — one blue, the other gold, matching my late sons’ eyes. My wife placed the decorative little canisters there, probably as a shrine. I don’t know, haven’t asked and won’t. In fact, I never even mentioned the eye-color coordination. Maybe a coincidence. I doubt it. Who knows? Maybe someday my ashes will wind up in a similar setting. Can’t say it matters much to me. I live for the present, which

Jaywalking: Saluting a coach

Former Mohawk Trail Regional High School football coach David Bodenstein had a couple credos his former players recalled living by, but on Sunday he said that when he was coaching, this was what he wanted his players to play by: Give everything you have to the play and to the next one and to the one after that. You play until the end. Football is a violent sport and you always have to be ready. It’s a lesson that still resonates with players today, but

Keeping Score: Birch Bias

Good morning! Throwing it up there to see what sticks with your bacon and eggs this Saturday breakfast ... Bill Lee claims bats made of yellow birch are stronger than the conventional sort made of maple or northern white ash. “It’s a cross between maple and ash and very hard to break unless you get fooled by a change-up and get the front out,” Lee told radio hosts Ed Randall and Rico Petrocelli. The talkative Spaceman is the ideal radio guest, just ask and he’ll

Jaywalking: One Run

Angela Worden-Corey and Kate Koonz joined hundreds of runners Sunday for perhaps one of the most inspirational 6.5-mile runs anyone has ever been a part of. The two local women took part in the final stage of the One Run For Boston, which was a fundraiser attracting thousands of people taking part in a cross-country relay to raise money for the One Fund Boston, which supports the long-term needs 2013 Boston Marathon bombing victims. The One Run For Boston began last summer when three British

Keeping Score: Inner strength

Good morning! Marathon runner Ben Simanski crossed the finish line 30 minutes ahead of the mayhem that ensued at 2:49 p.m. last Patriot’s Day, a stroke of good fortune for a man who’d recently received his share of bad news. A 30-year-old attorney with a passion for criminal defense, life was good for him until the wintry day in 2013 when he walked into the the Valley Medical Group in Greenfield to get sized for contacts. The ophthalmologist, Dr. Herbert Meyers, paused during the exam