Mets great Tom Seaver diagnosed with dementia at 74
By RONALD BLUM
AP Baseball Writer
Friday, March 8
NEW YORK (AP) — Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver, the star of the Miracle Mets 1969 World Series championship team, has been diagnosed with dementia at age 74.
His family made the announcement Thursday through the Hall and said Seaver has retired from public life. He will continue to work at Seaver Vineyards, founded by the retired player and wife Nancy in 2002 on 116 acres at Diamond Mountain in the Calistoga region of California.
Seaver was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 1991, and it reoccurred in 2012 and led to Bell’s Palsy and memory loss, the New York Daily News reported in 2013.
“He will always be the heart and soul of the Mets, the standard which all Mets aspire to, this breaks my heart,” tweeted former Mets catcher Mike Piazza, a fellow Hall of Famer. “Do not feel worthy to be mentioned in the same breath.”
Seaver has limited his public appearances in recent years. He did not attend the Baseball Writers’ Association of America dinner in January where members of the 1969 team were honored on the 50th anniversary of what still ranks among baseball’s most unexpected champions.
A three-time NL Cy Young Award winner and the 1967 NL Rookie of the Year, Seaver was 311-205 with a 2.86 ERA, 3,640 strikeouts and 61 shutouts from 1967-86. A five-time 20-game winner nicknamed Tom Terrific, Seaver was elected to the Hall in 1992 when he appeared on 425 of 430 ballots for a then-record 98.84 percent. His mark was surpassed in 2016 by Ken Griffey Jr. and this year by Mariano Rivera, the first unanimous selection.
Seaver pitched for the Mets from 1967 until 1977, when he was traded to Cincinnati after a public spat with Mets chairman M. Donald Grant over Seaver’s desire for a new contract.
“My biggest disappointment? Leaving the Mets the first time and the difficulties I had with the same people that led up to it,” Seaver told The Associated Press ahead of his Hall induction in 1992. “But even that I look back at in a positive way now. It gave me the opportunity to work in different areas of the country.”
He pitched his only no-hitter for the Reds in June 1978 against St. Louis and was traded back to New York after the 1982 season. But Mets general manager Frank Cashen blundered by leaving Seaver off his list of 26 protected players, and in January 1984 Seaver was claimed by the Chicago White Sox as free agent compensation for losing pitcher Dennis Lamp to Toronto.
While pitching for the White Sox, Seaver got his 300th win at Yankee Stadium, and he did it in style with a six-hitter in a 4-1 victory. He finished his career with Boston in 1986. He was a 12-time All-Star and led the major leagues with a 25-7 record in 1969 and with a 1.76 ERA in 1971. The Mets retired his No. 41 in 1988.
“From a team standpoint, winning the ‘69 world championship is something I’ll remember most,” Seaver said in 1992. “From an individual standpoint, my 300th win brought me the most joy.”
A star at the University of Southern California, Seaver was drafted by Atlanta in 1966 and signed with the Braves only for baseball Commissioner William Eckert to void the deal because the Trojans already had played exhibition games that year; baseball rules at the time prohibited a club from signing a college player whose season had started. Any team willing to match the Braves’ signing bonus could enter a lottery, and the Mets won out over Cleveland and Philadelphia.
Among baseball’s worst teams from their expansion season in 1962, the Mets lost more than 100 games in five of their first six seasons and had never won more than 73 games in their first seven years. With cherished Brooklyn Dodgers star Gil Hodges as their manager, a young corps of pitchers led by Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Gary Gentry and a still-wild Nolan Ryan, and an offense that included Cleon Jones and Tommie Agee, the Mets overtook the Chicago Cubs to win the NL East with a 100-62 record.
They swept Atlanta in the first NL Championship Series to reach the World Series against highly favored Baltimore, which had gone 109-53. Seaver lost the opener 4-1 in a matchup with Mike Cuellar, then pitched a 10-inning six-hitter to win Game 4, and the Mets won the title the following afternoon.
Perhaps his most memorable moment on the mound was at Shea Stadium on July 9, 1969, when he retired his first 25 batters against the Chicago Cubs. Pinch-hitter Jimmy Qualls had a one-out single to left-center in the ninth inning before Seaver retired Willie Smith on a foulout and Don Kessinger on a flyout.
“I had every hitter doing what I wanted,” Seaver recalled in 1992. “Afterward, my wife was in tears and I remember saying to her: ‘Hey, I pitched a one-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts. What more could I ask for?’”
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Biden could get boost by back-to-back 2020 departures
By ELANA SCHOR
Friday, March 8
WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden isn’t a presidential candidate yet. But with two key rivals already getting out of the way, the former vice president has more space to court voters who could help him claim the Democratic nomination.
Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown said Thursday he wouldn’t run for president, following an announcement earlier this week from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg that he would also sit out 2020.
Both men have vastly different political profiles. Brown has deep connections to blue-collar, union-friendly voters in the Midwest while Bloomberg saw his path to the nomination run through centrists uncomfortable with the party’s move to the left. But together, their decisions could give Biden a greater opportunity to appeal to the middle-America voters who sided with President Donald Trump in 2016 and could be crucial to Democratic hopes of winning back the White House.
“I think it certainly creates a whole new constituency for the vice president that might have been split otherwise,” California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who has vowed to support Biden if he runs, said soon after Brown’s announcement. “So, that’s good.”
Chris Coons, elected in 2010 to fill the Delaware Senate seat Biden occupied for 36 years, said Brown’s decision not to run “absolutely” strengthened the former vice president’s case.
Brown “comes from and connects to the heartland in a remarkable way. He’s a real guy,” Coons said, likening his appeal to Biden’s.
Bloomberg’s aides said their internal polling suggested his path to the Democratic nomination was narrow, particularly if Biden — who shares some of Bloomberg’s moderate positions — decides to run. Brown, in contrast, denied that the former vice president had any effect on his choice to opt out of the primary.
“His getting in or out had zero impact on this,” the 66-year-old senator said of Biden. Brown told reporters that he and Biden talk “from time to time” but had last connected before his Senate re-election win in November, “when he was in Ohio campaigning with me or for me.”
Biden spokesman Bill Russo declined to comment on either Bloomberg or Brown’s decisions against running in 2020.
Of course, if Brown had sought the presidency, he would have faced a steep challenge in climbing ahead from the back of the pack in a field with a dozen candidates already declared.
Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders consistently lead in early surveys of the 2020 Democratic field, and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke could shake up the race if he decides to run. Brown’s departure also provides a possible boost to Sanders, given their shared distaste for free-trade deals and vocal criticism of Wall Street.
Although Brown leans further left on policy than Bloomberg or Biden — especially when it comes to trade— the senator and former vice president have a parallel appeal to working-class voters who fled their party for Trump.
Biden’s ties to his hardscrabble hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, have made him a compelling messenger for the plight of blue-collar workers whose jobs and livelihoods remain under threat by globalization and outsourcing. His role in an Obama administration that poured billions of dollars into rescuing the U.S. auto industry from the 2008 financial crisis also gives him a unique opportunity to connect with Midwestern voters.
“It’s a mantle that is open to be grabbed by people who are willing to talk to these voters in an authentic way, in sharing their frustrations,” said Tom Russell, a Wisconsin-based Democratic strategist who aided the party’s successful effort to topple GOP Gov. Scott Walker in 2018.
“Biden has a history of being able to do that,” Russell said, though he added that Brown’s absence from the race creates potential advantages for O’Rourke, who has elements of the more centrist profile that Biden and Bloomberg would bring, as well as for Sanders. Brown “was Bernie without some of the Bernie baggage,” Russell said.
Still, Biden will have to confront several vulnerabilities. He is famously prone to gaffes and angered some in the LGBT community last week when he called Vice President Mike Pence a “decent guy.”
The decades in public life that he often portrays as an asset also carries challenges. The Washington Post, for instance, reported on Thursday that Biden opposed bussing children in the mid-1970s as schools sought to further integrate classrooms. Russo said Biden is a longtime civil rights advocate who supports equal housing, education and job opportunities. But such comments from decades ago could seem tone-deaf in a Democratic primary heralded for its historic diversity.
Ultimately, Democrats are weighing how to keep their grip on progressives without alienating Midwestern voters. Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper said Brown has proved that’s possible by winning over some voters in his battleground home state in 2018 who backed Trump in 2016.
“Any candidate can” succeed in Ohio “if they are focused on the right issues, and if they come across as someone who will fight for the everyday Ohio worker,” Pepper said. “Certainly, Joe Biden is somebody I think would have a very good chance of beating Trump in Ohio. But I’m quick to say I don’t think other candidates couldn’t do the same thing.”
Associated Press writers Tom Beaumont in Des Moines, Iowa, and Julie Pace in Washington contributed to this report.
Death penalty lawyers urge delay of all Ohio executions
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A veteran public defender says Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine should delay all currently scheduled executions while the state comes up with a new lethal injection system.
David Stebbins is a Columbus-based federal defense attorney. He calls DeWine’s Thursday decision to postpone three executions commendable but said more must be done.
DeWine, a Republican, ordered the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to create a new injection process after a federal judge’s scathing critique in January of the current method. He’s now delayed four executions in total since that order.
Stebbins says there’s no guarantee that any system the state comes up with will be ready in time for the next scheduled execution in September.
Ohio has 23 executions scheduled over the next four years.
DEWINE PLEDGES FUNDS TO CHILDREN’S SERVICES, CCAO RESPONDS
COLUMBUS, Ohio – In response to Gov. Mike DeWine’s announcement he is proposing an additional $74 million to children’s services and the child protection system, the County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO) applauds the governor for proposing to nearly double the funding to these vital county services that protect children in Ohio’s counties.
One of the most difficult tasks facing counties is the administration of programs and services for children who are abused or neglected. Recently, Ohio has seen an increase in opiate use that has reached epidemic proportions, spanning communities of every size and demographic. Ohio is projected to have nearly 19,000 children in foster care by 2020. Placement costs have increased by 34 percent in the last five years and are expected to increase $44 million by 2020.
“Every child protection system throughout the state is overwhelmed by children left in the wake of the opiate epidemic, which will have long-term ramifications. More foster families need to be recruited and additional support must be given to both foster and kinship families,” said CCAO President Julie Ehemann. “We appreciate that the governor recognizes the state needs to help its county partners fund this crucial system that supports children across the state in times of need.”
The County Commissioners Association of Ohio advances effective county government for Ohio through legislative advocacy, education and training, technical assistance and research, quality enterprise service programs, and greater citizen awareness and understanding of county government.
Lightbody responds to House Transportation Budget passage
COLUMBUS—State Rep. Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville) today released a statement following the House passage of House Bill 62, the two-year state transportation budget:
“Though there were significant Democratic improvements to the state transportation budget, I don’t believe supporting a tax increase today can make up for the Statehouse failures of the past. We owe it to our fellow citizens to work together to find permanent solutions to permanent problems that have held back communities like ours for too long. I will continue to push for long term solutions that bring home steady and sustainable funding for our community.”
Rep. Allison Russo votes to pass bipartisan transportation budget onto Senate for consideration
Successful negotiations for historic investments in public transportation, local community support help move Ohio forward
COLUMBUS — State Rep. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) today voted to move the transportation budget to the Senate for consideration.
“I’m pleased that we were able to negotiate $200 million for public transit over the next two years, which is crucial to my district as our population continues to grow,” said Russo. “I was also a strong advocate for increasing the share of funding that would go directly to local governments, helping to ease the strain that repeated local government funding cuts have placed on municipalities and townships across Ohio over the last 8 years. It is imperative that these gains are fully maintained as the transportation budget moves through the Senate.”
Ohio has the 14th highest transit ridership of any state in the country, but currently ranks near the bottom in state funding for public transportation. A 2015 ODOT study found that significant investments are needed to meet the state’s growing public transit demands.
In addition, Democratic amendments will ease some of the burden on local communities, which currently face an estimated $1.5 billion shortfall for road and bridge repairs.
“I’m glad that we were able to negotiate a phase-in period and a lower tax rate than what the governor proposed, while also securing more money for our districts,” Russo continued. “I think that it is important as we continue into broader budget discussions to find meaningful ways to offset the cost of this tax for everyday Ohioans.”
“This bill is a good start,” Russo concluded. “Our roads, bridges, and public transit desperately need increased investment from the state, as evidenced by the wide-ranging coalition of mayors, local governments, and public/private partnerships supporting the transportation budget. When the final bill is put before the chamber, I will insist on these important wins for the people of Ohio.”
Leland statement on passage of historic, bipartisan investment in public transit
Lawmakers come together to invest $200 million over next two years
COLUMBUS— State Rep. David Leland (D-Columbus) released the following statement today (March 7) on the passage of House Bill (HB) 62, which makes a historic, $200 million investment in Ohio’s public transportation over the next two years.
“Earlier this week, the governor outlined the dangers of inaction on the state’s infrastructure crisis. Our inclusion of $200 million in the budget for public transportation over the next two years is a historic, bipartisan answer to the governor’s call to action—one that will provide enormous benefits to working people throughout Ohio.
“Investing in public transit reduces poverty, creates job opportunities and has the potential to reduce Ohio’s infant mortality rates. Better connecting those who are ready to work with available jobs makes Ohio even more attractive to new businesses.
“In addition, public transit helps us live up to our responsibility as stewards of our environment, making the air we breathe cleaner, lessening traffic congestion and reducing our carbon footprint.
“By supporting this bipartisan, transformative legislation, we are truly taking this opportunity to move Ohio forward.”
Rep. Liston statement as transportation budget clears House
COLUMBUS—State Rep. Beth Liston (D-Dublin) today released a statement following the House passage of House Bill 62, the two-year state transportation budget.
“While I am happy we were able to see increased investments in public transit and support for local communities, the fact remains that working families and seniors on fixed incomes—those who did everything right—should not have to pay more in taxes to make up for failed leadership over the past eight years.
“I remain hopeful that we can work together to strengthen our communities and move our state forward with a real, sustainable plan to restore funding to our local communities.”
‘THE DESTRUCTION OF MEMORY’
Filmmaker Tim Slade to Screen, Discuss Documentary March 20 at Ohio Wesleyan University
DELAWARE, Ohio – For Tim Slade, his award-winning documentary “The Destruction of Memory” is an exploration of the war against culture and the battle to save it.
In the film, he explores the aftermath of incidents including the bombing of Sarajevo’s National Library, the looting of the Iraqi National Museum, and the destruction of the Stari Most bridge in Bosnia during the Balkan Wars.
Slade will screen and discuss “The Destruction of Memory” at 6:30 p.m. March 20 at Ohio Wesleyan University. The free event will be held in Room 312 of OWU’s R.W. Corns Building, 78 S. Sandusky St., Delaware.
“Over the past century,” he writes of his film, “cultural destruction has wrought catastrophic results across the globe. This war against culture is not over – it’s been steadily increasing.”
But, he notes, work to mitigate such destruction is increasing, as well.
“The push to protect, salvage and rebuild has moved in step with the destruction,” he states. “Legislation and policy have played a role, but heroic individuals have fought back, risking and losing their lives to protect not just other human beings, but our cultural identity – to save the record of who we are.”
His film, based on the book of the same name by Robert Bevan, has been heralded by critics and viewers as “beautiful and poignant,” “necessary viewing,” and “not just an ‘eye opener’ but a vehicle for change all around the world.”
In addition to “The Destruction of Memory,” Slade has directed documentaries such as “4,” an exploration of the four seasons on four continents with four violinists as guides. The documentary, which was released theatrically, earned a Gold HUGO, nominations at Banff, an International Documentary Association Award, and two AFI (Australian Film Institute) awards.
Slade also has directed television documentaries and drama, including the shorts “Every Other Weekend” and “I Was Robert Mitchum.” Overall, his films have been screened at more than 70 international film festivals. Learn more about the writer director, and producer at www.timsladefilms.com.
The OWU screening and discussion of “The Destruction of Memory” is sponsored by the Department of Ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance Studies in collaboration with the History and Comparative Literature departments. Learn more at www.owu.edu/amrs.
Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 25 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.
McElroy, Robinson to Compete in NCAA Division III Championship
Thu 3/7/2019 1:02 PM
by Caitlin Jefferson ‘22
Junior Cirrus Robinson (Columbus/Ashland) and sophomore Mary Kate McElroy (Whipple/Beverly Fort Frye) will be competing in the NCAA Division III women’s indoor track & field championship meet on Friday and Saturday at the University of Massachusetts-Boston.
Robinson is the 2-time defending national champion in the high jump and she is tied for the best jump in the nation this season at 5-8¾. McElroy will be competing in the mile run, in which she is seeded 15th with a time of 5:03.47.
McElroy ran the mile and 3000-meter run at the North Coast Athletic Conference championship meet last weekend. Her mile run started out quickly but the 3000-meter run began slowly since the competitors were each vying for a good position.
“I felt as though the 3k was way more exciting because I out-kicked another competitor in the last lap,” said McElroy. “I had been hoping to break 5:00 in the mile at NCAC but I am so excited and surprised to get another opportunity to break that barrier at nationals.”
Robinson has always enjoyed each NCAC championship meet because her friends sit next to the high jump mat supporting her, and this year was no different.
“It was one of the most emotionally fulfilling meets I have had at Ohio Wesleyan,” said Robinson. “We run as a community on that day, so jumping for my team and being able to race a first place for my team was so mentally uplifting.”
McElroy is very excited to have the opportunity to represent herself, the team, the coaches, and OWU at the national championship. She has learned from racing in high school and from her time at a Division I school last year to not let her nerves dictate her mindset going into a race.
“I have been working a lot on staying goal-oriented and trusting the training I have put in this season,” said McElroy.
McElroy has had overwhelming support throughout her entire running career. Her coaches, family, boyfriend, friends, and teammates have all been there through her ups and downs.
“My team was excited for me and I am happy I get the opportunity to represent them this weekend,” said McElroy. “They have all worked so hard this season through their own struggles and that inspires me to push myself even more.”
Head Coach Kris Boey believes McElroy has a great chance to make finals and claim a podium spot.
“She is a smart racer, with strong closing speed,” said Boey. “Those are excellent traits for someone aspiring to be an All-American in the mile.”
Even while battling some physical setbacks, Robinson feels very mentally prepared heading into this championship season. She credits her confidence to her success last season during crunch time and to the trust she has in her coach and her training.
“This is the first national meet I am heading into feeling ready to accept whatever outcome there may be, since I have seen all the highs and the lows of this sport and made it out just fine,” said Robinson.
Boey believes Robinson is best prepared for this national championship out of any of her previous NCAA meets, as she was very consistent during the indoor season and she has a veteran mentality now.
“Cirrus is the type of athlete that rises to the occasion, and is a competitor through and through,” said Boey.
The preliminaries of the mile run are scheduled for 5 p.m. on Friday and the final is set for 3:05 p.m. on Saturday.
The high jump is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday.