NPR Sports

Shots - Health News
11:12 am
Tue July 14, 2015

Would Banning Headers In Soccer Solve The Concussion Problem?

Originally published on Tue July 14, 2015 12:32 pm

Heading the ball in soccer has been accused of causing most concussions. But the hazard may be more due to rough play than to one particular technique, researchers say.

The risks involved in heading — when a player uses their head to keep the ball in play — are not new. But Dawn Comstock, an injury epidemiologist at the University of Colorado's School of Public Health, wanted to know if headers are indeed the chief cause of concussions.

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Code Switch
8:42 am
Tue July 14, 2015

The Secret History Of Black Baseball Players In Japan

On the recommendation of Kenichi Zenimura, manager Lonnie Goodwin (far right) took his ballclub on a tour of Asia in April 1927. Here, he's pictured with (from left) catcher O'Neal Pullen, pitcher Ajay Johnson and shortstop Biz Mackey.
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum/Courtesy of Bill Staples, Jr.

Originally published on Tue July 14, 2015 2:41 pm

In the fall of 1936, a 24-year-old black baseball player from rural Louisiana stepped off a boat in Tokyo. His name was James Bonner. An ace pitcher with a vicious submarine pitch, Bonner, according to Japanese newspapers breathlessly heralding his arrival, once threw 22 strikeouts in a single game back in the States.

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Monkey See
6:03 am
Tue July 14, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour On Sports: Introducing 'The Giant Foam Finger'

Oh, shut up, Freddie Mitchell. And what are you smiling about, No. 31?
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

We talk a lot about nostalgia on Pop Culture Happy Hour — about the ways entertainment has shaped our youth and placed our memories in perspective — but in doing so, we've mostly discussed movies, TV shows, music, books, board games, that sort of thing.

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The Two-Way
4:02 pm
Mon July 13, 2015

Ultramarathoner Finishes The Appalachian Trail In Record Time

Maine's Mount Katahdin is the northern end of the Appalachian Trail.
Beth J. Harpaz AP

Originally published on Tue July 14, 2015 10:53 am

2,189 miles in 46 days, 8 hours and 7 minutes.

That's how long it took for Scott Jurek to complete the Appalachian Trail, setting a new record for the fastest known finish. He left Springer Mountain, Ga., at 5:56 a.m. ET on May 27 and ended at the top of Maine's Mount Katahdin at 2:03 p.m. on Sunday, according to Runner's World.

The 41-year-old ultramarathoner averaged almost 50 miles a day.

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The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Sun July 12, 2015

Djokovic Beats Federer To Hold On To Wimbledon Title

Novak Djokovic celebrates his win over Roger Federer in the men's singles final at Wimbledon.
Dominic Lipinski PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Sun July 12, 2015 6:51 pm

Novak Djokovic successfully defended his Wimbledon singles title against a concerted effort by Roger Federer, who was hoping for a record eighth Wimbledon title.

It is Djokovic's ninth Grand Slam title and third Wimbledon singles championship. He becomes only the eighth man to successfully defend that title.

Djokovic won the first set 7-6, and Federer leveled it in the second, 7-6. The third set was suspended for rain with a score of 3-2 for Djokovic. When play resumed, Djokovic closed out the set by winning it 6-4; he won the last set 6-3.

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NPR History Dept.
11:12 am
Sun July 12, 2015

Baseball In Skirts, 19th-Century Style

Chloe Judnic of the River Belles.
Courtesy of Carol "Miss Jewel" Sheldon

Originally published on Tue July 14, 2015 9:46 am

As our nation prepares for the annual MLB All-Star Game on July 14, let us pause and refresh our memories of women's baseball in 19th-century America — and what it represented.

From the very early days of baseball in America, women were involved. First, as spectators, as reported in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle of Aug. 4, 1859, when a game between two local teams "was witnessed by a large number of people, the greater part of whom were ladies."

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Sports
6:31 pm
Sat July 11, 2015

Wimbledon 1980: Wooden Racquets, Short Shorts And The Ultimate Showdown

Photographer Walter Iooss captured Björn Borg's celebration after winning the match at Wimbledon in 1980. "You see a match like that maybe once in your life," Iooss says. "I was lucky to be there."
Walter Iooss Jr. Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

Serena Williams won her 21st Grand Slam title at Wimbledon on Saturday, defeating Garbine Muguruza of Spain. Sunday promises the long-awaited rematch between defending champ Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, who's won the tournament seven times already himself.

The rivalry between Djokovic and Federer is one of the greatest in modern tennis, but arguably, it's not the greatest all-time. Many would say that honor actually goes to a matchup 35 years ago — back in the era of wooden racquets, headbands, long socks and short shorts.

Wimbledon 1980 was the ultimate showdown.

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The Two-Way
11:16 am
Sat July 11, 2015

Serena Williams Wins 21st Grand Slam Title At Wimbledon

Serena Williams wins the singles match against Garbine Muguruza of Spain after the women's singles final at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, on Saturday. Williams won 6-4, 6-4.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Sat July 11, 2015 2:12 pm

Updated at 2:10 p.m. ET

Serena Williams won her 21st Grand Slam title in a Wimbledon final against a much younger opponent, 21-year-old Garbine Muguruza of Spain.

For Williams, 33, it was her fourth Grand Slam championship in a row and her 25th career Grand Slam title match. It was Muguruza's first. Williams beat Muguruza 6-4, 6-4.

"Yeah, I'm having so much fun out here, you know, I just never dreamt I would be out here still and let alone winning," Williams told the crowd at Wimbledon after accepting her trophy.

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Sports
7:45 am
Sat July 11, 2015

Winning Is For Losers: The Great Stories Of The Guys Who Finish Last

Originally published on Sat July 11, 2015 10:38 am

Cyclists competing in the Tour de France entered the 8th Stage on Saturday, where they'll face some short but steep climbs as they ride west through Brittany. At the end of the day, cheering crowds will gather around the finish line, the stage winners feted.

What about the guy at the end of the pack? That's the question Max Leonard answers in his new book, Lanterne Rouge: The Last Man in the Tour de France. Leonard tells NPR's Wade Goodwyn that the riders in the back often have far more interesting stories than the riders in the front.

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Sports
7:45 am
Sat July 11, 2015

Wimbledon, Golf And The Week In Sports

Originally published on Sat July 11, 2015 10:38 am

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