Sports

Up To Date
12:40 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

A Fan’s Notes: Hometown Heroes

Credit Rybass / Wikimedia Commons

Last week in a coffee shop, I saw two young men, each with single name emblazoned on his chest. The first one read, “Jesus.” The other? “LeBron.” Because, hey—every savior deserves his own T-shirt.

The biggest sports news of the summer is the second coming of NBA superstar LeBron James—specifically from the Miami Heat back to the Cleveland Cavaliers and his native northeast Ohio. The national media has been giddy over his maturity and grace in trading the Sun Belt for the Rust Belt and a mere $42 million over the next two years.

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Sports
7:49 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Royals Honor Longtime Equipment Manager Al Zych

Before Thursday night’s 14-inning victory, 2-1, over Cleveland, the Kansas City Royals honored one of their former behind-the-scenes figures.

Al Zych, who grew up in Kansas City, Kan., was the Kansas City Athletics equipment manager from 1963 until the team departed for Oakland four years later. Zych then became the Royals equipment manager from the franchise’s first year in 1969 until 1988.

George Brett called Zych one of his best friends during his Baseball Hall of Fame induction speech in 1999.

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Sports
8:16 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Sporting KC Signs Besler, Zusi For Four More Years

Long term commitment or not? That’s the question with a few of the biggest sports stars in Kansas City.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex reports to training camp this week without a contract beyond this season. On the other hand, Sporting Kansas City locked up their two biggest stars for the long haul.

Before Sporting Kansas City took the field in their Saturday match at Livestrong Park against the Los Angeles Galaxy, the announcement came out that Matt Besler and Graham Zusi agreed to four-year extensions with the team.

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Sports
7:59 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Royals' Butler Is Prime Example Of Fleeting Fame In Sports

Younger Royals players Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas may be tapped as future All-Stars.
Credit Kieth Allison / Flickr--CC

Over the past week, there was much ado about the marquis players in sports; Lebron James signed a contract with Cleveland and baseball showcased its stars in the All-Star game.

Heading into Friday night’s game at Boston, the Kansas City Royals are in transition as to who their biggest stars are. 

Just two years ago at the All-Star game in Kansas City, Billy Butler was in the midst of his most productive year with 29 homers and 107 runs driven in as the Royals designated hitter. He was the toast of the town as the Royals All-Star — this year Butler has only three homers.

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Sports
7:50 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Royals Outfielder Travels To All-Star Game To Bid Farewell To Jeter

In the Midwest, it’s not customary for fans and Kansas City Royals players to pull for anyone on the New York Yankees. Except for the last two years in the All-Star game.

Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon is injured with sprained wrist and couldn’t play in this year’s All-Star game, but one of the reasons he still made the trip to Minneapolis, Minn., was to be part of the American League team that would bid its farewell to New York Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter.

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Sports
8:13 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Royals Head Into All-Star Break On A Winning Note

On the day before the All-Star break, the Kansas City Royals scored a first for this season. Until Sunday, the Royals were not able to beat the Detroit Tigers at home. They were 0-and-6 before Sunday’s 5-2 victory.

Royals designated hitter Bill knows how quick the season can turn.

“Nothing ever seems to be easy against them (the Tigers),” said Butler. “We can play as good baseball as we can. We were playing really good when we went into their place. I think that’s the way they feel right now.”

Sports
9:05 am
Thu July 10, 2014

LISTEN: World Cup Songs From Around The Globe In Kansas City

If you were one of the 10,000-plus people who were at the Kansas City Power and Light District cheering on the U.S. national team, then you may know the I Believe chant well.
Credit Sporting Kansas City / YouTube

 

Of the 32 national soccer teams that made it to Brazil for the FIFA World Cup this year, Germany and Argentina will face off at 2 p.m. Sunday.

KCUR has been covering soccer fans cheering on their teams since the tournament began about a month ago.  (See our recent coverage on how international communities living in Kansas City are rooting for their teams.)

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Sports
6:00 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Futsal Soccer Catches On In Kansas City

Children play a game of futsal soccer, which involves fewer players and a smaller field, at Wyandotte High School.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

The soccer craze in the Kansas City area wasn’t just captured in the Power & Light District watch parties for the World Cup games.

It’s evident on full-size soccer fields on both sides of the state line. But the metropolitan area's newest soccer passion may be churning up on mini-courts in Kansas City, Kan.

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Sports
12:18 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Kansas City World Cup Watch Events Spawn Serious Soccer Fans

Best friends Miguel Torres and Alex Bedockie from Kansas City enjoyed a good party and a game that may have made lifelong soccer fans out of some in the crowd.
Credit Frank Morris / KCUR

At least 13,000 fans chanting “I believe that we will win!” jammed the central common area of the Power & Light District in downtown Kansas City, Mo., to cheer on the U.S. men's soccer team Tuesday in their World Cup match against Belgium.

Many were literally waving the American flag. Even more were wearing it.

Miguel Torres, in a red-white-and-blue top hat, beads and body paint, came out to support the country as much as the team.

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Sports
8:00 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Notre Dame Grads Pulling For Besler In World Cup

When the U.S. plays Belgium in the knockout round of the World Cup soccer tournament Tuesday, three female Kansas City soccer players plan to watch the match together.

They’ll be paying extra attention to Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler. The three women have a connection with the Overland Park, Kan., native that stretches back a few years.

Most of the attention on soccer lately has focused on the action in Brazil, but the day before the U.S. match against Portugal, Jen Buczkowski took care of her own business on the soccer field.

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Sports
8:19 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Local American Indians On The Chiefs' Name

Credit Flickr, .sanden.

The U.S. Patent Office revoked the Washington Redskins’ trademark, which has some Kansas City sports fans concerned about the fate of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Last year the National Congress of American Indians released a report that included the Chiefs in a list of sports teams they said profited from harmful stereotypes.

Richard Lanoue, President of the Indian Council of Many Nations which is based in Kansas City, doesn’t see it that way. Lanoue says the term “redskins” is racially disparaging but "chief" is different.

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Sports
9:42 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Jayhawk Makes Top NBA Draft Pick

For the first time since 1988, a member of the Kansas Jayhawks basketball team was the overall No. 1 pick in the NBA draft. 

The Cleveland Cavaliers selected Andrew Wiggins Thursday night with that top pick.  Teammate Joel Embiid went third overall to the Philadelphia 76ers. 

Though some feel Wiggins disappeared in KU’s last game of the season against Stanford in the NCAA tournament, he was clearly visible when NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced him as the top pick.

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Up To Date
9:00 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Students Lose Seats At Allen Fieldhouse After Vote To Cut Athletics Fee

Allen Fieldhouse at the University of Kansas
Credit Jonnybsay / Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this month the University of Kansas athletics department announced that Section U, a 120-seat area of Allen Fieldhouse previously reserved for students, would be reallocated to donor seating. The decision was a direct response to an attempt by the Student Senate to cut the mandatory athletics fee charged to all KU students.

On Thursday's, Up to Date, we talk with student reporter Ben Carroll for a look at the timeline of events leading up to the decision and how it's being perceived by Jayhawk fans.

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Sports
6:54 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Major League All-Star Game Benefits Are Still Being Felt In Kansas City

Nearly two years after Major League Baseball All-Star activities took place in Kansas City, the impact of the event has had a residual effect.

In 2012, the only thing on the mind of the fans was the distance of the homers for the Homerun Derby at Kauffman Stadium. But after a portion of the money from that day’s All-Star activities was devoted to the construction of baseball fields for people with disabilities, families of the kids with disabilities feel that the community has hit a homerun.

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Up to date
4:02 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

World Cup: USA Needs To Draw With Germany On Thursday

Sporting KC player Chance Myers
Credit Beth Lipoff / KCUR

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with Sporting KC player, Chance Myers, for insight on team USA's strategy to move on to the next round and one step closer to the championship.

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World Cup KC
6:56 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Kansas City Man Highlights His Culture's Food And Sport During World Cup

Bella Napoli is Kansas City's headquarters for Italian soccer fans.
Credit Courtesy Bella Napoli.

  Italy didn’t even end up in the top four spots in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. For a nation that’s obsessed with soccer, that was basically an utter failure.

This time around, the Azzurri, as the Italian team is known by its fans, started the World Cup with a strong victory over England. 

Last Saturday evening, about two dozen mostly blue-clad fans of Italy’s men’s soccer team crowded into Brookside restaurant Bella Napoli to chow on pizzas, tapas and other authentic Italian food from the menu while watching their team defeat England 2-1.

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Up to Date
4:56 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

A Fan's Notes: The World Cup Comes Home

Credit FIFA

Before Monday night’s match between the U.S. and Ghana, I’d always found the World Cup just a little bit irritating. Especially when I was young, before I became the cultured citizen of the world that I am today, I didn’t see what was in it for me, an American, from the middle of America.

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Up to Date
10:23 am
Wed June 18, 2014

World Cup: The Next Steps For Team USA

Players from Brazil and Mexico play at the 2014 World Cup.
Credit Copa2014.gov.br / Wikimedia Commons

  The U.S. soccer team no longer carries the specter of a prospective defeat against Ghana--so where does that leave them?

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with players from Sporting KC and FC Kansas City to get some analysis of the American team's strategies and chances as they move through the World Cup line-up.

Guests:

  • Chance Myers, Sporting KC player
  • Frances Silva, FC Kansas City player
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Sports
7:37 am
Wed June 18, 2014

'Dynamic Pricing' May Be To Blame For Empty Seats At Kauffman Stadium

Empty seats at recent Royals games are a sign of the teams records, and dynamic pricing practices.
Credit Valerie / Flickr--CC

After stagnating for a month in the American League Central standings, the Royals have taken off in the last two weeks. But when the last homestand concluded with two of the Royals’ most traditional draws, their attendance didn’t take off as they hoped.

New York Yankee fan Mo Moffitt, recently moved to Shawnee, Kan., from The Bronx, found a way to attend a Yankees game in Kansas City.

“If you’re a diehard to your team, you’ll show up,” said Moffitt a Royals home game.

But plenty of diehard fans during the most recent homestand did not.

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World Cup KC
8:37 am
Tue June 17, 2014

What Kansas City Sounds Like When The U.S. Team Scores In The World Cup

Kansas City soccer fans gathered in the Power & Light District Monday night to watch the U.S. men's team in their World Cup opening game.
Credit Sporting KC / YouTube

Even if you missed the game Monday night, you probably know by now that the U.S. men's soccer team defeated Ghana in their opener at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The win was sweet revenge after losing to Ghana in the last two World Cups.

Winning always sounds good, but it sounded especially good coming from Kansas City's Power & Light District where fans cheered on local players, Matt Besler and Graham Zusi:

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Sports
7:49 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Kansas City Soccer Fans Celebrate U.S. Victory Over Ghana

Swarms of soccer fans packed the Power and Light District to watch the United States beat Ghana 2-1 in last night’s World Cup match.
Suzanne Hogan KCUR

Swarms of soccer fans packed the Power and Light District Monday to watch the United States beat Ghana 2-1 in the U.S. team's first World Cup match.

The KC Live Stage was filled to the brim of fans wearing red white and blue, chanting U.S.A., and S.K.C. to cheer for the two Sporting KC players on the team, Matt Besler and Graham Zusi.

Kansas City native, Matt Besler played in the first half but had to leave the game due to a hamstring injury. Graham Zusi was brought in at the 77th minute, and assisted in scoring the second goal that brought the team to victory.

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College Sports
1:56 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Mizzou Basketball Returning To Sprint Center For Oklahoma State Match-Up

Kansas City Sports Commission President Kathy Nelson, MU Athletics Director Mike Alden and men's basketball coach Kim Anderson announce a match-up between Mizzou and Oklahoma State Dec. 30.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

The University of Missouri athletics department announced Monday the men's basketball team will play Oklahoma State on Dec. 30 at the Sprint Center.

The match-up demonstrates the university's commitment to play in Kansas City and recruit from the metro area, says MU athletics director Mike Alden. He praised head coach Kim Anderson's willingness to put a tough non-conference team on the schedule.

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World Cup KC
7:55 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Brazilians In Kansas City Watch The World Cup With Divided Hearts

David dos Santos is teaching his three-year-old daughter Ariana the best of Brazilian and American soccer.
Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

As the FIFA 2014 World Cup kicks off in Brazil, we have the first installment in a series checking in on some of Kansas City’s international communities and how they’re cheering their home teams from afar.

It’s been a rocky path to the World Cup for host country Brazil: there were questions about whether the stadiums would be ready; ongoing crime concerns; and mixed emotions from Brazilians. 

Many Brazilians in Kansas City are a little sad to be watching the championship tournament from a continent away, but some are quite ambivalent about the games.

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Sports
2:40 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

The Best Places To Watch The World Cup In Kansas City

An estimated 12,000 people gathered in Kansas City's Power and Light district to watch the United States take on Ghana in the 2010 World Cup.
Credit dustjelly / Flickr-CC

As the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off this week in Brazil, many soccer fans in Kansas City will be cheering for the U.S. men's team and Sporting KC players Matt Besler and Graham Zusi.

But many other Kansas Citians will cheer on teams from around the globe.

For optimum World Cup viewing, we've rounded up a list of local places to go for a more international soccer experience:

Brazil: Taste of Brazil Market, 25 E. 3rd St, Kansas City, Mo. 

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Up to Date
10:41 am
Mon June 9, 2014

What To Watch For In The World Cup

Sporting KC player Chance Myers joins Steve Kraske in the studio.
Credit Beth Lipoff / KCUR

There will be crowds, cheering and that well-known cry of , "Futbol!" as the FIFA World Cup begins this week.

In the first part of Monday's Up to Date, we talk with Sporting KC's Chance Myers about what to expect from the competition and what U.S. team members-- and Sporting KC players-- Graham Zusi and Matt Besler might face.

Guest:

  • Chance Myers, Sporting KC
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Sports
7:41 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Team USA Departs For World Cup In Brazil

The USA team that will participate in the World Cup soccer tournament departed for Brazil Sunday night.

Kansas City soccer fans will have a watchful eye on this team with two players from Sporting Kansas City on the roster. Seventeen-year-old Ady Barraza, a soccer player at Olathe Northwest High School, was at the Overland Park Soccer complex over the weekend along with other teens trying out for club teams. While trying to map out their own futures, they’re in tune to what will be happening at the World Cup in Brazil.

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Sports
7:55 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Lured By The Fastball, Young Baseball Players Injured More Than Ever

Brad Stoll, a youth baseball coach in Lawrence, Kan., has had high school players go through Tommy John surgery.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

More high-profile major league baseball pitchers have been sidelined by season-ending elbow injuries this year than ever before. But this epidemic is not just a big league concern. Young players, lured by the fastball, are getting hurt, too.

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Sports
6:45 am
Wed May 28, 2014

College Athletes Can’t Profit On Their Own Image, But The NCAA Can

College athletes like Jenny Pinkston, a former track standout at Olathe East High School and currently a heptathlete at Wichita State University, are barred by NCAA rules from profiting off of their own image or likeness.
Credit Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR

The NCAA makes billions of dollars selling the rights to televise games and selling merchandise and jerseys. But a spate of court cases making their way through the judicial system could put those billions in jeopardy.

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Up To Date
5:06 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Issac Burns Murphy "The Prince of Jockeys"

Pellom McDaniels III is author of the book The Prince of Jockeys: The Life of Isaac Burns Murphy

After nearly 120 years, jockey Issac Burns Murphy's winning record is still the highest in American horse racing history.  Though he won three Kentucky Derbies and set numerous records throughout his career, Murphy had to deal with the harsh reality of being black in the still deeply segregated South.

On this edition of Up to Date Pellom McDaniels III talks with Steve Kraske about his new biography of "The Prince of Jockeys" whose life and career spanned the Civil War, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow.

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Sports
7:09 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Tom Watson Posts Best Tournament Finish in Three Years

Tom Watson finished in second place at the Senior PGA Championship in Benton Harbor, Michigan. It was his best finish since winning the same event in 2011.

Colin Montgomerie of Scotland won by four strokes.

Watson said he has mixed feelings about finishing second.

“You need to make the putts to win and I didn’t do it today, but I certainly had the opportunities today,” he said. “It could have been a real low round today, and so I come away with a really good feeling inside about the way I played.”

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