Sports

Sports
4:00 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Chief Nation Plans For The Season Ahead

Credit David Reber's Hammer Photography / Flickr - CC

The Kansas City Chiefs suffered a number of challenges last season both on field, finishing last place in the NFL, and off the field, with the murder suicide of Kasandra Perkins and Jovan Belcher.  Management has turned a new page hiring coach Andy Reid to set a new tone.  But, can a team who has seen such hardship transform itself in one season?  

Kansas City Chiefs President, Mark Donovan, believes the expectation is very high from the fan base, but right now he just wants to focus on Jacksonville and coming back 1-0. 

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Up to Date
3:18 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

A Fan's Notes: Little Big League

The 2013 Little League World Series is underway in Williamsport, Pa.
Credit Wikipedia Commons

This week the 2013 Little League World Series has bought teams from across the world to Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The championship game will be played on Sunday.

In this month’s “A Fan’s Notes”, commentator Victor Wishna tells us what Major League players could learn from their Little League compadres.

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Central Standard
11:52 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Royals In The Play-offs?

Credit Wikimedia Commons - CC

It's nearly September, and the Royals have won more games than they've lost. This might seem like a minor achievement, but here in Kansas City, this is a huge deal. We haven't had a winning season since 2003 and before that, 1994.  An entire generation of baseball fans have not seen the Royals do well. To put this into perspective, Eric Hosmer, the Royals' first baseman is 23 years old. He was born in 1989, a full 4 years after the Royals last made the play-offs (and went on to win the World Series).

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Sports
8:02 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Sports Car Racing To Start On New 'Roaval' Track At Kansas Speedway

Jordan Taylor will experience racing the new course in his Corvette.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

The new road course constructed within the oval at Kansas Speedway will be the site of sports car competition for the first time this weekend. Pricier models such as Porches, Ferraris and BMWs are more associated with this group of drivers compared to the more common Chevy, Ford and Toyotas on the NASCAR circuit.

And, the brand of cars isn’t the only thing different about sports car racing.

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Sports
7:52 am
Mon August 5, 2013

KU Grad, Raytown Native Win Major Golf Championships

A golf rarity took place Sunday when two professionals with ties to the area won separate tournaments, and combined for more than $800,000 in prize money along the way.

Gary Woodland is a Topeka, Kan. native who played golf at KU. He won a PGA Tour event in Nevada and collected $540,000.

Earlier in the day, Tom Pernice Jr. earned more than $262,000 for a Champions Tour win among the 50-and-older pros.

With four top-5 finishes in the first five Champions Tour events Tom Pernice Jr. played this season, he said in late May he felt close to winning again.

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Sports
6:27 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Roma Defeats MLS All-Stars, But Kansas City Still Wins

The opening ceremony at the MLS All-Star game Wednesday included audience participation with signs and flags.
Laura Ziegler KCUR

AS Roma defeated the MLS All-Star team Wednesday night 3-1 in the MLS All-Star game at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.

The MLS team included three players from Sporting Kansas City, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler and Graham Zusi. Their opponent from Italy included United States National Team center midfielder Michael Bradley who received high praise during from stadium fans on his announcement onto the field.

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KC Currents
4:25 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Paseo YMCA Takes One Step Closer To Reopening

Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

For years, the old YMCA building was an eyesore at the entrance of the 18th and Vine District. But over the last few years, the façade has been restored and the windows replaced. And, on the south wall, a giant mural has gone up of the legendary baseball player, coach and keeper of the Negro Leagues flame Buck O’Neil. 

The Negro Leagues got their start in Kansas City, when eight independent black baseball teams met at the Paseo YMCA in 1920. Buck O'Neil played for the Kansas City Monarchs, and had a major role in opening the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

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Up To Date
12:01 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

A Fan's Notes: MLS Stars Shine In KC

Credit Major League Soccer

Barely a year after baseball's best swooped through town, another All-Star Game will kick off Wednesday night at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. The fanfare may be more subdued, but as Victor Wishna cautions in this month's edition of A Fan's Notes, don't believe the lack of hype: soccer--especially soccer in Kansas City--is major league.

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Sports
7:55 am
Wed July 31, 2013

After Great Progress, Sporting Kansas City Looks For Next Step

Sporting Kansas City home games have been sold out 27 consecutive times.
Credit Brian Davidson

Major League Soccer’s all-star game will offer the best of its league against Italy’s AS Roma at Sporting Park Wednesday in Kansas City, Kan. Though it’s tough to get a ticket for the match, it follows the pattern lately for Sporting Kansas City’s home games with a string of 27 straight sellouts.

Kansas City: soccer hotbed

It was raining Monday afternoon, but fans showed up with umbrellas to watch professional soccer players aim for a soccer goal across Brush Creek in the plaza.

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Central Standard
6:29 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

MLS All-Star Game Gives Kansas City A Fever Pitch

Credit Proforged / Flickr -- Creative Commons

Wednesday is the 18th Major League Soccer All-Star Game and it will pit the best that MLS has against Italy’s AS Roma team.  All of this will happen right here in Kansas City.

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KC Currents
4:27 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Kansas City Women Pave Their Path To The Soccer Pitch

A coach talks to his team at halftime during the US Youth Soccer National Championships at the Overland Park Soccer Complex.
Credit Sangeeta Shastry / KCUR

The pop of the ball as it’s booted down field. Shouts from the sidelines. Cleats kicking up clumps of grass.  

Sound familiar? You might have played on a soccer team when you were growing up, or perhaps these are the sounds you hear when you shuttle your kids to practices and games.

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Sports
4:19 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

MLS All Stars Share Excitement About Wednesday's Game

Sporting KC Coach Peter Vermes told reporters Wednesday's All Star Game would be as competitive as any regular season game.
Credit Laura Ziegler

The Major League Soccer All Star Game team was arriving in Kansas City Monday as the hype and festivities grow for Wednesday’s big game.

Sporting KC Coach Peter Vermes, who will coach the All Star team, told national and international media how proud he was about the success of soccer in Kansas City.           

Vermes has been in Kansas City since the team was called The Wizards, and played in Arrowhead Stadium.

He said the 80,000 seat venue dwarfed whatever crowd came out to see the team.

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Sports
10:03 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Brett Leaves Dug Out For Front Office

Kansas City Royals legend George Brett is returning to the front office after almost two months as temporary hitting coach for the team. At a news conference Thursday, Brett was emotional when he said it wasn’t easy to leave the dug out once again.

The team is on the verge of traveling to three different cities on their current road trip, and Brett says traveling is rough on him.

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Up to Date
3:48 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

The Pine-Tar Game: Yankees Bat Boy Who Says It Didn't Have To Happen

Kansas City Royals player George Brett is held back by umpires after protesting the infamous "pine tar" bat call.

Today marks the 30th anniversary of a game between the Kansas City Royals and the New York Yankees that made history. It would become known as the "Pine-Tar Game."

On July 24, 1983, in the top of the ninth, with the Royals trailing 4-3 and down to their last out, George Brett came to bat. Brett hit a 2-run homer that gave the Royals a lead in the game. But those runs were taken off the scoreboard when an umpire ruled that George Brett had too much pine tar -- a substance used to get a better grip -- on the bat.

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Sports
2:29 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Sporting Kansas City Coach Signs Through 2017

Peter Vermes signed on as coach and technical director of Sporting Kansas City through 2017
Credit Courtesy photo / Sporting KC

Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes had his contract with the team extended Tuesday. Vermes is now under contract through the 2017 season

He says he really wasn't thinking about going anywhere else.

"When you're around this every day and you're around the leaders of this club, and you hear and understand what their vision is, it's an easy choice," said Vermes. "You'd be an idiot to not want to be a part of it."

Sporting Kansas City is currently in first place in the East Division of Major League Soccer.

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Central Standard
6:11 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Title IX's Impact Far And Wide But Complete Equality Is Still Elusive

A field hockey team after Title IX, 1977. One of the players is identified as Terri Dean.
Credit Luther College Photos / Flickr -- Creative Commons

In the early summer of 1972 President Nixon signed into law a piece of legislation that changed the way America plays sports. It is one of the most socially impacting pieces of legislation in modern history, transforming the lives of millions of women, empowering over 900% more girls to participate in High School sports and over 450% more women to participate in College athletics between 1971 and 2006.

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Sports
7:03 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Will Kansas City Ever Host A Golf Major?

Fans pack the stands at the US Senior Open in Omaha, Neb.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

The PGA Tour’s web-dot-com circuit stops this week in the Kansas City area. First-round play begins Thursday at the Lions Gate course in Overland Park, Kan.

For a long time, area courses have served as the host site for golf tour events, but never a major. 

More than 34,000 fans attended Sunday’s final round of the US Senior Open at Omaha Country Club, the single largest attended sporting event in Omaha history.

It took place on a course that was built in the late 1920s. Tom Pernice, who grew up in Raytown, was impressed with the turnout.

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Sports
7:53 am
Tue July 16, 2013

What Was Kansas City Left With After Hosting The MLB All-Star Game?

Fans look on to the field at a MLB All-Star event in Kansas City, Mo in 2012.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

When the Major League Baseball All-Star game is played Tuesday night at Citi Field in New York, it will stir up memories from last year in Kansas City, Mo.

The game returned to Kauffman Stadium in 2012 after a 39-year absence. But, besides the memories, what is Kansas City left with after hosting the mid-summer classic?

Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said in 2010 a footprint would be left in Kansas City long after the All-Star game’s last out.

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Sports
9:53 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Tom Watson Eyes The British Open

Kansas City’s Tom Watson shot an even-par 70 Thursday in the first round of the U.S. Senior Open championship, only three shots behind the seven co-leaders.  Watson nearly won the British Open four years ago at the age of 59 and, in the opinion of one his peers, has a shot at winning it again. 

As one of Tom Watson’s playing partners, Colin Montgomerie marveled at how well Watson plays while on the verge of turning 64.

“He has every chance to do well again as he did at Turnberrry in 2009,” said Montgomerie.  “He’s a great competitor and remains that way.”

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Up to Date
10:36 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Not Slowing Down: The Fastest Man Over 75

Bob Lida will compete in the USA Masters Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Credit www.usatf.org

In 1959, Bob Lida dominated the Big Eight championship with his time in the indoor 440-yard dash.  More than 50 years later, he's still running-- and still a champ.

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KC Currents
12:22 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

How Mexican-Americans In Kansas Built A Community Around Softball

Angels players look on at the game from the dugout.
Credit Zack Lewandowski

Mexican-American fast-pitch softball is a tradition that runs deep in Kansas and Missouri. For decades, families have passed on the tradition of playing baseball or softball, but the legacy has been poorly documented.

The game was originally introduced to Mexican immigrants in Kansas and Missouri in an attempt to shed them of their cultural identity. But, that didn’t happen. The sport did nothing but help define and unite a new community. 

The experience

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Sports
10:40 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Royals And Sporting Players Selected As All-Stars

It was a big weekend for All-Star announcements in Kansas City.  Both the Kansas City Royals and Sporting KC had multiple players named to their respective league’s All-Star teams.

Outfielder Alex Gordon of the Kansas City Royals wasn’t on the American League team last year, but he was there when the cheers for his teammate Billy Butler drowned out the introduction. 

“I don’t cry at all, but I actually cried when I saw Bill get announced and all the support he got,” says Gordon.

Gordon says playing with Butler for the past six years has been special. 

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Up to Date
10:28 am
Fri June 28, 2013

A Fan's Notes: The Long, Hot, Royal Summer

Kansas City Royals' Lorenzo Cain (6) adds the bottle of Billy Butler Hit A Ton rally sauce onto his arm muscle in the dugout after hitting a two run home run in the ninth inning to tie during a game against the Detroit Tigers on June 12, 2013, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.
Credit John Sleezer / The Kansas City Star

You think the road is long and difficult for the Kansas City Royals? Imagine how hard it must be for Royals fans.

Commentator Victor Wishna shares his thoughts on the roller-coaster team in this month's "A Fan's Notes."

__________________

The legendary broadcaster Ernie Harwell was not the first or the last to say that, “Baseball is a lot like life…full of ups and downs.”

Well, if Royals baseball is like life, then life has been hard.

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Up To Date
6:00 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Kansas City Royals: Rocketing Start To Steep Decline

Pitcher James Shields high-fives third baseman Mike Moustakas after the Royals' win over at their home opener in April.
Credit Beth Lipoff/KCUR

How can a team that began the season so brilliantly currently be in the basement?

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Sports
7:41 am
Wed May 29, 2013

The Young Guys Let Down Royals, Again

What started out promising has turned into another nightmare for the Kansas City Royals.  

The Royals managed only two hits--both by last year's All-Star, Billy Butler--against St. Louis Cardinals pitching Tuesday night.

Much of the Royals' high hopes depended on the production of the young players they've developed such as Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas. But they've been disappointing.

Manager Ned Yost is preaching patience.

"What do asking want me to do? Take my belt off and spank them? Yell at them? Scream at them?" said Yost.

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Up to Date
2:52 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

A Fan's Notes: Under The Spell

11-year old Olathe resident Vanya Shivashankar is competing in her 3rd Scripps National Spelling Bee competition this week. Vanya's sister, Kavya, won the 2009 championship.

Next week, while the NBA and NHL playoffs drag on, ESPN will turn its attention to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Many will again wonder, "What's a kid's classroom activity doing on the quintessential sports network?" Commentator Victor Wishna has an answer, in this latest edition of "A Fan's Notes."

In the acoustic landscape of organized competition, there are those iconic sounds that separate the hope of victory from ultimate defeat: The buzzer. The horn. The final whistle. But none may be more chilling and spirit-draining than this one: Ding!

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Sports
7:46 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Watson Has Eyes On Another Senior PGA Championship

The first tee at the 74th annual Senior PGA Championship gold tournament.
Credit Greg Echlin

Because of a hand injury last year, Tom Watson was unable to defend the last tournament he won, the Senior PGA Championship. But he’s healthy now and in the frame of mind to win another championship.

This year’s Senior PGA Championship takes place at the Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, MO.

Though Tom Watson is 63 now, he’s not ready to give in easily to age. He compares his attitude to another legendary golfer, Arnold Palmer.

"He still thinks he can do it. He goes out there and may not be able to, but he still thinks he can do it," says Watson.

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Sports
5:16 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

KU Basketball Signs Top High School Recruit

Wiggins signed a letter-of-intent with Kansas University on Tuesday.
Credit BasketballElite/Flickr--Creative Commons

The prospects for next season's Kansas Jayhawks' basketball season got a huge boost Tuesday.

Andrew Wiggins, the consensus pick as the nation's top-ranked high school basketball player signed a letter-of-intent to play for KU.

Wiggins is a 6-foot-7 forward who can score. He grew up in Canada, but spent last season at Huntington Prep in West Virginia.

Wiggins chose KU over Kentucky, Florida State and North Carolina.

He announced his decision in a private gathering in West Virginia, one day before the deadline to sign a letter-of-intent this spring.

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Sports
9:21 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Chiefs Pick Eric Fisher

Eric Fisher
nfl.com

The Kansas City Chiefs made Eric Fisher, an offensive lineman from Central Michigan, the NFL’s first overall selection. 

Four of the top seven picks in the NFL draft were offensive lineman.  As a former lineman, that suits Chiefs coach Andy Reid well. 

Fisher stands 6 feet 7 inches tall, and he’s talking about adding a few pounds to current weight of 306 pounds. 

Reid says Fisher will help the Chiefs.

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Sports
9:19 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Belton's Tate Stevens Steals The Show At Sprint Cup

Country singer Tate Stevens.
Greg Echlin KCUR

In Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway on Sunday, Matt Kenseth was the winning driver.  But one of the most popular figures yesterday didn't wear a racing helmet.

Tate Stevens, as an employee of the city of Belton two years ago, attended meetings at Kansas Speedway.  Wearing a cowboy hat Stevens, now 38, appeared at the track as a professional country music performer.

In a life-changing experience, Stevens was the winner last year in season two of "The X Factor," a network television show singing competition. 

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