sports

Kansas City Royals
1:59 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Billy Butler Picked Up By Oakland A's For $30 Million

Designated Hitter Billy Butler has played for the Kansas City Royals since 2007, but starting in 2015, that'll no longer be the case.
Credit Keith Allison / Flickr-CC

The Oakland Athletics confirmed Wednesday that Billy Butler will play for the team starting in 2015.

Despite showing a desire to remain a Kansas City Royal, Butler's $12.5 million option for 2015 was too much for Royals managers.

Oakland approached Butler with a three-year, $30 million contract and $5 million signing bonus.

Some had mixed emotions about seeing Butler leave the only professional team for which he's played. Dean Tangeman posted this response on Twitter:

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Up To Date
2:26 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

'Only A Game' Host Bill Littlefield On Sports And Poetry

Credit Zephyr Press

Bill Littlefield is host of Only a Game the syndicated program aimed at the serious sports fan and the steadfast sports avoider. (It airs Saturday mornings at 6:00 on KCUR.)

Littlefield has written several books on sports and two novels so his latest work, Take Me Out, a book of sports-related poems, is a bit of a departure. Bill talks with Steve Kraske about what inspired him to poetry, the history behind Only a Game, and his thoughts on this year's World Series.

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Sports
7:22 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Kansas City Royals' Big Win In 140 Characters Or Less

Our Cody Newill tweeted this photo Wednesday evening at Kellys Westport Inn in Kansas City, Mo.: "#Royals fans are going nuts!"
Credit Cody Newill / KCUR

By now, reality has sunk in for most of the Kansas City area.

The team with one of the most dramatic underdog stories in recent baseball history clinched a spot in the World Series Wednesday, when the Royals defeated the Baltimore Orioles, 2-1.  

From crying fans to a photo of a flabbergasted George Brett, here’s a look at how Kansas City tweeted the historic victory.

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Sports
6:07 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Kansas City Royals Headed To World Series

Kauffman Stadium was bathed in royal blue during the last playoff game Wednesday as the Kansas City Royals clinched the American League championship to go to the World Series.
Credit Kathleen Kunkler / KCUR

Sweeping away 29 years of heartbreak and bringing home an American League pennant to a rejoicing city, the Kansas City Royals clinched a trip Wednesday to the World Series.

Final score after a fast fall game under clear royal blue skies: Kansas City 2, Baltimore 1.

Screaming fans at Kauffman Stadium, on their feet for the ninth inning, counted down the outs until their beloved Royals were in the series.

"Three. More. Outs ... Two ... Strike out! ... One. More. Out ... Sweep! Sweep!"

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Central Standard
1:43 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Kansas City And Baltimore Public Radio Nerds Face Off

It's been a memorable season for the Royals, and city spirit is reaching all-time highs.
Credit International Business Times

Two underdog cities have made it to this year's American League Championship Series. The intensity among baseball fans in both Kansas City and Baltimore has reached a fever pitch. Public radio staffers have caught the bug; hear a little trash talk, public radio style.

Guest:

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Central Standard
3:10 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Living To Tell The Tale: Missouri River Racers Make It Home

After paddling solo 340 miles down the Missouri River, stopping only briefly to catch the teensiest bit of shut-eye, two competitors in the MR340 share their experiences, from paddling through fog to hallucinating on the water.

Guests:

  • Doug Jennings, organizer and longtime participant
  • Amy Sevcik, first-time competitor
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Sports
11:48 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Energy Drinks Raise Red Flag In High School Athletics

Credit Daniel Juřena / Flickr--CC

High school athletes in Kansas and Missouri start outdoor workouts for fall sports in August, no matter how hot or humid it is outside. One of the main safety concerns in the heat is dehydration. 

Sometimes it’s not the weather but what the athletes drink that makes the problem worse. A can of Red Bull, Monster, 5-Hour Energy, or any other energy drink before practice can dehydrate an athlete.

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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
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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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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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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Up To Date
11:19 am
Fri May 23, 2014

The Real Life 'Jerry Maguire'

Sports agent Leigh Steinberg joins 'Up to Date' host Steve Kraske to talk about his new memoir.
Credit Macmillan Publishers

For most of his 40-year career, sports representative Leigh Steinberg was on top. The inspiration for the film Jerry Maguire, Steinberg negotiated multi-million dollar contracts for some of the biggest names in sports: Lennox Lewis, Steve Young, and Troy Aikman just to name a few.

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Up To Date
11:35 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Former Royal Jason Kendall's Baseball Wisdom

Former Royal and All-Star catcher Jason Kendall joins Steve Kraske on Thursday's 'Up to Date.'
Credit Macmillan Publishers

There are secret rules and pieces of wisdom that most baseball fans don't even know exist. For example, don't ever look an umpire in the eye when you're arguing with him. 

On Thursday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske sits down with former Royal and All-Star catcher Jason Kendall and sportswriter Lee Judge to discuss Kendall's new memoir of baseball wisdom, Throwback

Guests:

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Up to Date
3:35 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

A Day At The K With Up To Date

The Royals play the White Sox in their home opener at Kauffman Stadium.
Beth Lipoff KCUR

Take a look behind the scenes with the Up to Date team on our Day Opening  broadcast at Kauffman Stadium.

Sports
6:55 am
Fri March 14, 2014

NCAA Still Keeps Bracket Selection A Secret

In this age of greater access through social media and TV cameras, sports fans are given a peek of what happens behind the scenes more than ever before. But to get a peek inside the meeting rooms of the NCAA Division I men’s basketball committee is another story. Access before the 68-team bracket is unveiled on Selection Sunday is unlikely anytime soon.

Beauty marks and warts

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paralympics
1:08 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Missouri Paraplegic Skier Hopes To One Day Make Paralympics

Jason Myers trying to best his time on the slopes of Snow Creek in Weston, Mo.
Credit www.skisnowcreek.com

                                                                                    

Jason Myers crosses the finish line at the bottom of the race course at Snow Creek in Weston, Mo., so fast that you almost can’t tell he’s sitting on his ski.

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Central Standard
4:01 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Tax Exemptions For Kansas Non-Profit Sports Clubs: The Debate

For-profit athletic clubs are claiming that tax exemptions for nonprofit organizations like the YMCA are unfair. In order to "level the playing field," two bills in Kansas have been proposed: one would exempt both for-profit and nonprofit sports clubs from paying taxes on property and a portion of sales; the other would simply remove tax exemption for nonprofit organizations like the YMCA.

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Up to Date
11:14 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Opening Up Extreme Sports To People With Disabilities

Sean O'Neill, who is a paraplegic, now leads climbs as part of Paradox Sports.
Credit Lourdes Irizarry / paradoxsports.tumblr.com

You wouldn’t think mountain climbing would be an activity a paraplegic person could still enjoy. But one group’s efforts to adapt activities like mountain climbing are coming to fruition.

In the first part of Friday's Up to Date, we talk about how they’re making sports more available to people with disabilities and what inspired them to get involved with this project.

Guests:

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Community
8:14 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Meet The Missouri Man Who Is A Quadriplegic Rally Car Racer

Chris Hrabik sits behind the wheel of his 1997 Subaru Impreza. The steering wheel is detachable. "The cool thing is when the wheel’s off, I can break my wheelchair down and put it in here so I can go drive around by myself," Hrabik says.
Credit Jacob McCleland / KRCU

Rally car racing is popular in Europe and Canada, but it has a much lower profile in the United States. It is a dangerous sport where racers thrash through rural, gravel roads at high speeds in street-legal cars as they try to score the fastest time.

Chris Hrabik, from Sedgewickville, Mo., will compete in a nationally-sponsored rally this week in Salem, Mo. And here’s the twist - he’s a quadriplegic.

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Central Standard
4:00 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Sochi 2014: What It Takes To Be An Olympian

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, began on Feb. 7 and the world has been enthralled with the incredible athleticism displayed at the games.

Today we talk with professional runner Amy Mortimer, who placed ninth at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials. Later, we discuss what it takes for Olympians to train and compete in extreme winter conditions.

Also, KCUR reporter Laura Ziegler talks about the public's reactions to the Olympic games with this week's Tell KCUR. Finally, we explore what's at stake for Russia in hosting these games.

Guests:

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Sports
9:48 am
Tue February 11, 2014

College Basketball Player Shares Excitement Over Michael Sam Coming Out

Jallen Messersmith is the first openly gay college basketball player in the United States. He attends Benedictine college in Atchison, Kan.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

Before his final football season at the University of Missouri, defensive lineman Michael Sam made the decision to privately tell his teammates that he is gay. On Sunday, Sam went public with it.  And if he is selected in May’s NFL draft, Sam will be pro football’s first openly gay player. The first men’s college basketball player to openly declare he’s gay also plays nearby, but Jallen Messersmith took a slightly different approach.

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Community
6:00 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Pinball Is Bumping Back In Kansas And Missouri

Suzanne Hogan KCUR

Remember pinball, the coin operated game that flips a silver ball to score points?

During the 1990s in Kansas City, you could easily find pinball machines in arcades, bars and restaurants. But now, pinball machines are harder to find, and they are often out of order. But, the game of pinball is making a comeback with the help of some local competitors. 

Some of who will go on to represent Kansas and Missouri in the national championships, after winners are selected at the state championships this weekend.

Pinball's second generation

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Sports
6:08 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Jayhawks Lose To San Diego, Breaking Home Nonconference Streak

In college basketball, the Kansas Jayhawks lost 61-57 against San Deigo State, after 68 straight home wins against non-conference opponents.

San Diego State, ranked 21st in the AP poll, knocked off the 16th ranked Jayhawks, at home Sunday afternoon.

The last non-conference team to beat the Kansas Jayhawks at Allen Fieldhouse was Oral Roberts in November of 2006, the early stage of a season during which KU ended up only one victory shy of reaching the Final Four.

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Sports
8:27 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Northwest Missouri State Goes Undefeated, Clinches Fourth National Championship

Northwest Missouri coach, Adam Dorrel with the national championship trophy.
Credit Ian Echlin

Northwest Missouri State put the finishing touches on a 15-0 season over the weekend. The Bearcats from Maryville, Mo., captured their fourth national championship in NCAA Division II football with a 45-28 win over Lenoir-Rhyne from North Carolina.

Billy Creason, a Northwest Missouri State senior running back from Grain Valley said it was a memorable moment.

“To go out undefeated is just amazing. It doesn’t happen very often,” said Creason. “A great senior year and I’m glad I’m glad we made it to the top. Man it’s awesome.”

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KC Currents
8:12 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Tommy Campbell: The Greatest Kansas City Boxer You've Never Heard Of

Tommy Campbell was known as the "Chocolate Ice Cube."
Courtesy of Phil Dixon

In the late 1940s and early 50’s, Kansas City, Kan., native Tommy Campbell became the world’s number-two-ranked lightweight fighter. He won almost as many fights as Muhammad Ali, but his boxing career was cut short when he stood up against mob-controlled promoters and boxing matchmakers.

Author Phil Dixon, tells Campbell's story in his upcoming book Tommy Campbell: A Boxing Bout with the Mob.

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Sports
6:34 am
Fri December 20, 2013

As Northwest Missouri Heads To Division II Championship, Kansas City Takes Notes

Bearcat fans cheer on their team at Arrowhead stadium.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

Saturday morning, Northwest Missouri will play in the NCAA Division II football national championship game in Florence, Ala. A Kansas City delegation is in attendance, and not just to cheer on the Bearcats. They’re taking notes because next year the championship game moves to Kansas City.

How did Kansas City land the championship for next year? The answer may surprise you.

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Up to Date
9:40 am
Thu October 17, 2013

KC Sports: Covering The Rollercoaster

As a columnist for the Kansas City Star, Sam Mellinger follows the ups and downs of teams such as the Royals.
Credit Beth Lipoff / KCUR

Covering sports in Kansas City can be a real rollercoaster. Often, you’re reporting on a losing season, but sometimes you hit a high point, like the current Chiefs’ season. 

On Thursday's Up to Date, we talk with Kansas City Star sports columnist Sam Mellinger about what it’s like to write about sports in this town.

Guest:

  • Sam Mellinger is a sports columnist for the Kansas City Star.
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Up to Date
12:00 pm
Sun September 29, 2013

Former Royals Outfielder Looks Back

Former Royals outfielder Willie Wilson discusses his life in a new book, 'Inside the Park.'

From the highs of professional baseball and even the World Series to the lows of drug addiction and bankruptcy, former Royals player Willie Wilson has had quite the journey.

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Sports
9:26 am
Mon September 16, 2013

With Two Wins Already, Chiefs Are Looking Good

The Kansas City Chiefs are now 2-0 in the young NFL season after a 17-16 win over the Dallas Cowboys Sunday in the home opener.

Only two weeks into the 2013 season, the Chief's record is equal to last year's entire victory total. They grabbed the lead for good late in the third quarter, and the fans at Arrowhead Stadium sniffed a chance to bask in the Chiefs' second win of the season under new head coach Andy Reid.

"When our fans are going, you can feel that field," said Reid. "It just rumbles a little bit. It's crazy but an awesome feeling."

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KC Currents
10:00 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Grandview Cheerleading Gym Empowers African-American Girls

The Nash Jem All-Star Elite girls practice in their facility on Grandview Road.
Credit Susan B. Wilson / KCUR

According to the National Cheerleading Association, more than 3 million Americans participate in the sport. But cheerleading is no longer just about pom-poms and whipping crowd spirit into a frenzy, it has evolved into a bona fide sport where many athletes — as they are now considered — train year-round.

These athletes work on the strength, balance and gymnastic skills they need to stand out and win competitions. I recently visited a gym in Grandview where teaching girl power and the sport of cheerleading go hand in hand.

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