Johnson was a candidate for the 2006 special election.

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Decades before Jackie Robinson, Fowler played with whites in the majors of the Reconstruction Era 1870s. African-Americans were pushed out of the majors in the 1880s, though Fowler’s page on Baseball-Reference.com shows professional credits as late as 1895.

Johnson was a candidate for the 2006 special election. His candidate page for that election makes him sound like he should have been a shoo-in, noting him as the best shortstop in black baseball before John Henry Lloyd (an inner circle Negro League selection to Cooperstown) and attributing his nickname to him once hitting 60 home runs in a season.

Breshad Perriman Authentic Jersey Osweiler or whoever under center can work with that. It might not win the AFC North, but the progress could lead to the final step. That’s landing the franchise quarterback. If it’s not Osweiler or Garoppolo, then who is it?

It can be found in the 2018 NFL Draft. Jackson loved drafting Cody Kessler. How much better is Darnold? He’s a Heisman Trophy candidate who is drawing comparisons to Joe Montana. Rosen could have a bounce-back year at UCLA. Jackson could win a second Heisman Trophy and continue to improve at Louisville. Those are real long-term, home-grown options at quarterback, unlike what it out there this year with the exception of maybe Watson. It’s risky to wait on Darnold, Rosen or Jackson, but it’s worth a try.

Then you get to the other ballots, the 12 on the tracker who voted for just two, three or four players (and don’t even get me started on Murray Chass, who submitted an intentionally blank ballot).

Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz’s bat woke up to collect four hits with a run scored

Entering Thursday, Freeman leads the NL in batting average (.440), on-base percentage (.533) and OPS+ (289). To go along with that, he’s got six homers in the Braves’ first 14 games and just ended a streak of reaching base in 12 straight plate appearances to set a new team record. Already, he’s accumulated 1.2 Wins Above Replacement. And yet, few are talking about Freeman outside Atlanta.

After all, Freeman is just picking up where he left off last season, when he was good for a .302 average, a .400 on-base percentage, 34 homers, a .569 slugging percentage and 6.4 WAR. He finished sixth in the MVP voting. But it was a quiet sixth, sandwiched between Joey Votto and Nolan Arenado, both usually in conversations about baseball’s best players — conversations that seldom include Freeman, for whatever reason.

Of greater importance, the Redbirds have locked down a 25-year-old right-hander who’s poised to replace Adam Wainwright as the team’s ace. Wainwright will still be the staff leader, but he’s 35 and he had a rocky 2016 season. This is Martinez’s time.

Rightly so, based on Martinez’s first two seasons as a full-time major league starter: a combined 30-16 record, 3.02 ERA (133 ERA+), 1.25 WHIP and 8.6 K/9 over 375 innings. He did almost all of that before turning 25 last September.
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Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz’s bat woke up to collect four hits with a run scored, three RBIs and a walk in a 10-0 rout of the Braves. Starting pitcher Lance Lynn tossed six scoreless innings to earn his fourth win of the season.

Elvis Andrus Youth Jersey Billy Hamilton proved Friday why fantasy owners can never bench him despite his frustrating tendencies. The speedy outfielder went 3 for 4 with four runs scored, two RBIs, two walks and two stolen bases in a 13-3 win against the Giants. Hamilton now has eight stolen bases this week, and 18 already this season.

NFL Draft 2017: Giants get some insurance for Eli Manning with Cal’s Davis Webb

The Giants might have found the heir apparent to Eli Manning.

New York selected California quarterback Davis Webb in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft with the 87th overall pick.

Webb is nice and tall at 6-5, though a bit lean at 229 pounds. The former Texas Tech quarterback is a natural leader with a strong arm, but is not yet NFL-ready.

With the Giants, he will have a chance to sit behind Manning, who is 36 years old and entering his 14th NFL season. Manning’s contract expires following the 2019 season and, Webb could take over from there just as former Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers sat three seasons before taking over for Brett Favre in Green Bay.

Webb, who threw for 4,295 yards with 37 touchdowns and 12 interceptions last season, is uncomfortable under center coming out of Cal’s spread system. He put up big numbers for the Bears thanks to an offense that saw him throw the ball an average of 52 times per game.

He’s inconsistent with his accuracy and his passes tend to sail on him because of poor footwork. He did complete 11 of 16 passes for 165 yards and a touchdown at the Senior Bowl to earn MVP honors. The good news for Webb is the potential is there and he does have a great work ethic. In a quarterback-thin draft, Webb likely got picked higher than he should have, but that’s par for the course in a draft that saw three teams trade up in the first round to reach for quarterbacks.

Webb has a big arm, with the ability to rip it, and a big body and will have the luxury of developing behind Manning.
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Let’s take a look at where Boston ranks.

Tony Conigliaro, getting beaned by Jack Hamilton: Tony Conigliaro had 104 home runs and was just 22 years old when he took a Jack Hamilton bean ball to the face on Aug. 18, 1967. After missing all of 1968, he returned to hit 56 home runs for the Boston Red Sox over the next two seasons. But he grew timid at the plate and, by age 30, his career was over.
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The future ain’t what is used to be isn’t something the late great catcher and life sage would say about Jeter. It was very tough to seperate Jeter from a wise backstop who racked up 13 World Series titles and three MVPs during his 18 seasons with the Yankees. That’s especially true given both led winning teams so well for so long while manning one of the game’s most demanding defensive positions.

But it ain’t over until we discuss offense, and Berra is 100 spots lower (No. 188) in WAR at 59.4 vs. Jeter’s 71.9. Berra had more career home runs (358 to 260) and RBIs (1,430 to 1,311), while Jeter had all those hits and the average edge (.310 to .285). You can read about 100 other lists like this where Yogi is ahead, but we’re with Jeets.

Let’s take a look at where Boston ranks.

The biggest dearth that Ortiz left is power. Boston has the fewest homers and worst isolated power number in the majors, as well as the sixth-worst slugging percentage in baseball.

But, even without the power, Boston’s offense hasn’t been bad, so to speak.

The good: The Sox have the lowest strikeout percentage in baseball, the second-best hard-hit rate, the seventh-best walk percentage, and the fourth-best batting average.

So, getting guys on base and putting the ball in play isn’t the issue.
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John Kruk didn’t like ‘rude’ phone calls from ESPN while playing golf

We’re getting some insight into why ESPN and baseball analyst John Kruk mutually agreed to part ways last fall.

Kruk couldn’t be bothered to answer rude phone calls from ESPN producers while on the golf course.

The wise-cracking Kruk was introduced as the newest member of the Phillies’ announcing team Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park.

Kruk related the worst part about working at ESPN for 12 years.

Namely, the incessant phone calls and meetings that interrupted his golf game.
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Commings last appeared in a competitive baseball game in 2008 while at Westside High School in Augusta. He was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 MLB Draft, but chose to play football at the University of Georgia.

Game Womens Calvin Johnson Jersey Following a standout career with the Bulldogs, Commings was a fifth-round pick of the Chiefs in 2013. He broke his left collarbone as a rookie and then needed surgery for his broken ankle the following summer. The 6-0, 223-pound former defensive back played in just two NFL games, recording one tackle.

Commings said seeing former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow sign a minor league deal with the Mets last year inspired him to again try his hand at baseball. Commings has been training with former MLB player Jerry Hairston Jr.

He’s strong, he’s got pop, he’s just a tremendous athlete — you just don’t find that, Hairston told MLB.com earlier this month. You never know how a guy will react in Double-A or Triple-A. But he is worth the gamble, I can tell you that.

I told Sanders, ‘We want to get the best organization for you that will help you develop and get as many at-bats as possible,’ Hairston added. He’s still young, and he’s got the tools.

Cardinals, Carlos Martinez agree to five-year extension, report says

The Cardinals have locked up promising starting pitcher Carlos Martinez with a five-year contract worth $55 million, baseball insider Jon Heyman reported late Wednesday.

The report said St. Louis will announce the deal Thursday morning.

Martinez, 25, went 16-9 with a 3.04 ERA and 174 strikeouts last season. He is considered one of the best young pitchers in MLB.

The new contract will be a big difference for the right-hander, who had never made more than $539,000 in a season thus far.

St. Louis will feature a strong young rotation core with Martinez, Michael Wacha and Alex Reyes flashing potential.

Forget having to document history in real time. There were more basic issues.

We were all still trying to figure out everybody’s name, Diamond said. I had new camera guys, new audio guys, and I’d never worked with these people before and they’d never worked with me before. We were all learning as we went those first two weeks.
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As Diamond tried frantically to manage his duties amid the historic frenzy, he got some veteran wisdom from the Braves’ broadcasters, who tried to stress that baseball seasons are full of ebbs and flows.

Announcer Pete Van Wieren was a particular voice of reason. There was no reason to exhaust all energy in April, he told Diamond.

He kept trying to keep me calm, saying, Glenn, this is a long season. Just take a deep breath,’ Diamond said. I looked to the announcers to mentor us as we went through this process.

Game Youth Quintin Demps Jersey As far as the Braves were concerned, Diamond’s crew could stick around forever. This little documentary project might have some cosmic pull, they figured.

The way we started the season, any of us that were superstitious, certainly we felt it may have been good luck, Torre said.

NFL Draft 2017: Raiders give Gareon Conley chance that never came to La’el Collins

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Just two years ago, NFL teams ran from La’el Collins in dread, terrified of spending a valuable draft pick on a talented prospect who was involved in a murder investigation. Their abundance of caution, and the uncertainty of his legal situation, sent Collins — a top-rated tackle from LSU — sliding completely through all seven rounds of the 2015 NFL Draft, into undrafted free agency and subject to the whims of extra-nervous executives and coaches.

Cook’s best effort might have come in the 37-34 loss to Clemson on Oct. 29, 2016. He rushed for 169 yards and four touchdowns, including scores of 43 and 70 yards in the second half. He put the Seminoles on his back, and he was one of few players in college football who could single-handedly take over a game.

Authentic Womens Akeem Dent Jersey So why did he fall? You can try to point to any one of those things. The shoulder surgeries are a logical red flag, but Vikings GM Rick Spielman told reporters Friday the team’s doctors had no concerns with his injury issues. Spielman also addressed the off-field concerns. He said the team not only did extensive background checks, but he spent an additional 45 minutes on the phone with Cook on Friday morning.

The Vikings believe Cook is a franchise back they landed at a bargain. Jerick McKinnon led the Vikings with 539 rushing yards last season. Minnesota scored just nine rushing touchdowns. Cook will jump-start that rushing attack immediately.

He’ll also get to showcase in that the Monday Night Football opener, with Peterson on the other side making his debut with the Saints.

the Warriors will be favored, but the Clippers and Jazz could both give them a run

The second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs begins on Sunday when the Boston Celtics take on the Washington Wizards in Game 1 at 1 p.m. That kicks off the second round, which will feature four series spread over two weeks. The entire playoffs will last until mid June until a champion is crowned.

All four series offer some intriguing matchups. Cleveland is a favorite to top Toronto, but will the Raptors have any pride to do better in this rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Finals? On the other side, the Wizards and Celtics are both fighting for legitimacy. Can they keep their tempers in check and take the next step?

Out West, the Warriors will be favored, but the Clippers and Jazz could both give them a run. Meanwhile, the Rockets and Spurs offer the most even series of the playoffs, with San Antonio’s pedigree trying to slow down James Harden’s high-powered offense.

Goff with the Rams was forced to sit behind Case Keenum for the first nine games of 2016 despite the starter’s shaky play and cries from fans in favor of the rookie. He does not yet have 10 starts to his name (seven starts — 0-7 record as starter, 5-7 TD-INT ratio, 63.6 QB rating, 5.3 average yards per attempt, 26 sacks), but the early results are not great.

The Eagles intended to let Wentz sit behind incumbent QB Sam Bradford … until Philadelphia traded Bradford to Minnesota less than two weeks before Week 1. Wentz was officially named starter a couple days after the Bradford deal.
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Westbrook peeled out like a high-schooler driving his first car

If there’s a play from the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Game 5 season-ending loss to the Houston Rockets that was even more Russ, it was a moment late in the third quarter.
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Westbrook barreled into the lane, forcing Trevor Ariza to foul him due to his sheer physicality. Both free throws missed, but it was Westbrook bolting off the free throw stripe — a maneuver most don’t even attempt — to grab his own rebound. Westbrook peeled out like a high-schooler driving his first car, careened towards the three-point line, and launched a three that could only be described as reckless. It splashed home.

It was a play that defined the mercurial, headline-dominating point guard as well as any other this season. And it still didn’t matter.

Ideally we’d be able to come in and give DeShone some time … make sure he understands that he doesn’t feel like he has to have the pressure on him to be the week one starter or even the 2017 starter at some point. We like Cody, we like Brock [Osweiler], we like Kevin [Hogan] and he doesn’t need to feel that pressure, Brown said, namedropping the franchise’s underwhelming cache of passers in the process.

He also hinted the team may not be done adding passers, even with four quarterbacks currently on the roster.

We won’t rest until we solidify that position, Brown said. That may be in next year’s draft, it may be in free agency, it may be via trade. But again, Brock, Cody, and Kevin are here working hard and we’re going to support them as best we can.

Womens Alfred Morris Jersey While team executives may be primed to wait on Kizer’s development, a look at the Browns’ recent past could mean we’ll be seeing the first-year quarterback take the field with the starters by the end of 2017. Cleveland has drafted nine passers since its NFL reboot in 1999. Only one, Brady Quinn, failed to start at least one game as a rookie.

The Hawks answered back with a decisive win against the Wizards in Game 3

The Atlanta Hawks answered the bell on Saturday, striking back for a decisive 116-98 Game 3 win over the Washington Wizards. Unlike the Pacers, who blew a 26-point lead in a five-point loss to the Cavaliers in Game 3 of that series, the Hawks stayed ahead all game long.
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Youth Mark Barron Jersey Atlanta jumped out to a 19-4 lead before extending it to 38-13 in the first quarter. The Hawks were able to shut down all Washington players save for John Wall, who poured in 14 points in the period.

The Bulls will be at home, but they dropped their first two games in Chicago. Rondo tried to play in Game 5 but couldn’t. It’s unclear if he will be able to play in Game 6, but he has played through worse injuries in the past and desperately wants to be on the floor.

The Celtics got off to an unfortunate start to the post-season when All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas’ sister, Chyna, passed away in an auto accident in Washington state. He has since leaned on his teammates for emotional support and is averaging 25.2 points per game in the series (albeit on 21 percent three-point shooting).

If the Bulls intend to force a Game 7, having Rondo on the floor is a start. They’ll also need a Herculean effort out of Jimmy Butler, who scored just 14 points on 6-of-15 shooting in their Game 5 loss on Wednesday. Butler was an All-Star starter and considered to be the best player in this series. He needs to play like it if Chicago is to have a shot.

Bulls vs. Celtics Game 6 is going to be a good one. Here’s how you can watch it on Friday: