Today is believed to be the birthday of Leroy "Satchel" Paige, perhaps the most legendary pitcher baseball ever saw. Paige was a star for decades, and once pitched three scoreless innings in the major leagues at age 59. Plus: we'll visit the man who earned the world's first degree in ninja studies.
Back in 1978 the San Diego Chicken was winning huge numbers of fans - which is why Atlanta owner Ted Turner tried to coax the man inside the chicken suit, Ted Giannoulas, to move east. Plus:
It was on this day in 1894 that Annie Cohen Kopchovsky, aka Annie Londonderry, set off on a bike trip that, over the next fifteen months, would make her the first woman to ride a bike around the world. Plus: meet a contraption that can hit a home run about twice as far as the ones in the big leagues.
Hundreds of thousands of laborers toiled for decades to build Egypt's legendary Great Pyramid... or did they? Professor Emeritus Vaclav Smil of the University of Manitoba did the math and found a very different conclusion. Plus: it's the birthday of baseball great Dave Parker, who once hit a home run that stopped 150 miles away from the ballpark.
Falls on hard pavement can be very, very dangerous for some of us. That's why a research group called SAFERUP is trying to make safer, bouncier pavement. Plus: the Rakuten Monkeys baseball team in Taiwan is planning to have robot mannequins in the stands to cheer them on until fans can return to the ballpark.
Baseball's opening weekend has been postponed, so for now let's enjoy the tale of how pitcher Keith Comstock managed to turn his baseball card into one where he appears to be hit in a very sensitive place. Plus: salon owner Heidi Oley had to close her shop for the time being, so she’s practicing her skills on her boyfriend and posting daily hairdos on Instagram.
Sports tech company Motus Global has developed a high-tech compression sleeve for pitchers. It senses the movement of each pitch and determines how much strain the throws put on the arm, to help avoid injuries. Plus: the story of old-timey pitcher "Phenomenal" Smith, who, it's said, could have used a different kind of smarts in dealing with his teammates.
Around the same time John Fitzgerald Kennedy was rising through the ranks of the US Congress, a guy called John Francis Kennedy decided to put his name on the ballot to run for Massachusetts state treasurer. In a few years, there would be other John Kennedys trying to win public office in the state.
Sorry, Simpsons fans: the world's greatest burper is neither "The Critic" Jay Sherman nor Eudora Welty, but an Italian guy in a wrestling mask who calls himself Rutt Mysterio.
Attractions - especially weird ones - are a time-honored way to drum up business from people who are at best casual baseball fans, and lately that's extended to team names, including the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, the Vermont Lake Monsters, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies and the Rocket City Trash Pandas.