Senators propose naming new bridge after Musial
ST. LOUIS — Stan Musial already has a statue in St. Louis named after him. If state and federal lawmakers get their way, a new Mississippi River bridge also will carry the name of the St. Louis Cardinals great.
Democratic Sens. Claire McCaskill, of Missouri, and Dick Durbin, of Illinois, proposed legislation Wednesday that would name the new bridge the Stan Musial Memorial Bridge — some are already dubbing it the “Stan Span.” The bridge carrying Interstate 70 traffic is expected to open in 2014.
Musial, a three-time MVP and seven-time National League batting champion who spent all 22 seasons of his career with the Cardinals, died Saturday after several years of declining health. He was 92.
“The respect and devotion that people have for Stan Musial has more to do with his character than his swing,” McCaskill said in a phone interview. “His swing was amazing, a unique thing of beauty, but it was the man that made a lot of decisions in his life that just reflect the kind of values that we all want as Americans.”
KMOX Radio polled several fans at last week’s Cardinals Winter Warmup and there was virtually unanimous support for naming the bridge for Musial. Two Missouri state senators — Republicans Eric Schmitt and John Lamping, both of St. Louis County — introduced identical bills Tuesday in Jefferson City to name the bridge for Musial. Illinois lawmakers also would have to approve the name. McCaskill figures they would.
“As most St. Louisans know, folks that live on the Illinois side of the St. Louis region are by and large Cardinals fans,” McCaskill said. “They aren’t cheering for the Cubs. I think it (naming the bridge) is something that unites the two states.”
Musial was a beloved figure in St. Louis, as much for his kindness and approachability as his on-the-field prowess. That’s saying something because he is among the baseball immortals, with 3,630 hits and a lifetime .331 average. He led the Cardinals to three World Series titles in the 1940s.
After retirement Musial was briefly general manager of the Cardinals, including during the 1967 World Series championship season. He operated a popular restaurant for years and made frequent appearances before big games. His last came during last year’s NL Championship Series, which the Cardinals eventually lost in seven games to San Francisco.
A statue of Musial that stood for years outside of the old Busch Stadium was moved to the new ballpark when it opened in 2006. Since Musial’s death, hundreds of fans have dropped off cards, flowers, balloons and other items in his honor.
As a senator, McCaskill was there when Musial received the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House in February 2011, and she sat with him at the 2009 All-Star Game in St. Louis. But it was a chance meeting when she was a young woman that stood out.
“I met him in a restaurant in Jefferson City,” she recalled. “He immediately pulled out his harmonica and wanted to play for me. He clearly loved people and loved life.”
Thousands of fans are expected for a public visitation Thursday at The Cathedral Basilica in St. Louis. Musial’s popularity was such that two Roman Catholic Cardinals and a bishop will celebrate his funeral Mass on Saturday. Afterward, a funeral procession will make its way to Busch Stadium, where his family will lay a wreath at the base of the statue.
Russian pairs lead ice dance at Europeans
ZAGREB, Croatia — Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev of Russia lead after the short dance portion of ice dance at the European figure skating championships on Wednesday.
Another Russian pair, Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov, are in second place, followed by Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte of Italy.
Defending champions Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat of France are not competing because of injuries.
In the short dance, competitors have 2 minutes, 50 seconds to perform required moves to a given music.
Bobrova and Soloviev lead with a score of 69.42. Ilinykh and Katsalapov have 68.98 points, while the Italian pair has 66.53.
Santos takes 1-shot lead in Qatar
DOHA, Qatar — Ricardo Santos of Portugal made five birdies on his back nine to finish with a 7-under 65 Wednesday in the opening round of the Qatar Masters, taking a one shot lead over Anthony Wall and Peter Whiteford.
Santos, the European Tour’s rookie of the year in 2012, finished with eight birdies to go with a lone bogey on his second hole. Coming off a fourth-place finish at the Abu Dhabi Championship on Sunday, the 30-year-old golfer from Portugal is looking for his second win on the European Tour.
“Well, I just played really well, especially my short game,” the 183rd-ranked Santos said. “I missed a few shots from the tee, but then recovered very well and just kept it like that.”
Wall of England shot a bogey-free round that included four birdies on the front nine and a final birdie on the par-5, 18th. Whiteford, of Scotland, had six birdies in a bogey-free round.
“You don’t often get Qatar with no wind, so took advantage of it and actually hit the driver for the first time better to give myself a few chances,” Whiteford said. “It was one of those days it could have been a lot better almost. A lot of positive stuff, hit a lot of good putts.”
Six players including Simon Khan of England were another stroke back in a tie for fifth, and 13 players were another shot back.
Among those were two of the players in the marquee group of the day — former top-ranked Martin Kaymer and fifth-ranked Justin Rose, who just missed out on a playoff Sunday in Abu Dhabi and finished second. Fourth-ranked Louis Oosthuizen, coming off a victory in the Volvo Champions, finished with a 71 after an errant approach shot and some poor putting led to a double bogey on the 18th.
Rose was penalized a shot on 17 when his ball moved on the green just before he was about to putt.
UCI’s McQuaid replaced on IOC panel
LONDON — The head of cycling’s governing body has been replaced on a key International Olympic Committee panel as he deals with the fallout from the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.
UCI President Pat McQuaid tells The Associated Press he was too busy to attend all the meetings of the Olympic commission evaluating bids for the 2020 Summer Games.
McQuaid says “I have too much going on and I can’t afford to be spending two weeks away from the office in March.”
IOC vice president Craig Reedie, who chairs the evaluation commission, says McQuaid “couldn’t meet the schedule, that’s all.”
McQuaid, an IOC member from Ireland, was appointed to the commission in September as the representative of summer Olympic sports federations. He has been replaced by Patrick Baumann, a Swiss IOC member and secretary general of international basketball federation FIBA.
West Fargo prep wrestler sets ND pins record
WEST FARGO, N.D. — West Fargo High School senior wrestler Preston Lehmann has broken the state’s career pins record.
The Forum newspaper reports that Lehmann pinned Williston’s Bret Sandberg on Saturday, giving him 166 career pins. That broke the mark of 165 set by Dickinson’s Marc Mellmer from 1998-2003.
Lehmann also owns the single-season pins record, with 42 during his junior season.
Lehmann is a two-time state champion and is undefeated this season. He has committed to wrestle for North Dakota State University next year.
13 US cities to host Gold Cup games
MIAMI — Thirteen U.S. cities, from Miami to Seattle, will host Gold Cup games this summer.
The federation for soccer in North America, Central America and the Caribbean announced the sites Wednesday for the July 7-28 event. Matchups have not been determined.
Eight of the stadiums have never taken part in the tournament: Atlanta; Baltimore; Denver; Hartford, Conn.; Houston; Miami; Portland, Ore.; and Salt Lake City.
The tournament returns to five venues in Arlington, Texas; Chicago; Pasadena, Calif.; Harrison, N.J.; and Seattle.
Beckham’s son has tryout with Chelsea
LONDON — David Beckham’s teenage son just might be the next person in his family to play in the Premier League.
Thirteen-year-old Brooklyn Beckham, the oldest of Beckham’s four children, is having a tryout with London club Chelsea and played in an under-14 game Tuesday at the team’s training facility, people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the teenager’s activities.
The Daily Mail newspaper’s website first reported the news Wednesday after pictures were posted on Twitter of David Beckham watching Brooklyn play Tuesday. Professional teams throughout England sign talented young players to their youth academies, with the hope of building teams around homegrown stars rather than costly imports.
Brooklyn Beckham is trying to forge his own soccer career just as his father decides what could be the final step in his own.
The 37-year-old Beckham, a former England captain and Manchester United star, is mulling offers from clubs around the world after leaving the Los Angeles Galaxy at the end of a six-year stint in Major League Soccer.
When Beckham played in the U.S., Brooklyn was on the Galaxy’s youth team, and he still appears on their website as a member of their under-14 squad. But the family left Los Angeles last month and returned to England, with Brooklyn and younger brothers Romeo and Cruz expected to attend school in London. David and Victoria Beckham also have a daughter, 2-year-old Harper Seven.
While Brooklyn Beckham is carving out a soccer career, 10-year-old Romeo is making a name for himself in the fashion industry like his mother. He appears in Burberry’s ads for its spring/summer 2013 collection.
On This Day In Sports History
1901 - 1st games played in baseball’s American League / 1930 - J E Mills scores 117 on Test Cricket debut, NZ v England, Wellington / 1947 - NFL adds 5th official (back judge) & allows sudden death in playoffs / 1948 - Australia all out 674 v India (Bradman 201, Hassett 198*) / 1950 - Jackie Robinson signs highest contract ($35,000) in Dodger history / 1952 - 1st NFL team in Texas, Dallas Texans formerly NY Yanks / 1954 - Betsy Rawls wins LPGA Tampa Women’s Golf Open / 1962 - Jackie Robinson is 1st Black elected to Baseball Hall of Fame / 1962 - Mickey Wright/Marilynn Smith wins LPGA Naples Pro-Am Golf Tournament / 1964 - CBS purchases 1964 & 1965 NFL TV rights for $28.2 million / 1971 - NFL Pro Bowl: NFC beats AFC 27-6 / 1973 - Warren Spahn is elected to Baseball Hall of Fame / 1976 - Cleveland Cavaliers biggest margin victory-43 pts (beat Milwaukee 132-89) / 1976 - George Foreman KOs Ron Lyle in 5th round of a real slugfest / 1978 - 31st NHL All-Star Game: Wales beat Campbell 3-2 (OT) at Buffalo / 1981 - Islanders scored 5 power play goals against Nordiques / 1982 - Superbowl MVP: Joe Montana, San Francisco, QB / 1982 - Superbowl XVI: SF 49ers beat Cin Bengals, 26-21 in Pontiac Mich / 1986 - NY Islander Mike Bossy scores his 1,000th point / 1987 - 61st Australian Womens Tennis: H Mandlikova beat M Navratilova (7-5 7-6) / 1988 - 76th Australian Mens Tennis: M Wilander beats P Cash (6-3 6-7 3-6 6-1 8-6) / 1988 - Australia beat New Zealand 2-0 to win Cricket’s World Series Cup.