3,000 tickets sold for start by Strasburg; 7,000 expected
As Stephen Strasburg prepares to throw his first competitive pitch since last year, perhaps no one has felt the effect of the buzz created by Strasburg's return more than Ben Scheffel. "Ever since it's been confirmed," Scheffel said, "the phone hasn't stopped ringing." Scheffel is Single-A Hagerstown's sales executive for ticketing. He oversaw Bryce Harper's sold-out first home game, "but it's never been this big," Scheffel said. The Suns have sold 3,000 tickets for Strasburg's Sunday start, about 2,100 in the past day. Requests keep pouring in. Scheffel expects Hagerstown to resort to selling standing-room-only tickets Sunday, putting the attendance around 7,000. "It's gone a lot faster than when Harper was here," Scheffel said. Strasburg's start has actually been the second boon this week for Scheffel and the Suns. On July 22, a storm rolled through Hagerstown and knocked out a bank of lights. The Suns had to move night games to the day, and attendance plummeted. On Friday, the bank was fixed. "We got our light back," Scheffel said. "Things are looking upwards."
—Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post
Motorcycle racing legend Gary Nixon dies at age 70
Motorcycle racing icon Gary Nixon died Saturday at age 70 in a Baltimore hospital because of complications after a recent heart attack. An AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer, Nixon took back-to-back AMA Grand National titles in 1967 and 1968. He was an American pioneer on the international racing scene as well, and was denied becoming the first American to win a Motorcycle Grand Prix world title when a scoring error and subsequent international politics cost him the Formula 750 title in 1976.
Boxing: Undefeated welterweight and Baltimore native James "Keep 'em Sleepin" Stevenson and brothers Maxell and Emmanuel Taylor will be featured when United Boxers returns with another evening of world-class professional boxing on Aug. 19 at Du Burns Arena. Stevenson (14-0-0, 10 KOs) is coming off a six-round shutout decision against Puerto Rican veteran Jose Angel Roman on April 15 at the inaugural United Boxers event. Maxell "The General" Taylor (18-3-1, 7 KOs) returned to form in a big way, drilling Purcell Miller toward a first-round stoppage May 21 at the Maryland Sportsplex. Just 20 years old, younger brother Emmanuel "The Tranzformer" Taylor (13-0-0, 9 KOs) has three dominant wins in the books in 2011. The event also will include undefeated cruiserweight prospects Nick Kisner, a Baltimore native, and Venroy July.
Advance tickets, $50 for ringside and $35 for general admission, can be purchased at DTLR stores and through eventbrite.com. For more information, go to unitedboxers.com.
Navy football: The team will hold its annual FanFest/Media Day from 10 a.m. to noon today at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Offensive players will sign autographs on the blue side (press box side) concourse from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. while the defensive players are down on the field interacting with fans and taking photos. The defensive players will sign autographs on the blue side concourse from 10:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. while the offensive players are on the field. FanFest activities will include interactive inflatable games, giveaways and live music. The first 250 kids will receive a free T-shirt. Fans attending should enter the parking lot through Gate 5 off Taylor Avenue and enter the stadium on the Blue or press box side at Gates A/B. There will be a $5 charge for parking; admission to the event is free. For more information, contact Kris Whitacre Morgenthaler at 410-293-8712 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
College wrestling: Rising Navy junior wrestler Dan Miller (120 kilograms/264.5 pounds) placed seventh at the FILA junior world championships last weekend in Bucharest, Romania, leading the United States to an eighth-place finish in the 25-country tournament.
College basketball: Navy men's and women's season tickets are on sale. For information, go to navysports.com or call 800-US4-NAVY.
Golf: Joe Rivera won the men's division longest drive at the High Heels for Hope event July 23 at Baltimore's Classic Five Golf Courses with a shot that went 315 yards. March Klein was the women's winner with a drive of 204 yards. The competition benefited the House of Ruth Maryland. … Washington won four of the six pairings and defeated Baltimore, 12-6, in the annual team match featuring members of the Women's Golf Association and the Women's District Golf Association at Sparrows Point Country Club. Andrea Kraus and Stacey Collins led the WGA side with a 21/2-1/2 win over Lisa Schlesinger and Susie Heiser.
—From Sun staff and news services