Digest: Taft named Nationals' fifth racing president

January 27, 2013|Sports Digest

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Taft named Nationals' fifth racing president

One of the most popular baseball sideshows is the presidents mascots race during Nationals games in Washington, and the lineup just got a lot beefier with William Howard Taft joining the ranks of Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and George Washington. That's because Taft was the largest, by mass, of any U.S. leader, tipping the scales at more than 300pounds. The race among 12-foot mascots had been best known for two things: Roosevelt never winning and random acts of sabotage as the racers clumsily circle the field during a break in the fourth inning. Roosevelt finally finished first in a race in the final game last season and won again in the postseason. The 6-foot-2 Taft holds a special place in baseball history as the first president to throw out the ceremonial first pitch, doing so April 14, 1910, at National Park (later known as Griffith Stadium) for an Philadelphia Athletics-Senators game. Taft is also credited by some with beginning the seventh-inning stretch. Lore has it that when he attended the 1910 opener, he became uncomfortable in his small wooden chair and rose to stretch his legs. The crowd, believing he was preparing to exit the stadium, stood out of respect to their commander in chief.

Redskins: Left tackle Trent Williams was injured in an altercation in a Honolulu nightclub early Friday and had to withdraw from the Pro Bowl, which will be played tonight. According to two people with knowledge of the situation, the 6-foot-5, 325-pound Williams was injured when someone cracked a bottle over his head and Tasered him. Williams required stitches. According to a statement released by the Honolulu Police Department, the incident happened about 1:30 a.m. Friday. Three men were injured in the altercation, and one man was arrested. Williams is not considered a suspect. One person with knowledge of the situation said that Williams received seven stitches. The NFL, in a statement released Friday night, said Williams "was the victim of an assault at a nightclub in central Honolulu early this morning and another individual has been arrested. Due to an injury sustained during the assault, he will not play in the Pro Bowl and has been replaced by Matt Kalil. Trent is still a member of this year's NFC All-Star team and will be on the sidelines this Sunday wearing his jersey. He will be credited with a Pro Bowl appearance and receive a full player's share." When reached Friday evening, a Redskins spokesman declined to offer any information about on the incident.

Mike Jones and Mark Maske,

The Washington Post

Minor league basketball: The Bay Area Shuckers (6-3) won a battle between American Professional Basketball League division leaders with a 122-121 overtime victory over the visiting Palmieri Jeans Destroyers (9-2). Rocky Coleman (Walbrook/Towson) led the Shuckers with 35 points, Terry Hosley (Parkville/Maryland Bible) added 27 and Danny Thompson had 24.

College wrestling: After trailing 9-0 through three matches, Maryland (10-6, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) got four consecutive victories, including back-to-back pins by 18th-ranked Christian Boley and Dallas Brown, to defeat visiting North Carolina, 21-16. Fifth-ranked Josh Asper (Hereford) and seventh-ranked Jimmy Sheptock each recorded a win during the comeback. The Terps also received a victory from Geoffrey Alexander at 133.

Men's college lacrosse: Host Johns Hopkins defeated Ohio State by an unofficial score of 15-11 in the Blue Jays' first preseason scrimmage.

Women's lacrosse: Senior midfielder-attacker Erin Fitzgerald scored in overtime to give defending national champion Northwestern an 11-10 win over England in the Champion Challenge in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

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