Sports world has already had its share of tragedy in 2013
By Doug Halberstadt
We are only one full month into the New Year, and there’s already been a notable number of deaths to sports figures. The most recent came last Thursday (Jan. 31) when Winter X Games athlete Caleb Moore succumbed to head injuries he sustained competing in the extreme winter sports competition.
Thursday, Jan. 24, the 25-year-old Moore was attempting a backflip aboard his 450-pound snowmobile when the skis on the sled caught the lip of the landing area, sending him flying over the handle bars and landing face first into the snow. While lying on the ground, his snowmobile rolled over him. After an extended period of time, Moore was able to walk off the course with help from the rescue team. Then, he immediately went to a local hospital to be treated for a concussion.
While in an Aspen, Colo., hospital, he developed bleeding around his heart and was flown to another hospital in Grand Junction for surgery. The family later said he also had a complication involving his brain.
His death was the first fatality in the 18-year history of the Winter X Games.
Earlier in January, the sports world lost one of the greatest hitters in Major League Baseball history. Stan “The Man” Musial died at the age of 92. He spent his entire professional career (22 years) playing for the St. Louis Cardinals. He ranks fourth on the all-time hits list with 3,630. His career batting average was .331 and he hit 475 home runs and had 1,951 RBIs. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969.
Another Baseball Hall of Fame member also passed away last month. Long-time Baltimore Orioles Manager Earl Weaver died while on a cruise sponsored by the team. Weaver was well known for his temper on the field. The feisty manager was ejected more than 90 times during his career.
He took the Orioles to the World Series four times. The only time they won the series was in 1970. His .583 winning percentage ranks fifth among managers who served 10 or more seasons in the 20th century.
Successful sports figures are often described as “bigger than life.” It simply isn’t so.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the Feb. 6-12, 2013, issue
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