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Volume 24 No. 156
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Names In The News

Late MLBer RYAN FREEL was suffering from the degenerative brain disease CTE when he "committed suicide last year." Freel is the first former MLBer to "have his brain studied" by the Boston Univ. Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy & Sports Legacy Institute. He also is the "first to be diagnosed with the incurable disease that has been found predominantly in the brains of athletes who participate in contact sports such as boxing, hockey and football" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 12/16).

STEP RIGHT UP: Mets CF CURTIS GRANDERSON is "in the process of funding the majority" of a $7M project, already underway, to refurbish the Univ. of Illinois at Chicago baseball ballpark -- and his $5M donation "came with some unusual conditions." Granderson said that UIC in return has "agreed to let all of the high school varsity baseball teams in the Chicago Public Schools system play one of their games each season at its new baseball field, to be named Curtis Granderson Stadium" (NEWSDAY, 12/14).

: Astros Assistant Controller ABBY BRANTLEY "won $24,000 in an episode of 'WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE' that aired Friday." The Astros "aired the episode on Minute Maid Park's 'El Grande' video screen and staged a viewing party for Brantley and co-workers" (, 12/15)....The U.S. Mint in early ’14 will release the Baseball HOF Commemorative Coin. It is to be “the first curved coin released by the U.S. Mint” (, 12/13)….Patriots QB TOM BRADY and talk show host ELLEN DEGENERES “teamed up to reward” two Bridgewater, Mass., kids for “standing up to bullies.” Brady, courtesy of team Owner ROBERT KRAFT, gave the boys tickets to the Patriots’ final regular-season game at Gillette Stadium, field passes and "tickets for their whole team" to visit the Patriots HOF (BOSTON HERALD, 12/15)….Jaguars Owner SHAHID KHAN’s 223-foot yacht “has been sold.” There is “no information on who purchased" the yacht, but it was listed for about $108.6M (, 12/13).