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Volume 22 No. 19

People and Pop Culture

The home plate meetings between Yogi Berra and Ted Williams weren’t always social occasions, such as when the Yankees catcher tagged out the Red Sox star during a game on Sept. 21, 1951, won by New York, 5-1.
Photo: AP Images

When Ted Williams strode to the plate at Fenway Park in late September of 1946 for a game against the Yankees, he encountered for the first time a stocky, awkward-looking kid from St. Louis behind the plate. The Splendid Splinter obviously did not know Yogi Berra, his fellow World War II veteran who was replacing the legendary Bill Dickey, because he thought to himself, “Who the hell are the Yankees trying to fool with this guy?”

As the years passed, however, Williams’ internal dialogue would turn into a much friendlier external one. By the time the photo at right was taken, in 1957, the two had been American League rivals for many years as well as All-Star Game teammates every season but one since 1948 (that happened in ’52, which Williams spent as a fighter pilot in Korea). Williams, though less of a splinter, was still splendid, batting a remarkable .388 that year, while Grampa posted his ninth straight 20-home-run season and helped the Yankees reach the World Series for the ninth time in his career.

Grampa talked to batters. A lot. If a hitter wouldn’t engage, Gramp would flick little balls of dirt into their shoes until they paid him some heed.
Photo: Getty Images

Grampa talked to batters. A lot. He was never mean and didn’t intend to distract; he just liked to chat. If a hitter wouldn’t engage, Gramp would flick little balls of dirt into their shoes until they paid him some heed.

On “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” in 1998, Grampa relayed one of his many home-plate conversations with his Red Sox pal. He said he asked Williams, an avid fisherman, how they were biting. He asked if he’d been to any good restaurants in town. And on and on until Williams turned to him and snapped, “Shut up, you little dago, I’m up here to hit.”

Both men excelled at that, of course, and both wound up in the Hall of Fame. The rivalry they were cornerstones of for so long will be renewed this week in New York and could be continued in October, as both the Yankees and Red Sox appear to be postseason bound.

Williams passed away in 2002. Grampa died Sept. 22, 2015. But I know somewhere, he is still talking to Ted.

Lindsay Berra is a freelance journalist who was a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine and a reporter at MLB.com.

Photo Credits:Getty Images (4);@bananarepublicmens / Instagram

Photo: Getty Images

Buy

Naomi Osaka

The U.S. Open women’s champion more than doubled her career earnings, reportedly agreed to a new $8.4 million endorsement deal with Adidas that would be the biggest the company has ever done with a female athlete, and signed a sponsorship deal with Nissan. Not a bad week.

 

 

 

Photo: Getty Images

Sell

Money Trouble

Miami Heat Chief Revenue Officer Jeffrey David was let go by the team two months after being hired because of an FBI investigation into a money-laundering scheme he allegedly took part in while in a similar role with the Sacramento Kings.

 

Hold

2026 Olympic Bid Race

The northern Japanese city of Sapporo reportedly will tell the IOC it’s dropping its bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics, leaving four bidders still in the mix – Calgary; Stockholm; Erzurum, Turkey; and a three-city bid from Italy.

An Afternoon With Sal

Sal Paolantonio, ESPN reporter and author of “Philly Special,” spent an afternoon with Turnkey Sports & Entertainment recently. Paolantonio read excerpts from his recently published book, discussed his 25-year career in journalism, and signed copies of the book for Turnkey’s staff.
Photo: Nicolas Bernal

 

Kicking It Off 

During the NFL’s Thursday Night Kickoff, Philadelphia Eagles hall of famer Brian Dawkins and team owner Jeffrey Lurie celebrate a championship moment before the game at Lincoln Financial Field Sept. 6 in Philadelphia.
Photo: Getty Images

 

Working It Out

Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez hosted a Los Angeles media workout at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles on Aug. 26, marking the first time a boxing ring has been constructed on the pitch of the new stadium’s field. The two were set for a rematch Sept. 15 in Las Vegas. Golovkin promoter Tom Loeffler; Adam Friedman, president of Banc of California Stadium Entertainment; Golovkin; and Ryan Northcott, SVP of booking for Banc of California Stadium Entertainment.
Photo: Banc of California Stadium / Imad Bolotok
Alvarez warms up in the ring during the media workout.
Photo: Getty Images

 

Power Players At U.S. Open

USTA’s Kirsten Corio, MSG’s John Abbamondi and Eventellect’s Patrick Ryan gather at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sept. 6 for the U.S. Open.
Photo: Courtesy of John Abbamondi

 

49ers Foundation Kickoff

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch addresses hundreds of 49ers Foundation supporters, team owners, executives, coaches and players during the 49ers Foundation fundraiser, Players for a Purpose, on Aug. 28 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. The event generated more than $500,000 in proceeds to support local youth.
Photo: San Francisco 49ers

 

Inspiring Leadership

USTA CEO Gordon Smith, ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro, “Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts, Billie Jean King, Christiane Amanpour, Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger and USTA President Katrina Adams gather for the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative Symposium on Sept. 6 at the U.S. Open hospitality center. Roberts and Iger received Inspiring Leader awards at the event.
Photo: Daniel Shirey / USTA

 

Designated Drivers

Former NFLer Reggie Bush and former American Ultimate Disc League player turned YouTube personality Brodie Smith took a few swings in the Topgolf Crush experience in the Mastercard Club at The Northern Trust, the first FedEx Cup playoffs event last month at The Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, N.J.

 

Please submit photos for review of industry conferences, parties, product launches and openings showcasing the people and personalities at the event. Include the event date, location, names/titles of those featured along with credit information. The photo specifications are as follows: 300dpi, tiff, jpeg or eps color images. Submit digital photos for review at: photo@sportsbusinessjournal.com or send color prints to: Faces & Places, c/o Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal, 120 W. Morehead St., Suite 310, Charlotte, NC 28202.

Baseball

The Major League Baseball Players Association hired XAVIER JAMES as deputy chief operating officer.

 

Colleges

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff named MELVIN J. HINES II athletic director. Hines was athletic director at Alabama State University.

 

The University at Buffalo promoted NATE WILLS to deputy athletic director and chief operating officer.

 

The University of Central Arkansas promoted MATT WHITING to associate athletic director for external relations.

 

Coastal Carolina University hired KEVIN DAVIS as assistant athletic director for media relations. Davis was an assistant director of athletic communications and public relations at Georgia Tech.

 

The University of Evansville hired MARK IZQUIERDO as director of compliance and student-athlete services

 

Fordham University hired JASMINE CANNADY as associate athletic director of marketing, promotions and tickets. Cannady was assistant marketing director at the University of Notre Dame.

 

Houston Baptist University hired STAN WILLIAMSON as deputy athletic director. Williamson was athletic director at the University of West Alabama.

 

Morehead State University added the title of senior woman administrator to women’s golf head coach STEPHANIE BARKER.

 

Longwood University promoted MICHELLE MEADOWS SHULAR to deputy athletic director and RICK CANTER to associate athletic director for student-athlete enhancement.

 

Oregon State University baseball coach PAT CASEYannounced his retirement from coaching after 24 years with the program but will stay with the university as a senior associate athletic director and special assistant to vice president and athletic director Scott Barnes.

 

The University of South Florida hired LELO PRADO as deputy athletic director of development and BRANDON HALL as senior associate athletic director and chief financial officer.

 

Texas A&M University hired JONATHAN BOWLING as senior associate athletic director for athletics compliance. Bowling was associate athletic director for football compliance and administration at the University of Tennessee.

 

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley hired KIM GRAHAM as associate athletic director for operations.

 

Washington State University hired LISA WAITE as associate athletic director for emerging media and creative services. Waite was creative services director for Oklahoma City Thunder.

 

Football

The Atlanta Falcons promoted BRIAN CEARNS to senior director of communications.

 

The San Francisco 49ers promoted BRENT SCHOEB to chief revenue officer.

 

The XFL named ROXANNE KOSARZYCKI general counsel. Kosarzycki was senior vice president and general counsel for Global Imaging Systems.

 

Marketing

CAA Sports hired RACHEL CONLAN to work with its property sales, brand consulting and athlete representation groups. Conlan was global chief marketing operations officer for Havas.

 

Multiteam Companies

Madison Square Garden Co. hired RICHARD CONSTABLE as executive vice president and global head of government relations and public affairs. Constable was senior vice president of government relations and commercial contracts for Wyndham Worldwide.

 

Other

ANC named VICTOR IKEDA-WOOD head of service platforms, TERRELL DAIS account executive and STACEY TALVE human resources manager.

 

On Location Experiences hired GREG BARCKHOFF as director of sponsorship. Barckhoff was vice president of sales and marketing for ETA Creative Event Producers

 

Snodgrass Partners hired PETER DAVIS as vice president of business development.

 

Elevate Sports Ventures launched a college vertical, Elevate On Campus, with MARK DYER as president of the new venture. 

To have your personnel announcements included in the People section, please send information and photos to Brandon McClung at 120 W. Morehead St., Suite 310, Charlotte, NC 28202, or email them to careers@sportsbusinessjournal.com. Electronic photos must be a jpg or tiff file for Macintosh, 2.25 inches wide at 300 dpi. Color only, please.