A three-run homer in his first at bat in a major league uniform, 22-year-old prospect Jonny Gomes. Called up from Tampa Bay's minor league camp to spell the Devil Rays' outfielders against the Phillies on March 27, Gomes broke down in tears after the game. Last Christmas Eve he went to a California hospital suffering from what he thought was prolonged, severe indigestion—and found out he'd had a heart attack. Gomes, who has no family history of heart problems, was treated for several weeks with blood thinners and cleared to return to action last week. In addition to the dinger he made two spectacular catches in left, the second over the shoulder. "Now that one," said Gomes, who will report to Double A Orlando, "nearly made my heart stop."
A cut of a $194,047.80 Pick Six ticket, by six nuns from St. Michael's Elementary in Los Angeles while attending a fundraiser at Santa Anita Park. One hundred of the school's patrons chipped in $25 each on one communal ticket—the after-tax winnings of which were to be split 50-50 with the nuns, who promised their share to the school in South Central. Tension mounted as the first five winners galloped home. After 4-1 shot Apple Juice Tea took the sixth leg, clinching the bet, the nuns did a victory dance to celebrate their $80,000 windfall. "They didn't embarrass the Pope or anything," I says Stephen Campbell, an attendee who helped pick the winners, "but there was some jumping up and down."
For the vacant head coaching position at Columbia, which had its losingest basketball season ever (2-25, including 0-14 in the Ivy League), two of the winningest players in NCAA history. After firing coach Armond Hill, Columbia brought in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (who was 88-2 with three national championships at UCLA) and Bobby Hurley (who was 119-26 with two titles at Duke).
From their teammates, Sabres defensemen Rhett Warrener and Brian Campbell, who might have been exposed to SARS, the respiratory illness that at week's end had killed more than 50 people worldwide. After one of Campbell's relatives, a hospital worker from Toronto, came down with SARS symptoms—which include high fever and difficulty breathing—five days after visiting the two players, team doctors recommended that Warrener and Campbell remain isolated for a 10-day period.
As long-and short-course gold medalist at the World Cross Country Championships, 20-year-old Kenenisa Bekele. The Ethiopian became the first man to win both titles last year, and his repeat double, at Lausanne, Switzerland, came less than a month after he was stricken by typhoid.