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March 19, 2012
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March 19, 2012

For The Record

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At age 94, Sol Schiff, who was known as Mr. Table Tennis. Schiff (above) picked up the sport at P.S. 151 in New York City, when a gym teacher, sympathetic to Schiff's flat feet, let him play table tennis on a lunch table rather than basketball. In the 1930s, Schiff won one national singles title, one world doubles championship (with Jimmy McClure) and was part of a U.S. team championship. After retiring from play, he started a table tennis equipment business and then served as president of USA Table Tennis from '76 to '84 and then from '86 to '88. He was inducted into the USATT Hall of Fame in '66 and won a lifetime achievement award in 2000.

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At age 29 of head injuries sustained when he crashed near the finish line of a World Cup race in Grindelwald, Switzerland, last Saturday, Canadian skicross racer Nick Zoricic. Zoricic (below), who finished fifth in last season's World Cup standings and eighth at the '11 worlds, was competing in the round of eight when he went wide over the last jump and tumbled into the safety net lining the course. He was airlifted to a hospital in Interlaken, but died of "severe neurotrauma," according to an International Ski Federation spokesman. Zoricic's death comes just two months after Canadian freeskier Sarah Burke crashed during a superpipe training run in Park City, Utah. She died a few days later.

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Last Thursday to 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta, her first foal. The colt was sired by '06 Preakness winner Bernardini, who is descended from Secretariat. Zenyatta won 19 consecutive times in her 20-race career, setting a North American record. She is the only female to have won the Breeders' Cup Classic, in '09. After the first mating between Zenyatta, 8, and Bernardini, 9, resulted in a miscarriage, a second mating in April produced the 130-pound dark bay colt, who, with a white star on his forehead and white markings on his feet, is said to resemble his mother.


By federal authorities, Auburn point guard Varez Ward, for his possible role in an alleged point-shaving scheme in at least two games this season. The FBI's inquiry apparently began in late February and focuses on losses to Arkansas on Jan. 25 and to Alabama on Feb. 7. A Yahoo! Sports report stated that a teammate of Ward's raised concerns with an assistant coach in late February. The university immediately opened an investigation and alerted the FBI, NCAA and SEC. Point shaving is against both NCAA rules and federal law. Ward was suspended for violation of team rules; he did not play in the final four games of the season. According to a report by, he has denied the allegations to authorities.

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At 73 after a 10-year battle with brain cancer, former National League umpire Harry Wendelstedt, who officiated 4,500 games in a 33-year career that included five World Series, seven NL Championship Series and four All-Star Games. Perhaps Wendelstedt's most famous call came in 1968 at Dodger Stadium, where Don Drysdale was going for his fifth straight shutout. With the bases loaded, the L.A. righthander hit Giants catcher Dick Dietz with a high slider, but before Dietz could take first and force in a run, Wendelstedt ruled that Dietz had not tried to avoid the pitch, making it only a ball. Dietz flied out, and Drysdale went on to break the alltime record for consecutive scorless innings. Wendelstedt (right) also owned and ran the Wendelstedt Umpiring School in Daytona Beach for 35 years—the school where he trained when it was the Al Somers Umpire School.

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