9-year-old meets MLB player after sending him encouraging letter: ‘Don’t give up. We’re rooting for you’

Sports News 9-year-old meets MLB player after sending him encouraging letter: 'Don’t give up. We’re rooting for you' https://linewsradio.com/9-year-old-meets-mlb-player-after-sending-him-encouraging-letter-dont-give-up-were-rooting-for-you/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

iStock(NEW YORK) — Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis has found an unexpected motivator in the form of a young baseball lover and die-hard Boston Red Sox fan.

“I love baseball,” Henry Frasca, 9, of Massachusetts, told Orioles broadcaster Gary Thorne in a video that was posted on the Orioles broadcast Twitter page and Major League Baseball Twitter page. “It’s my life.”

When Henry noticed in April that Davis was 0 for 54 in hits — the longest slump in Major League Baseball history — he wrote him a letter.

“When someone’s hurting, I didn’t like it,” he told Thorne. “So, I decided to try to help him out.”

In the letter, Henry told Davis, in part: “There are two things I want you to know. First, the way you play baseball has nothing to do with how good a person you are. Also, you are incredible. You play in the MLB. You’ve done it for a long time and everyone goes through a slump. Don’t give up. We’re rooting for you. Sincerely, Henry Frasca.”

That same day in April, Davis broke the infamous record with three hits including two doubles. Davis told Thorne that he’d held onto the letter the entire season, carrying it in his Bible.

“It definitely caught me off-guard. But, it meant enough to me for me to carry it around the rest of the day. It was pretty cool. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get a little choked up,” he said.

On Saturday, the two finally met when the Orioles played the Red Sox in a three-game series at Fenway Park in Boston.

The two were able to chat and hang out in the locker room and dugout before Henry took to the field to help catch the balls during practice. He was even seen on video throwing balls to fans. Before the two parted, Henry thanked Davis for the best “day of my life.”

“People don’t really realize how they impact us,” Davis said. “At that moment in time, going through what I was going through, to get a letter that was that encouraging — and from a 9-year-old — it was pretty special.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 22 Aug 2019

Famed figure skating coach banned for life following sexual misconduct investigation

Sports News Famed figure skating coach banned for life following sexual misconduct investigation https://linewsradio.com/famed-figure-skating-coach-banned-for-life-following-sexual-misconduct-investigation/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

sportpoint/iStock(NEW YORK) — Once-celebrated figure skating coach Richard Callaghan has been banned from the sport for life more than two decades after its national governing body dismissed allegations of sexual misconduct reported to the federation.

The U.S. Center for SafeSport, the sexual misconduct watchdog of the U.S. Olympic Committee, declared Callaghan “permanently ineligible” for membership on Wednesday, citing “sexual misconduct involving [a] minor,” physical misconduct and emotional misconduct following an 18-month investigation into allegations made by one of Callaghan’s former students.

Craig Maurizi, a former skater turned Olympic coach, had accused Callaghan of sexually abusing him when he was a young skater from about 1977 to 1986 in a grievance filed with the federation in 1999. The federation dismissed the grievance without full consideration because skating bylaws stipulated that alleged misconduct must be reported within 60 days, allowing Callaghan — one of the world’s top coaches at the time — to continue coaching.

But in January of 2018, Maurizi filed a new complaint about his earlier allegations with the U.S. Center for SafeSport, paving the way for Callaghan’s long-awaited ouster from the sport.

“I am extremely pleased with this decision,” Maurizi told ABC News. “My coach was a monster and ruined the careers and lives of many of his students. He deserves as stiff a penalty as possible. I applaud all the other athletes who were brave enough to tell their stories to SafeSport. They are heroes and I love them all.”

An attorney for Callaghan, who has repeatedly denied any allegations of sexual misconduct, did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment. In the announcement on its website, the U.S. Center for SafeSport notes that the ruling is “subject to appeal” and “not yet final.”

U.S. Figure Skating, which has defended its handling of the allegations against Callaghan, acknowledged the ruling in a statement to ABC News.

“U.S. Figure Skating has made Richard Callaghan permanently ineligible, in compliance with the policies and procedures of the U.S. Center for SafeSport,” the statement reads. “This action follows Callaghan’s March 6, 2018, suspension of membership and now permanently prohibits Callaghan from participating, in any capacity, in any activity or competition authorized by, organized by, or under the auspices of U.S. Figure Skating, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and all USOPC-member National Governing Bodies, including U.S. Figure Skating-member clubs and/or organizations.”

But until last year U.S. Figure Skating permitted Callaghan to continue coaching under its auspices despite the organization receiving from Maurizi what he has called “a mountain of evidence” in 1999 to support his claims, including accounts from several other people who either allegedly experienced or witnessed sexual misconduct by Callaghan.

That decision allowed Callaghan’s alleged abuse of Adam Schmidt, another former skater who trained under Callaghan, to “continue unabated,” according to a lawsuit Schmidt filed against both Callaghan, U.S. Figure Skating and others in San Diego Superior Court earlier this month, in which he alleges that he suffered “numerous sexual assaults” by Callaghan while he was a teenager from about 1999 to 2001.

“This should have been done in the 90’s. It’s good news but small comfort to those he hurt,” Schmidt’s attorney John Manly told ABC News. “Clearly this is in response to the horrible press they received in response to Adam Schmidt’s filing. USA figure skating has been infected by the cancer of child abuse.”

For Schmidt, the decision is more evidence of a corrupt culture within the sport that, he says, needs to change.

“Today’s announcement is a major victory for all who’ve suffered abuses by the former legend of figure skating, Mr. Callaghan,” Schmidt told ABC News. “Now he will forever be known as the predator who delivered medals to a corrupt organization who accepted them in exchange for the safety and protection of children. US Figure Skating created that culture of abuse that lasted decades and today is the first of many victories to come in reversing that. USFS is officially on notice.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 22 Aug 2019

Athlete Misty Diaz shows how limitless life with spina bifida can be

Sports News Athlete Misty Diaz shows how limitless life with spina bifida can be https://linewsradio.com/athlete-misty-diaz-shows-how-limitless-life-with-spina-bifida-can-be/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

ABC(LOS ANGELES) — Misty Diaz bench presses more than her own body weight. She dominates in the gym and on the Spartan Field – completing more than 65 Spartan Races to date. She is an absolute force – but when she was born, doctors never thought she’d even be able to walk.

Diaz was born with spina bifida, something only 1,645 babies are born with each year in the U.S., according to the CDC.

“Spina bifida means split spine. So for my case, my spine was completely exposed at L5,” Diaz told “Nightline.” “I had most of my organs on the outside of my body.”

She says doctors told her parents “to let nature [run] its course” when she was born. They responded, “’Do whatever you need to do in order to keep our child alive.’”

She flew to Fresno Children’s Hospital from her home in Los Angeles. “They couldn’t figure it out. So they flew me to UCLA Hospital. That’s where I had every operation.”

In total, Diaz had 28 surgeries there.

“I was never able to make friends… growing up,” Diaz said. “It was really hard because kids didn’t understand, like kids thought I was contagious.”

Her family chose to home school her because she kept getting sick.

“Kids around that age were going on dates, going to prom, going to homecoming,” she said. “I never got to do any of those. I never got to go to homecoming. No one ever asked me out.”

But Diaz says her parents never focused on the things she couldn’t do — they pushed her to find all the things she could achieve.

“They did a really, really good job at making sure that I was independent,” she said. “Making sure that I didn’t make any excuses. [My mom] just would be like, ‘I’m not going to be here, so I’m not going to reach that for you — How would you get that?’”

“At the time, I would literally cry and throw a fit,” Diaz said. “And she’s like, ‘You don’t understand, as a mother it was like the worst. I just wanted to grab it for you… But I know you can do it.’”

Diaz says “just figuring it out” has been her “entire life.”

“Like I literally will just sign up for something, and I’m like OK, you figure this out.”

To date, she has signed up and completed more than 200 endurance races around the world, including Malaysia and Japan. But not long ago, these medals seemed impossible.

“I went to UCLA with [an] overnight bag just to get me through the night. And I was supposed to be released that day,” she said of her most recent surgery in 2010.

“I was there for 10 days and I was given morphine two to three times a day. And then when I left… I was still bleeding. Like, I was still severely in pain. So in order for me to cope, I kept refilling my prescription. And anybody knows if you take any type of opiate, any type of something mind-altering, you’re never the same,” she said. “I was losing everything. I lost my house, I lost a lot of stuff.”

She said she knew she needed to make a change when she realized “no one was going to help me… I was just like, ‘I am too young for this.’”

Diaz started off by just walking, and quickly that walk went from a run to a full-on sprint.

“I thought I’d sign up for a 5K so I went online and I found one. And I showed up in a purple tutu and Payless shoes,” she laughed. “[I] ran when everybody ran and stopped when everybody stopped. And that was it.”

She said she “just kept showing up to races.”

“I slowly got everything back. I got a job at a better job. I got a car and a better car. I got my dog back. I got my own apartment. I got a better apartment. We’re doing good.”

The gym is now a part of Diaz’s everyday life. Her boyfriend Chad Hirschman, who she’s been dating for five years, is often doing pull ups right by her side.

“We met online. It was I was at the gym actually, working out. And I got, like, this notification. This guy was, like, ‘I think I just saw you on the news,’” she laughed. “I was, like, ‘Oh no.’”

“I might’ve been persistent,” Hirschman said. “I thought she was sweet and a good person.”

Life together is sweet, but sometimes the outside world can be cruel.

“People, like, point. And sometimes you just wanna go to the grocery store and get some milk,” she said. “That would make you feel like, ‘Well, what’s wrong with me?’”

Diaz says her goal is to show the world that spina bifida doesn’t define who she is. She’s working with brands to help make their products more adaptive and came out with her own lipstick line for makeup brand REALHER.

“My overall goal is to create some type of…lipstick, mascara, blush, for someone who has dexterity issues, quadriplegic–elderly, to be able to hold the product and be independent to put makeup on,” she explained.

She says she believes it’s “really important, whether it just be a lipstick… the confidence that gives somebody, whether it be red or just gloss. I want people to be independent.”

Independent and beautiful, inside and out. That self-love is the core belief behind the movement Diaz helped launch — #SpinaBeautiful.

“The bigger picture is that so many people who are adaptive, who have spina bifida, are just crushing life,” she said.

She visits young people just like herself to show them how limitless an adaptive life can be.

“I think that has been the biggest battle of my entire life, is just having acceptance within myself,” she said. “You know, years later, simply just standing in front of the mirror and saying, ‘You know what? You are beautiful, you are strong, you are confident.’ [That] allowed me to continue to grow and to finally be the person that I am.”

She says she’s been thinking about “getting a little older… I don’t know how long I’m gonna be like, running. Like, let’s be real,” she laughed.

“But I’m having fun… I wanna look back. I’m gonna be old. I’m gonna be [a] cute, little old lady with red lipstick. And I’m gonna be, like, ‘You guys. Look at these medals.’”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 22 Aug 2019

Scoreboard roundup — 8/21/19

Sports News Scoreboard roundup -- 8/21/19 https://linewsradio.com/scoreboard-roundup-8-21-19/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

iStock(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Wednesday’s sports events:

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

INTERLEAGUE
NY Mets 4, Cleveland 3
Philadelphia 5, Boston 2
LA Dodgers 2, Toronto 1

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Tampa Bay 7, Seattle 6
Chi White Sox 4, Minnesota 0
Baltimore 8, Kansas City 1
Detroit 2, Houston 1
Texas 8, LA Angels 7
Oakland 6, NY Yankees 4

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Cincinnati 4, San Diego 2
Colorado 7, Arizona 2
Washington 11, Pittsburgh 1
Atlanta 5, Miami 0
Chi Cubs 12, San Francisco 11
Milwaukee 5, St. Louis 3

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

New York City FC 1, Columbus 0
New York 2, D.C. United 1
San Jose 0, Los Angeles FC 0

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Posted On 22 Aug 2019