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ESPN The Magazine 04.14.14

ESPN The Magazine is for the NEXT generation of sports fans who want to stay on top of the athletes, teams, topics and upcoming events in their own sports world. The Magazine celebrates not only sports, but the cultures and lifestyles that are an integral part of them - all with ESPN's unique personality and authority.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
ESPN Magazine LLC
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IN THIS ISSUE

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romeo santos (and baby camden)

Before Santos became buds with 1970 AL MVP Boog Powell and became known around Baltimore as the guy with the O’Hawk helmet, he sold lemonade as a 15-year-old in the Camden Yards stands. “They fired me because I kept stopping to watch,” says the Army career counselor, who named his son after the park. Now 33, he channels his passion for the Orioles into raising money in memory of his wife, who died of breast cancer in 2011; he’s run 15 marathons for charity, three while carrying an O’s flag. His most prized possession? It’s not Cal Ripken Jr.’s signature or any of his 500 bobbleheads. “My wife was an honorary bat girl in 2010 and threw out the first pitch,” he says. “She signed the ball for me—that will…

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[ playing hardball ]

Remember the Tampa Bay Devil Rays? Remember the team that began its existence with Wade Boggs and Quinton McCracken, Kevin Stocker and Wilson Alvarez? Remember the team that lost 90 games in each of its first 10 years of existence, the major league team with the minor league name in that miserable ballpark everyone laughed at? In the past six years, the “Devil” has vanished, and the Rays have claimed two AL East titles, just one fewer than the Red Sox have won in the past 20. They’ve won 90 games four straight years and in five of the past six. They’ve been to the World Series. They have smart, respected ownership. They have a manager, Joe Maddon, who is embraced by both the analytics mafia and the writers who still…

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Miguel Cabrera has never looked so small. At McFarlane Toys design HQ in Bloomingdale, N.J., the 7-inch version of the two-time MVP is going through the decoration phase, during which details and decals are applied by hand. The mini Miggy, created by comic-book icon Todd McFarlane and six in-house digital sculptors, will be one of about 60 athlete effigies the company will produce this year. “Todd is so hands-on,” design president Ed Frank says. “He influences everything, even the body language that’s unique to each athlete.” In the case of Cabrera, that means capturing the intensity of his focus—a frightening sight for a pitcher, whether writ large or small. 2,203 Number of different athlete figures created by McFarlane Toys since the sports series debuted in 2001. 9 Versions of Wayne Gretzky figures…

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zoom

Like many Americans, when the Spirit of Goodyear blimp retired earlier this year, it headed to Florida. After logging more than 41,000 hours of flying time during a 14-year career, the Spirit was stashed in a hangar in Pompano Beach, where it now awaits possible donation to a museum. But its spirit lives on in its yet-to-be-named replacement, pictured here. The 246-foot-long rookie boasts several major tech improvements over the predecessor, including faster speeds (73 mph versus 50 mph), an additional engine (three versus two), more passenger room (capacity grew from six to 12) and, most amazing of all, an actual bathroom. Which makes you wonder: Where did the Spirit pilots go? 59 Number of years Goodyear has covered sporting events via blimps. Goodyear’s first sporting event was the 1955 Rose…

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crunch time for crosby

ON THE FIRST day of training camp, Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero makes his expectations clear: Anything short of a Stanley Cup will be a disappointment. “That’s just what the standard is now,” says defenseman Brooks Orpik. “Sid and Geno [Evgeni Malkin] are in their prime. The window for winning is only so big.” The window appeared to be closing this season when Pascal Dupuis, Sidney Crosby’ longtime wingman, went down with a torn ACL, defenseman Kris Letang suffered a stroke and Malkin was sidelined for several weeks with a foot injury. Through March 26, Pittsburgh had lost an NHL-high 447 man-games. And yet the shorthanded Penguins have marched on, battling Boston for the best record in the Eastern Conference. Once again, the quest for the Cup all comes down to Crosby,…

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safe at home?

The best thing about the new rule restricting home plate collisions is the concern behind it: Let’s make the game safer. Technically, it’s Rule 7.13, but it’s being called the Posey Rule because the May 2011 crash that nearly ended Buster Posey’ career provided the impetus to eliminate such brutal encounters. But crashes at home might not be the biggest threat to players’ livelihoods; those around the league will agree that the four hazards below are just as dangerous, if not more. Here’s what to watch out for around the diamond.…

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