Tue, Jan 09, 2007 - Page 18 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■ Baseball
`Big Unit' agrees contract

Randy Johnson agreed to a US$26 million, two-year contract on Sunday with the Arizona Diamondbacks, with only physicals and final approvals remaining to complete his trade from the New York Yankees back to Arizona. Johnson was scheduled to take a physical yesterday and the trade probably will be finalized today. Arizona general manager Josh Byrnes confirmed the agreement but otherwise declined comment until after the medical information is reviewed. New York, which acquired the left-handed pitcher from Arizona two years ago, would receive reliever Luis Vizcaino, minor league right-handers Ross Ohlendorf and Steven Jackson and minor league shortstop Alberto Gonzalez in exchange.

■ Boxing

Fans can greet `Greatest'

Fans of Muhammad Ali can send personal greetings to the boxing great on his 65th birthday next week. Well-wishers can leave a message through the Muhammad Ali Center's Web site or get a picture taken with a birthday banner at the center on Jan. 17. School classes and groups are being encouraged to send group photos with signs or banners expressing their regards. Ali, who is suffering from Parkinson's disease, doesn't plan to attend the celebration, center spokeswoman Jeanie Kahnke said. The photos and greetings will become part of the center's archives.

■ Basketball

Beavers win at long last

Nobody understands the laws of probability better than players at the California Institute of Technology, renowned for its programs in science and math and for being lovable losers in its athletic programs. The Caltech Beavers, as they're known, finally won their first US college basketball match since 1996. They beat Bard College of New York 81-52 on Saturday, ending a run of 207 consecutive losses in Division III. "We expected to win a game, but not like this," coach Roy Dow said, a bit astounded at the surprisingly easy victory. Having ended that losing streak, however, they still had another to overcome; they have 245 consecutive defeats in their local league, the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, going back almost 22 years. They haven't begun league play yet this season.

■ Nascar

Bobby Hamilton dies at 49

Bobby Hamilton, the longtime NASCAR driver who won the 2001 Talladega 500, died of cancer on Sunday. He was 49. Hamilton, who was diagnosed with head and neck cancer in February, raced in the first three truck events of last year, with a best finish of 14th at Atlanta Motor Speedway, before turning over the wheel to his son, Bobby Hamilton Jr. The senior Hamilton then started chemotherapy and radiation treatment. By August, he had returned to work at Bobby Hamilton Racing in Mount Juliet, about 30km east of Nashville, and doctors indicated his CAT scans looked good. But microscopic cancer cells remained on the right side of his neck. Hamilton drove in all of NASCAR's top three divisions, making 371 starts and winning four times in what is now the Nextel Cup series. He won 10 truck races including the 2004 championship, and one Busch Series race.

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