Girardi signs extension
New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi signed a four-year contract on Wednesday to stay with the Yankees through 2017. General manager Brian Cashman had said after the team missed the playoffs for the second time since 1992 that the Yankees wanted to keep Girardi, whose name was mentioned for the Cubs opening in his native Illinois. The 48-year-old Girardi said it would be up to his family if he returned. He was completing his second three-year deal with New York since taking over for Joe Torre after the 2007 season. Despite finishing tied for third in the AL East at 85-77, Girardi had what many believed was his best season as a manager. He kept the Yankees in the playoff chase until late last month, despite injuries to stars Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson.
Andy Pafko dies at 92
Andy Pafko, a four-time All-Star who played on the last Chicago Cubs team to reach the World Series and was the famously forlorn outfielder who watched Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard Round the World” sail over the left-field wall during the 1951 National League playoff, has died. He was 92. Pafko, who had Alzheimer’s disease, died on Tuesday at a nursing home in Stevensville, Michigan, said his nephew, Michael Nedoba. A fan favorite known for his dogged play and diving catches, Pafko played with Jackie Robinson for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1951, and with Hank Aaron as a Milwaukee Brave from 1954 to 1959. However, he is perhaps best remembered as being part of one of the most famous games in baseball history, when Thomson’s three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth gave the New York Giants the win in the decisive Game 3 of their NL playoff against the Dodgers at the Polo Grounds. “The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!” shouted broadcaster Russ Hodges, one of the signature moments in major league history. The Giants went to the World Series. The Dodgers went home.
Klitschko, Panettiere to wed
US actress Hayden Panettiere and Ukrainian heavyweight boxing world champion Wladimir Klitschko are engaged, Panettiere announced on Wednesday. Daytime talk show host Kelly Ripa coaxed the news out of the 24-year-old actress, star of the ABC television drama Nashville, by commenting on a large ring on Panettiere’s finger. “I think it speaks for itself,” Panettiere said on the US syndicated talk show Live with Kelly & Michael. The actress then said “I am” when Ripa asked her directly if she was engaged. Panettiere added that a date has not been set.
Wambach marries teammate
US women’s soccer star Abby Wambach married her longtime partner and fellow soccer player Sarah Huffman, taking to Twitter on Wednesday to thank fans for their support. Celebrity news Web site TMZ first reported Wambach’s marriage, which took place on Saturday in Hawaii. In June, Wambach, 33, became the all-time leading goal scorer in international men’s or women’s soccer with four goals in a 5-0 US victory over South Korea. She broke the previous mark of 158 goals, set by former US teammate Mia Hamm, and has 160 international goals in her career. Wambach, last year’s FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, helped the US win women’s soccer gold at the London Olympics last year. She played with the 29-year-old Huffman last season for the Western New York Flash in the National Women’s Soccer League.