Tom Verna: He Invented Instant Replay

There was a time when sports fans watching a live game on TV had no choice but to play close attention throughout. If they missed a spectacular play while reaching for the bowl of chips, they didn’t get a second chance to see it. TV sports director and producer Tony Verna changed that. Verna, who passed away on Jan. 18 at age 81, introduced the instant replay in 1963, basically videotaping the game and rerunning key moments to fill time …

Hispanic Entertainment, Music and Culture: Among the Best in America and Abroad

This is the fourth and final in a series celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month 2014 — Monday, September 15th through Wednesday, October 15. Jennifer Lopez, Penélope Cruz, Eva Mendes, Rosie Perez, Sofia Vergara, Marc Anthony, Bruno Mars, Ricardo Montalbán, Andy Garcia and George Lopez. These are just a few of the hottest Latino stars whose names – synonymous with excellence in entertainment — come to mind with much pride as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Hispanic entertainers have wowed us …

June Krauser: Senior Mermaid

It’s probably pretty rare to have someone launch a sports competition and then also excel in it. But that’s the story of June Krauser. Krauser, who died on Aug. 9 at age 88 in Pompano Beach, Fla., was one of the founders of U.S. Masters Swimming, a competition established in 1970 that provides swimmers an opportunity to compete against swimmers in their own age group, right up to the centenarian level. But Krauser did more than just write the program’s …

Soccer: The Gift From a Younger Generation

A crowd of several hundred people has gathered in a town square between a church and a school in the colonial city of Cuenca, Ecuador, where our family is vacationing. The World Cup has brought them together to follow the fate of their national team, competing in Brazil. Ecuador scores to even the game, and the crowd goes wild. I turn to look at my daughter, who’s the reason I know anything at all about this great sport. She was just …

Why Is Basketball Legend Bill Russell Suing the NCAA?

This month, after five years of legal wrangling, the NCAA finally finds itself facing off in court against basketball legends Ed O’Bannon, Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell and more than a dozen other former college athletes, some long since graduated and even retired from professional sports. The issue in the class-action lawsuit? Whether former student athletes should, on graduation, be entitled to financial compensation for commercial uses of their images by the NCAA. The NCAA, which governs all college sports, has …

Tony Gwynn, Baseball’s ‘Mr. Padre,’ Dies at 54

In college, Tony Gwynn read Boston Red Sox great Ted Williams’ how-to book, The Science of Hitting. It must have made an impression. The stocky left-handed outfielder, who died on June 16 at age 54 in Poway, Calif., went on to build the sort of baseball career with the San Diego Padres from 1982 to 2001 that little boys dream about. He won eight National League batting championships (tying Honus Wagner’s record), amassed 3,141 hits, had a .338 career batting …