Sports

On the Air - October 25, 2007

BOSTON -- Buck O'Neil got his place in the Hall of Fame.

Just not the one so many folks think he deserves.

One of the game's most beloved ambassadors, O'Neil was posthumously honored Wednesday by the Hall with a Lifetime Achievement Award named in his memory. Baseball commissioner Bud Selig was on hand for the announcement at Fenway Park before the World Series opener.

O'Neil, a Negro Leagues star and the first black coach in the majors, fell two votes shy of induction into the Hall of Fame during a special election in February 2006. He died last October at age 94.

A statue of O'Neil will be erected inside the museum, and the Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to a worthy recipient no more than every three years.

• Boston's return to the World Series for the second time in four seasons had its seeds in the team's 1967 AL pennant.

So says Yaz.

"Not only did it bring the franchise back to life, but I think it changed the whole attitude in the organization," Carl Yastrzemski said after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 1 of the World Series. "I think the organization became winners. I think after '67 you were expected to go out and win."

About 20 members of the 1967 team took part in the ceremony, lining up on the infield to watch Yastrzemski bounce the ball to current backup catcher Doug Mirabelli. Many of the same players got together at the home opener, when the Red Sox commemorated the 40th anniversary of the "Impossible Dream" team.

• NASCAR -- An appeals committee overturned the $10,000 fine levied against a crew chief for Kyle Busch following a Busch Series race in Kansas.

Michael Bumgarner was fined after Busch's win at Kansas Speedway last month because NASCAR said the intake manifold on the Chevrolet did not conform to its standards.

Hendrick Motorsports argued that the part, and others identical to it, had been used over the past three seasons and never failed inspection.

In a unanimous decision to overturn the penalty, the three members of the National Stock Car Racing Commission said parts of the inspection process were inconclusive.

• NBA -- Antoine Walker's turbulent time with the Miami Heat is over.

The Heat traded the three-time All-Star forward to Minnesota in a five-player deal that came one day after Miami completed a winless preseason.

Walker, backup center Michael Doleac, oft-injured forward Wayne Simien and a conditional first-round draft pick were sent to Minnesota for former Miami swingman Ricky Davis and center Mark Blount.

The deal gives Miami the third scoring option it wanted in Davis. The Heat will try to fit him in alongside Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade -- the 2006 finals MVP who'll miss a few more weeks while recovering from knee and shoulder surgeries.

• WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL -- Maryland was an overwhelming pick to win the ACC women's basketball title.

The Terrapins, who return four starters from the team that was 28-6 last season, received 27 of 37 first-place votes cast by the ACC's coaches and sports information directors and were the preseason pick for the second year in a row.

Maryland two-time All-American Crystal Langhorne was selected preseason player of the year, and was joined on the preseason all-ACC team by teammate Marissa Coleman and three players from central North Carolina schools: the Tar Heels' Erlana Larkins, Duke's Abby Waner and N.C. State's Khadijah Whittington.

Duke guard Jasmine Thomas was the preseason rookie of the year.

• Tennessee was predicted to win the SEC women's championship and Candace Parker was selected as women's SEC player of the year.

Tennessee is coming off its seventh NCAA title and finished the 2006-07 season 34-3 with a perfect 14-0 SEC record. The Vols return four starters in Parker, Nicky Anosike, Shannon Bobbitt and Alexis Hornbuckle.

Parker and Hornbuckle were also named to the preseason All-SEC team.

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