👋 Happy Monday! Lots to cover this morning. Let's sports...
Today's word count: 1,569 words (<6 minutes)
With the 2019 regular season officially in the rearview, one thing is clear: it's been a season of extremes for America's pastime, both in the box scores and the standings:
What's next: Those 4 juggernauts, along with the Braves, Cardinals, Athletics, Rays, Nationals and Brewers make up the 10-team postseason field. The action begins tomorrow.
Coming up (full schedule):
Top 10 players (per MLB.com):
Go deeper: If you need more baseball and you need it now, scroll to the bottom for a look back at the regular season, along with my AL and NL awards picks.
Photo: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
Cameron Champ won the Safeway Open yesterday, completing a 4-day journey at Napa Valley's Silverado Resort that felt like a movie script — as sports often do.
The backdrop: Champ was playing for his grandfather, Mack, who has Stage IV stomach cancer and is currently in hospice care at the Champ family home in Sacramento, just an hour drive from Silverado.
Highlight: Champ was faced with a birdie putt on 18 to win the tournament, and he sunk it with tears in his eyes. His father, Jeff, immediately ran onto the green to hug his son and handed Cam a cell phone. Mack was on the other end. Sports!!!
"No matter if I win one more tournament, 10 more tournaments, whatever it may be, this will be the greatest moment of my golf career."— Cam Champ, via The Golf Channel
P.S. ... You should get to know this kid. Great human, bright future.
Go deeper: Cameron Champ is going places his grandfather wasn't allowed (The Undefeated)
Yes, I know Larry Legend's eyes are closed. But this was the only photo available! Photo: Ralph Freso/Getty Images
Alabama overtook Clemson for the top spot in this week's AP poll after the Tide steamrolled Ole Miss, while the Tigers were a 2-point conversion away from a colossal upset in Chapel Hill.
The world track and field championships are currently underway in Doha, Qatar, where the extreme heat has taken center stage. Some results from the weekend…
Women's marathon: Temperatures on Friday were so bad that organizers decided to start the women's marathon at midnight. And even then, it was 90°F with 70% humidity.
4x400 mixed relay: New mom Allyson Felix helped the U.S. set a new world record in the 4x400-meter mixed relay. It was Felix's 12th gold medal at the world championships, surpassing Usain Bolt for the most all-time.
Men's 100-meter: 23-year-old American Christian Coleman won the men's 100-meter final in 9.76 seconds — the best time in the world this year. Fellow American Justin Gatlin placed second (9.89).
A pair of newly-patented iconoscope cameras were wheeled around on dollies to capture the action. Photo: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
80 years ago today, Fordham University — a national power at the time — hosted tiny Waynesburg College (now University) in the first football game ever televised.
What they were saying:
"When I returned to my home in Youngstown, Ohio, I told my wife about it. She was all excited, asking me what television was and how did it work. Of course, I did not know."— Game official Jack McPhee
Go deeper: When Fordham introduced football to television (WSJ)
Notre Dame picked up the program's 900th win on Saturday with a 35-20 victory over Virginia.
Answer at the bottom.
With the Spikeball Nationals coming up this weekend in Richmond, Va., we'll be spending the next few days examining the popular lawn game/sport and its surprisingly vibrant pro circuit.
How to play: Spikeball is played 2 vs. 2. To start a point, the serving team hits the ball down onto the net so that it ricochets up at their opponents.
The American League featured plenty of boom and bust. The only race that came down to the wire was the wild card, where the Rays and A's beat out the Indians.
My awards picks:
The National League was much more competitive. The East provided drama all season, the wild card race was wild and the Cardinals didn't clinch the Central until yesterday.
My awards picks:
See you tomorrow,
Kendall "The left hook that won Spence the fight" Baker
Trivia answer: Michigan (956 wins), Ohio State (916), Texas (911), Alabama (910), Nebraska (900), Oklahoma (900)