It’s long since been torn down, but nearly 100 years ago the Gibbons Brothers Gym was one of the biggest points of pride in downtown St. Paul. Tommy Gibbons fought some of the biggest names in the game. “I was never known to be a puncher at the start, and as a matter of fact, I don’t think I was ever a puncher,” Gibbons said in a 1949 KROS Radio interview. “I learned the technique of hitting a fellow where it was most vulnerable: a left hook, under the right arm, the liver – the center of all nerve centers.”
When it comes to youth sports in Minnesota, most of us think of the one that takes place on a lake when it’s frozen, seeing this is the “State of Hockey.” But on White Bear Lake plenty of kids are finding an interest in sailing.
Paul Molitor is a baseball legend. Joe Mauer is working on becoming the same. But there’s a local athlete with ties to both of them who is better than both of them – at his sport, at least. Cale Leiviska is Molitor’s nephew. “That’s what I grew up doing was playing baseball,” Leiviska said.
Mitchell Scott is 11 years old. “He loves baseball,” says his mom, Gerri. “He loves going to the games, he loves playing the games. He would play all day if you let him.”
Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding won a major NHL Award Friday – the Masterton Trophy. It’s a direct result of the way he’s approached his battle with multiple sclerosis (MS), and the way he’s inspired others as a result. When Josh Harding was told he had MS last fall, one of the hardest parts was telling other people. “It was tough. I didn’t know how to do it, I didn’t know how everybody would kind of view me after that. But I’m glad that I did,” Harding said.
The stage is set for Monday’s high school baseball state title games at Target Field. But believe it or not, winning a state championship wouldn’t be the most amazing thing BOLD pitcher Logan Sandgren has the chance to accomplish. Talking about a no-hitter might be taboo, but if you’re Logan, thinking about one is pretty much standard. “Everyone wants to throw a no-hitter. It’s like a pitcher’s dream, besides a perfect game,” Sandgren said.
Ally Rogers says she got serious about golf at the age of 10, but it took a while to catch on. “When I was younger I just remember complaining a lot on the course with my dad. Just that it was too cold. And that I would always be hungry or something,” Rogers said. That actually wasn’t all that long ago. Ally is a 15-year-old freshman at Spring Lake Park.
There’s something Cretin-Derham Hall sprinter Megan Linder tells herself every time she steps in the blocks. “Just, ‘I believe I can do it.’ It’s kind of hard to say you can do it, because I’m a really humble person. I don’t always say, like, ‘I just gonna win.’ It’s never like that for me. It’s like, ‘Gotta believe it to achieve it,’” Linder said.
Elk River freshman center fielder Jayme Langbehn’s incredible catches in the Class 3A state title game Friday made the Top 10 on ESPN’s SportsCenter. With the game tied at three in the bottom of the sixth, Langbehn came up with one of the coolest – not to mention most meaningful – catches in state championship history. “I don’t know…I just knew I needed to catch it,” Langbehn said.
The Twins are traveling. They start a six-game road trip Tuesday night in Kansas City before heading to Washington. And that 10-game losing streak suddenly seems like such a long time ago. They’ve now won seven of their last nine games, and now sit just four games under .500, and four-and-a-half games out of first.
The Lynx open their season Saturday night. Finally. By a quirk in the schedule, they’re the last to get going. Half the teams in the WNBA have already played twice, including Saturday’s opponent – Connecticut. No matter how many games you play, there’s nothing like an opening night, says Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen.
In baseball, there’s nothing we value more than perfection. We celebrate perfect games, no-hitters, and 4-for-4 days at the plate because they are so rare. But perfection is equally rare in the classroom.
Saturday at Canterbury Park, the horseracing had some competition. As part of Saturday’s Memorial Day race festivities, Canterbury welcomed Dave “The Bullet” Smith to the track to fire up the crowd. Smith is the Guinness World Record Holder for human cannonballing, and he’s been on shows like “America’s Got Talent” and the “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. But after all his experience, is it still scary to climb into the cannon?
It’s at Midway Stadium, across the river from where most baseball memories are made in this metro, where George Tsamis has managed the St. Paul Saints to more than 500 wins.
It’s pretty safe to say Pat Kelly is enjoying his trip home. But that’s nothing compared to the perspective of his parents. Jim and Beth Kelly are beaming with pride. The Huskers sophomore second baseman hails from Red Wing, so the chance to play at Target Field is something he and his parents have been looking forward to for quite some time.