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Former Dodger Owen dies at 89

Mickey Owen, whose infamous dropped third strike proved costly to the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1941 World Series against the New York Yankees, died yesterday after a long illness. He was 89. Owen, a four-time All-Star in 13 major league seasons over a 17-year span, later became a county sheriff in his native southwest Missouri. He died at the Missouri Veterans Home in Mount Vernon. In 1942, he was the first player to hit a pinch-hit homer in an All-Star Game. But it was the lapse in the 1941 World Series that came to define his career. Brooklyn had a 4-3 lead in Game 4 when Owen dropped a third strike on Tommy Henrich that would have been the final out. The Yankees went on to score four runs after the passed ball and won, 7-4, for a 3-1 lead in the World Series they eventually won in five games. He played for the Red Sox in 1954 and ended his career with a .255 batting average, 14 home runs, and 378 RBIs.

Rockies trade Wilson, acquire Byrnes
The Colorado Rockies traded outfielder Preston Wilson and picked up outfielder Eric Byrnes in a pair of trades with Washington and Oakland. The Rockies sent Wilson to the Nationals for righthander Zach Day, outfielder J.J. Davis, and a player to be named or cash. Colorado also sent lefthander Joe Kennedy and righthanded reliever Jay Witasick to the Athletics for Byrnes and minor league prospect Omar Quintanilla . . . Lefthander Mike Stanton joined the Washington Nationals in a move the NL East leader hopes will add depth to its bullpen for the second half. Stanton, 38, was cut two weeks ago by the New York Yankees after going 1-2 with a 7.07 ERA in 28 games.

Brown's fate in Detroit still on hold
Larry Brown
had a face-to-face meeting with the Detroit Pistons for the first time this month, and his future is still not resolved. Brown, his agent, team owner Bill Davidson, and president of basketball operations Joe Dumars got together yesterday and decided they need to talk again, most likely today. The 64-year-old Brown has said if doctors deem him healthy enough, he wants to return next season to Detroit -- and insists he will not coach another NBA team. The Pistons have said they would welcome Brown back, if he's willing to return . . . Udonis Haslem, the Miami Heat's starting power forward, has agreed to a five-year contract that could be worth more than $33 million . . . Celtics guard Delonte West is expected to play today against the Warriors after injuring his right ankle in Tuesday's game against Cleveland in the Reebok Vegas Summer League.

Sun eclipsed by Catchings, Fever
Tamika Catchings's
all-around brilliance led the Indiana Fever to a 64-53 victory over the Connecticut Sun in Indianapolis. Catchings finished with 18 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 steals. The Sun dropped their second game in a row to fall to 12-4. Nykesha Sales led Connecticut with 15 points . . . Katie Smith hit an off-balance shot for her 5,000th career point, becoming the first woman to reach the professional basketball milestone in the Minnesota Lynx's 71-61 victory over the visiting Detroit Shock . . . Temeka Johnson scored 4 points in the final 94 seconds to lead the Washington Mystics past the host Seattle Storm, 78-71 . . . Lisa Leslie scored a season-high 26 points, leading the host Los Angeles Sparks to a 71-59 victory over the Charlotte Sting . . . Diana Taurasi scored 15 points, leading the host Phoenix Mercury over the Charlotte Sting, 82-62.

Flutie's nephew commits to BC

Natick High quarterback Bill Flutie, the 17-year-old nephew of Doug and Darren Flutie, confirmed he had verbally committed to play football at Boston College next season, following in the footsteps of his famous uncles after spurning offers from Wisconsin and Maryland. ''I'm sure there's going to be a lot of pressure," Flutie said about upholding his family's name at BC, where his uncle Doug won the Heisman Trophy and had his No. 22 retired. ''But I'm just going to have to deal with it, and just block it out of my mind and play my own game. It's not something I'm worried about right now. I feel like I can take that. I've dealt with it at Natick and I think I can deal with it at Boston College." Flutie said he was recruited as ''an athlete," which was the case with his uncle Doug when he came to BC from Natick High some 25 years ago, but hoped to get a chance at quarterback.

MISCELLANYRevolution put three on All-Star team
The Revolution's Clint Dempsey, Shalrie Joseph, and Matt Reis were named to the MLS All-Star team that will meet Fulham FC July 30 in Columbus, Ohio, the league announced. Los Angeles's Landon Donovan led the balloting and Dempsey and Reis were second and fourth overall . . . Mexico defeated Jamaica, 1-0, in Houston to end the first round of play in CONCACAF Gold Cup competition. The victory means Jamaica will play the United States in the quarterfinals Saturday in Foxborough . . . The Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL named general manager Jim Schoenfeld head coach. Ulf Samuelsson and Ken Gernander will be his assistants . . . Titans top draft pick Adam ''Pacman" Jones surrendered to police on charges of assault and felony vandalism stemming from a fight at a Nashville nightclub. . . . South Carolina admitted to 10 NCAA violations committed under former football coach Lou Holtz in a report released yesterday . . . Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling won the Championship Performance award, and shared Best Team honors with his World Series champion teammates at the 13th annual ESPY Awards. The Patriots' Bill Belichick was chosen Best Coach-Manager.

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