SPORTS

Dunkin' Donuts Park in Hartford, where the Yard Goats play.
Carrie Healy / NEPR

It's been quite a year for Hartford's minor league baseball team, after an inaugural season full of stadium blunders. Nonetheless, the Double-A Yard Goats wrap up their final home-stand of the season on Thursday. For the season, the Yard Goats have drawn nearly 400,000 in 2017 – the second best in the league. 

In this photo from 2014, the Red Sox hosted the Yankees at Fenway Park.
Vegasjon / Creative Commons

With the second half of Major League Baseball's season now well underway, things are starting to get interesting in the American League East. 

A Six-Year-Old Encounters Greatness

Jun 13, 2017
Robert Floyd, holding the ball signed by Jimmy Piersall.
Joyce Skowyra / NEPR

Legendary Red Sox center fielder Jim Piersall died earlier this month at the age of 87. Commentator Robert Floyd had an encounter with the heralded player he'll never forget. 

Western New England University in Springfield awarded 581 bachelor degrees during its commencement ceremony in 2015.
File Photo / MassLive

Western New England University is looking into statements allegedly posted by a member of the women's lacrosse team calling on President Trump to "build that wall."

Friday was Cinco de Mayo, May 5th, a Mexican holiday celebrating the country's victory in a battle against the French in 1862. In the U.S., it's become a celebration of Mexican American culture.

Blandford Ski Area in Blandford, Mass.
Dave Roback / The Republican

The future appears uncertain for the Blandford Ski Area in western Hampden County. And the non-profit club that owns it is blaming Mother Nature for some of its woes.

In a statement, officials for Blandford Ski Area sAid they are exploring all options to stay open, but also concede that selling the property could be an option.

Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics in action against the Washington Wizards at Verizon Center on January 24, 2017, in Washington.
Keith Allison / Creative Commons

The Boston Celtics are in the nation's capital Thursday to play the Washington Wizards in the second round of the NBA Eastern Conference playoffs. The Celtics lead two games to none in the best-of-seven series.

Guard Isaiah Thomas has continued his impressive play, despite the death of his sister nearly three weeks ago. On Tuesday, his late sister's birthday, Thomas scored 53 points in an overtime win.

Aaron Hernandez, in 2010.
Karen Cardoza / Creative Commons

Following the suicide of former New England Patriot player Aaron Hernandez, who was serving a life sentence for murder at the state's maximum security prison in Shirley, Gov. Charlie Baker said he has faith in his Department of Correction commissioner.

The governor said the number of prison suicides in Massachusetts has declined over the past decade, but said, "Anytime anybody kills themselves in a prison, something clearly went wrong."

Aaron Hernandez was acquitted Friday on charges that he murdered two men in a drive-by shooting outside a Boston nightclub in 2012. The jury found the former New England Patriots tight end not guilty on most of the eight counts he faced, including murder and armed assault.

The jury did find him guilty of illegal possession of a firearm, for which he was sentenced to serve four to five years in prison.

A promotional graphic used by UMass in the two days between Pat Kelsey agreeing to become the new head basketball coach -- and when he backed out of the deal.
Screen Shot / Email from UMass Athletics

UMass officials seem to have a learned a lesson, after the school's first choice for men's basketball coach backed out of his deal.

Shortly before his introductory press conference last month, coach Pat Kelsey told UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford that he'd changed his mind and didn't want the job.

That evening, a clearly distraught Bamford told reporters that Kelsey had signed a memorandum of understanding -- essentially a pre-contract -- and might owe UMass a lot of money for backing out of the deal.

Toni Stone meeting her idol, boxer Joe Louis, c.1949.
MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY  / CREATIVE COMMONS

The Red Sox open the season Monday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Fans will head to Fenway for the 2:05 p.m. first pitch. Commentator Martha Ackmann says one of baseball's greatest fans was a player you've probably never heard of. 

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