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AP Exclusive: MLB appoints 1st black umpire crew chief

UNDATED (AP) — The Associated Press has learned that Major League Baseball has appointed its first African American umpire crew chief, promoting Kerwin Danley to the position this week.

A person familiar with the move spoke to the AP on Wednesday night on condition of anonymity because the announcement had not yet been made.

The 58-year-old Danley has worked two World Series and been on the field for 10 other postseason rounds, including the AL Championship Series last year. He’s also been chosen to call two All-Star Games.

Danley called his first game in the majors in 1992 as a minor league fill-in and was hired to the MLB staff in 1998. Danley played college ball at San Diego State and was a first-team All-America outfielder in 1983 when he batted .399. His teammates with the Aztecs included future Hall of Fame outfielder Tony Gwynn — Danley’s roommate — and current Colorado manager Bud Black.

There have been about 10 full-time African American umpires in the majors since Emmett Ashford ascended to become the first in 1966.

In other MLB news:

— Freddie Freeman hopes to return to the Atlanta Braves lineup next week after his surgically repaired right elbow swelled and forced him out of action a few days ago. The four-time All-Star had three loose bodies removed from his elbow in October to address years-long pain that caused an ill-timed slump last season. Freeman arrived at spring training saying he felt better than he had in years, but the elbow ballooned Monday after he put in a particularly long day Sunday. The 30-year-old Freeman batted .295 last season and set career highs with 38 homers and 121 RBIs.

WORLD CUP-SKI RACES CANCELED

Women’s World Cup ski races canceled in Germany by weather

OBERHOFEN, Switzerland (AP) — The women’s World Cup ski races in Germany next week were canceled Thursday because of poor snow conditions and forecast rain.

The giant slalom and slalom in Ofterschwang on March 7-8 were potential races for Mikaela Shiffrin to return from an extended break after the death of her father.

The International Ski Federation said a “possible replacement will be communicated in due course.”

The four weekends left in the women’s World Cup season also face disruption from a virus outbreak spreading from China to Europe, including northern Italy. Spectator numbers will be limited this weekend in La Thuile and could also be enforced at the finals in Cortina d’Ampezzo.

KOBE BRYANT-AUCTION

Kobe Bryant handprints, other memorabilia up for auction

NEW YORK (AP) — Some key Kobe Bryant memorabilia, including two of his Los Angeles Lakers uniforms and cement handprints from his induction into the Grauman’s Chinese Theater hall of fame gallery, are going up for sale in April.

Julien’s Auctions aid Thursday that the items would be up for sale on April 30 as part of its annual sports auction that also includes a silver medal from the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and a 2002 FIFA World Cup gold winner’s medal.

Bryant’s items were already being planned for auction when he, his daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.

FEMALE WRESTLER-CHAMPIONSHIP

Female wrestler wins North Carolina high school championship

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A female wrestler has made history by winning a state high school wrestling championship in North Carolina.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association said on its website that junior Heaven Fitch of Uwharrie Charter became the first female to win one of the association’s individual state wrestling championships. She won the 106 pound weight class at the 1A division on Saturday.

A photo released on the association’s official Twitter account shows her beaming, standing next to three boys who finished behind her in the tournament.

She had a 54-4 record for the season and won Most Outstanding Wrestler for the 1A division.

Fitch beat Robbinsville’s Luke Wilson to win an eight-person bracket that included seven male wrestlers, according to James Alverson, assistant commissioner for the high school association. He said overall, she was one of only three female wrestlers in the tournament. Last year she became the first female wrestler to place, coming in fourth in her division.

Categories: National Sports