From Comcast SportsNetLITTLE FALLS, N.J. (AP) -- Don Larsen has the perfect way to pay for his grandchildren to finish college.The 82-year-old former Yankees pitcher will auction off the pinstriped uniform he wore 56 years ago Monday when he threw the only perfect game in the World Series."I've been thinking about it for a bit," Larsen said. "I'm not getting any younger and I don't know how much longer I'll be around. I want to make sure they can both go to college, which isn't cheap these days."So, I figured it was the right time."One of Larsen's grandkids is in college and the other is a freshman in high school.On the anniversary of Larsen's greatest day as a pitcher, Steiner Sports Memorabilia announced it will auction off the famed uniform. Larsen was joined at the news conference by his catcher, Yogi Berra, at the Hall of Famer's museum and learning center at Montclair State University.Larsen, who has kept the jersey in a closet in Idaho, was asked if he could fathom that his uniform could draw more in an auction than he made in his career as a major leaguer."It wouldn't take much," Larsen said. "Because I didn't make much."A Babe Ruth jersey went for 4.4 million last year, so Steiner anticipates such a historic relic to draw at least seven figures."I had only worn it three times, but we were entitled to keep it," Larsen said. "I kept in my closet and it was in great condition."There was only one downside. Larsen's hat fell off when Berra jumped into his arms. It was never recovered."I was told it was picked up by some guy in New Jersey, then supposedly donated to the (Baseball) Hall of Fame," Larsen said. "Every picture I have of the day, my hat is gone."On Oct. 8, 1956, Larsen walked into Yankee Stadium for Game 5 of the World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers, having no idea he was about to create one of the most memorable moments in baseball history."It was a beautiful day and I felt great," Larsen said. "I didn't know whether or not I was going to pitch. I came to the stadium early and as usual, Moose Skowron and Hank Bauer were there early ahead of me. I got to my locker and saw a ball in my shoe. I guess (third base coach) Frankie Crosetti was told to put it there."At that point, Larsen knew he was tabbed by manager Casey Stengel to start Game 5 with the series tied."I looked at the ball and took a big swallow," Larsen said. "I said to myself, Don't screw this one up.' I'm just glad Casey had the faith in me to give me the ball."Larsen certainly did nothing wrong that fateful day, throwing the only perfect game in the World Series, helping the Yankees capture the 1956 World Series title. After the seven-game win, he earned the series MVP."He didn't shake me off once," Berra said. "He was throwing pretty hard and had a good breaking ball that day. Everything was working for him."Both pitcher and catcher remember it vividly, of course. Such an unforgettable moment on such an unforgettable day. The sentimentality, for sure, remains."Yogi and I are the only ones left from that game," Larsen said. "I'll never forget the day when I came to the Yankees. One of the things I knew, was that I was going to pitch to one of the greatest catchers ever. Yogi means as much to me today as he did then. As time goes on, it hasn't been forgotten and it will never be forgotten even after we're gone."Berra said that he never dreamed that memorabilia from his playing days would become so valuable."If I knew then what I know now," he said, "I would have saved all my uniforms instead of giving them back."And I had a lot of them."
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while happy to be done driving back and forth from Montreal for a little while.
*Carey Price was reportedly suffering from chronic fatigue at the beginning of the season related to some vitamin deficiencies. That’s got to be re-assuring to an NHL hockey team when their $10 million a year goaltender is starting to complain about chronic fatigue in the very early stages of his gigantic contract. It makes any complaints about Tuukka Rask making $7 million a year to be child’s play in comparison.
*It just keeps getting better with Isles rookie Mat Barzal as this weekend Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane was raving about him and the way he plays hockey.
*Good for old friend Chris Kelly, who says that a gold medal for Team Canada at the Olympics would be a great capper to his hockey career.
*In an amazing story, the Vegas Golden Knights just keeping better and more powerful in their inaugural seasons. Pro Hockey Talk has the details.
*In an interesting twist and a harbinger of more changes to come for the organization it would appear, Paul Coffey was named as a skills coach within the Oilers organization.
*For something completely different: Tom Brady getting in touch with some F-bombs prior to today’s game against the Jaguars.
BOSTON – The Boston Celtics’ defense had its moments on Sunday.
Ditto for the offense.
But overall, the sense of urgency that we saw when they reeled off 16 straight wins and skyrocketed to the top of the Eastern Conference standings, was nowhere to be found on Sunday against the Orlando Magic.
And because of that, the Celtics now find themselves riding a season-worst losing streak that has reached three games.
While it may not seem like that big a deal in the grand scheme of things, Boston understands all too well how momentum works.
It is a catapulting force that can elevate teams for a stretch of games, or set them back which is exactly what’s happening now with the Celtics (34-13).
“In my eyes, I feel like we’re fighting for our lives,” said Boston’s Al Horford. “That has to be our mindset gong into Tuesday’s game (against the Los Angeles Lakers).
Horford added, “We have to understand that teams are coming for us. I felt that we’ve handled it okay this season. We have to do a good job of making sure we’re bringing the fire and them not bringing it to us.”
Lately, that has proven to be easier said than done.
At the end of the day, Boston’s success comes down to one thing and one thing only – improving their play.
“You know, you’ve got to play well,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “We haven’t played well consistently on both ends for a while now.”
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 103-95 loss to the Orlando Magic which snapped the Celtics’ 13-game home winning streak against Orlando.
Kyrie Irving: The Celtics came up short, but that doesn’t diminish a strong bounce-back game for Kyrie Irving. Irving, who did not play in Boston’s loss to Philadelphia on Thursday, returned to the floor and dropped 40 points on 14-for-23 shooting. He also had seven rebounds and five assists with just one turnover.
Elfrid Payton: By no means did he shut Kyrie Irving down, but his scoring off the dribble certainly provided a much-needed boost for Orlando. He had a team-high 22 points on 9-for-16 shooting along with six rebounds.
Evan Fournier: He didn’t shoot the ball particularly well (8-for-19), but made some clutch baskets for the Magic in pulling off the upset win.
Aaron Gordon: He tallied his 10th double-double of the season and second straight on Sunday, finishing with 11 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
Marcus Morris: Getting the starting assignment, Morris gave the Celtics a nice lift with 12 points on 4-for-9 shooting to go with five rebounds.
Jaylen Brown: Early on, Brown and Kyrie Irving were the only sources of offense for the Celtics as they combined to score 23 of Boston’s first 25 points. For the game, Brown had 17 points on 7-for-12 shooting to go with seven rebounds.
Celtics third quarter: There were other less-than-stellar stretches of play for Boston, but this game was truly decided by Boston’s horrific play at both ends of the floor in the third quarter. That is when the Magic outscored Boston 32-12.
Celtics transition offense: Easily one of the keys to Boston’s inability to get over the hump once after spending most of the second half on the comeback trail. Boston had six, fast-break points while shooting a woeful 3-for-9 in those opportunities. The Magic had almost twice as many fast-break points (11) while doing so on fewer fast-break field goal attempts (8).