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Beyond the Scoreboard: Ripken Baseball and Wide World of Sports

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USA TODAY Sports

Beyond the Scoreboard: Ripken Baseball and Wide World of Sports

By Rick Horrow

Podcast edited by Tanner Simkins

LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST HERE

  • Ripken Baseball and ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex announce a partnership that will bring elite youth baseball tournaments to Walt Disney World Resort beginning in 2020. The Ripken Experience at Walt Disney World Resort, according to SportsBusiness Daily, will include a “dazzling” opening ceremony for participants, whose ages will range from 6-18. Games will be played on 11 ballfields, six youth-sized fields equipped with lights for night games and five professional-sized fields, including The Stadium at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which hosted MLB Spring Training games for more than two decades. Players will have free time in the Disney parks to experience new attractions. Said Cal Ripken Jr., “Here at Disney, we might even have greater resources to bring the big-league experience to the kids…We quickly realized that most of the kids are not going to play big-league baseball, so we want to bring a big-league experience down to them.” Ripken, founder and chairman of Ripken Baseball, as well as a Sport Business Handbook contributor, added that the partnership is a multiyear deal. 
  • ISC has announced that COO Joie Chitwood III has resigned from his post, effective November 25, the first major departure amid ISC’s acquisition by NASCAR. Chitwood, noted SportsBusiness Daily, has been with ISC for a decade, having served as President of Daytona International Speedway during its $400 million renovation before stepping into the COO role, where he has overseen the operations of ISC’s 13 tracks. Chitwood is one of ISC executives identified in public filings as having substantial stock in the company, which should provide a windfall after NASCAR’s $2 billion acquisition of ISC closes, which is expected by year’s end. Sources have been anticipating departures from ISC’s leadership in the coming months; SportsBusiness Journal last month reported that ISC President John Saunders has also been mentioned as someone who could leave the company after the acquisition closes. After the acquisition is complete, NASCAR’s leadership is expected to have greater oversight of track operations under the newly combined company.
  • MLB FoodFest returns for a second helping. MLB FoodFest presented by Budweiser returned to New York September 21-22 on Fifth Avenue near Bryant Park. The event’s second installment on the East Coast – it also took place in Los Angeles earlier this year – provides all 30 teams an opportunity to designate one food item to represent their team and community. Each ticket grants access to the space for a designated two-hour block and can only be secured online prior to arrival at the venue. Among the most popular food items are the Mariners’ toasted grasshoppers, the Pirates’ pulled pork pierogi hoagie, the Red Sox’ hot lobster rolls, and for dessert, the D-backs’ Churro Dogs. Most of last week’s menu featured concoctions new to the New York event, including the local team and ballpark representatives with the Mets Bases Loaded Dog and the Yankees Shrimp Po’Boy. This time around, attendees also had access to new interactive elements, such as a Home Run Derby Virtual Reality experience and an MLB FoodFest merchandise shop.

In The Loop: Lightning 'Return to Play' video, Stefon Diggs vs. Chad Johnson

In The Loop: Lightning 'Return to Play' video, Stefon Diggs vs. Chad Johnson

First up on this Friday look around the sports world, it looks like the Tampa Bay Lightning are excited for the restart of the NHL season. Winger Alex Killorn gathered some of his teammates to celebrate the return to play announcement with this epic video. To the song "The Boys Are Back In Town" the guys jump on jet skis in Tampa, Florida where they rode near the Amalie Arena to announce the Boltz are back!

Next up, LSU head coach Ed Orgeron was spotted taking no days off, running shirtless in the hot mid-day sun in Destin, Florida - Geaux Coach O!

Finally, also in Florida, Bills receiver Stefon Diggs was spotted showing Chad Johnson no mercy while they were working out together. Johnson posted this video on his Instagram, and the look back Diggs gave after he caught the ball is savage!

What to watch: Sports fan viewer's guide for the weekend of May 30

What to watch: Sports fan viewer's guide for the weekend of May 30

From baseball to NASCAR, there's plenty for sports fans this weekend. Here's how to watch. 

Saturday

KBO
What: KT Wiz vs. Kiwoom Heroes (live)
Time: 4 a.m. ET
Channel: ESPN

Bundesliga
What: Five matches 
Time: 9:30 a.m. ET, 12:30 p.m. ET
Channel: FS1, FS2

Sunday

Evgeny Kuznestov
What: The best performances from Kuzy
9 a.m. -- Toronto Maple Leafs @ Capitals from January 3, 2017 (Kuzy: goal, 3 assists including on the game-tying and game-winning goals)
11:30 a.m. -- Vegas Golden Knights @ Capitals from October 10, 2018 (Kuzy: goal, 3 assists)
2 p.m. -- Los Angeles Kings @ Capitals from February 11, 2019 (Kuzy: 2 goals, 2 assists)
4:30 p.m. -- Arizona Coyotes @ Capitals from November 11, 2019 (Kuzy: 2 goals)

KBO
What: Lotte Giants vs. Doosan Bears (live) 
Time: 1 a.m. ET
Channel: ESPN

DRL Drone Racing: 
What: DRL pilots battle it out from Miami
Time: 2 p.m. ET
Channel: NBC Sports Network

NASCAR's Supermarket Heroes 500
What: 500 laps at Bristol Motor Speedway
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Channel: Fox 

Motorcycle Racing "Monster Energy Supercross"
What: Made-for-TV races from Salt Lake City
Time: 3 p.m. ET
Channel: NBC Sports Network