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🏁 Not the best start: Formula 1 canceled Thursday night’s practice ahead of the Las Vegas Grand Prix after multiple cars sustained damage due to a loose manhole cover on the Strip.
⚾️ Unanimous MVPs: For the first time in MLB history, the AL MVP (Shohei Ohtani) and NL MVP (Ronald Acuña Jr.) were both unanimous. Acuña celebrated the occasion by going yard in the Venezuelan Winter League.
🏈 Harbaugh accepts ban: The Big Ten, Michigan and Jim Harbaugh have ended their pending legal dispute and Harbaugh has accepted his three-game suspension. That means the Wolverines head coach will miss the Nov. 25 clash against rival Ohio State.
🏀 Another upset: Kansas State beat Caitlin Clark and No. 2 Iowa, 65-58, on Thursday in yet another women’s college basketball upset. The Hawkeyes are the third top-2 team to fall in the season’s first 11 days, joining LSU and UConn.
⚾️ All-Star in Atlanta: The Braves will host the 2025 MLB All-Star Game, two years after the league moved the event from Atlanta to Denver due to a Georgia voting law.
🏈 Ravens roll: The Ravens beat the Bengals, 34-20, on “Thursday Night Football” to establish their dominance atop the best division in football. Two notable injuries: Joe Burrow exited with a wrist injury and Ravens TE Mark Andrews suffered a likely season-ending ankle injury.
🏏 CRICKET, EXPLAINED
Australia and India face-off in Sunday’s Cricket World Cup final (3:30am ET, ESPN+). To celebrate the occasion, I’ve attempted to explain cricket, a wildly popular sport around the globe that’s still foreign to most Americans. Hope it helps.
The basics: Cricket is played by two teams of 11 players on a large oval field with a 22-yard “pitch” in the middle. On both ends of the pitch are “wickets,” consisting of three wooden poles (“stumps”) and two horizontal pieces resting on top (“bails”).
Similar to baseball, one team bats while the other takes the field. The objective is simple: score more runs than the opposition.
Batters score runs by hitting the ball where the fielders aren’t, while bowlers deploy a variety of techniques (from “left-arm leg spin” to “right-arm fast”) to try to bowl the ball past the batter and break the wicket behind him.
No foul balls: Unlike baseball, there’s no foul territory in cricket. So batters can hit in any direction (in front of them, behind them, to the side) and fielders have to cover the entire oval.
How runs are scored: Batters work in pairs, with the one facing the bowler called the striker and the other called the non-striker. Runs are scored in three main ways: single (think: hit), boundary (think: home run) and extras (think: error).
Single: When the striker hits the ball, he and the non-striker can each run from their end of the pitch to the other, scoring a run each time. But if the fielding team breaks a wicket before a batter has made it to the other side, they’re “run out.”
Boundary: If the striker hits the ball and it reaches the boundary on the ground, their team is awarded four runs without the batter having to run. If the ball clears the boundary on the fly, they’re awarded six automatic runs. The longest “six” so far this tournament was 351 feet.
Extras: The batting team can also score runs via penalties. For example, if the bowler delivers a ball out of the batter’s reach, an extra run is awarded. This is called a “wide” and can be thought of like a wild pitch in baseball.
No need to run: Unlike baseball, batters aren’t required to run on a ball put in play. If they don’t think they’ll have enough time to run between the wickets and score runs, they can stay where they are and await the next delivery.
How defense is played: The first objective for the fielding team is to prevent runs. The second is to take wickets, which is cricket speak for “record outs.” The five main ways to take a wicket:
Bowled: A batter is bowled when the ball hits the wicket and knocks over at least one bail.
Caught: A batter is caught when a fielder catches the ball on the fly.
Stumped: If a batter swings and misses, the wicket keeper (think: catcher) can get him out by catching the ball and breaking the wicket before the batter returns to the crease.
Run out: If a batter runs for his partner’s crease line and the fielding team breaks a wicket before he gets there, he’s been run out.
Leg before wicket (LBW): If the ball hits a batter’s leg and the umpire thinks it would have hit the wickets if his leg wasn’t in the way, he’s ruled out.
Format: The World Cup uses a one-day format, so matches last roughly 7-8 hours. Each bowler must deliver six legal bowls to a batter (called an “over”) and each team gets 50 “overs.” If the batting team loses 10 wickets before its allotted overs are bowled, the “innings” is over.
Scoring: As the match goes on, the batting team accumulates runs while the fielding team accumulates wickets. If the batting team has scored 150 runs and the fielding team has taken five wickets, the score would read: 150/5 or 150-5.
🍿 Watch:Cricket, explained (Netflix)
💵 IS THIS THE MOST EXPENSIVE BASEBALL CARD EVER?
An extremely rare Babe Ruth rookie card is up for auction, where it could fetch the highest price ever paid for a baseball card. The current record is $12.6 million, paid last year for a 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie card in mint condition.
Details: The 1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth card features a 19-year-old Ruth on his hometown Baltimore Orioles of the International League. The back of the card has the team’s full 1914 schedule, with opponents like the Buffalo Bison, Jersey City Skeeters and Montreal Royals.
There are only 10 of these cards known to be in existence. The card was issued in both red and blue variations; this one is red.
SGC Grading determined that the card is in VG (“Very Good”) 3 condition. It may be a bit faded but you can clearly make out all of the text, including Ruth’s listed position: “Pitcher.”
The journey of a card: This piece of sports history was originally collected by Archibald Davis, a Baltimore News paperboy who saved the card when it appeared as an insert in the long-defunct newspaper in 1914.
After 100 years of ownership, including 25 years in which the card was on loan at the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum in Baltimore, the Davis family sold it to a Florida-based private collector in 2021 for over $5.2 million, a record at the time.
Collectable, one of a handful of companies that allow users to buy and sell stakes in collectibles, sold 20,000 shares of the card (~1% of its equity) at $3 apiece in 2021. Shares jumped as high as $6.50 before settling at $5.40, per the Baltimore Sun.
The card, which has its own security detail, went up for bidding on Wednesday via Robert Edwards Auctions and has already received 12 bids. The highest bid as of 6am ET this morning: $5.25 million. The auction is scheduled to run through Dec. 3.
What they’re saying: “With only 10 examples known to exist, this is a card that could rewrite the history books,” says Brian Dwyer, president of Robert Edwards Auctions.
“The 1952 Topps Mantle and the 1909 T206 Honus Wagner are widely considered the most iconic cards in the hobby, but they both pale in comparison to the Baltimore News Ruth in terms of scarcity,” adds Dwyer.
“Nearly 2,800 examples of the Mantle have been authenticated to date — one of which sold for $12.6 million — and we’re aware of approximately 60 examples of the Wagner card, which routinely sells for millions of dollars in even the lowest condition.”
Place your bid! (I’m considering $9 million but not sure I can go much higher than that, just can’t make the math work)
⚾️ IT’S OFFICIAL: A’S TO VEGAS
Four years ago, Oakland had three major professional sports teams. Now they have zero, Jeff writes.
The news: MLB owners voted unanimously on Thursday to approve the Athletics’ move to Las Vegas, effectively ending their 55-year tenure in Oakland. The Raiders made the same move in 2020, and the Warriors moved across the bay to San Francisco in 2019.
The A’s lease at the Coliseum runs through 2024, so they’ll play next season in Oakland, which will definitely be awkward. Fan groups spent this past summer protesting the move, and they plan on being even louder* next season.
Las Vegas has gone from zero to four major sports teams in the span of just six years, with the Golden Knights (2017) and Aces (2018) preceding the Raiders. The former two teams have already won three championships.
What’s next: Thursday’s vote was a critical step, but there are still lots of moving parts that require resolution.
The A’s $1.5 billion ballpark on the Vegas Strip won’t open until 2028 at the earliest, so they’ll need a temporary home for at least three seasons. One possibility is their Triple-A affiliate’s stadium, conveniently located in Vegas.
Then there’s the matter of financing said stadium. $380 million in public funding has been awarded to the team, but the Nevada teachers’ union plans to file a lawsuit that could halt some or all of that money.
Lastly is the name. Oakland mayor Sheng Thao said she wants the Athletics name and branding to remain in Oakland, as the city will now pursue expansion opportunities.
*Fans fight back: “If you think this was a crazy year, wait until next year. We’re gonna go even harder,” said Jorge Leon, president of the Oakland 68s fan group and an organizer of the fan-led protest movement. (via The Athletic)
🏈 THE HEISMAN’S FOUR-HORSE RACE
The Heisman Trophy field has become a four-horse race, with three QBs and one WR well ahead of the pack, Jeff writes.
Bo Nix, Oregon QB (-110 at BetMGM): The senior transfer from Auburn leads the nation with a 77.7% completion rate to go along with 29 passing TDs (2nd) and a 184.7 passer rating (3rd). He’s also rushed for five scores.
Michael Penix Jr., Washington QB (+375): The senior transfer from Indiana leads the nation with 3,533 passing yards to go along with 28 passing TDs (4th). His case is bolstered by leading a 10-0 team, with one of those wins coming against Nix and the Ducks.
Jayden Daniels, LSU QB (+400): The senior transfer from Arizona State leads the nation with 30 pass TDs and a 202.1 passer rating, which would rank third all-time. He’s also rushed for a QB-best 918 yards and eight TDs.
Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State WR (+550): The junior (who didn’t transfer!) has lived up to his father’s name, becoming the first Buckeye receiver with multiple 1,000-yard seasons. He ranks seventh in the nation in receiving yards (1,063) and second in TDs (12).
Best of the rest: Georgia QB Carson Beck (+3500), Alabama QB Jalen Milroe (+5000), Florida State QB Jordan Travis (+6000), Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy (+10000), USC QB Caleb Williams (+15000), North Carolina QB Drake Maye (+15000), Oklahoma QB Dillon Gabriel (+15000), Michigan RB Blake Corum (+15000).
🏀 EX-NBA PLAYERS CONVICTED IN $5M FRAUD SCHEME
Two more ex-NBA players, Glen “Big Baby” Davis and Will Bynum, could face jail time for their involvement in a scheme to defraud the league health care plan. Both players were convicted on Wednesday by a Manhattan jury.
The scheme: 18 former NBA players were indicted in 2021 for submitting fake reimbursement claims to the NBA’s Health and Welfare Benefit Plan for medical care or procedures that were never performed.
They are believed to have netted roughly $5 million in illicit funds from the benefit plan, which is meant to provide financial support to retired players with health issues.
Former first-round pick Terrence Williams was considered the ringleader. He would recruit players to submit false claims, and they’d pay him kickbacks once they received the money.
Three players are already in prison: In August, Williams was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay $2.5 million in restitution. Two other players — Alan Anderson and Keyon Dooling — received smaller prison sentences.
Yahoo Sports’ Chris Cwik contributed to this report.
📆 NOV. 17, 1968: THE HEIDI GAME
55 years ago today, viewers missed the Raiders’ last-minute victory over the Jets when NBC abruptly cut* to the made-for-TV film, “Heidi,” in one of the most infamous moments in sports broadcasting history, Jeff writes.
A fun callback: The Jets and Raiders met last Sunday night, and NBC brought back Jennifer Edwards, the actress who played Heidi, for a picture-perfect promo.
⚾️ 1979: While on a flight, a writer named Daniel Okrent came up with an idea for a game that involved tracking real MLB players’ stats on fake teams, thus creating one of the most popular games on earth: fantasy baseball.
🏈 1990: Houston QB David Klingler threw 11 touchdown passes in an 84-21 win over Eastern Washington, the most ever in a single game.
*Legacy of a gaffe: Because of that game, all NFL TV contracts since have included a clause, the “Heidi Rule,” stipulating that games would be broadcast in their entirety to home markets.
📺 WATCHLIST: F1 IN SIN CITY
F1 returns to Sin City this weekend for the first time since a brief stint in the early 80’s. But that race was nothing compared to the spectacle* that will be the Las Vegas Grand Prix, Jeff writes.
Schedule: Sunday’s race, the penultimate of the season, has a uniquely late start time (1am ET, ESPN) to highlight Sin City’s neon nightlife.
Circuit: The 3.8-mile circuit features 17 turns, and its 1.2-mile straightaway down the Strip is the second-longest in F1, so cars should absolutely fly.
More to watch:
🏏 Cricket World Cup Final: India vs. Australia (Sun. 3:30am, ESPN+)
🎾 Tennis: ATP Finals (Fri-Sun, Tennis) … Finals on Sunday
⛳️ LPGA: Tour Championship (Fri-Sun, ESPN+/Golf/NBC) … At Florida’s Tiburon Golf Club.
🏈 NFL Sunday: Steelers (+1) at Browns (1pm, CBS); Vikings (+2.5) at Broncos (8:20pm, NBC) … Full slate.
🏈 CFB Saturday: No. 22 Utah (+1) at No. 17 Arizona (2:30pm, Pac-12); No. 1 Georgia (-10.5) at No. 18 Tennessee (3:30pm, CBS); No. 21 Kansas State (-9.5) at No. 25 Kansas (7pm, FS1); No. 5 Washington (+2) at No. 11 Oregon State (7:30pm, ABC) … Full slate.
🏀 NBA: Kings at Spurs (Fri. 7:30pm, ESPN); Suns at Jazz (Fri. 10pm, ESPN); Mavericks at Bucks (Sat. 8pm, NBA)
🏒 NHL: 21 games (Fri-Sun, ESPN+) … The 11-3-1 Stars host the 10-5 Avalanche on Saturday (9pm, ESPN+) in the weekend’s best game.
🏈 CFL: Grey Cup (Sun. 6pm, CFL+) … The Montreal Alouettes and Winnipeg Blue Bombers battle for the Canadian Football League championship.
⚽️ Women’s soccer: NCAA tournament second and third rounds (Fri-Sun, ESPN+) … The Elite Eight will be set by Sunday night. (Bracket)
⚽️ Men’s soccer: NCAA tournament second round (Sun. 12-8pm, ESPN+) … The Sweet 16 will be set by Sunday night. (Bracket)
*99% show: Not everyone is thrilled with the bombast this weekend is expected to bring. “I think it is 99% show, 1% sport,” said Max Verstappen, who’s looking to put the finishing touches on the most dominant season in F1 history.
⚾️ MLB TRIVIA
The Athletics are the third MLB franchise to relocate in the last five decades.
Question: Who were the other two?
Hint: 1972 and 2005.
Bonus points: You can give either the name of the franchise that relocated or the name of the franchise post-relocation. Bonus points if you know both.
Answer at the bottom.
🙏 EDITOR’S NOTE: FEELING THANKFUL
Justin M. (Richmond, Virginia) writes:
Longtime subscriber here. Just dropping in to say how appreciative I am of this newsletter. My wife and I welcomed our first baby last month and my consumption of live sports has… fallen off (rightfully, of course). That said, through your newsletter, I’ve been able to stay up to date and still feel knowledgeable about pretty much every sport (heck of a start to the PL season for my Spurs). Thanks for all you do.
No, thank YOU. With Thanksgiving approaching, I’m feeling thankful for all the readers who make my job possible. Without your unwavering support, Yahoo Sports AM wouldn’t exist.
In September 2017, I launched a daily newsletter with no plan outside of “let’s see what happens.” Six years, three names (RIP, Sports Internet), two companies, and hundreds of thousands of subscribers later, more has happened than I ever could have imagined.
There have been times along this journey when I was feeling incredibly burned out and unsure if I could keep doing this. Every single time, almost on cue, I’d receive an email like the one above from Justin, and it would bring me back to life.
Thank you all so very much. Not just for reading, but for giving feedback, sending kind notes, and sharing this sign-up link. I’ll be OOO next week, but you’re in good hands with Jeff, who began as a reader and is now the guy hitting “send.” See you back here after Thanksgiving.
If you’d like to stay in touch while I’m away, follow me on Instagram (@bendallkaker). I’m on Day 62 of my #100StraightDaysOfHoops challenge and will be posting there daily.
Trivia answer: Washington Senators to Texas Rangers (1972) and Montreal Expos to Washington Nationals (2005)
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