SIMON: Just a day left to the end of regular baseball season. The Cardinals clinched a playoff spot last night. Of course they were playing the Cubs. But those rampaging Cleveland Indians won their eighth game in a row to move a game closer to a wildcard spot. They're knotted up with the Tampa Bay Rays, trying to keep the Texas Rangers in the rearview mirror.
The announcers kept quiet, so we won't say much either.
There's video here of what it was like Thursday night at Yankee Stadium when pitcher Mariano Rivera, considered by most experts to be the greatest "closer" in Major League Baseball history, threw his final pitch before heading off into retirement. He shed several tears, as you'll see.
And staying with baseball, let's meet a man who was once closer than anyone to victory and defeat in the same game. It's 1992, the last time the Pittsburgh Pirates were in the post season. They are one out away from the World Series. Atlanta is batting. And this happened.
(SOUNDBITE OF 1992 NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES)
SKIP CARAY: Swung, line drive left field. One run is in. Here comes Bream. Here's the throw to the plate. He is - safe! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win!
It's not just sports teams that win championships. It's also their fans - whole cities of people who endure long seasons, hanging on every pitch, every touchdown, every basket, sharing in both the elation of victory and also the pain of defeat. Major League Baseball's best teams are getting ready for the playoffs next week and so are their faithful. And over the next few minutes we want to feel what it's like to be on the cusp of either a championship - or disaster.
(SOUNDBITE OF 1986 MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYOFF GAME)
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel. Bud Selig, the commissioner of Major League Baseball, formally announced his intention today to step down from that position at the end of next season. Under Selig's leadership, baseball has experienced both expansion and upheaval. NPR's Mike Pesca joins us to discuss the tenure of the man who took over as the league's acting commissioner in 1992, Mike.
The online journal TheRoot.com, which focuses on African-American politics, culture and society, recently released its list of the 100 most important black influencers between the ages of 25 and 45. The list includes several known leaders and achievers, including NPR's own Audie Cornish, and Gene Demby and Matt Thompson of our Code Switch team. But there are also religious leaders, community activists and others who may not be household names ... yet.
Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 4:28 am
Oracle Team USA completed a remarkable comeback to win the America's Cup regatta, winning eight straight races. The American team, backed by Silicon Valley billionaire Larry Ellison, beat Emirates Team New Zealand. Just a few days ago, the American team trailed the Kiwis, and were on the brink of being eliminated from the competition.