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Sports

#SportsReport: Baseball HOF To Reopen; NYC Marathon Canceled

Baseball Hall of Fame
National Baseball Hall of Fame

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York plans to reopen Friday, as the Mohawk Valley enters Phase Four of reopening. 

The museum says it will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at limited capacity, with a timed admission tickets to prevent congestion in the front lobby and galleries. Visitors must wear masks and maintain social distancing. The museum canceled this summer’s Hall of Fame Weekend events earlier this year in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

In other virus-related sports news: 

The New York City Marathon scheduled for Nov. 1 has been canceled. New York Road Runners announced the cancellation of the world's largest marathon Wednesday after coordinating with the mayor's office and deciding the race posed too many health and safety concerns for runners, volunteers, spectators and others. Last year's marathon included a world record 53,640 finishers. Entrants for the 2020 race will be offered a full refund of their entry fee or a guaranteed entry to either the 2021, 2022 or 2023 marathon. The 2021 New York City Marathon is scheduled for Nov. 7.

The popular Phillie Phanatic, Mr. Met and Mariner Moose mascots are getting a reprieve. Major League Baseball has reversed a policy it issued last month that banned mascots from ballparks while trying to restrict access and limit contact exposure. MLB now says mascots are welcome, but they're not permitted on the field. Dave Raymond, the first person to portray the Phanatic in Philadelphia in the late 1970s, says mascots can still pull off plenty of routines to entertain fans watching at home.

All-Star outfielder Charlie Blackmon of the Colorado Rockies has become the first Major League Baseball player identified as having tested positive for the coronavirus. The Denver Post first reported Blackmon's condition, saying Tuesday that three Rockies players had tested positive. The Philadelphia Phillies have said seven players have tested positive for the virus without identifying any of them. A person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press that several players and staff members of the Toronto Blue Jays have tested positive. Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said a few players have tested positive for COVID-19. Dipoto said they have all been asymptomatic. And Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila says one player and one staff member have tested positive for COVID-19. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has imposed a 60-game season that will begin either July 23 or 24. It remains unclear where the Blue Jays plan to hold their training camp and play home games this summer.

The caddies for Graeme McDowell and Brooks Koepka have tested positive for the coronavirus, and both major champions have decided to withdraw from the Travelers Championship. Both say they are withdrawing to protect the rest of the field. McDowell says it feels like the snowball is getting bigger. This is the PGA Tour's third week back after being shut down for three months. The first week came off without a hitch. Nick Watney last week became the first player to test positive.

The return of Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon has been delayed after he tested positive. Sacramento Kings forward Jabari Parker announced he has been dealing with the virus as well. Both say they expect to be with their teams when the season resumes in Central Florida next month. All 22 NBA teams that will be part of the resumed season began mandated testing Tuesday.

A person with knowledge of the situation says All-Star forward Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets has tested positive for the coronavirus and is quarantining in his native Serbia. Jokic is expected to be back in Denver long before the team leaves for the Disney complex for the restart of the NBA season next month.

Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore will open Thursday for wagering on simulcast horse races. Fans will be required to wear masks, maintain social distancing and follow safety protocols to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Pimlico is scheduled to host the Preakness on Oct. 3.

The Berlin Marathon has been canceled following months of uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers say "after extensive examination and various discussions" they were not able to find a later date. Authorities in Germany have blocked the hosting of major events through October.

The University of Connecticut has decided to eliminate four athletic teams as it deals with an expected budget deficit driven by the pandemic. UConn's president told the Board of Trustees today the school will reduce the number of sports it supports from 24 to 20, eliminating its men's cross country, men's swimming and diving, men's tennis and women's rowing teams after the 2020-21 academic year.

The University of Northern Colorado will discontinue the men's and women's tennis programs as part of a cost-saving effort due to budget shortfalls created by COVID-19. The school located in Greeley, Colorado, will now sponsor 17 intercollegiate athletic programs, including nine women's sports.

Lawyers for a group of Brown University athletes whose sports have been targeted for elimination are accusing the Ivy League school of fraud for working secretly on a plan to cut the programs without telling the players their varsity careers were in jeopardy. In a letter to Brown President Christina Paxson, attorney Jeffrey Kessler said the school made a "purposeful choice to conceal critical information" that cost the athletes the chance to enroll at or transfer to a different school. Brown announced last month that as part of a plan to redirect resources to its more successful programs it would eliminate 11 varsity sports and promote coed and women's sailing to varsity status, bringing the school's total from 38 teams to 29. After a backlash over the disparate effect the cuts would have on minority students, the school backed down and agreed to keep men's track and cross-country.

NBA

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association said Wednesday that dealing with racial matters will be a shared goal during the resumed season. The league and union announced they will "take collective action to combat systemic racism and promote social justice" when the season restarts at the Disney complex near Orlando, Florida next month. Specific plans have not been finalized.

NFL

The Washington Redskins are removing former owner George Preston Marshall from their Ring of Fame and striking all references to him on their website. It's the latest move to cut ties with the legacy of the team's racist founder, a segregationist who refused to integrate by signing Black players until "forced to do so" in 1962, more than a decade after much of the rest of the NFL. Marshall owned the franchise from its inception in 1932 and moved the team from Boston to Washington several years later. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963 and died in 1969. Current owner Dan Snyder has faced renewed calls to change the name of the team.

NHL

Jarome Iginla headlines the Hockey Hall of Fame's class of 2020 after being elected Wednesday in his first year of eligibility. Iginla will be the fourth Black player inducted after Grant Fuhr, women's hockey pioneer Angela James and Willie O'Ree. Iginla and Fuhr are the only Black NHL players enshrined for their on-ice accomplishments, while O'Ree was chosen in the builder category in 2018 for breaking the league's color barrier 60 years earlier. The longtime Calgary Flames captain was the first Black player to lead the NHL in goals and points and was the first Black athlete in any sport to win a gold medal in the Winter Olympics. A first-generation Canadian whose father is Nigerian and mother is American, Iginla owns arguably the biggest assist in Canada's history of international hockey. He passed the puck to Sidney Crosby for Crosby's "golden goal" at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Michigan officially announced that Mike Smith and Chaundee Brown are joining the basketball program as transfers. The school says both players have been admitted. Smith has immediate eligibility, and Michigan is assessing the potential for an NCAA waiver for Brown. The 5-foot-11 Smith comes to Michigan from Columbia, where he averaged 22.8 points a game last season. The 6-foot-5 Brown averaged 12.1 points for Wake Forest. Brown said in April he was entering his name into the NBA draft as well as the NCAA transfer portal.

OLYMPICS

Local Japanese sponsors have chipped in a record $3.3 billion to support the postponed Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. That's almost 60% of the income for the privately funded operating budget. Sponsors will be asked to sign up again with the games delayed for a year. A poll published earlier this month by Japanese broadcasters NHK said two-thirds are undecided about extending for another year. Organizers say they will begin the negotiation process in earnest next month. The Japanese newspaper Asahi reported this week that organizers could be asking for "for more sponsor fees payments." This could face opposition with many companies struggling with the pandemic and a loss of revenue.

© The Associated Press 2020. All Rights Reserved.