From Kobe to Maradona, a year of staggering losses in sports
Not long after came a seismic jolt, the helicopter crash of Kobe Bryant in the fog-shrouded California hills that reverberated across sports and across continents. Deep into the year, a bookend to Bryant, Diego Maradona died from a heart attack in Argentina weeks after brain surgery, the waves of grief rippling across soccer. The losses, of course, came against a backdrop of a pandemic, its number of fatalities rolled out daily on TV screens. Niekro won 318 games and pitched until he was 48, his knuckleball dancing and mystifying batters across the decades. Kurt Thomas in 1978 became the first U.S. male gymnast to win a world title but lost an Olympic shot in 1980 because of the boycott.
Bob Watson broke racial barriers and brought players together, former teammate Enos Cabell says
The passing of Bob Watson leaves a void in the hearts of all who knew and loved him. Bob had a great career, said Tal Smith, a former Astros General Manager. He deserves even more credit for the adversity he had to overcome.As a player, Watson, a two-time All-Star, dealt with the hardships of hateful racism. That was difficult for Bob and Jimmy Wynn and other young Astros players at the time, said Smith. It was very important, he was probably in the top 5 minorities in Major League Baseball of all time, said Enos Cabell, who was Watsons teammate.
History-making Astros legend Bob The Bull Watson dies at 74
HOUSTON Houston Astros legend Bob Watson died at the age of 74, Major League Baseball announced in a press release late Thursday. Bob will be missed, but not forgotten.His son Keith Watson said beyond his fathers accomplishments, he was a good, solid man. (Original Caption) 1970: Portrait of Houston Astros outfielder Bob Watson. In March, Watsons legacy was honored with the dedication of the Bob Watson Education Center at the Astros Youth Academy in March. Watch: Bob Watson honored with the dedication of the Bob Watson Education Center