The Memorial Day holiday put Numbers Game on a one-week hiatus. We spent last week reflecting on our relatives and others who lost their lives in military service to the United States.
The sports world also took a hit in remembering an icon.
The “Greatest of All-Time,” boxer Muhammad, Ali passed away at the age of 74.
We’ll touch on the three-time heavyweight champion of the world, while crunching on some other digits in this week’s Numbers Game.
Boxing isn’t a sport that lends itself to statistical, eye-popping numerals, but Ali’s top mark in the fighting game is how many times he was named THE RING magazine’s Fighter of the Year. Ali earned that honor a record five times, the last time occurring in 1978. He also won an Olympic gold medal in 1960, lit the Olympic flame in 1996 and earned numerous other accolades during a storied career and life.
Amount of multi-home run games for Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria after Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Twins. Longoria smashed two homers to keep his home run streak going at four consecutive games. The Major League Baseball record for consecutive games with at least one homer is eight, which is held by three players. Ken Griffey Jr., Don Mattingly and Dale Long all tallied eight straight games with a homer in various seasons. Griffey did it in 1993 with the Mariners, while Mattingly did it with the Yankees in 1987 and Long did it with the Pirates in 1956.
The last year Brock Lesnar fought in the UFC, before diverticulitis caused an early retirement to his mixed-martial arts career. Lesnar, a former NCAA national champion wrestler at Minnesota, is one of five men to defend the UFC Heavyweight title twice. He holds a 5-3 career MMA record, and left the octagon for a squared circle to resume his career as a professional wrestler for World Wrestling Entertainment. Lesnar is returning to UFC next month to fight Mark Hunt, an opponent who was announced on Monday.
Novak Djokovic became the third male tennis player to hold all four Grand Slam titles simultaneously after securing the French Open win on Sunday against Andy Murray. It was Djokovic’s first French Open title and put him in the select company of Don Budge (1937-38) and Rod Laver (1962, 1969) as holding all four Grand Slam titles at the same time. He also became the first player since Saint Stephen’s alum Jim Courier in 1992 to capture the Australian and French opens in the same year.
Lakewood Ranch alum Lastings Milledge was taken with the 12th overall pick in the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft. This year’s MLB Draft is scheduled to start Thursday, and there aren’t any projected area players scheduled for selecting on the first day. That 12th overall selection is the highest anyone from Manatee County has been taken in the MLB Draft’s history. Last year, the New York Mets selected Out-of-Door Academy’s Desmond Lindsay with the 53rd overall pick. And in 2013, Manatee High alum Cord Sandberg was taken as the 89th overall pick. He opted to stick with pro baseball and the Philadelphia Phillies over college football at Mississippi State.