How you can buy Ted Williams memorabilia

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How you can buy Ted Williams memorabilia

From Comcast SportsNetBOSTON (AP) -- He was a skilled fisherman, a veteran of two wars and an accomplished hunter. Oh, and Ted Williams also played baseball.Fans seeking to buy items once owned by the legendary Red Sox slugger will flock to Boston's Fenway Park beginning Wednesday for a preview of the first major auction of sports, military and personal memorabilia documenting Williams' life.The preview, open to the public, is set to last through Friday at the world's oldest baseball park and home field of the only team that Williams played for during his 1939-1960 major league career. The auction will be Saturday and some of the proceeds will benefit The Jimmy Fund, a charity affiliated with Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for which the slugger helped raise money during his lifetime.Williams, the last major league hitter to bat .400 -- posting a .406 average in 1941 -- enjoyed a diverse life, including as a U.S. Marine in World War II and the Korean War, a member of the fishing hall of fame and a skilled and accomplished hunter. He flew 39 combat missions in Korea and took enemy fire three times, including during an encounter that forced him to land his stricken jet on its belly."There're not many elements of his life that did not exude the same excellence as he did on the baseball field," said David Hunt, whose firm, Hunt Auctions Inc., is selling the memorabilia on behalf of Williams' daughter, Claudia Williams of Hernando, Fla. "And that is really unique ... He's sort of like the John Wayne of baseball and sports of that time period and I think that's evidenced by all these artifacts that documents his life."Among the nearly 800 items up for auction is a baseball in pristine condition that Babe Ruth autographed for Williams with the inscription "To my pal Ted Williams, From Babe Ruth." That unique ball is expected to go for between 100,000 and 200,000, Hunt said.The ball, which was stolen from the family's Florida home in the 1970s and not recovered until 2005, had a special place in Ted Williams' heart, his daughter said."Of course, the one item in the sale which meant so much to him as a baseball fan was the personalized baseball given to him by Babe Ruth," Claudia Williams said in an email to The Associated Press. "It influenced his personalizations to so many kids in the future, as he always loved the way Mr. Ruth signed the ball, Your pal.'"Others items include Williams' 1949 American League Most Valuable Player award valued between 150,000 and 250,000, a silver bat for winning the American League batting championship in 1957 valued between 100,000 and 200,000, as well as bats and jerseys that the slugger used, Hunt said as workers unpacked the memorabilia for display at a luxury suite at Fenway Park."These objects really just chronicle this man's life and, I think, show how great he was, not just as a baseball player," Hunt said.Claudia Williams says her dad's intent was always to auction the items for charity."I'm rather certain, in his last year with the Red Sox, he earned less than 100,000," she said. "So, my dad was always amazed at the sale prices garnered from sales of sports memorabilia."It is dearly important to me to include The Jimmy Fund in this event as it was at the center of my father's heart for so many years."Hunt said the auction caps a process that began nearly six years ago when his firm did some appraisals for her.Williams' daughter, Hunt said, had discussed selling some of the items with her father and brother, who both supported the idea. That occurred before Williams died in 2002, followed by his son in 2004.The 10-year anniversary of Williams' death at age 83 and Fenway Park's ongoing 100th anniversary celebrations provided an ideal timing for the auction, Hunt said."Claudia kept things that are important to her, donated things to museums ... Why not do this in celebration of his life, benefit the charity that he loved and make it a positive thing for everybody," Hunt said.Claudia Williams said: "I am incredibly proud of my father. My father lived a wonderful life, and did all he could for his fans, his country, and his family."

McDonald's All-American Games return to United Center

McDonald's All-American Games return to United Center

The McDonald's All-American Games return to the United Center for the seventh consecutive year on Wednesday night as the nation's elite boys and girls high school basketball players take the floor.

The 40th annual games begin with the girls game at 4 p.m. while the boys game will follow at 6 p.m.

The 2017 McDonald's game won't have a lot of local talent to keep an eye on, besides Chicago native and center Brandon McCoy, but the national Class of 2017 is still a fun group to check out for local basketball fans.

Headlined by top prospects like small forward Michael Porter Jr. (Missouri), center DeAndre Ayton (Arizona),  center Wendell Carter (Duke) and point guard Trevon Duval (uncommitted), this year's McDonald's game features a lot of flashy guards, high-flying wings and talented big men.

Over the years, fans at the United Center have been able to see some of the NBA's best young players before they went to college as alums of recent McDonald's games include Anthony Davis, Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Karl-Anthony Towns.

You can view the full rosters for the 2017 McDonald's All-American Games here

Why the Bears finally feel like they're in striking distance of a winning team

Why the Bears finally feel like they're in striking distance of a winning team

PHOENIX – Where the relationship between Bears GM Ryan Pace and coach John Fox goes beyond 2017 remains to play out with their third season together. At this point, however, despite a combined total of nine wins over their first two, the critical bond between coach and general manager appears both clear and solid.
 
Which is no small state of affairs with the growing pressure on both and the organization, pressure that will only intensify if the on-field fortunes of their team does not begin to dramatically reverse. And both know it. Losing doesn't build character, it reveals it, and the same applies to a relationship; if there are cracks, adversity of the kind the Bears have endured the past 32 games will widen and expose them.
 
That relationship has been the subject of speculation virtually since its inception, when Pace hired Fox following the end of his tenure with the Denver Broncos. Much of it centered around who was in fact making the final decisions on personnel and who was the advisor, with some positing that Fox was in fact the final authority if only because age, seniority and experience. The primacy of Pace, however, has become clearer with each decision and traces or shadings of any fractiousness are conspicuously absent.
 
"His people skills are tremendous," Fox said Tuesday during the NFL owners meetings. "His evaluation skills are very good. I think humility is always a great quality in this business. And I've seen that. He's the same guy. He hasn't changed. Sometimes people get [elevated] positions, whatever position that may be and they change. It's just how some people react. And I haven't seen that."
 
Pace, who recently turned 40, is by his own description wanting buy-in on decisions. In the cases of free agency, which have involved the high-dollar commitments designed to have immediate payoff, he has identified pro targets and involved Fox in the decisions.
 
Looking for an immediate hit at linebacker to upgrade the entire defense about this time last year, Pace targeted Denver leading-tackler Danny Trevathan. Fox was his first consult.
 
"Just having drafted [Trevathan] and seeing him develop and get better and his work ethic and his preparation and study habits and how he is as a teammate in the locker room," Pace said of what insight Fox provided. "Those were all things that were taken into consideration."
 
This year, with the max need of improvement, the franchise-grade decision was to make a change at quarterback. Jay Cutler effectively made the decision on himself and he was out. Whether Mike Glennon is or is not an upgrade will play out this year, but Fox was involved in and endorsed the decision to go in a decidedly less-experienced direction.

[RELATED - No signs Bears are locked into drafting a QB in 2017]
 
Pace had attempted in the past to trade for Glennon, which Fox agreed with. Fox had familiarity with Glennon from his time coaching in Carolina.
 
"I was in North Carolina when [Glennon] was playing [at N.C. State], actually," Fox recalled. "I was exposed to two guys there. A good friend of mine was the head coach at NC State. Both Russell Wilson and Mike Glennon were coming through at that period in time, so I got exposed to them, watching games and kinda following them.
 
"And obviously evaluating both of them coming out, they were in different schools then. So I had a high opinion of them then. And then really [Glennon] was talked about a little bit before this year as a potential guy to get, and then this year, being free and without any kind of compensation, we dove in pretty good and feel good about it."
 
Most expectations are that the Bears will not repeat a three-win season, and that an improvement from the first two years keeps both Pace and Fox in their jobs. Key players (Trevathan, Eddie Goldman, Kyle Long, Kevin White) returning from injuries, free-agency upgrades on both sides of the ball and a draft class currently with two picks in the first 36 point to perhaps the kind of turnaround Fox has produced (in years two) at Carolina and Denver.
 
Fox did not dwell on what the roster was or wasn't when he arrived, or on how much of an overhaul Pace needed to do when he took over from Phil Emery and brought in Fox to replace Marc Trestman. But the reality was there.
 
"Going back to a lot of the changes, we've had a lot of change," Fox said. "I think we're better for it. Unfortunately, you can't walk around with your chest out about that because of our record the last two years. But I have total confidence and [Pace] has done an outstanding job and will continue to.
 
"I understand you have to win. And I finally feel like we're in striking distance."