What Had Happened Was: 10/12/17
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- The New York Yankees advanced to the American League Championship Series with a 5-2 win over the Cleveland Indians in Game 5 of the AL Division Series on Wednesday. After dropping the first two games of the ALDS, New York won three straight to get back to the ALCS for the first time since 2012. In the winner-take-all Game 5 in Cleveland, two home runs in the first three innings from shortstop Didi Gregorius off Cleveland ace Corey Kluber set the tone for the Yankees, who will face the Houston Astros beginning Friday in a best-of-seven ALCS for a spot in the World Series.
- The Washington Nationals forced a decisive Game 5 with a 5-0 win over the Chicago Cubs in Game 4 of the National League Division Series on Wednesday in Chicago. Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg almost missed the game, which was postponed from Tuesday to Wednesday, because of illness, but got the start and dominated to the tune of seven scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts. With his team holding on to a narrow 1-o lead in the eighth inning, center fielder Michael A. Taylor launched a grand slam to give the Nationals a 5-0 lead that they would never look back from. Washington and Chicago will square off in Game 5 on Thursday at Nationals Park, with the winner advancing to face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series.
- A Division III college football player was cut for kneeling during the national anthem. Gyree Durante, a sophomore backup quarterback at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania, took a knee during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before back-to-back games. After doing so the second time on Oct. 7, Durante was removed from the team, which cited an agreement made by a 24-player leadership council to act as a group while deciding how to approach the national anthem. “At some point in life, there’s going to be a time when you’ve got to take a stand,” Durante told Philadelphia’s NBC10. “For me, it just happened to be on Saturday afternoon.”
- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones met with players to discuss the national anthem. Jones told his team that his position on the silent protests was an effort to play the “bad guy” and detract attention from players, a source told ESPN’s Todd Archer. Jones also reportedly made sure Cowboys players were aware of the effect that kneeling could have on the business side of football, from TV ratings and sponsors. “It went well. I mean, we ironed out everything that we needed to at this time,” Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott said of the post-practice meeting at a promotional event.
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On this day in sports history
On Oct. 12, 1999, basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain died of heart failure at age 63. In 16 pro seasons, the 7-foot-1 center averaged 30.1 points a game — he was the first NBA player to reach 30,000 career points — while becoming the only player in league history to record a 100-point game. Chamberlain was also a 13-time All-Star, four-time MVP and two-time NBA champion (1967, 1972). In 1978, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and his No. 13 was retired by three teams (Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers).