At age 70, Donn Clendenon, the MVP of the 1969 World Series. A power-hitting first baseman, Clendenon (above), who suffered from leukemia for 20 years, broke into the majors with the Pirates in 1961 and, after a brief stint with the Expos, was traded to the Mets during the '69 season. "When we got him, we became a different team," said Bud Harrelson, the Mets' shortstop. Clendenon hit 12 home runs in 72 games with the Miracle Mets, then bashed three more and batted .357 in New York's five-game World Series victory over the Orioles. He retired in 1972 and earned a law degree but struggled with cocaine addiction. In 1987 he moved to Sioux Falls, S.D., where he practiced law and was an addiction counselor.
Of complications from diabetes at age 61, Charlie Williams, the first black umpire to work home plate in the World Series. Williams, who attended umpire school in California while working as a factory machine operator, broke into the National League in 1982. In his 18-year career he worked two All-Star games and two National League Championship Series, and he was behind the plate for Game 4 of the 1993 World Series, the longest in Series history. (The Blue Jays beat the Phillies 15-14 in four hours and 14 minutes.) Williams later called it "the game from hell."
The left ring finger of Australian rules footballer Brett Blackwell. Since breaking it three years ago, Blackwell, 24, who plays for the Glenelg Tigers in South Australia, has had trouble catching the ball and has had chronic pain in the finger. Doctors suggested fusing the bones together, but Blackwell decided amputation was the only way to guarantee pain-free playing. "It's a bit drastic," he said. "If that's going to help me succeed at this level, then it's something you've just got to do."
By golfer David Toms, a corrective procedure for a heart condition, so he can play for the U.S. in the Presidents Cup in Gainesville, Va., this week. Toms collapsed on the 10th fairway while playing in the 84 Lumber Classic last Thursday and was rushed to a hospital. He was found to have a rapid heartbeat, a condition that's treatable with medication but can be cured by a procedure called radio-frequency ablation. Said Toms, who was back on the driving range at the 84 Lumber on Sunday, "My plan is to have it done as soon as possible."
With severe bleeding in the brain after his lightweight title bout against Jesus Chavez in Las Vegas last Saturday, veteran fighter Leavander Johnson (above). The 35-year-old, making his first title defense after winning the IBF belt in June, took a tremendous beating from Chavez; the challenger landed more than 400 punches, many of them clean shots to the head. After the fight was stopped in the 11th round, Johnson, who never went down during the bout, collapsed in his dressing room; he was rushed to the hospital and, after a CAT scan showed a mammoth blood clot that was shifting his brain, Johnson underwent emergency brain surgery. On Monday he was in a drug-induced coma and was listed in critical condition.