At age 90, Ralph Houk (above), who succeeded Casey Stengel as Yankees manager. The Lawrence, Kans., native, who was once president of the Future Farmers of America, began his pro career in 1939. Two years later he enlisted in the Army, rising to the rank of major (which would become his nickname) and being awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Silver Star in the Battle of the Bulge. Houk later made the Yankees as a catcher but played in only 91 games in eight seasons. He took over for Stengel in 1961 when he was just 41, and his Yankees won World Series titles his first two seasons. In 20 seasons on the bench—he also had stints in Detroit and Boston—Houk was 1,619--1,531.
Of skin cancer at age 54, Kaye Cowher, the wife of former Steelers coach Bill Cowher. The Cowhers met at North Carolina State in 1976—he was a football player, she was on the basketball team—and wed five years later, after the end of her playing career in the now defunct Women's Professional Basketball League. Cowher retired after the 2006 season to move full time to North Carolina with his wife and daughter Lindsay, now a basketball player at Wofford. Lindsay's two older sisters played basketball at Princeton.
For ordering driver Felipe Massa to allow teammate Fernando Alonso to pass him for the win in the German Grand Prix Sunday, Ferrari. Race stewards didn't overturn the result, but they did fine the team $100,000 and refer the matter to FIA, the sport's governing body. Massa was leading the race through 49 of 67 laps when he allowed Alonso, who has more points on the season and therefore a better chance to win the drivers' championship, to pass. Formula One rules ban team orders that affect the outcome of the race, and Massa did little to deny that he was acting on instructions from above. "I don't think I have to say anything to that," he said. "We work for the team." In contrast, Helio Castroneves was stripped of an IndyCar win later on Sunday for excessively blocking his own teammate, Will Power, who was awarded the victory.
As an adviser by Russian team Unified Hockey Club Dynamo, Alex Ovechkin. An alumnus of Dynamo, which merged with another team to form UHC Dynamo earlier this year, Ovechkin was hired by president Mikhail Tyurkin. Ovechkin will pick up a little skating-around money by moonlighting. "Because Alex is on our staff, he has to earn a salary," said Tyurkin, who intimated it was a nominal salary. The 24-year-old left wing signed a 13-year, $124 million deal with the Capitals in 2008.
By a federal judge in Connecticut, that for the purposes of Title IX, cheerleading is not a sport. Quinnipiac University was trying to eliminate its women's volleyball program and count cheerleaders as athletes, which would allow it to remain in compliance with Title IX, which mandates that females at colleges receiving federal funding be given the same opportunity to compete as men. The ACLU joined the fight on behalf of the volleyball team, and last week U.S. District Judge Stefan Underhill ruled in the team's favor, stating that cheerleading is "too underdeveloped and disorganized" to be considered a sport, and ordering the school to keep the volleyball program alive.