| DIED |
At age 85 of pneumonia complicated by emphysemia, professional bowling legend Don Carter, the face of the sport during its TV heyday in the 1950s and '60s, as well as a founding member and the first president of the PBA. After serving in the Navy in World War II, and spending a year as a pitcher and infielder with an affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, Carter (above) found work at a bowling alley, and his game took off. Despite his awkward habit of keeping his elbow bent on his backswing, he bowled five 800 series, 13 perfect games and won seven PBA titles. Carter was the first athlete in any sport to sign a $1 million endorsement deal, with ball maker Ebonite International in 1964. In '70 a Bowling Magazine poll named him the greatest bowler in history.
| DIED |
At age 81 of stomach cancer, college basketball coach Gene Bartow, best known as the man who succeeded John Wooden at UCLA. Bartow (below) first rose to prominence at Memphis State, where he coached the Tigers to the 1973 NCAA championship game against Wooden and the Bruins. (UCLA won 87--66.) He earned coach of the year honors that season and, after a short stint at Illinois, was hired to coach the Bruins in '75. In his first year in Westwood, Bartow led UCLA to the Final Four. The Missouri native spent one more season in Southern California before departing in '77 for Alabama-Birmingham, which at the time had no sports teams. As UAB's basketball coach and athletic director, Bartow took the Blazers to nine NCAA tournaments, going as far as the Elite Eight in 1982. He retired as coach in '96 and as AD in 2000. In 1997, UAB renamed its 8,500-seat multi-purpose arena in his honor.
| RECOVERING |
Following successful surgery on Jan. 3 to remove a benign brain tumor, two-time Olympic gold medalist Lee Evans. The 63-year-old won both the 400 meters and the 1,600 relay at the 1968 Mexico City games, where he famously wore a black beret as a nod to the Black Panthers, and where teammates Tommie Smith and John Carlos gave a black power salute on the medal stand after their first- and third-place finishes in the 200 meters. Evans has been living in Nigeria for the past four years, but was visiting his sister near San Francisco in December when he complained of severe head pain, and doctors discovered a nickel-sized tumor near his pituitary gland.
| DIED |
At age 80 of Lewy body dementia (the second-most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer's disease), former big league third baseman Andy Carey. A slick fielder, most notably for the Yankees from 1952 to 1960 (before stints with the Kansas City Athletics, the White Sox and the Dodgers), Carey was a regular for the New York clubs that won four of six World Series. In '54 he hit .302 in the Yankees' 103-win season, and he led the AL with 11 triples in '55. But in a lineup stacked with the likes of Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra, Carey was better known for his glove. In the '56 Series against the Dodgers, he twice helped preserve Don Larsen's perfect game, knocking down a second-inning smash by Jackie Robinson (allowing shortstop Gil McDougald to make the play) and snagging a low liner off the bat of Gil Hodges in the eighth.
| MARRIED |
To Russian lawyer Victor Voronov, American Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir. The 27-year-old Weir (above) claimed the U.S. national championship every year from 2004 to '06. He came out publicly last January, saying that he hoped his story would provide inspiration to others and prevent suicides among gay teens. Voronov is an old acquaintance of Weir's, and the two men reconnected over the summer. They were married on Dec. 30 in a civil ceremony in New York, one of six states to allow same-sex marriage.