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The Scoreboard is a sports feature spotlighting the winners and losers, the champs and chumps, the highlights and lowlights, and anything in between, of sports in the D.C. area.
Ward 7’s Mamie Johnson Little League’s historic run came to an end on Aug. 7 at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament in Bristol, Connecticut.
But the first predominantly African-American team to win the D.C. championship has already inspired its hometown. After the game, an 18-7 loss to a team from Maryland, Mamie Johnson left to cheers as the players exited the dugout.
Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones, one of the few African-American players in Major League Baseball, pledged $8,500 toward the team’s travel expenses and the home rental company Airbnb gave the team travel vouchers.
“I could not be more proud of our Mamie Johnson players and coaches for their extraordinary victory in representing the best of our great city,” Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton said in a statement.
In late July, Nationals shortstop Trea Turner became the latest baseball player to have offensive tweets that used homophobic and racially insensitive language resurface. Turner issued an apology, but it was his teammate Sean Doolittle’s response that received widespread praise.
Doolittle and his wife, Eireann Dolan, are actively involved in the LGBT community and have been referred to as baseball’s “most woke couple.”
“It’s a reminder that words matter, and that the impact the of [sic] words matter more than the intent,” Doolittle, 31, wrote on Twitter. “Between all the people you meet and the places you go, there is a lot of opportunity for personal growth in baseball. It’s entirely possible that those old posts no longer reflect that person’s views. But actions will speak louder than words.”
Google Mystics star Kristi Toliver’s name along with the word “clutch,” and you’ll find plenty of results from her standout college and professional basketball career.
Toliver scored arguably the biggest shot in Maryland women’s basketball history when she hit a game-tying three-pointer with seconds remaining on the clock to force overtime in the national championship game against Duke in 2006. The Terps would go on to win their first national title in women’s basketball.
On Aug. 5, the Mystics pulled out a pivotal win over the Dallas Wings thanks to a last-second turnaround jumper from Toliver. And on Aug. 7, Toliver scored 25 points to help the Mystics clinch a playoff spot with a 103-98 victory over the Phoenix Mercury.
Normally the Citi Open tennis tournament is known for its oppressively hot temperatures and humidity. Players like former world number one Andy Murray will come to D.C. to get acclimated to the extreme heat ahead of the last Grand Slam of the season, the U.S. Open in New York.
This year, the heat was replaced by a constant downpour of rain, which forced some players to compete in two (or more) matches in a day, or as in Murray’s case, play until 3 a.m. Murray, who returned in June from a long injury layoff, ended up withdrawing from the tournament ahead of the quarterfinals due to the string of late night matches.
“Finishing matches at 3 in the morning is not good. It’s not good for the players. It’s not good for anyone, I don’t think, involved in the event. It’s not good for fans, TV. Nobody,” Murray told reporters.
At least the weather was suitably swampy for the finals.