BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s been a busy year of sports news in Baltimore. From Ray Lewis saying that he wants to come out of retirement just to play with Lamar Jackson, to Chris Davis breaking MLB’s mark for the longest hitless streak, there have been plenty of memories along the way.
Here are the sports stories that caught the most attention on WJZ.com in 2019.
Yes, you read that headline correctly. Ray Lewis said in November that he wants to come out of retirement just to play with Lamar Jackson.
The two-time Super Bowl champion and Hall of Famer said in an appearance on SHOWTIME’s “Inside the NFL” he had told Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti he would get back in the game to play with the two-season quarterback.
“I told [Ravens Owner] Steve [Bisciotti] the other night in the box, ‘You know I still got two quarters in me. I can come play with LJ [Lamar Jackson],’” Lewis said.
Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis’ historic hitless streak was laid to rest on April 13, 2019, after he smacked a two-RBI single off of Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello at Fenway Park! He ended a brutal string of 54 hitless at-bats that stretched back to September 14th of 2018.
Players in the Orioles dugout gave Davis a rousing ovation after the hit as he stood smiling on first base, and the Boston crowd also gave him a warm reception. To celebrate the moment himself, he even asked to keep the baseball.
Davis had surpassed the record held by former Los Angeles Dodgers utilityman Eugenio Velez (46 ABs) set back in 2011.
Michael Jordan’s 80-foot yacht was spotted in Ocean City, Maryland, ahead of the White Marlin Open back in August!
Jordan’s Viking yacht called the “Catch 23” was spotted in Ocean City’s Sunset Marina. He was photographed in Ocean City during the tournament according to local media reports.
Former Ravens fullback Le’Ron McClain took to Twitter this year to plead for help dealing with head and brain troubles he said have resulted from playing football.
McClain said his brain is tired and he needs to get his “head checked.”
“Need to tell my story of how my head is crazy and how football did it,” McClain wrote. “Please someone help me get this out the @NFL puts paperwork in out (sic) faces and thats it.”
Reports show an increasing number of retired NFL players who have suffered repetitive hits to the head have developed memory and cognitive issues such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, depression and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
After having Justin Tucker experiment with a new type of kickoff earlier this year, the Ravens won’t be allowed to utilize the new kick anymore, and that’s because it has been deemed illegal by the NFL.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh raised some eyebrows back in Week 3 when he sent Tucker out in a clear onside kick situation during Baltimore’s game against Kansas City. With 2:01 left to play, and the Ravens trailing 33-28, the Chiefs thought an onside kick was coming, but instead, Tucker hit them with a surprise dropkick.
It was a smart strategy, but you won’t be seeing it ever again, and that’s because the NFL has banned it. In an interview, Harbaugh explained that the league office let him know that the Ravens will no longer be allowed to use the kick, even though the team had been cleared to use it against the Chiefs.
The Baltimore Orioles earned their fifth win of the season against the Oakland Athletics in early April. The team won 12-4, and in the midst of it all, Chris Davis set a new record for consecutive hitless at-bats.
The problem was, a very small contingent of fans were in attendance to witness either of those events.
According to the Orioles’ website, the announced crowd of 6,585 is the lowest announced attendance for any game in Camden Yards history in which fans were admitted to the stadium.
To be fair to Orioles fans, the game was scheduled for a 7:05 start with the threat of rain in the forecast beginning at 8 p.m. in the Baltimore area. And, it was a Monday night following a weekend sweep at the hands of the division-rival Yankees.
The San Francisco 49ers suspended radio analyst Tim Ryan for saying Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson was adept at carrying out fakes because of his “dark skin color with a dark football.”
Ryan made the comments in an interview on the 49ers’ flagship radio station KNBR when describing Jackson’s ability to fake handoffs and keep the ball on runs that hurt San Francisco in a 20-17 loss to the Ravens.
“He’s really good at that fake, Lamar Jackson, but when you consider his dark skin color with a dark football with a dark uniform, you could not see that thing,” Ryan said on air. “I mean you literally could not see when he was in and out of the mesh point.”
Models Julia Rose and Lauren Summer were banned from attending any Major League Baseball games after they flashed Houston Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole during Game 5 of the World Series at Nationals Park in Washington DC.
Rose tweeted “guilty as charged” after another Twitter user shared a video of the pair flashing Cole a couple of hours after she tweeted a photo of a letter she received from the MLB banning her for life.
Summer tweeted, “Whoops!”
The women were wearing yellow t-shirts behind home plate when the flashed Cole during the bottom of the seventh inning.
Frank Robinson, a former Baltimore Oriole and Hall of Famer, died at the age of 83 on February 7.
He was the first player to win MVP awards in both leagues and the first African-American manager in MLB. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a Baltimore Oriole in 1982. Robinson was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor given to civilians in the United States, by President George W. Bush in 2005.
Just call Lamar Jackson Santa Claus — in addition to MVP!
Jackson bought the entire Ravens offensive line Rolex watches.
The Ravens tweeted about the gift Tuesday.