Wednesday Jun 8, 2016

'Raging Bull' actress Theresa Saldana dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Theresa Saldana, the "Raging Bull" actress who survived a stalker's brutal attack to become a crime victim's advocate and reclaimed her entertainment career with "The Commish" and other TV shows, has died. She was 61. Saldana had been suffering from pneumonia and...
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TV

'Raging Bull' actress Theresa Saldana dies
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
'Raging Bull' actress Theresa Saldana dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Theresa Saldana, the "Raging Bull" actress who survived a stalker's brutal attack to become a crime victim's advocate and reclaimed her entertainment career with "The Commish" and other TV shows, has died. She was 61. Saldana had been suffering from pneumonia and died Monday at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to her longtime friend, Soorya Townley, who called the actress a "warm, caring person who always put others' needs before her own. Saldana co-starred in the 1991-96 drama "The Commish" as the supportive wife of Michael Chiklis' police commissioner. Her most notable big-screen role was opposite Joe Pesci in "Raging Bull," Martin Scorsese's 1980 film starring Robert De Niro. "I have such good memories of working with her on 'Raging Bull,' and I always admired the way that she handled the horrifying attack by a stalker — the good that she made of it," Scorsese said. "She was a wonderful actress and a fine human being." In 1982, Saldana was repeatedly stabbed by an obsessed man in front of her West Hollywood apartment. The attack was stopped by a then-water deliveryman, Jeff Fenn, who held the man for police. Scottish drifter Arthur Jackson served more than a decade in prison for the crime before he was extradited to Great Britain to face charges in a case there. Saldana, who endured a prolonged hospitalization, was both physically and mentally scarred and received treatment for both problems. She went on to found a support and lobbying group, Victims for Victims, and played herself in the 1984 TV movie "Victims For Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story." She also wrote "Beyond Survival," a memoir. In a 1992 interview with The Associated Press, Saldana said her recovery was long in coming but complete. "It's been a decade and it's over now, finally," she said. "If someone brings it up I remember, but I don't think about it all the time. It's certainly not a formidable part of my life anymore. I'm happy and excited. I'm doing really well." She and actor Phil Peters, who had a recurring role on "The Commish" as police Sgt. William Frawley, married in 1989 and had a daughter, Tianna. Saldana was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1954 and was adopted at five days by an Italian-Puerto Rican family. Her first film appearances came in 1978 with "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and "Nunzio." Other movie credits included "Defiance," ''The Evil That Men Do" and "Gang Warz." Her TV credits included "T.J. Hooker" and "Matlock" in the early and mid-1980s, "Diagnosis Murder" in the '90s and "The Bernie Mac Show" in 2003. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Lynn Elber from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Watch: 'Marco Polo' Season 2 trailer
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
Watch: 'Marco Polo' Season 2 trailer

Lorenzo Richelmy returns as the title character and explorer of the Mongolian Empire in a first trailer for July 2016's second season of "Marco Polo" on Netflix.The two-minute reel sets expectations for a 10-episode season due to drop July 1, with Marco Polo conscripted into the order of the Mongol Knights as the Empire's violent growth faces new challenges. Benedict Wong of "The Martian" and "Prometheus" returns as Kublai Khan in a cast that includes Olivia Cheng, Jean Chen, Zhy Zhu, Mahesh Jadu, Michelle Yeoh, Rick Yune and Uli Latukefu. Marco Polo Season 2 trailer: youtu.be/OXfgvcJ5T8E, facebook.com/MarcoPoloMP/videos/1044389592295431 Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Video consumes vast majority of US data traffic: report
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
Video consumes vast majority of US data traffic: report

PriceWaterhouseCoopers' "Global entertainment and media outlook 2016-2020" study estimates that online video consumed 82.1% of data traffic in the USA for 2015.Film, TV/video, music, internet advertising, and video games will change in the most impactful way over the period 2016 to 2020, said PwC. Event cinema, video game adaptations, local-language content will impact film, while China will become the world's top movie market in 2017; in TV, online delivery is "the new normal," with online home video already bigger than the box office. Live music experiences will continue to increase in importance, with digital streaming the predominant form of consumption and subscription services accounting for 80% of industry revenue. Virtual reality was identified as an "exciting area of growth" within video games, and competitive gaming, known as eSports, will benefit from increased local awareness in the US. For advertisers, mobile is of the most interest, with paid search and online video internet advertising to grow rapidly, as long as the challenges of transparency, ad fraud and privacy can be adequately dealt with. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

A summer bounty of TV drama, comedies and even a 'Hamilton'
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
A summer bounty of TV drama, comedies and even a 'Hamilton'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Summer travel packing list: swimsuit, sunblock, television. In this portable TV era, there's no reason to leave small-screen entertainment at home when cable channels, streaming services and networks are eager to keep you connected online with top-notch fare from, among others, Oscar-owning filmmakers. So hit the road with your smartphone, laptop or tablet — or, heck, stay put in front of an actual TV set — and check out this steamy-weather menu of hot picks (all times EDT). — "BrainDead," CBS, 10 p.m. Monday, June 13. A different political show from "The Good Wife" creators Robert and Michelle King, with Washington beset by brain-eating bugs and a bipartisan coalition out to stop them. Tony Shalhoub and Broadway and TV "Grease" heartthrob Aaron Tveit are among the comic thriller's stars. — "Animal Kingdom," TNT, 9 p.m. Monday, June 14. A teenager (Finn Cole) loses his mother to a heroin overdose and gains a violent family that includes a tough matriarch (Ellen Barkin) and her offspring in the drama series based on the Australian movie of the same name. — "Raised by Wolves," Acorn TV streaming service, Monday, June 20. A bluntly funny take on the lives of an unconventional single mother and her six home-schooled kids from writers Caitlin and Caroline Moran, sisters who lived a version of the comedy series. — "Queen of the South," USA, 10 p.m. Thursday, June 23. Drawn from the best-selling novel "La Reina Del Sur," which already spawned a hit telenovela, the drama stars Alice Braga ("I Am Legend") as a woman on the run in the U.S. from a drug trafficking ring after her boyfriend's murder. —"Dancing On the Edge," PBS, 8 p.m. Sunday, June 26. An eight-part drama about a black jazz band that finds success and tragedy in 1930s London. Chiwetel Ejiofor ("12 Years A Slave") and Matthew Goode (aka Lady Mary's squeeze in "Downton Abbey") are part of the cast. — "Alexander Hamilton," History Channel, 9 p.m. Sunday, June 26. Finding tickets to the Broadway hit musical "Hamilton" too pricey? This two-hour documentary detailing his national legacy may leave you singing the founding father's praises. — "Roadies," Showtime, 10 p.m. Sunday, June 26. Rock stars ruled in filmmaker Cameron Crowe's Oscar-winning "Almost Famous," but it's the crew members who shine in the comedy series written and directed by Crowe. Luke Wilson, Carla Gugino and Keisha Castle-Hughes are part of the ensemble cast. — "Hello World!" Discovery Channel, 8 p.m. Saturday, July 9. The family friendly series enlists the narration and tunes of Christina Aguilera, Usher, Joan Jett and others to educate us about wild animals and their habitats. — "The Night Of," HBO, 9 p.m. Sunday, July 10. A start-to-finish murder case as created by one Oscar-winning writer, Steven Zaillian ("Schindler's List") and one Oscar-nominated one, Richard Price ("The Color of Money"), with an assist from Peter Moffat, whose original U.K. series it's adapted from. John Turturro, Riz Ahmed star. — "The A Word," SundanceTV, 10 p.m. Wednesday, July 13. Both autism and adultery figure in this series, described as both thoughtful and humorous, about a 5-year-old boy and his extended family. — "The Get Down," Netflix, Friday, Aug. 12. New York circa 1970s is the setting for this music-saturated drama about South Bronx teenagers in a harsh and changing world. Extravagant filmmaker Baz Luhrmann ("Moulin Rouge!") directed and produced the series with young actors (Justice Smith, Shameik Moore) and veterans (Jimmy Smits, Giancarlo Esposito). ___ Lynn Elber can be reached at lelber@ap.org and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Lynn Elber from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Lawsuit: Ellen DeGeneres mocked woman's name for breast joke
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
Lawsuit: Ellen DeGeneres mocked woman's name for breast joke

MACON, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia real estate agent is suing the producer of the "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," claiming the comedian mispronounced her name to make a joke about breasts. Titi (TEE'-tee) Pierce alleges in the lawsuit filed against Warner Bros. last week that DeGeneres displayed one of Pierce's real estate signs during the Feb. 22 show that was rerun April 15. It says DeGeneres led into the joke about Pierce's name after showing a sign for the unrelated Nipple Convalescent Home. The suit also says the sign included Pierce's cellphone number and she was subjected to "ridiculing and harassing" phone calls. The suit claims invasion of privacy, defamation and emotional distress. It seeks unspecified monetary damages. Warner Bros. declined to comment on the suit. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Movies

'Raging Bull' actress Theresa Saldana dies
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
'Raging Bull' actress Theresa Saldana dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Theresa Saldana, the "Raging Bull" actress who survived a stalker's brutal attack to become a crime victim's advocate and reclaimed her entertainment career with "The Commish" and other TV shows, has died. She was 61. Saldana had been suffering from pneumonia and died Monday at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to her longtime friend, Soorya Townley, who called the actress a "warm, caring person who always put others' needs before her own. Saldana co-starred in the 1991-96 drama "The Commish" as the supportive wife of Michael Chiklis' police commissioner. Her most notable big-screen role was opposite Joe Pesci in "Raging Bull," Martin Scorsese's 1980 film starring Robert De Niro. "I have such good memories of working with her on 'Raging Bull,' and I always admired the way that she handled the horrifying attack by a stalker — the good that she made of it," Scorsese said. "She was a wonderful actress and a fine human being." In 1982, Saldana was repeatedly stabbed by an obsessed man in front of her West Hollywood apartment. The attack was stopped by a then-water deliveryman, Jeff Fenn, who held the man for police. Scottish drifter Arthur Jackson served more than a decade in prison for the crime before he was extradited to Great Britain to face charges in a case there. Saldana, who endured a prolonged hospitalization, was both physically and mentally scarred and received treatment for both problems. She went on to found a support and lobbying group, Victims for Victims, and played herself in the 1984 TV movie "Victims For Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story." She also wrote "Beyond Survival," a memoir. In a 1992 interview with The Associated Press, Saldana said her recovery was long in coming but complete. "It's been a decade and it's over now, finally," she said. "If someone brings it up I remember, but I don't think about it all the time. It's certainly not a formidable part of my life anymore. I'm happy and excited. I'm doing really well." She and actor Phil Peters, who had a recurring role on "The Commish" as police Sgt. William Frawley, married in 1989 and had a daughter, Tianna. Saldana was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1954 and was adopted at five days by an Italian-Puerto Rican family. Her first film appearances came in 1978 with "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and "Nunzio." Other movie credits included "Defiance," ''The Evil That Men Do" and "Gang Warz." Her TV credits included "T.J. Hooker" and "Matlock" in the early and mid-1980s, "Diagnosis Murder" in the '90s and "The Bernie Mac Show" in 2003. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Lynn Elber from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Video consumes vast majority of US data traffic: report
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
Video consumes vast majority of US data traffic: report

PriceWaterhouseCoopers' "Global entertainment and media outlook 2016-2020" study estimates that online video consumed 82.1% of data traffic in the USA for 2015.Film, TV/video, music, internet advertising, and video games will change in the most impactful way over the period 2016 to 2020, said PwC. Event cinema, video game adaptations, local-language content will impact film, while China will become the world's top movie market in 2017; in TV, online delivery is "the new normal," with online home video already bigger than the box office. Live music experiences will continue to increase in importance, with digital streaming the predominant form of consumption and subscription services accounting for 80% of industry revenue. Virtual reality was identified as an "exciting area of growth" within video games, and competitive gaming, known as eSports, will benefit from increased local awareness in the US. For advertisers, mobile is of the most interest, with paid search and online video internet advertising to grow rapidly, as long as the challenges of transparency, ad fraud and privacy can be adequately dealt with. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

'Suicide Squad' hits PG-13 target
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
'Suicide Squad' hits PG-13 target

August anti-hero movie "Suicide Squad" has nailed its anticipated PG-13 rating for US cinemas, even after February's "Deadpool" became a blockbuster with its rare R-rating.The Warner Bros movie has a host of DC Comics super villains recruited by a secret government agency; they'll be set free should they manage to somehow complete and survive their suicide mission. Jared Leto is the newest incarnation of The Joker, with cast members also including Will Smith (Deadshot), Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje (Killer Croc) and Cara Delevingne (Enchantress); Ben Affleck is also set to appear as Batman, and Viola Davis as the crew's agency boss. While "Deadpool" romped to a $772m box office on the back of a rare superhero movie R-rating -- 2008's "Punisher: War Zone" developed a noteworthy following only after its time in theaters had drawn to a close -- and "Batman v. Superman" being prepared for an R-rated Ultimate Edition on DVD from June 28, there was some speculation that "Suicide Squad" might go the same route. But the PG-13 rating enables Warner's August tentpole to reach as wide an audience as possible, establishing a stronger platform for more movies further down the line. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Harry Potter play gets rave reviews
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
Harry Potter play gets rave reviews

Harry Potter's stage debut got a standing ovation from a packed theatre audience in a new London play that imagines the fictional boy wizard as a grown-up father of three, British media reported on Wednesday."Judging by the whooping and cheering, nobody was disappointed," Clare Fitzimons wrote in The Mirror after the first showing of "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" at the Palace Theatre. "It was phenomenal, it really was. It lived up to all the hype," said one fan interviewed by the BBC, while another in a Potter-style cape said: "This completely blew me away. J. K. Rowling did an amazing job." Potter creator Rowling made a special request for fans to keep the plot secret and the 1,500 audience members were handed badges reading "#KeepTheSecrets". "The storyline, a hymn to friendship and teenage misfits, contains enough twists to please the most knowledgeable of fans," Hannah Furness wrote in The Daily Telegraph. "Any fears that the world of Hogwarts on stage would struggle to compete with the multimillion-dollar special effects of film were quickly kicked into touch". "Has Rowling done it again? The audience was in no doubt," she wrote. The plot for the play reads: "While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. "As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places," it said. The show officially opens on July 30 and is set to be published as a book on July 31, which is Rowling's and Harry Potter's birthday. Rowling's books have sold more than 450 million copies since 1997 and been adapted into eight films. The show is written by English screenwriter and playwright Jack Thorne, based on an original story co-written with Rowling and the play's director John Tiffany. Given the millions of fans around the world, the decision to move the characters on two decades was seen as risky. Like many of his fans, Potter has now grown up in the play and has three children with his wife Ginny Weasley, the sister of his friend Ron. He is working at the Ministry of Magic. He still has his trademark round-rimmed glasses and the scar on his head, a permanent reminder of his nemesis Lord Voldemort, but must now help his youngest son Albus confront the family's dark past. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

'Jason Bourne' movie issues explosive TV spot
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
'Jason Bourne' movie issues explosive TV spot

A 30-second clip for July's fifth entry to the Bourne franchise promises an all-action movie whose plot calls rogue agent Jason Bourne out of the shadows one more time.Matt Damon returns as Jason Bourne, with Julia Stiles as Nicky Parsons who, having been his agency handler at one point, lets him know that the secretive training programs he sought to dismantle have returned with a vengeance. Fortunately for fans of the franchise, so has Bourne himself, and this time he's got an advantage -- "I know everything," says the former amnesiac. Some viewers feel that they too now know too much, identifying what could be a potential spoiler halfway through the clip. Also involved in the film are Tommy Lee Jones ("Captain America: Civil War"), Alicia Vikander ("Ex Machina"), Ato Essandoh ("Django Unchained"), Riz Ahmed ("Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"), and Vincent Cassel ("Black Swan.") "Jason Bourne" starts its international rollout the week of July 29, 2016, including territories such as the USA, Canada, the UK and Ireland, Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Singapore. Japanese showings commence from October 7. Jason Bourne TV spot: youtu.be/ApNnmNNvW8o, twitter.com/jasonbourne/status/740236183569997824, facebook.com/TheBourneSeries/videos/1219039824802806 Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Events

Bolshoi Ballet returns to London as part of 'Diamond Jubilee' celebrations
Monday Jul 25, 2016
Bolshoi Ballet returns to London as part of 'Diamond Jubilee' celebrations

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Bolshoi Theatre's first foreign appearance in London, the ballet company is returning to the Royal Opera House for a "diamond jubilee" guest tour from July 25 through August 13, 2016.Under the guidance of new Artistic Director Makhar Vaziev, previously of the La Scala and Mariinsky Ballets, the Bolshoi Theatre will celebrate 60 years since it first performed abroad. In 1956, the Russian company first performed in front of a foreign audience at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garde, London. Despite the tension of the Cold War, and near-cancellation just three days before the opening night, the month-long tour went ahead and was a monumental event in the history of dance due to the Russian dancers' superior and ground-breaking technique. Performances included "Swan Lake," and "The Fountain of Bakhchisarai." The Etoile dancer Galina Ulanova was a particular highlight in "Romeo and Juliet" and "Giselle," contributing to her reputation as one of the greatest ballerinas of the 20th century.  Best of the Bolshoi The three-week tour will be composed of performances of five of the most internationally famous ballets. Fadeyechev's recently-restaged "Don Quixote" by Marius Petipa and Ludwig Minkus will open the tour on July 25, starring the Russian soloist dancers Ekaterina Krysanova and Andrei Merkuriev. The dance company originally debuted the ballet in 1869. Perhaps the most famous ballet in the world, Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" returns with principal dancer Svetlana Zakharova. Former director of the Bolshoi, the 89-year-old Yuri Grigorovich, created the choreography. A nod to Shakespeare's 400th birthday year celebrations, "The Taming of the Shrew" will star the prima ballerina Olga Smirnova and Artemy Belyakov. The choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot was awarded a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters award in 2015 for his contribution to dance. "The Flames of Paris" -- with Maria Alexandrova -- features "one of the most stunning pas de deux in the ballet repertoire" according to the Royal Opera House. Alexei Ratmansky's revival of Vainonen's ballet was first premiered in London 2013. The Bolshoi Ballet Diamond Jubilee tour will close with performances of a reworked version of Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges' "Le Corsaire" August 11-12, starring Anna Tikhomirova and Anna Nikulina. www.roh.org.uk Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong'o join 'Black Panther'
Monday Jul 25, 2016
Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong'o join 'Black Panther'

Marvel's 2018 "Black Panther" movie fleshed out an exciting principal cast at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con, with "The Walking Dead" lead Danai Gurira newly installed, while Lupita Nyong'o was confirmed alongside another early tip, Michael B. Jordan.Having stepped on board AMC's "The Walking Dead" for its third season in 2012, Danai Gurira has since become an essential member of the show and, as Michonne, becoming its lead actress by 2016's season six. Gurira emerged on screen with a co-starring role in "The Visitor" -- a 2009 Independent Spirit Award winner for director Tom McCarthy, who this year collected an Academy Award for "Spotlight." She followed up with appearances in New Orleans-set "Treme" (co-created by David Simon of "The Wire"), was critically acclaimed for Brooklyn drama "Mother of George," and has agreed to play the mother of US rapper Tupac Shakur in upcoming biopic "All Eyez On Me." Joining the cast of February 2018 superhero film "Black Panther" on stage at Marvel's panel during the San Diego Comic-Con on July 23, Gurira is part of a production that has Chadwick Boseman as its lead. With Boseman previously installed as T'Challa, the Black Panther, Marvel confirmed the other principal cast members and their roles. Michael B. Jordan, already familiar with director Ryan Coogler from "Fruitvale Station" and 2015 "Rocky" successor "Creed," will play Black Panther's enemy Erik Killmonger. Danai is to become Okoye, commanding the protagonist's personal body guard, and Lupita N'yongo -- an Oscar winner with "12 Years a Slave" and later of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and "The Jungle Book" -- plays Nakia, whose comic book history means she could be an ally, an enemy, or perhaps both. "Black Panther" is scheduled for release on February 16, 2018, making it the sixth of ten features dated as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Phase Three. That current phase commenced with "Captain America: Civil War" in May, with Boseman making his MCU debut, and "Black Panther" arrives just three months before its next big ensemble picture, "Avengers: Infinity War - Part 1," in May of the same year. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza inducted into Hall of Fame
Sunday Jul 24, 2016
Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza inducted into Hall of Fame

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Two players who began their careers at opposite ends of the spectrum nearly three decades ago ended up in the same place on Sunday — with their names etched on plaques at the Baseball Hall of Fame. For Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza, the culmination of their long journeys was tinged with tears all around. "I stand up here humbled and overwhelmed," Griffey said, staring out at his family and tens of thousands of fans. "I can't describe how it feels." The two became a piece of history on their special day. Griffey, the first pick of the 1987 amateur draft, became the highest pick ever inducted. Piazza, a 62nd-round pick the next year —No. 1,390 — is the lowest pick to enter the Hall of Fame. Griffey played 22 big-league seasons with the Mariners, Reds and White Sox and was selected on a record 99.32 percent of ballots cast, an affirmation of sorts for his clean performance during baseball's so-called Steroids Era. A 13-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove Award winner in center field, Griffey hit 630 home runs, sixth all-time, and drove in 1,836 runs. He also was the American League MVP in 1997, drove in at least 100 runs in eight seasons, and won seven Silver Slugger Awards. Griffey, who fell just three votes shy of being the first unanimous selection, hit 417 of his 630 homers and won all 10 of his Gold Gloves with the Seattle Mariners. He played the first 11 seasons of his career with the Mariners and led them to the playoffs for the first two times in franchise history. "Thirteen years with the Seattle Mariners, from the day I got drafted, Seattle, Washington, has been a big part of my life," Griffey said, punctuating the end of his speech by putting a baseball cap on backward as he did throughout his career. "I'm going to leave you with one thing. In 22 years I learned that one team will treat you the best, and that's your first team. I'm damn proud to be a Seattle Mariner." Dubbed "The Natural" for his effortless excellence at the plate and in center field, Griffey avoided the Hall of Fame until his special weekend because he wanted his first walk through the front doors of the stately building on Main Street to be with his kids, whom he singled out one by one in his 20-minute speech. "There are two misconceptions about me — I didn't work hard and everything I did I made look easy," Griffey said. "Just because I made it look easy doesn't mean that it was. You don't become a Hall of Famer by not working, but working day in and day out." Griffey's mom, Birdie, and his father, former Cincinnati Reds star Ken Sr., both cancer survivors and integral to his rise to stardom, were front and center in the first row. "To my dad, who taught me how to play this game and to my mom, the strongest woman I know," Junior said. "To have to be mom and dad, she was our biggest fan and our biggest critic. She's the only woman I know that lives in one house and runs five others." Selected in the draft by the Dodgers after Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda, a close friend of Piazza'a father, Vince, put in a good word, Piazza struggled. He briefly quit the game while in the minor leagues, returned and persevered despite a heavy workload as he switched from first base to catcher and teammates criticized his erratic play. Mom and dad were foremost on his mind, too. "Dad always dreamed of playing in the major leagues," said Piazza, just the second Hall of Famer depicted on his plaque wearing a Mets cap, after Tom Seaver in 1992. "He could not follow that dream because of the realities of life. My father's faith in me, often greater than my own, is the single most important factor of me being inducted into this Hall of Fame. Thank you dad. We made it, dad. The race is over. Now it's time to smell the roses." Piazza played 16 years with the Dodgers, Marlins, Mets, Padres and Athletics and hit 427 home runs, including a major league record 396 as a catcher. A 12-time All-Star, Piazza won 10 Silver Slugger Awards and finished in the top five of his league's MVP voting four times. Perhaps even more impressive, Piazza, a .308 career hitter, posted six seasons with at least 30 home runs, 100 RBIs and a .300 batting average (all other catchers in baseball history combined have posted nine such seasons). Though the Dodgers gave him his start, Piazza found a home in New York when he was traded to the Mets in May 1998. Three years later, he became a hero to the hometown fans with perhaps the most notable home run of his career. His two-run shot in the eighth inning at Shea Stadium lifted the Mets to a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves in the first sporting event played in New York after the 9/11 terror attacks. Piazza paid tribute to that moment. "To witness the darkest evil of the human heart ... will be forever burned in my soul," Piazza said. "But from tragedy and sorrow came bravery, love, compassion, character and eventual healing. "Many of you give me praise for the two-run home run in the first game back on Sept. 21st, but the true praise belongs to police, firefighters, first responders that knew that they were going to die, but went forward anyway. I pray that we never forget their sacrifice." Attendance was estimated at around 50,000 by the Hall of Fame, tying 1999 for second-most all time. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by John Kekis from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Ken Griffey Jr. inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame
Sunday Jul 24, 2016
Ken Griffey Jr. inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Ken Griffey Jr. has been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Griffey, the first No. 1 draft pick to be selected for enshrinement, played 22 big-league seasons with the Mariners, Reds and White Sox and was selected on a record 99.32 percent of ballots cast, an affirmation of sorts for his clean performance during baseball's so-called Steroids Era. A 13-time All-Star selection and 10-time Gold Glove Award winner, Griffey hit 630 home runs, sixth all-time, and drove in 1,836 runs. Griffey also was the American League MVP in 1997, drove in at least 100 runs in eight seasons, and won seven Silver Slugger Awards. In the 1995 ALDS, he became just the second player in major league history to hit five home runs in a postseason series. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Former police officer Clare Mackintosh wins Crime Novel of the Year Award
Friday Jul 22, 2016
Former police officer Clare Mackintosh wins Crime Novel of the Year Award

Mackintosh's debut novel "I Let You Go" has been awarded the prestigious Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award at the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival in northern England, running July 21-24.From police officer to novelist After working for the police for 12 years, Clare Mackintosh left her job to become a freelance writer in 2011. Her manuscript for "I Let You Go" was picked up by Little, Brown in 2013. An immediate success, the debut novel was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller for 12 weeks, selling over half a million copies with translations in nearly 30 languages. The novel draws on experiences from Mackintosh's personal and professional life. A second crime novel, "I See You" is due to be published in hardcover on July 28, then as a paperback in 2017. The 2016 Crime Novel of the Year Award Mackintosh's "I let You Go" successfully beat off fellow shortlisted novels "Time Of Death" by Mark Billingham, "Tell No Tales" by Eva Dolan, "Disclaimer" by Renee Knight, "Rain Dogs" by Adrian McKinty and"Career Of Evil" by Robert Galbraith -- the pen name of "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling. The annual prize is awarded to novels published in paperback any time during the previous year. Previous winners include Lee Child ("61 Hours"), Mark Billingham ("Lazy Bones") and Denise Mina ("The End of the Wasp Season", "Gods and Beasts") Mackintosh came away with a check for £3000 (around USD$3900) and the traditional engraved oak beer cask made by Theakston Old Peculier, sponsors of the event. Author Val McDermid -- a founder of the festival -- was also honored, receiving an outstanding contribution award. McDermid sees the publication of her 30th novel later this year. Crime Writing Festival The Harrogate Crime Writing Festival, officially The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, is the world's largest celebration of the crime writing genre. The summer festival consists of seminars and workshops, such as "How To Write a WhyDunnit" and " Psyche your Character," as well as panels, interviews and special guests.  www.claremackintosh.com www.oldpeculiercrimefestival.co.uk Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.