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In this Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017, photo Skip Horween, president of Horween Leather Co., poses for a portrait at the factory in Chicago. Horween represents the fourth generation of immigrants from Ukraine who opened a Chicago tannery in 1905 and would come to provide the leather for NFL game balls used today, including the Super Bowl LI ball. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
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  • In this Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017, photo Skip Horween, president of Horween Leather Co., poses for a portrait at the factory in Chicago. Horween represents the fourth generation of immigrants from Ukraine who opened a Chicago tannery in 1905 and would come to provide the leather for NFL game balls used today, including the Super Bowl LI ball. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    Long, storied history behind the footballs of the NFL

    Skip Horween’s great-grandmother wanted nothing to do with football. In fact, her two sons were so petrified she would find out they were messing around with the barbaric-looking game that they decided to play under assumed names. That’s how it came to be that Arnold and Ralph “McMahon,” both standouts on the Harvard football team […]
  • FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2016, file photo, St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina hits a two-run double against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning of a baseball game in Chicago. Molina has been the face of the Cardinals for more than a decade. However, as the catcher prepares to turn 35 this season, there appears to be a difference of opinion in the St. Louis organization about how much to play the eight-time Gold Glove winner, who could potentially leave St. Louis following this season.  (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

    Cardinals debating resting Molina more behind the plate

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — The offseason discussion surrounding Yadier Molina has long centered on whether the St. Louis catcher should rest more during the season. After Molina played in a career-high 147 games last year, that consideration is in the forefront more than ever for the 34-year-old winner of eight Gold Gloves. So is the […]
  • FILE - In this April 8, 2015, file photo, Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Greg Holland (56) throws during a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. A person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press that reliever Greg Holland has agreed to a contract with the Colorado Rockies The deal is pending a physical, the person said Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017, speaking on condition of anonymity because the agreement was not announced. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)

    Person familiar with deal: Holland, Rockies strike $7M deal

    The Colorado Rockies were in need of another arm to shore up a beleaguered bullpen. Greg Holland just wanted a chance as he comes back from elbow reconstruction surgery. Maybe, this could be a great save for both. The right-hander agreed to a $7 million, one-year contract with the Rockies, a person familiar with the […]
  • FILE - This Dec. 29, 2016 file photo shows Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh speaking during a news conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Before the NCAA's ban of spring break sports trips goes into effect, Harbaugh is taking his team to Rome, Italy. The Wolverines will hold three spring practices at the training facility of soccer club AS Roma. Michigan did not announce on Monday, Jan. 23, 2017 the exact dates of the trip, but said in a release it would take place "after finals toward the end of winter semester in April." (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier, file)

    Michigan paying 3 on Harbaugh’s staff $1 million per year

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan is committed to paying Jim Harbaugh’s top three assistants $1 million each per year. Defensive coordinator Don Brown and offensive coordinator Tim Drevno have been retained with contracts worth more than $10 million combined over the next five years. Passing coordinator Pep Hamilton was lured away from the Cleveland […]
  • Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger leaves the field after the AFC championship NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. The Patriots won 36-17 to advance to the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

    Tomlin not alarmed as Roethlisberger ponders future

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — As a general philosophy, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin treats each individual season as its own unique entity, with no direct through line from one to the next. Considering his quarterback’s current state of mind, probably a good idea. While Tomlin believes the Steelers have a “championship caliber” team a couple days […]
  • In this Aug. 29, 2016, file photo, Detroit Tigers catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia watches his two-run homerun during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox in Detroit. A person with knowledge of the negotiations said Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017, that the Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to a minor league contract with free agent catcher Saltalamacchia. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

    AP source: Saltalamacchia, Blue Jays agree to deal

    TORONTO (AP) — A person with knowledge of the negotiations says the Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to a minor league contract with free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the agreement is subject to a successful physical and Toronto had not made an announcement. Saltalamacchia would get […]
  • FILE - In this July 7, 2016, file photo, Houston Astros third baseman Luis Valbuena (18) fields a ball hit by the Oakland Athletics Khris Davis in the fourth inning of a baseball game in Houston. Valbuena and the Los Angeles Angels have completed a $15 million, two-year contract on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. Valbuena spent the past two seasons with the Houston Astros, batting .260 last year with 13 homers and 40 RBIs despite missing the final two months of the season with a hamstring injury. (AP Photo/George Bridges, File)

    Luis Valbuena finalizes $15 million, 2-year deal with Angels

    ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Luis Valbuena fills several needs and opens up several possibilities for the Los Angeles Angels while they wait for Albert Pujols to get healthy. Valbuena and the Angels completed a $15 million, two-year contract Tuesday. The power-hitting corner infielder will play both positions for the Angels, who are coming off their […]
  • FILE - In this April 17, 2015, file photo, Colorado Rockies catcher Nick Hundley signals to starting pitcher Christian Friedrich during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles. The San Francisco Giants have agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract with Hundley to serve as Buster Posey's backup catcher. Hundley passed a physical and his deal was announced Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

    C Nick Hundley, Giants agree to $2 million, 1-year contract

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Nick Hundley agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract with the Giants on Tuesday to serve as Buster Posey’s backup catcher. Hundley passed a physical and his deal was announced. He batted .260 with 10 home runs and 48 RBIs in 83 games for Colorado last season, starting 77 games behind […]