Don Larsen's perfect uniform to be auctioned off

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Don Larsen's perfect uniform to be auctioned off

From Comcast SportsNetLITTLE FALLS, N.J. (AP) -- Don Larsen has the perfect way to pay for his grandchildren to finish college.The 82-year-old former Yankees pitcher will auction off the pinstriped uniform he wore 56 years ago Monday when he threw the only perfect game in the World Series."I've been thinking about it for a bit," Larsen said. "I'm not getting any younger and I don't know how much longer I'll be around. I want to make sure they can both go to college, which isn't cheap these days."So, I figured it was the right time."One of Larsen's grandkids is in college and the other is a freshman in high school.On the anniversary of Larsen's greatest day as a pitcher, Steiner Sports Memorabilia announced it will auction off the famed uniform. Larsen was joined at the news conference by his catcher, Yogi Berra, at the Hall of Famer's museum and learning center at Montclair State University.Larsen, who has kept the jersey in a closet in Idaho, was asked if he could fathom that his uniform could draw more in an auction than he made in his career as a major leaguer."It wouldn't take much," Larsen said. "Because I didn't make much."A Babe Ruth jersey went for 4.4 million last year, so Steiner anticipates such a historic relic to draw at least seven figures."I had only worn it three times, but we were entitled to keep it," Larsen said. "I kept in my closet and it was in great condition."There was only one downside. Larsen's hat fell off when Berra jumped into his arms. It was never recovered."I was told it was picked up by some guy in New Jersey, then supposedly donated to the (Baseball) Hall of Fame," Larsen said. "Every picture I have of the day, my hat is gone."On Oct. 8, 1956, Larsen walked into Yankee Stadium for Game 5 of the World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers, having no idea he was about to create one of the most memorable moments in baseball history."It was a beautiful day and I felt great," Larsen said. "I didn't know whether or not I was going to pitch. I came to the stadium early and as usual, Moose Skowron and Hank Bauer were there early ahead of me. I got to my locker and saw a ball in my shoe. I guess (third base coach) Frankie Crosetti was told to put it there."At that point, Larsen knew he was tabbed by manager Casey Stengel to start Game 5 with the series tied."I looked at the ball and took a big swallow," Larsen said. "I said to myself, Don't screw this one up.' I'm just glad Casey had the faith in me to give me the ball."Larsen certainly did nothing wrong that fateful day, throwing the only perfect game in the World Series, helping the Yankees capture the 1956 World Series title. After the seven-game win, he earned the series MVP."He didn't shake me off once," Berra said. "He was throwing pretty hard and had a good breaking ball that day. Everything was working for him."Both pitcher and catcher remember it vividly, of course. Such an unforgettable moment on such an unforgettable day. The sentimentality, for sure, remains."Yogi and I are the only ones left from that game," Larsen said. "I'll never forget the day when I came to the Yankees. One of the things I knew, was that I was going to pitch to one of the greatest catchers ever. Yogi means as much to me today as he did then. As time goes on, it hasn't been forgotten and it will never be forgotten even after we're gone."Berra said that he never dreamed that memorabilia from his playing days would become so valuable."If I knew then what I know now," he said, "I would have saved all my uniforms instead of giving them back."And I had a lot of them."

Penn's only sack allowed last season got Carr hurt; 'That play sticks with me'

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Penn's only sack allowed last season got Carr hurt; 'That play sticks with me'

Donald Penn was nothing short of awesome last season. The veteran Raiders left tackle proved impenetrable, allowing just one sack and 27 quarterback pressures in 676 pass-blocking snaps.

He ranked high among the NFL’s best left tackles at 33, engulfed a career renaissance that began after joining the Raiders three years ago. Penn made the Pro Bowl. He was a vital piece of a 12-4 team that helped the Raiders reach the playoffs.

He hasn’t reveled much in that. Penn’s driven by opportunities missed, and one mishap that haunts him still.

Penn locked horns with Indianapolis linebacker Trent Cole off the left edge during a Week 16 contest against the Colts, and slipped as he was tracking his man away from the pocket. Penn’s feet got tangled and the big man fell. Cole remained upright, darted in and sacked quarterback Derek Carr.

It was Penn’s only sack allowed all season. And Carr got hurt. He suffered a broken fibula that ended his season and realistic hopes of a Raiders playoff run.

Nearly five months have passed since that fluke play. Carr is healthy and a full participant in the Raiders offseason program. The Raiders offensive line might be better after allowing a league-low 18 sacks last season.

There’s plenty to be excited about as the Raiders enter OTAs and a mandatory minicamp. Penn can’t help but lament that isolated incident when Carr went down.

“You have to be an athlete. You try not to think about it too much,” Penn said Tuesday. “You wish you could go back and get it back. I’ve taken that same set I don’t know how many times, on the same field and never just slipped out of nowhere. I’m not going to put it on myself. I should have been able to do something better. You know me, I’m never going to blame the slip for happening. I should have blocked him and held on to him and taken him down with me. That play sticks with me.”

That isn’t all bad. It fuels Penn to continue growing as a player, even at 34 coming off an excellent Pro Bowl season.

“I’m going to try to do what I can do better and make sure it never happens again,” Penn said. “I’ve never gotten a quarterback hurt in my life since I’ve been playing. That was a first. That’s something I take pride in. I’m going to try my hardest to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

Penn wants a different ending to this season. Last year the Raiders lost the AFC West crown and a shot to win the team’s first playoff game. Penn suffered a knee injury the following week that kept him from playing in the postseason.

The goal is to realize vast potential now that the Raiders offense is back healthy again.

“I’m all about karma and stuff like that,” Penn said. “Maybe (God is) trying to tell us that this is our year. We have to put in the work to get it. I know D.C. is happy, I’m dang sure happy to get him back. We’re growing and masterminding this offense trying to make it as explosive as possible.”

Mariners designate former Giants pitcher for assignment

Mariners designate former Giants pitcher for assignment

CHICAGO -- Chris Heston was hopeful a move to a new organization could give his career a jolt. It hasn't worked out that way.

The former Giant was designated for assignment on Wednesday by the Mariners, who earlier acquired an outfielder from the Astros and needed the roster spot. Heston was traded to Seattle at the winter meetings for a player to be named later. The Giants have not yet picked that player off a list the teams agreed to.

Heston had a 3.95 ERA as a starter for the Giants in 2015 and threw a no-hitter at Citi Field, but he had trouble transitioning to relief the next season and dealt with an injury in Triple-A. Needing a roster spot in December, the Giants traded him.

Heston started Sunday for Seattle and gave up six earned runs in three innings. He allowed five earned in two innings in his previous appearance.