DIED At age 67, former Red Sox reliever Dick (the Monster) Radatz, from head trauma after a fall at his Easton, Mass., home. In the early 1960s Radatz used his size--he was 6'5" and weighed 235 pounds--snarling mound demeanor and an overpowering fastball to become one of baseball's first dominant closers. (Radatz was given his nickname by Mickey Mantle, whom he struck out 12 times in 16 at bats.) Despite pitching for mostly inept teams, the two-time All-Star led the American League in saves in 1962, his rookie year, and again in '64; in his first three seasons in the majors he won or saved 118 of Boston's 224 victories. When Radatz began having control problems, he was traded to Cleveland during the 1966 season, and he retired three years later. Said former Red Sox southpaw Bill Lee last week, "He really was the model for scary relief pitchers to come."
ADVANCED To the finals of the PBA Banquet Open in Wyoming, Mich., Liz Johnson, the first woman to reach the championship round of a PBA event. After beating Wes Malott 235--228 in the semifinals, Johnson, 30, lost 219--192 to Tommy Jones in the finals, earning $20,000. In November, Johnson--who won 11 Professional Women's Bowling Association titles before that league folded in 2003--became the first woman to qualify for a PBA Tour event. Last week she won the last of four qualifying spots for the 64-player Banquet field, then became the first qualifier to survive until a PBA tournament's final day. "I made the big show," Johnson said. "I have to be proud of myself for that."
WON By Rimouski Oceanic center Sidney Crosby, 17, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League scoring title. Crosby finished the regular season with 168 points, 54 more than his runner-up. He joins Guy Lafleur and Mario Lemieux as the only players to lead the QMJHL, one of Canada's top junior leagues, by a 50-point margin. Crosby, who has been anointed hockey's next great star by Wayne Gretzky, faces an uncertain future. There will be no NHL entry draft this June if the league doesn't have a labor agreement. Crosby says he wants to play professionally next season but will not join the NHL if replacement players are used.
CLEARED By the Greek Athletics Federation, sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou, who were accused of faking a motorcycle accident to explain their absence from drug tests on the eve of the Athens Olympics. The federation ruled that Kenteris, the 200-meter gold medalist in 2000, and Thanou, who won silver in the 100 that year, had not been properly informed about the scheduled tests by their coach. The IAAF, which provisionally banned the athletes in December, said it will review the verdict. Said IAAF spokesman Nick Davies, "We're very surprised by the decision."
JOHN IACONO (RADATZ)