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. Times being what they were

SANTA CLARA, Calif. Gary Payton Jersey . -- Blake Costanzo had been keeping busy re-tiling his bathroom back home in New Jersey and doing regular yard work. He remained optimistic he would land himself a job, even as free agency lingered into its fourth month. The linebacker and special teams standout rejoined the San Francisco 49ers on Tuesday, signing 2 1/2 years after leaving the organization to play for the Chicago Bears. He signed a one-year contract for the veteran minimum of $855,000 for players with seven to nine years of experience. "The biggest thing is this stadium right behind here," Costanzo said of what has changed, looking toward $1.2 billion Levis Stadium. "There are a lot of new faces, but there are also a lot of guys I played with. Its a good opportunity to come out here and play some football again. I was doing too much yard work at home." The 30-year-old Costanzo played 16 games for Chicago last season and finished with nine tackles and a forced fumble while also contributing on special teams. After flying cross country Monday, Costanzo participated in Tuesdays organized team activity, and was one of the last players to return to the locker room after a session in the weight room. He said he spoke to a couple of other teams, but "the timing was right here." "This was a good opportunity for me to come here, compete and maybe help some younger guys they have on the roster," Costanzo said. "My only competition is myself. Im going to try to find a way, whatever it may be." Costanzo is also learning some new aspects of the playbook from special teams coach Brad Seely, who also coached him in Cleveland and brought him to the Bay Area for the turnaround 2011 season, coach Jim Harbaughs first year. "Blake was here with us a few years ago. Hes a great guy -- a guy who comes to work every day and a great team player," linebacker Patrick Willis said. "The guy is going to go out there on game day -- or even practice -- and gives it everything hes got. Were very fortunate to have a guy like that on our special teams. We lost some guys who had been some key special teams players for us, so to add Blake back is really going to help us out big time." San Francisco will count on the depth at linebacker that Costanzo helps provide given All-Pro NaVorro Bowman is recovering from a left knee injury sustained in the NFC championship game. Bowman could miss at least half the season. In addition, linebacker Aldon Smith might face a multiple-game suspension from the NFL for his off-field legal issues over the past two years. Last month, Smith pleaded no contest to three felony weapons charges and two misdemeanour counts of driving under the influence. He faces a sentence ranging from spending no time in custody to a maximum of four years and four months in jail. Smith is scheduled to be sentenced July 25, two days after the 49ers open training camp in Santa Clara. He left the facility Tuesday offering a thumbs-up. "For us, its not something we worry about. Hes out here working. Hes practicing every day," Willis said. "Hes working out every day. Hes been a great teammate. Thats our focus right now: worrying about the present. When that time comes, whatever is decided, thats what it will be. Well have to get better as a football team. If hes not out there, then as with last year, some of the guys will have to step into his place and play big time." Nose tackle Ian Williams believes he will be full strength or close to it by the start of training camp next month. A first-year starter, Williams 2013 season ended with a broken leg and torn ligaments in his left ankle in Week 2 at Seattle. He has had four surgeries since, the most recent in February to have a metal plate removed. "It took a lot out of me," Williams said. "Things happen for a reason. Im back, though, Im back." NOTES: Not on the field during team drills Tuesday: WRs Stevie Johnson, Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin, TE Vernon Davis and RG Alex Boone. The teams mandatory minicamp is June 17-19. ... New T Jonathan Martin worked out on the side and in the weight room as he recovers from mononucleosis. ... The Niners waived guard Al Netter on Tuesday. Enes Kanter Jersey . Cabrera is hitting .218 with three homers and 16 RBI in 80 games this season. The Padres recalled second baseman Brooks Conrad from Triple-A El Paso to replace Cabrera on the roster. Kevin Durant Jersey . With the win, the Marlies complete a three-game series sweep of the Admirals and move on to the second round of the Calder Cup playoffs. T.J. Brennan added an empty netter with less than 25 seconds remaining for his second of the playoffs.October 1st of 1980 wasnt a particularly special day in Blue Jays history. It was the final home game of the regular season at old Exhibition Stadium. The Jays were days away from wrapping up a 67-95 season. On this day, there were but 12,426 fans in the stands to watch the culmination of a fifth straight losing season. The fans on hand probably didnt even realize they were witnessing something special, something unique. Not the final score. Detroit out slugged the Blue Jays 11-7. So what was it about this game? Well it was the final start of the incredible, yet semi tragic career of Mark Fidrych. On this day the man-child they called the "Bird" went five innings giving up five runs, four of those earned. The Jays effectively ended his day by scoring four runs in the fifth. Ernie Whitt keying the rally with a three run homer, the last "Round Tripper" Fidrych would ever surrender. Fidrych gutted it out through that fifth inning and managed to get the win, to finish his season at (2-3). The starter for the Blue Jays that day was a 23-year-old Dave Stieb. He got torched for seven hits and six earned runs in just 2 1/3 innings and took the loss to fall to (12-15). Greatness was yet to come for Stieb who was in just his second season in the Majors, his first full campaign. For Fidrych, we were just left with memories and the lingering question of how great he might have been. Flash back to May 15th of 1976. The Tigers were home to Cleveland. Their scheduled starter that day had the flu. The manager, Ralph Houk "the Major" of Yankees fame, handed the ball to a 21-year-old long lanky right hander, who reminded a minor league coach of his at Lakeland of the legendary Sesame Street character "Big Bird". All Fidrych did was pitch a complete game two-hitter as he out-dueled Clevelands  Pat Dobson in a 2-1 Tigers victory. There were 14,583 people on hand for the game. Remember that number. There were some great Blue Jays and Canadian baseball connections in that game. Rusty Staub was in right field for Detroit. Alan Ashby, a Blue Jay a year later was catching for Cleveland and the two DHs - the Tigers Willie Horton and the Indians Rico Carty - played with the Jays as well. For Fidrych this was only the beginning of one of most magical seasons in baseball history. After losing his next start at Fenway in yet another complete game, 2-0 to the great Luis Tiant, Fidrych would go on to reel off seven straight victories He was more than just a pitcher though, he was a fun loving unassuming kid who just loved playing the game. He would talk to the ball and carefully groom the mound before every inning. He caught the baseball world by sttorm. Custom Oklahoma City Thunder Jerseys. . Fidrych appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated twice and was the first athlete ever to appear on the cover of "Rolling Stone" Magazine. In his first 13 starts, Fidrych worked an unbelievable 120 1/3 innings. If you do the math, thats over nine innings per start. How is that possible? Well three times over that span Houk let him go 11 innings. On June the 28th, he was featured in a Monday Night baseball national telecast, Fidrych beat the Yankees 5-1 in just an hour and 51 minutes. Fidrych would go on to start the All-Star game for the American League in his 12th Major League start. He would go on to finish the season at (19-9) for Detroit with a 2.34 ERA. But it was some of his other numbers that were truly astounding. Fidrych made 29 starts from mid-May till the end of the season. He pitched 24 complete games including four shutouts and pitched 250 1/3 innings. Pitchers today are proud just to hit 200 innings. On May 31st, he pitched a game that lasted one hour and 48 minutes. Then in his next start, he bested that taking just one hour and 46 minutes. Another unusual thing about Fidrych was he had his own personal catcher. He was 24- year-old Bruce Kimm, a rookie who played his first game with the Tigers just two weeks before Fidrych made his first start. They worked so well together in that first start Houk kept them as a battery all season. I dont know if that would ever happen today. As great as he was for Detroit that season, the Tigers still finished up the track at 74-87. Somehow, though he was voted Rookie of the Year, he didnt win the Cy Young too. That honour went to the Orioles Jim Palmer. But Fidrychs success on the diamond would be short lived. He injured his knee in the spring of 1977, and later in that season damaged his shoulder. Times being what they were, and medical advances in the treatment of arm injuries were still in their infancy, it wasnt discovered till 1985 that the "Bird" had a damaged rotator cuff. He finished his career with a (29-19) record and 3.10 ERA and 34 complete games in just 58 starts. This is the really incredible number. When Roger Clemens, one of the All-time greats pitched for the Blue Jays in 1997 and 1998, attendance barely increased on days he was on the mound at Rogers Centre. Yet in 1976, a year in which the Tigers drew 1,467,020 fans, more than half of that number showed up for the 18 games Fidrych pitched in. That is incredible. So if you were one of the few who were at Exhibition Stadium on Oct. 1, 1980 consider yourself lucky. You saw the final appearance of one of the most unique talents and colourful characters the baseball world has ever seen. Wholesale Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Hoodies Stitched Jerseys NFL Jerseys Cheap Wholesale Throwback Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale Throwback Jerseys ' ' '

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    . Times being what they were
    . Times being what they were
    SANTA CLARA, Calif. Gary Payton Jersey . -- Blake Costanzo had been keeping busy re-tiling his bathroom back home in New Jersey and doi...
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