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In brief

Star of two sports dies at 69

By wire services
Published May 29, 2004

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - Jack Losch, a member of Little League's first championship team who went on to set football records at the University of Miami and play in the NFL, died.

Mr. Losch, who was a jet fighter pilot and an executive at General Motors, died Thursday at Williamsport Hospital after a short illness, Little League of America officials said. He was 69.

Mr. Losch played centerfield and was 2-for-4 for Williamsport's Maynard Midgets in a 16-7 victory over Lock Haven in the first World Series championship on Aug. 23, 1947.

"Those are the kind of memories that stick with you forever," Mr. Losch said in 1996.

He was an All-America running back at UM, where he still holds four rushing records, including the longest run from scrimmage, 90 yards against Bucknell in 1955.

The Packers made Losch a first-round draft pick in 1956 - 16 rounds ahead of Bart Starr.

He played one season in the NFL and spent three years in the Air Force flying jets before an injury led him to pursue a business career.

NFL: Former Steeler dies at 63

Gary Ballman, a Pro Bowl player for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1960s, is dead at 63. He died May 20 as he mowed his lawn, family members said. The cause of death was not disclosed. Mr. Ballman starred at Michigan State before playing halfback and receiver for the Steelers from 1962 to 1966, making the Pro Bowl the final two seasons. He is among the team's career leaders in kickoffs (64 returns for 1,711 yards), with the second-best average of 26.7. His 93-yard return against Washington on Nov. 17, 1963, is tied for seventh longest in team history. He also played for the Eagles, Giants and Vikings.

EAGLES: Quarterback Jeff Blake signed a one-year contract. Blake, who was released by Arizona in February, provides insurance should Donovan McNabb or backup Koy Detmer get injured. He replaces A.J. Feeley, who was traded to Miami.

GIANTS: Safety Brent Alexander signed. He spent the past three seasons with the Steelers.

HORSES: Smarty looks strong

Smarty Jones' final tuneup for next week's Belmont was flawless, working 7 furlongs at Philadelphia Park in his only timed workout before the race. "Absolutely perfect," trainer John Servis said.

ET CETERA

CYCLING: Sarah Ulmer of New Zealand won the individual pursuit at the world track championships in Melbourne, Australia. Greg Henderson then gave the country its second gold when he upset a strong field of 24 riders in the 60-lap, 15-kilometer scratch race. ... In the Giro D'Italia, Damiano Cunego of Italy won the 18th stage through the Alps to strengthen his lead in Bormio, Italy.

MODERN PENTATHLON: American Vahktang Iogarishvili dominated his qualifying group with 4,292 points at the world championships in Moscow. China's Zhenhua Qian led all qualifiers with 4,336 points.

SOCCER: Fabio Capello, who guided AS Roma, AC Milan Real Madrid to national soccer titles, was appointed coach of Italian Serie A club Juventus.

[Last modified May 29, 2004, 01:00:33]


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