Meet St. Louis' Penny Banner, the First A.W.A. Women's Champ

Categories: Arts, Sports

Tim Lane
Wrestling in St. Louis has a vibrant history: Matches at the Chase were a weekend staple for more than twenty years and, more recently, the South Broadway Athletic Club had been the popular go-to spot for the sport -- though the venue has fallen on hard times, and its future is uncertain.

For this week's feature story, artist Tim Lane looks at the life of St. Louis native and superstar wrestler Penny Banner. Despite a difficult youth that included stays in an orphanage and threats on her life, she rose to stardom as the first women's champion of the American Wrestling Association.

Click here for the feature.

How to Work Out Like Webster University's Champion Chess Team [PHOTOS]

Categories: Sports

All photos by Matthew Harting
Webster coach Susan Polgar completes kettlebell swings before starting her sit-ups and ring rows.
Chess can be a grueling mental game, especially the way the championship-winning team at Webster University plays.

During competitions, players face off for as long as seven hours per match, two matches per day. Back-to-back fourteen-hour days hunkered over a chessboard would make anyone break a sweat -- and not just a mental one.

"It's very physical," says Paul Truong, the team's marketing director. "People don't realize that."

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Only the Yankees Are Less Engaging on Twitter than the St. Louis Cardinals: Study

Categories: Sports

Jon Gitchoff
Do you follow the Cardinals on Twitter?
The bad news: If you love interacting with your professional baseball team on Twitter during the off-season, you're better off being a Seattle Mariners fan than a St. Louis Cardinals fan.

The good news: Hey, at least we're not as bad as the New York Yankees, amiright?

Fangraphs, a baseball statistics and analysis website, measured each Major League Baseball teams' Twitter engagement during the 2014-'15 off-season, from November 1 until February 10. Sean Dolinar's analysis shows the Cardinals interacted with only 116 tweets, mostly with a simple retweet. Only the Yankees had fewer Twitter interactions, with 41 retweets and replies.

Compare that to the Mariners, which engaged with more than 3,800 tweets in the same time period. About half of those Twi-nteractions were reply tweets, which typically take more effort than just retweeting or favoriting something.

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Basketball Team Can't Find Hotels in St. Louis After Emergency Landing, Because Mardi Gras

Categories: Sports

Gregg Ellis via Twitter
The plane that made an emergency landing in St. Louis while flying the Mississippi State men's basketball team home from Columbia.
The Mississippi State men's basketball team survived an emergency plane landing in St. Louis only to discover what everyone here already knows: Trying to get a hotel room during Mardi Gras is hella expensive.

The team was on its way home from Columbia, where it beat the Missouri Tigers 77-74, when one of the engines of its Embraer 145 twin-engine jet stopped working. Players broke into applause as the plane made an emergency landing in St. Louis.

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South Broadway Athletic Club Wrestles With Possible Closure

Categories: Bidness, Sports

Lindsay Toler
Is South Broadway Athletic Club down for the count?
For more than a century, the South Broadway Athletic Club has been a haven for St. Louis' ring-hardened wrestling fans.

World Wrestling Entertainment's Randy Orton got his start here, along with a host of chair-smashing, head-bashing, pile-driving amateur wrestlers who've become local heroes to the regulars who come to the club's monthly wrestling nights for the dropkicks and cheap booze.

But after decades of declining membership drained the club of revenue, organizers say South Broadway could be down for the count.

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Mike Matheny's Failproof Tips for Becoming the Most Hardass Little League Coach Ever

Categories: Books, Sports

Keith Allison via Flickr
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny expanded his "manifesto" into a full-blown memoir, which goes on sale today.
St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny didn't know what to expect the first time he read his "manifesto" on coaching to the parents of a little league team.

It was 2009, and Matheney knew that before he could agree to sign on as coach, he'd have to be upfront with the team moms and dads about his tough-love approach -- including his belief that, as he says in his five-page, 2,556-word manifesto, "the biggest problem with youth sports has been the parents."

"As I am writing this, I sound like the little league Nazi, but I believe that this will make things easier for everyone involved," Matheny wrote.

Six years and a new job leading the Cardinals later, Matheny publishes a memoir today called The Matheny Manifesto: A Young Manager's Old School Views on Success in Sports and Life based on the manifesto that made such a splash in baseball circles across the country. Billed as an inspirational look at how sports can teach everyone to win on and off the field, Matheny has filled his new book with the same throwback beliefs about discipline, faith and respect.

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Kurt Warner Pretends Not to Hate the Patriots Long Enough to Give Them Super Bowl Trophy

Categories: Sports

Tom Carlson
Kurt Warner may not have made the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he'll always be in the Hall of Fame of our hearts.
Why'd it have to be the Pats?

That's what we think St. Louis' beloved Kurt Warner, quarterback and MVP during the Rams' 1999 Super Bowl win, must have been thinking as he marched the Vince Lombardi trophy to last night's Super Bowl winners, the New England Patriots, at the pace of a flower girl walking down the aisle.

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Busch Adds More Tickets for US Women's Soccer After First Round Sells Out in Two Hours

Categories: Sports

Jon Gitchoff
Chelsea F.C. and Manchester City F.C. played at Busch Stadium in 2013.
Well, that was quick.

After selling more than 23,500 tickets for the women's soccer friendly between the U.S. and New Zealand national teams in just two hours, soccer officials said the St. Louis game is on track to be largest home game in eleven years.

The U.S. women's team, which includes two St. Louis natives, originally limited seating for the April 4 game to the lower levels of Busch "Baseball Heaven" Stadium, but after selling those seats in a couple of hours, officials are opening the upper level sections for ticket sales.

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U.S. Women's Soccer Team to Play at Busch Stadium Before World Cup

Categories: Sports

Jon Gitchoff
Chelsea F.C. and Manchester City F.C. played at Busch Stadium in 2013.
If you liked watching the World Cup last summer but wish America had a real shot at the title, then you'll love the U.S. women's national soccer team.

And if you love U.S. women's soccer, then we've got big news: The team will play a friendly at Busch Stadium against New Zealand in their only Midwest stop before the women's World Cup starts in Canada this summer.

More details are expected Monday, but here's what Daily RFT knows so far: Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Friday for the Saturday, April 4, game. Seating will be limited to Busch Stadium's lower sections, putting capacity at about 23,000 people.

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Inside St. Louis Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny's Dream Home [PHOTOS]

Categories: Sports

Photos via Coldwell Banker Gundaker
The Wildwood mansion Cardinals manager Mike Matheny built with his wife before selling it to pay off debts.
The seventeen-room Wildwood mansion St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny sold to pay off his real estate debts is back on the market.

Matheny and his wife Kristen, a St. Louis native, built the rustic 7,500-square-foot house Matheney called his "dream home" before he signed on to coach the Redbirds. But when the economy tanked in 2008, the value drained out of his real estate venture in Chesterfield Valley, leaving him stuck with millions of dollars of debt.

Matheny sold the house at 2034 Joes Way to pay the bank and moved his five children into his wife's parents' home. Fast-forward to October 2011, when Tony LaRussa retired from managing the Cardinals after a World Series win. Matheny interviewed for the job, and the rest is history.

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