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Fenway Park in Boston hosts the World Series opener on Wednesday. (David J. Phillip / The Associated Press)

Fenway Park in Boston hosts the World Series opener on Wednesday. (David J. Phillip / The Associated Press)

Not much else is known about the event, other than this tidbit appearing on Boston.com, a web publication of The Boston Globe: Three surviving Medal of Honor recipients will be honored at Fenway Park before Game 1 of the World Series begins Wednesday.

According to Peter Abraham, soldiers Salvatore Giunta, Clinton Romesha and William Swenson will be recognized before the first pitch. First pitch for the series opener between the Cardinals and Red Sox is scheduled for 8:07 p.m.

In addition, Abraham reported, retired Marine Sgt. Dan Clark will perform “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch.

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Air Force third baseman Christopher Blast lowers his glove to scoop up a grounder as Army pitcher Eric Querry heads for third. (Mike W. Ray / Air Force)

Army captured the men’s and women’s titles for a second consecutive year in the Armed Forces Softball Tournament held last week at Fort Sill, Okla. Air Force finished runner-up in both brackets.

The Army women beat Air Force in the championship game Sept. 18, 6-3. Army finished the tournament unbeaten and went 8-0 in round-robin play.

The Army men won their gold medal Sept. 19, beating Air Force, 23-8. In this game, Army never trailed, taking control of the game with a 10-run fourth inning. Army scored 217 runs in nine games, an average of 24.1 runs per game.

The annual softball tournament features the top players from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps in a five-day round-robin playoff.

Click here to read more about the tournament.

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A Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton, Calif., recently set powerlifting world records in a competition in Las Vegas.

Staff Sgt. Matthew Reep, the assault chief for Division Schools, 1st Marine Division, prepares for a workout at the gym aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif. (Cpl. Robert Reeves / Marine Corps)

Staff Sgt. Matthew Reep, assault chief of Division Schools, 1st Marine Division, set marks for a 165-pound person at 391 lbs. on the bench press, 556 lbs. on the deadlift, and 1,396 lbs. in combined weight for a bench press, deadlift and squats.

Reep, 39, said he excelled in weightlifting in high school. He has competed in six national powerlifting championship tournaments since 2009, winning 11 events, according to a Marine Corps news release.

“Ever since I started lifting I always just thought I was good, but never paid too much attention to it. I honestly gave it up,” said Reep, a native of Lexington, S.C. “But then when I was stationed in New Jersey for about six months with the Army National Guard, I really started to focus and took it seriously. That’s when I decided that I was going for more than just a workout.”

Click here to read more.

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Former Marine officer Brian Stann engaged Wanderlei Silva in a wince-inducing slugfest Saturday night in the main event at UFC on FUEL TV 8. The Silver Star recipient ate a straight right and vicious left hook in the second round that put him down, and Silva finished him off from there.

But Stann and Silva both earned $50,000 “Fight of the Night” bonuses for putting on the heavy-hitting show, while Silva also took home $50K for “Knockout of the Night.”

 

The loss is Stann’s second in a row in the UFC. But he probably won’t suffer too much in the rankings — for one, he fought Silva at light heavyweight — Stann’s been a middleweight since 2010 — and Stann fought Silva in Japan, where the “Axe Murderer” became an MMA legend years ago in Pride.

In fact, Stann’s last three fights have been on foreign soil — in addition to battling Silva in Japan, Stann fought Michael Bisping in Toronto and Alessia Sakara in Stockholm. I know Marine are expeditionary and all, but how about letting the American hero fight in, well, America.

As always, Stann was gracious following the fight, though obviously devastated.

“I knew what I had to risk when I signed on the dotted line next to that man fighting here in Japan,” Stann said. “Wanderlei has always been one of my favorite fighters ever. He’s one of the fighters who inspired me to start in this sport, and I’m very proud to have been a part of his career — as much as this hurts right now, because my heart is broken.”

 

 

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Mike ‘The Marine’ Richman returned to the cage last night with a resounding first-round TKO victory at Bellator 88. You can see the gruesome highlights above (go to the 2:00 mark). Richman’s win advances him in Bellator’s featherweight tournament, and gets him back in the win column after a loss in November.

Vicious finishes are Richman’s thing — he’s now got three first-round victories in Bellator, and his one loss also came via a first-round KO. Next up for the Iraq vet is a matchup with Alexandre “Popo” Bezerra in next month’s featherweight tournament semifinals.

‘Beast’ to invade Sweden

The always-entertaining Marcus Brimage will finally fight again in the UFC in April. The “Bama Beast,” a security forces airman in the Florida Air National Guard, will look for his fourth consecutive UFC win when he takes UFC newcomer Connor McGregor in Sweden as part of UFC on FUEL 9 (what’s with military veterans and overseas fights, anyway?)

Brimage last fought in Sept. 2012, earning a unanimous decision  over Jim Hettes.

Carmouche-Rousey buildup

Former Marine and Iraq War veteran Liz Carmouche will make a little bit of MMA history when she takes on unbeaten Ronda Rousey at UFC 157. It’s the first time women have fought under the UFC banner, and Carmouche could become the promotions first openly gay champion should she pull off the upset.

The “UFC Primetime” series is doing a series of videos on the fighters in the runup to the fight. Checkout the first below.

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Stann UFC

Former Marine Brian Stann heads to Japan for his next fight, main-eventing a March 3 card on FUEL TV. (USA Today Sports photo by Tom Szczerbowski)

Forget the Navy — if you want to see the world, join the UFC.

Former Marine Brian Stann will fight his third consecutive bout outside the U.S. on March 3, traveling to Saitama Super Arena, north of Tokyo, to face Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva in a 205-pound headliner for UFC on FUEL TV 8, according to our good friends at MMAJunkie.com. It’s a one-time-only return light heavyweight, the former WEC 205-pound champ tweeted early Thursday morning. (He’ll be fine for the cut back down to middleweight; he knows a guy.)

More from the MMAJunkie report: It’s a homecoming of sorts for Stann (12-5), who was born at Japan’s Yokota Airbase. It’s the first time Silva’s fought in Japan since 2006, when he was knocked out by Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic in the first round of a one-night, four-fighter, open-weight tournament run by the now-defunct Pride promotion. “The Axe Murderer” is 34-12-1 with fights against UFC legends Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (Silva won two, lost one), Chuck Liddell (loss), Keith Jardine (loss), Tito Ortiz (loss) and Vitor Belfort (loss, in 44 seconds, at something called “UFC 17.5″). He’s been a professional since 1996.

Stann fell to Michael “The Count” Bisping in Toronto in September as part of UFC 152 and defeated Alessio Sakara via first-round knockout at UFC on FUEL TV 2 in Sweden in April. His last fight on U.S. soil was an October 2011 submission loss to pool training partner Chael Sonnen. Silva beat Bisping by decision in 2010; Sonnen and Sakara are among the few fighters not on the veteran’s dance card.

Bell time is set for 10 a.m. in Japan, according to an MMAMania.com report — good news for service members with early bedtimes.

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Mike “The Marine” Richman lands a right hand during his knockout win over Chris Horodecki at Bellator 64 in April. (Bellator photo)

Mike “The Marine” Richman went six months between his first and second fights in Bellator. Now, just three weeks after his last bout, Richman will be back in action.

He should be well-rested, though. His last fight only lasted 23 seconds.

A veteran of three Iraq deployments, Richman squares off with Shahbulat Shamhalaev on Friday night in Rama, Ontario, at Bellator 79. Their matchup is one of the semifinals of Bellator’s featherweight tournament. The main card begins at 8 p.m. Eastern and airs on MTV2.

Richman (13-1) has two victories since being signed to Bellator earlier this year. Each has come via first-round knockout, including his head-kick destruction of Jeremy Spoon in October’s quarterfinal matchup. Shamhalaev (10-1-1) notched a first-round TKO in his quarterfinal fight — his first in North America. A native of Russia, Shamhalev has fought most of his bouts in Russia or Ukraine, including a win at “The Battle of Volga 3,” which has to be the toughest-sounding MMA event of all time.

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The tougher the competition gets, the shorter the fights for Mike “The Marine” Richman.

On Friday night he dispatched Jeremy Spoon in 23 seconds at Bellator 76 in Windsor, Ontario. It’s his second straight win since joining the promotion earlier this year, and it advances him in Bellator’s featherweight tournament.

In his first Bellator fight, Richman KO’d Chris Horodecki in 1:23 with a series of precise punches. Against Spoon, the southpaw ended the fight with a crushing left round kick to the head. It was the fastest win of Richman’s career, according to Sherdog.com.

Never heard of Richman? A veteran of three Iraq deployments, he’s now 13-1 in MMA. Read his back story here.

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Mike “The Marine” Richman celebrates after knocking out Chris Horodecki at Bellator 64 in April. (YouTube)

Mike “The Marine” Richman is set to fight again at Bellator 76 in Windsor, Ontario, on Friday.

Richman, who did three Iraq tours during his time in the Corps, will square off against Jeremy Spoon in a lightweight fight. The fighters have identical 12-1 records; Spoon lost his last fight at Bellator 60 while Richman is on a three-fight winning streak.

This is Richman’s second fight in Bellator. He won his first in spectacular fashion back in April, knocking out Chris Horodecki in a flurry of precise punches. Richman hasn’t fought in the cage since then, but he did win his second pro boxing match in June.

You can watch the fight live on MTV2 at 8 p.m. ET.

Learn more about Richman’s Marine past here, and you can follow him on Twitter at @MikeUSMCRichman.

 

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Bryce Harper reacts after being tagged out at third base during the seventh inning of the 2012 NLDS at Busch Stadium on Monday. (Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE)

A Camp Pendleton-based Marine has asked Washington Nationals rookie center fielder Bryce Harper to the Marine Corps Ball, our friends at Marine Corps Times are reporting.

“Congratulations on your recent Divisional Championship!” Lance Cpl. Stephanie Butler posted on Harper’s Facebook page. “Bryce Harper, on November 9th will you go with me to the Marine Corps Ball??”

Butler, 21, is a native of Northern Virginia and a Nats fan, according to NBCWashington.com.

“I think it would be really cool of him,” Butler told the website. “We do so much. We really, really do. The military is really underappreciated. Day in and day out, we give everything we have. It’d be really cool of him to give back.”

You know what else would be cool? Leaving Harper alone as the teenager plays in his first postseason series.

Talk about lousy timing: The guy is under tons of pressure , and it appears to be getting to him.

While Harper may be richer and more famous than the average 19-year-old, he’s a newbie in a job that’s rather demanding. He may not be a Marine, but he’s got a tougher life than, say, Mila Kunis or Justin Timberlake.

So maybe wait until the season is over before guilting the guy into going to Marine Corps Ball?

Also, the “asking a celebrity to the Marine Corps Ball” thing has been done to death. Enough already.

 NOTE: This post may or may not have been written by a stressed-out Washington Nationals fan. 

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