Sunday, April 15, 2012

Another Weekend of Tornadoes in US

Storms ravaged parts of the central United States on Saturday and the early hours of Sunday morning. Specifically hit were Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Reports came in of up to ninety-seven tornadoes.

Woodward, Oklahoma took a direct hit from a tornado just after midnight. Five people are reported dead there, with others in serious to critical condition. Eighty-nine houses and thirteen business were destroyed.

Another twister struck near Wichita, Kansas. Damage is reported at McConnell Air Force Base and the Spirit AeroSystems and Boeing plants. Luckily no one was badly hurt.

Around seventy-five percent of Thurman, Iowa was destroyed by a tornado. The rest of the town of 250 has been evacuated due to the damages. Only minor injuries were reported there.

In Petersburg, Nebraska cars looked as if they had been shot up. Baseball sized hail struck the town overnight. Again, luckily no one was killed or seriously injured.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma began issuing warnings for that time, two days in advance. Tornadoes may still be individually hard to predict, but storms that will produce the deadly storms are predicted further and further in advance, thanks to the advances in technology.

Remembering: Jackie Robinson

Born January 31, 1919, in Cairo, Georgia, Jack Roosevelt Robinson was meant to do great things in sports and in life. At UCLA he became the first athlete to letter in four varsity sports: baseball, basketball, football, and track.

He would serve in the WWII Army, but was honorably discharghed after facing insubordination charges, when he refused to move to the back of a segregated bus.

It was then that he really began to play baseball. In 1944, he joined the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro League, playing shortstop. By 1945, he had been picked up by the Dodgers, and was playing for their Montreal Royals farm team. There he led the league in batting.

On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson debuted in Major League Baseball, playing first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was the first black player to play in the majors. Jackie would face the racism aimed at him, by becoming the first ever Rookie of the Year.

In 1949, he would move to second base, and be named Most Valuable Player for the National League. 1950 saw him become the highest payed player, earning $35,000. When he retired in 1956 he had a career batting average of .311, 1,518 hits, and 137 home runs. In 1962, his first year of eligibility, we was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. On the 50th anniversary of his debut, MLB retired his number 42.