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Sports events called off across America

By
United Press International

Terrorist attacks on the United States Tuesday caused the postponment of sports events around the nation, including all 15 of the Major League Baseball games which had been scheduled to be played from New York to San Diego.

Thursday's scheduled start of the World Golf Championship event in St. Louis was also pushed back at least one day. Games in Major League Soccer which were to have been played Wednesday were postponed, as were minor league playoff games.

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The National Football League, meanwhile, delayed until at least Wednesday a decision concerning next weekend's round of games.

NCAA Division 1-A football games scheduled for Thursday night at the University of Virginia and North Carolina State were also postponed.

Less than four hours after the attacks were carried out in New York and Washington, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said baseball would shut down for at least a day. He left open the possibility that further postponements would take place.

"In the interest of security and out of a sense of deep mourning for the national tragedy that has occurred today, all Major League Baseball games for today have been canceled," Selig said. "I will continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis and make ongoing decisions accordingly.

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"My deepest sympathy and prayers go out to the families and victims of this horrendous series of events."

There was no indication that any of the games would eventually be made up. A shortened schedule could have a dramatic impact on various pennant races as well as the chase of the single-season home run record by Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants.

One of the scheduled games Tuesday night was to have been played in Yankee Stadium between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox. Yankee Stadium was evacuated following the attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan.

Games Tuesday night also had been scheduled in Baltimore, Detroit, Tampa, Kansas City, Anaheim, Oakland, Miami, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Chicago, Milwaukee, Phoenix and San Diego.

The regular sechedule in Minor League Baseball has been completed, but playoff games had been scheduled Tuesday night in the International, Pacific Coast, Eastern, Southern, Texas, California, Florida State and Midwest leagues.

"Out of respect to the families and friends of those people who lost their lives or were injured in today's tragic events, we have postponed all playoff games scheduled for tonight in the United States," said Mike Moore, president of Minor League Baseball from his office in Boston.

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NFL spokesman Joe Browne said commissioner Paul Tagliabue would consult with teams during the next day or two before making a decision on the full schedule of pro football contests.

"Regarding Sunday's games, we will make no decision today," Browne said Tuesday. "We;ll gather information and speak to several parties within the next 24 to 48 hours."

"During this time of tragedy, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this terrible event," Miami Dolphins president Eddie Jones said. "We are in contact with the NFL regarding the decision-making process surrounding this weekend's games and until we have a definitive word from the league, as difficult as it may be, our staff is preparing to play this Sunday."

In St. Louis, the World Golf Championships-American Express Championship had been scheduled to start Thursday -- with Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia part of the elite field.

"Everyone at the PGA Tour shares the grief felt around the country at the tragic developments that have taken place today," tour commissioner Tim Finchem said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of these tragedies and their family and friends.

"As it relates to PGA Tour competitions this week, we are adjusting our tournament scheduling. We will continue to monitor this situation and make any further adjustments to our tournament schedules that appear to be appropriate or necessary."

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The initial schedule change called for no play at the WGC event Thursday. Officials hope, however, to play 36 holes on Friday with 18 holes on Saturday and Sunday as scheduled.

Although air travel was halted around the country Tuesday, most, if not all, of the player scheduled to play in St. Louis had already arrived.

The start of the Tampa Bay Classic, also sponsored by the PGA Tour this week, will be pushed back to Friday with 36 holes scheduled for Sunday.

Four Major League Soccer games had been scheduled for Wednesday and league commissioner Don Garber said all had been postponed with no makeup dates announced.

Those games had been scheduled for Washington, East Rutherford, N.J., Denver and Los Angeles.

Virginia was to have hosted Penn State Thursday night and North Carolina State had a game scheduled at home against Ohio, but they were both postponed.

With dozens of NCAA games on the schedule for Saturday, most conference officials plan to make a determination Wednesday as to whether those games will be played.

"The games are insignificant in the face of what has happened," NCAA president Cedric Dempsey said in a statement. "Our focus is entirely on the safety of student-athletes, athletics personnel and fans. We urge schools to make sound decisions about proceeding with contests today and in the coming days."

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