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Country singer Jason Isbell swaps concert tickets for Hank Aaron baseball cards

Baseball cards for tickets? Country singer Jason Isbell is ready to deal if the offer is right.

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Well, at least when it come to Hank Aaron.

It began when author Jeff Pearlman, noting that Albert Pujols’ 3,000th career hit put him in a category of four players with 3,000 hits and 600 home runs, mentioned Aaron, who topped the list.

Isbell answered Pearlman in a tweetabout the baseball Hall of Famer on Friday night when a Twitter user posted an offer, MLB.com reported. 

The tweeter, James Herlitz, offered Isbell a 1971 Topps card and card No. 1 from the 1974 Topps set. Both were well-loved cards and the condition was less than pristine, but Isbell agreed to the swap, leaving a pair of tickets for his Aug. 30 show in Berkeley, California, MLB.com reported.

“You can give them to the sound guy. Red beard. Can’t miss him.” Isbell tweeted. “I’ll put you down plus one on the guest list. Have fun.”

Isbell released his sixth album, “The Nashville Sound,” last year.

90-year-old man competes in NASCAR-sanctioned event

Hershel McGriff struck a blow for elderly drivers everywhere Saturday.

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McGriff, who turned 90 in December, became the oldest racer to compete in a NASCAR-sponsored event, finishing 18th in the K&N Pro Series West event at Tucson Speedway, ESPN reported.

Driving on the three-eighths-mile track was a snap, McGriff said, but he was more nervous about playing the national anthem on his trombone to kick off the race.

“Instead of racing young kids at 120 miles per hour, he’s more nervous about playing his trombone,” Tucson Speedway president John Lashley told the Arizona Daily Star. “He’s just wound different than you and me.”

McGriff drove for Bill McAnally Racing with sponsorship from South Point Hotel & Casino, the Star reported. His son, Hershel Jr., and his granddaughter Mariah competed in separate races Saturday at the track.

McGriff is no stranger to racing. He won four races in 1954 in what is now the NASCAR Cup Series and has 37 career victories. His last win in the series came in 1989, ESPN reported. McGriff’s last race in the K&N series came in 2012, when he placed 18th at Sonoma Raceway.

McGriff’s last victory came in 1989. He was named one of NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers in 1998, and in 2006 was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame.

McGriff began racing as a 17-year-old, enticed by an advertisement in an Oregon newspaper.

“So I borrowed my dad’s 1940 Hudson — ugly car, but he loaned me the car and I found a couple of guys that helped me,” McGriff told the Star. “I didn’t do too well. I finished I think 12th or 13th out of a bunch of cars and it was a terrible track. That got me started.”

McGriff retired from competitive racing when he was 74. He raced sporadically since, and in 2009 -- as an 81-year-old -- he became the oldest man to compete in a NASCAR-sanctioned race. "I've had a great life. I wouldn't backtrack for anything,” McGriff told the Star. “I have family that's with me and behind me, so it's great.”

'Game of Thrones' actor Hafthor Bjornsson wins World's Strongest Man title

“The Mountain” now sits on the throne as the world’s strongest man.

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Hafthor Bjornsson, the powerlifter from Iceland who also stars in “Game of Thrones,” won the 2018 World's Strongest Man contest Sunday after winning three of the final weekend's six events in Manila, Philippines, Bleacher Report said.

Bjornsson plays the role of Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane on “Game of Thrones.” Capping his first appearance in World’s Strongest Man competition, Bjornsson finished second in the 20-ton truck pull before winning the loading race to clinch first place.

The victory made Bjornsson the first athlete to win World's Strongest Man, Europe's Strongest Man and the Arnold Strongman Classic in the same calendar year, Bleacher Report said.

Florida State's Mike Martin becomes college baseball's winningest coach

Florida State University’s Mike Martin became the winningest coach in college baseball history Saturday night, notching his 1,976th victory as the Seminoles defeated Clemson 3-2 in 13 innings.

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Martin passed the late Augie Garrido as the Seminoles improved to 32-14 overall and 14-10 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, The Tallahassee Democrat reported.

“It was really just a night that I’ll always remember because of the way that our young men battled," Martin told the Democrat. “The record means that for awhile it’s going to have Florida State’s name (on it). That’s what means so much to me because that’s the university that gave me a chance to coach. I’m very fortunate. I love my university.”

>> Augie Garrido dead at 79

Martin needed 246 fewer games than Garrido to reach his record victory. Garrido, who died on March 15, compiled a 1,975-951-9 record from 1969 to 2016 and won five national titles during his 48-year coaching career.

The University of Texas, where Garrido won two NCAA baseball crowns during his 20-year tenure at the school, tweeted congratulations to Martin.

Bruins' Brad Marchand licks opponent’s face

Fights are common in hockey, but Boston’s Brad Marchand insists on getting in the last lick.

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The Bruins’ winger rocked Tampa Bay’s Ryan Callahan with a hit along the boards during Game 4 of their second-round NHL playoff game in Boston. When Callahan took offense and shoved Marchand in the face, the Bruins’ player tried to press his face and tongue against the Lightning player’s face, ESPN reported.

“Well, he punched me four times in the face, so -- you know, he just kept getting close," Marchand said after the Lightning’s 4-3 overtime victory gave Tampa Bay a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. “Nothing big.”

"I don't know what's going through Marchand's mind," NBC Sports Network analyst Keith Jones said during the intermission between periods.

"I hope the league looks at it," Callahan said. "I don't know if there is discipline for spitting in someone's face. But for me it's worse, if not the same."

When told that Callahan referred to Marchand as "spitting" at him instead of licking him, Marchand said, "That's cute. Good for him."

It wasn’t the first time Marchand had attempted a licking gesture -- he was caught on camera licking Toronto’s Leo Komarov in the Bruins’ first-round series, ESPN reported. The antics did not sit well with Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper.

"There is absolutely no place in our game for that," Cooper told reporters. ”I don't get it. I don't understand it. I don't. How would you feel if I walked over to you right now and gave you one big lick from the chin up?"

"It's not part of hockey," Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman told reporters. “It's not part of any sports at all."

Dodgers earn first combined no-hitter in franchise history

Walker Buehler, making only the third start of his major-league career, teamed with three relievers to throw the first combined no-hitter in franchise history and the first one in Mexico as the Los Angeles Dodgers blanked the San Diego Padres 4-0 Friday night.

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It was the franchise’s 23rd overall no-hitter, but the first time more than one pitcher teamed to keep a team hitless, The Los Angeles Times reported. It’s also the 12th combined no-hitter in major-league history, ESPN reported.

Buehler worked six innings, and the rookie right-hander struck out eight and walked three. Tony Cingrani worked the seventh inning, walking two, while Yimi Garcia and Adam Libertore retired the side in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively.

Friday night’s gem was the second no-hitter of the 2018 season. Oakland lefty Sean Manaea tossed one against the Boston Red Sox on April 21.

When Liberatore struck out Padres outfielder Franchy Cordero to end the ninth, Buehler ran off the bench and jumped into his catcher's arms, the Times reported.

Angels slugger Albert Pujols joins 3,000-hit club

Angels slugger Albert Pujols became the 32nd major-leaguer to collect 3,000 career hits, hitting a soft single off Mike Leake in the fifth inning Friday night at Seattle’s Safeco Field.

Pujols, 38, also joined an exclusive club, becoming only the fourth player to achieve the 3,000-hit plateau while hitting 600 home runs, ESPN reported. He joins Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Alex Rodriguez.

Pujols joins Adrian Beltre as the only Dominican-born players to reach the milestone. He is also the fourth player in four seasons to connect for 3,000 hits; Rodriguez did it in 2015, followed by Ichiro Suzuki in 2016 and Beltre last season, ESPN reported.

With his 3,000th hit, Pujols tied Roberto Clemente for 31st on the all-time list, MLB.com reported. He is seventh on the all-time home run list with 620.

Pujols also joins Rod Carew as the only players to collect their 3,000th hit while playing for the Angels. He will receive a $3 million bonus for hitting the milestone, MLB.com reported.

Pioneering pro wrestler 'Prince' Neff Maiava dead at 93

Former professional wrestler “Prince” Neff Maiava, who battled legendary foes such as Fritz Von Erich and Killer Kowalski and even grappled with a real bear in the ring, died April 21, the Star Advertiser of Honolulu reported.

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He was 93.

Maiava was noted for wearing a necklace of boar’s teeth as he entered the ring.

During a National Wrestling Alliance event, the top wrestlers drew names to determine who their opponent would be. Maiava drew the bear, the Star Advertiser reported.

Maiava won the match when he put honey on his chest and lay on the canvas. While the bear licked the honey, Maiava rolled the animal over and “pinned” it, the Star Advertiser reported.

In his prime, Maiava stood 6 feet and weighed 285 pounds. Born in Samoa, he set the standard for future wrestlers of Polynesian descent, including Peter Maivia, the Wild Samoans and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Maiava’s wrestling career spanned four decades, and he punctuated his entrance to the ring by breaking wooden boards over his head or walking on a board of nails, the Star Advertiser reported.

After retiring, Maiava started a tree-trimming business and also wrote several children’s books, the newspaper reported.

“He was a very colorful man,” Maiava’s daughter Pamela Maiava, told the Star Advertiser. “He was also the nicest man I’ve ever known. So many of his friends have told me how much he helped other people.”

Former Green Bay Packers lineman Carlos Gray shot to death in Alabama 

Former Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Carlos Gray was shot to death in his Alabama home, AL.com reported.

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Gray, 25, was found dead at his Pinson home Monday night, according to the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office. Police and first responders were sent to Gray’s home when a friend found Gray wounded and unresponsive, AL.com reported.

Authorities said they found marijuana, digital scales, a Glock handgun with an extended magazine and an AK-47 rifle with a large capacity magazine at Gray’s home, AL.com reported.

Gray played collegiately at North Carolina State University and left after his junior year to enter the 2014 NFL draft. He signed with Green Bay as an undrafted free agent in 2014. He played in four preseason games for the Packers in 2014 and was released in 2015. 

Gray was the father of two young children. He was renovating houses, selling cars and working as a party promoter, AL.com reported. 

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