Karl's Mailbag 5

Q: Is cheerleading a sport? Aly from California
A: It sure is, Aly! Like other athletes, cheerleaders must be strong and flexible to perform the skills and moves they do. A lot of practice and teamwork is required to be successful. Cheerleading squads participate in meets against other teams and are judged on their performance, much like any other sport!

Q: When was kickball invented? Kaylor from Missouri
A: Well Kaylor, the exact answer to that question is hard to know for sure. Kickball, which is very similar to baseball, was first played around 1942 in the United States. Reporters wrote about US soldiers playing a game like kickball during their free time in World War II in 1943.

Q: What is the most popular sport? Mia from New Jersey
A: The most popular sport around the world is the game we call soccer, but most of the world calls it football. Soccer is played in over 220 countries around the globe!

Q: What's the name of the person who played in an NFL game and hit a home run in an MLB game? Jeremy from Maryland
A: Well Jeremy, there are several players who fit that answer. Both Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders played football in the NFL and hit home runs in a professional baseball game. But the greatest athlete to do both of those is probably Jim Thorpe. He is in the NFL Hall of Fame, played six seasons as an outfielder in the Major Leagues, and won two Olympic gold medals in track and field! He must have been in great shape!

Q: What is the longest Homerun streak in the Major Leagues? Dustin from Minnesota
A: Dustin, the answer to that question is a three-way tie  sort of. Both Ken Griffey Jr. and Dale Long each hit a home run for eight straight games! But Don Mattingly was able to top them by just a bit. He hit a total of ten home runs during the eight straight games with the New York Yankees in 1987. Those guys have one thing in commonthey all work extremely hard to stay at the top of their game.

Q: Hey Karl, my question to you is, has the U.S. been considered to host another World Cup? Randy from Florida
A: Nice to hear from a soccer fan Randy. The United States has officially applied to be host of the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup. There are about ten countries that are each hoping to be chosen. They will announce the winning locations in December 2010. You can catch all the World Cup action next June from South Africa. One thing you can count on-the teams will be working hard to be on top of their game, wherever they decide to play!

Q: If while a base runner is in motion and a ball gets hit past him and it ricochets off the infielder and back towards the runner, would the runner be out if it touched him while not on a base? Tommy from Indiana
A: Wow Tommy I am picturing this very image in my head. As long as the ball touches a fielder first before touching a runner, there is no interference and the runner is not out. The official rule in baseball is Rule 7.09 if you ever want to look it up yourself. Great question!

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