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Manager Stays With Yankees

New York — Manager Joe Girardi signed a four-year contract Wednesday to stay with the New York Yankees through 2017.

General manager Brian Cashman had said after the team missed the playoffs for the second time since 1992 that the Yankees wanted to keep Girardi, whose name was mentioned for the Cubs opening in his native Illinois.

The 48-year-old Girardi said it would be up to his family if he returned. He was completing his second three-year deal with New York since taking over for Joe Torre after the 2007 season.

“After talking to my family, this is where we wanted to come back,” Girardi said.

Despite finishing tied for third in the AL East at 85-77, Girardi had what many believed was his best season as a manager. He kept the Yankees in the playoff chase until late September despite injuries to stars Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson.

Girardi has led the team to the playoffs in four of his six seasons, winning the World Series in 2009. Under Girardi, the Yankees have gone a majors-best 564-408 (.580) since 2008.

A 15-year MLB catcher, Girardi won three World Series titles with the Yankees from 1996-99.

Andy Pafko, 4-Time All-Star, Dies

Milwaukee — Andy Pafko, a four-time All-Star who played on the last Chicago Cubs team to reach the World Series and was the famously forlorn outfielder who watched Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” sail over the left-field wall during the 1951 National League playoff, has died. He was 92.

A fan favorite known for his dogged play and diving catches, Pafko played with Jackie Robinson for the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1951 to 1952, and with Hank Aaron as a Milwaukee Brave from 1954-59. But he is perhaps best remembered as being part of one of the most famous games in baseball history, when Thomson’s three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth gave the New York Giants the win in the decisive Game 3 of their NL playoff against the Dodgers at the Polo Grounds.

Pafko, who played his entire 17-year career in the National League, was a sought-after figure by baseball card collectors. A Topps card from 1952 — card No. 1 in the set — sold for nearly $84,000 in 1998, marking what at the time was the second-highest price at the Mastro Rine Sports auction in Washington.

The only higher bid was $108,000 for a jersey that Lou Gehrig wore in 1927. A 1933 Babe Ruth card went for $32,485.

Pafko said it was a shock. And it was doubly true when he recalled the “boxes of cards” he received from the Topps company in the 1950s but didn’t save.

“I just gave the cards to the kids in the neighborhood and they put them in their bicycle spokes. And there went the money — click, click, click,” Pafko said with a chuckle.