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A Couple Of Old Birds Tangentially Related To Sports Died

merlyn-mantleshriverIt’s been a sad couple of days for fans of spouses of long-dead baseball players and mentally-retarded athletics as Merlyn Mantle, the widow of Mickey Mantle, passed away Monday in a hospice in Plano, Texas and Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the founder of the Special Olympics, died early Tuesday morning.

Family spokesman Marty Appel said Monday night that Merlyn Mantle died from the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. She had not appeared in public since last August, at a private dinner before a memorial for former Yankees star Bobby Murcer.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the founder of a sports movement that changed the world, died early Tuesday morning at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, Mass., with several members of America’s most famous family at her side. She was 88 and had battled for over a year after suffering a series of strokes.

Shriver, the mother of Maria Shriver, often said her work with the Special Olympics helped prepare her for dealing with her son-in-law, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Nah, I’m just kidding, but the world is a little less bright and a lot sadder without these fascinating and inspirational women gone. Who will assume their mantle (no pun intended) and make a difference in the world while carrying themselves with grace, dignity and class? As far as spouses of professional athletes, I’ll go with Anna Benson.

Hey, it could happen.

Widow of Yankees great Mickey Mantle dies [USA Today]
Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s legacy lives on with Special Olympics [SI.com]