Stan Musial, JFK share a moment at the 1962 All-Star Game

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American historian Michael Beschloss shares this classic image of Stan Musial and then-president John F. Kennedy having a laugh just before the start of the 1962 All-Star Game at District of Columbia Stadium:

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Musial, who died at his home in St. Louis on Saturday evening at the age of 92, campaigned for JFK in the fall of 1960. “Stan the Man” later served as chair of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports from 1964 to 1967 under Lyndon B. Johnson, who can also be seen in the above photograph.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.