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March 15 — Tom Benson, 90, owner of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans. A successful auto dealer, Benson made his mark in pro sports with the Saints, which he bought in 1985. He paid $70 million for the team, which is now worth close to $2 billion. When the NBA took over the financially troubled New Orleans Hornets in late 2010, Benson finally stepped in and bought the club.
April 6 — Sixteen people died when a truck collided with a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos, a Canadian junior hockey team that was headed to a playoff game. The bus driving the had 29 passengers, including the driver, when it crashed on Highway 35 in Saskatchewan. Among the dead are the bus driver Glen Doerksen, 59; Broncos head coach Darcy Haugan, 42; assistant coaches Mark Cross, 27 and Mark Jones, 27; team captain Logan Schatz, 20; players Logan Boulet, 21; Conner Lukan, 21; Stephen Wack, 21; Jaxon Joseph, 20; Jacob Leicht, 19; Logan Hunter, 18; Evan Thomas, 18; Parker Tobin, 18 and Adam Herold, 16; radio announcer Tyler Bieber, 29; and statistican Brody Hinz, 18. The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League is a junior 'A' hockey league under Hockey Canada, which is part of the Canadian Junior Hockey League. It's open to North American-born players between the ages of 16 and 20.
July 24 — Tony Cloninger, 77, former major league pitcher perhaps best known for hitting two grand slams in a game. Cloninger, who had worked as a consultant for the Boston Red Sox since 2002, went 113-97 during 12 seasons in the big leagues, mostly with the Braves. In 1966, playing at Candlestick Park, Cloninger became the only pitcher to hit two grand slams in the same game. He drove in nine runs that day, getting three hits as the Braves routed San Francisco 17-3.
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Oct. 31 — Willie McCovey, 80, sweet-swinging Hall of Famer nicknamed "Stretch" for his 6-foot-4 height and those long arms. A former first baseman and left fielder, McCovey was a career .270 hitter with 521 home runs and 1,555 RBIs in 22 major league seasons, 19 of them with the Giants. He also played for the Athletics and Padres.