Hamilton to receive Wynne Award

Associated PressJanuary 2, 2011 

American League MVP Josh Hamilton, a former Raleigh high school baseball star, will receive the Will Wynne Award at the 61st annual Raleigh Hot Stove League banquet, scheduled for Jan. 25 at the McKimmon Center on the N.C. State campus.

Hamilton hit .359 for the Texas Rangers with 32 home runs. He will not be able to attend the banquet. The Wynne award is presented annually by the Hot Stove League to the North Carolinian who contributed the most to baseball the previous year.

Oakland Athletics catcher Landon Powell and University of South Carolina baseball coach Ray Tanner will be the headline speakers at the banquet, which begins at 6 p.m. Powell, a Raleigh native, caught Dallas Braden's perfect game last season. Tanner led the Gamecocks to the College World Series championship. Both will receive the Board of Directors Special Achievement Award.

Tickets are $35 and are on sale at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, Five County Stadium in Zebulon and Johnson-Lambe Sporting Goods in Raleigh's Cameron Village.

From Hot Stove League news release

Nadal edges Federer

Top-ranked Rafael Nadal started 2011 with a win over rival Roger Federer, beating the Swiss 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3) Saturday to defend his title at the World Tennis Championships exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Both players held serve throughout the match, and Federer had the early momentum in the first tiebreaker, hitting a couple of blistering forehand winners to go up 3-0. But Nadal won the next five points and clinched the set when the Swiss hit a forehand long.

In the second tiebreaker, Nadal went up 3-1 with a drop volley and Federer sent his return long on the next point. The Spaniard then set up match point with a crosscourt forehand winner and converted it when Federer hit a forehand long.

Hopman Cup: Justine Henin and Lleyton Hewitt made winning comebacks from injury as Australia beat Belgium 2-1 on Saturday in Perth, Australia.

Henin beat Alicia Molik 6-4, 6-4 in her first singles match since the former No. 1 injured her elbow at Wimbledon in June.

Hewitt beat Ruben Bemelmans 6-4, 6-3 in his first singles since September, then teamed with Molik to beat Henin and Bemelmans 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (10-8) in the mixed doubles decider.

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