Harley Race, the longtime wrestler and promoter best known for playing the arrogant “King of the Ring,” wearing a regal crown and purple cape and insisting that opponents kneel and bow before him, died Aug. 1 in St. Charles. He was 76.
The cause was complications from lung cancer, the WWE said in a statement.
Calling himself “the greatest wrestler on God’s green earth,” the 6-foot-1, 245-pound Race was a ring stalwart who wrestled at The Chase in St. Louis.
He was a frequent champion for decades until a 1995 car crash ended his career. He was sometimes overshadowed by bigger names and more charismatic personalities with bulkier muscles, but his experience and toughness brought him respect among colleagues.
Leon “Big Van Vader” White, who was Race’s tag-team partner for a time, told YouTube wrestling channel the Hannibal TV in 2017 that Race mastered “the ability to tell a story with your body physically.”
A ring veteran who wrestled under nicknames such as “Handsome” Harley Race and “Mad Dog,” Race joined what then was the World Wrestling Federation in 1986 as the company was soaring in popularity. He was in his mid-40s at the time, and he needed a new gimmick.
He was one of six wrestlers to be inducted into the Hall of Fame of four different companies, including the WWE in 2004, the National Wrestling Alliance, the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame.
The son of sharecroppers, Harley Leland Race was born in Maryville, Mo., on April 11, 1943, and grew up in nearby Quitman.
After retiring from the ring, Race started the Troy, Mo.-based World League Wrestling in 1999 and opened a facility to train young wrestlers. (The Washington Post, Staff reports)
Blues sign draft pick: The Blues have agreed to terms with forward Nikita Alexandrov on a three-year, two-way entry level contract. Alexandrov was the first player chosen by the Blues in this year’s draft, taken in the second round, No. 62 overall on June 22.
Alexandrov, a native of Burgwedel, Germany, is expected to play junior hockey again this coming season — for the Charlottetown Islanders of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. (Jim Thomas)
Lock makes debut as Broncos win: Former Missouri quarterback Drew Lock saw his first NFL action as the Denver Broncos beat the Atlanta Falcons 14-10 in the Hall of Fame exhibition game in Canton, Ohio.
Lock was 7 of 11 for 34 yards and sacked twice in limited playing time as Denver used three quarterbacks, but not presumed starter Joe Flacco. Khalfani Muhammad rushed for 50 yards and a TD to lead Denver. (AP)
Clemson tops coaches’ poll: Clemson is No. 1 in the USA Today preseason coaches’ poll for the first time, followed by Alabama at No. 2.
The defending champion Tigers received 59 of a possible 65 first-place votes and the Crimson Tide got the rest in the poll released Thursday. The Associated Press preseason Top 25 will be released Aug. 19.
Georgia was No. 3 in the coaches’ poll, followed by Oklahoma and Ohio State. No. 6 LSU and No. 8 Florida gave the Southeastern Conference four top-10 teams. (AP)
STLFC plays Friday in New York: Coming off a 3-0 win over Bethlehem Steel that snapped a 0-5-4 skid in league play, St. Louis FC (6-6-6) faces a road challenge Friday when it takes on the New York Red Bulls II (12-4-5). Game time is 6 p.m. Central.
Red Bulls II, are on a 3-0-3 streak and in second place in the United Soccer League Championship standings. STLFC currently holds the 10th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Red Bull II roster includes Chaminade product Tom Barlow, who has split time between Red Bulls II and Major League Soccer’s Red Bulls; he leads Red Bulls II with 10 goals and has scored twice this summer in MLS play. (Joe Lyons)