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Ball is a ball is a ball

(Statistics through July 18)

Nate Ebner, a safety for the New England Patriots, will be a member of the U.S. Olympic men’s rugby sevens team at the Rio Olympics, becoming the only NFL player to make a U.S. Olympic team.

Ebner, 27, took a leave of absence from the Patriots in May to train in an attempt to make the Olympic team. He will rejoin the Patriots following the rugby tournament, which runs from Aug. 6 to 11.

The Ohio native was the youngest player ever to make the U.S. men’s sevens team when he joined the squad at 17. He went on to become an All-American rugby player at Ohio State University before joining the school’s football team and being drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL draft.

Starting off right: Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler added two more home runs over the weekend. His 17th of the year put his team on the board in the first inning of the July 15 game, a 4-2 win over the visiting KC Royals. It was the 35th time in his career that Kinsler has led off a game with a four-bagger. 

Sources: JTA, MLB.com

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