©2020 by Ralph Schudel

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    Fur flies in California


    Teddy Bear tosses are a relatively new tradition in the world of sports. One of the more memorable tosses occurred when supporters of the Dutch soccer club Den Haag tossed some furry friends onto the pitch during a match in 2016 with Feyenoord.

    The toys were collected and donated to children at a cancer hospital in the Netherlands. This installment is possibly more adorable. The story begins in Bakersfield, California.

    Brad Malone, center for the Bakersfield Condors, the AHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers, scored a goal 2:15 into the second period against the San Antonio Rampage.

    Malone's five-hole goal allowed the 8,862 in attendance to rain cuteness down onto the ice. "This will definitely be a memory I'll have the rest of my life," Malone said of his goal.

    After the fur settled, the Condors collected 10,549 stuffed animals from the playing surface. The Condors have participated in the Teddy Bear toss for 19 years and collected 121,395 stuffed animals.

    This year's edition of the teddy bear toss was a record for the California club.

    After the goals, the stuffed animals are collected and are donated to local nonprofit organizations and the United Way of Kern County.

    "We're fortunate to be able to play a game for a living," Malone said. "And to see the impact that goal had is pretty incredible."


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