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Morning Briefing

$2 Bettor Discovers Big Time

March 25, 1985

Mickey Vernon, a two-time American League batting champion for the Washington Senators, told Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post how times have changed.

"We used to go to the race track after practice in my day," said Vernon, now an instructor for the New York Yankees. "Four of us would chip in 50 cents each to the $2 window.

"Yesterday, I asked a player how he did at the track. He said, 'My horse won.' I said, 'How much did he pay?' He said, 'No, coach, I didn't bet on the horse. I own it.' "

Remember that Lite Beer commercial in which Ken Brett, the well-traveled ex-pitcher, tries to guess what city he's in?

Finally, after guessing a number of major league cities, he says, "Utica?"

On Saturday, Brett was named the manager of the Utica (N.Y.) Blue Sox of the New York-Penn League.

Bill Fitch, coach of the Houston Rockets, told Steve Lowe of the Akron Beacon Journal the story about the NBA writer who was approached in the bar of a hotel by a woman who offered to do anything he wanted for $100.

"Terrific," the writer said. "Here's the key to Room 723. Go write me a game story and a column."

Doug Moe isn't sure where Chris Mullin got his shooting ability, but he knows it wasn't from Mullin's father.

Moe, coach of the Denver Nuggets, grew up in Brooklyn where he used to play on the playgrounds with Rod Mullin, now a customs agent at New York's Kennedy Airport.

"He would beat you to death," Moe told Buddy Martin of the Denver Post. "He played with every bit of heart he had. But he was a terrible shooter. I'm not kidding you, he literally couldn't hit that wall over there three times out of 10.

"When I found out Chris was his son, I couldn't believe it."

After winning Sunday at Madison Square Garden, Martina Navratilova got a big cheer when she told the crowd, "I hope you enjoyed yourself this week because I certainly enjoyed myself."

She got a bigger cheer when she said, "I can't think of anyone who deserves to win the Final Four more than Lou Carnesecca."

Add Looie: Recalling his days as coach of the New York Nets, he told Joe Gergen of Newsday: "I can remember playing the Indiana Pacers in the ABA playoffs. We lost in the last six, seven seconds. Afterwards, I said, 'Ladies and gentlemen, tomorrow's a new day.' They thought, 'What a sport,' and applauded as I left. That night, in the Marriott Hotel, trainer Fritz Massman had to keep me from jumping off the roof."

Do you still like colorful writing? The following is from the 1947-48 Official Basketball Guide: "Court scorching fast break antics coupled with amazing endurance propelled Coach Bill Schleibaum's Compton College Tartars to a whirlwind conquest of the Third Annual Western States College Basketball Tournament held at Compton, Calif."

The author was the Compton College athletic publicity director, Pete Rozelle.

Yep, same guy.


Mike Gminski of the New Jersey Nets, on Akeem Olajuwon of the Houston Rockets: "The only way he is going to be stopped is if his mother and father order him back to Nigeria."

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