Stan Saplin, a New York track nut, was beside himself. John Walker was approaching a milestone of running in 100 sub-four-minute miles, but Saplin had him running in 96 while Runner's World magazine had him for 97.
When Saplin compared lists, according to the New York Times, he found he was missing a race in Tullylease in 1981. Saplin had never heard of Tullylease. Was there such a place?
He checked a couple of atlases and couldn't find it. He checked out more atlases. Still, no Tullylease, but one did show a Tully, in Ireland.
Saplin called the Irish consul general in New York and was told there was a place called Tullylease in County Cork.
With that, Saplin put in a call to Eamonn Coghlan, the runner who works at the Irish Tourist Bureau in New York.
"Did you ever hear of a Tullylease in Ireland?" Saplin asked.
"Hear of it?" Coghlan said. "I once beat John Walker in a mile there. I ran 3:57.0, and he ran 3:58.2."
Bill Lee, trying to win a pitching job with the San Francisco Giants at age 38, last pitched at Moncton, New Brunswick, in a Canadian semipro league.
Asked how serious he is in his comeback, he said: "Well, I've given up my ambition of pitching for Canada in the 1988 Olympics."
Same old Spaceman. Remember when he took off for China in 1975 after pitching for Boston against Cincinnati in the World Series?
"I'm going to see the real Big Red Machine," he said.
Asked what he's missed most, being out of the major leagues, he said: "I miss the relationship with the fans. In Montreal, these little old ladies had a pulley system where they would lower bottles of tequila to me in the bullpen."
Said Indiana Coach Bob Knight, asked at a New York basketball writers luncheon to analyze the Georgetown-St. John's game: "Georgetown has the better team, the better intensity, the better players. And I don't care if St. John's or St. Cecilia's or St. Ambrose plays Georgetown. They can start five saints and they'll still lose."
Then, he turned to St. John's Coach Lou Carnesecca and said: "Don't play so much zone. Pick them up at midcourt and get the ball off the damn boards."
Said Georgetown forward Bill Martin, asked to analyze the Villanova-Memphis State game: "I like Villanova, honestly. Memphis State has sort of stumbled into the Final Four. Villanova has been consistent. If Memphis State has a soft period, Villanova will slip in, control the tempo, make the big plays and win the game."
Before turning pro, Doug Flutie said he would have to adjust to the greater speed in the professional game. Bobby Hebert of the Oakland Invaders never had that problem.
Hebert went to Northwestern Louisiana, where his teammates included running back Joe Delaney and receiver Mark Duper, both members of the school's NCAA-winning 400-meter relay team.
Carter told Ed McGranahan of the Oakland Tribune: "When people ask me how it is throwing to a guy like Anthony Carter, I tell them I had a guy in college who was a lot faster."
Says Hebert of Delaney, former Rookie of the Year with the Kansas City Chiefs who later drowned in rescue attempt: "If he'd been at Notre Dame or USC, he'd have won the Heisman Trophy without any trouble. Our line wasn't very good, and he gained 1,200 yards after getting hit behind the line most of the time."
How bad was the line?
"Well, my center was smaller than me," Hebert said.
Retired Manager Earl Weaver, asked about his golf game: "One day I shoot 84, then 78 the next day. I'm about a 10 handicap. The lowest I've been is 7. But when I get down that low, I start to lose a lot of money, so I get it back up to 10."