Hall of Fame shortstop and manager Lou Boudreau, now an announcer with the Chicago Cubs, was reminiscing with umpire Bruce Froemming about a 1972 game in San Diego where Milt Pappas of the Cubs was working on a perfect game.
With two out in the ninth inning, Pappas had a 2-and-2 count on Larry Stahl of the Padres. Froemming called the next two pitches balls, and Stahl walked, spoiling the perfect game.
"Do you realize," Boudreau said to Froemming, "that you could have been the 12th umpire in major league history to work a perfect game behind the plate?"
Froemming: "Who was No. 11?"
Boudreau: "I don't remember."
Froemming: "That tells you how famous I would have become."
Trivia Time: What do Peter Ueberroth, Bill Walsh and John Carlos have in common? (Answer below.)
Says Robert E. Brennan, owner of Garden State race track: "It's my belief that paying for achievement is an extension of the whole free enterprise risk-reward equation."
Translation: If Spend a Buck wins the Jersey Derby, he will earn $2.6 million.
Would-you-believe-it dept.: According to The Sporting News, the Houston Gamblers recently listed Hulk Hogan on the team's injury report to the United States Football League and the report wasn't challenged.
Fifty years ago Saturday, as Times staffer Earl Gustkey recalled, Jesse Owens competed for Ohio State against USC in front of 40,000 at the Coliseum.
Actually, it was a doubleheader, with the City high school championships also on the program. Mayor Tom Bradley remembers the day well. Running for Poly, he won the 440 in 49.8.
Note: Poly, officially Francis Polytechnic High School, then was located downtown. It is now Trade Tech. Poly moved to Sun Valley, and in 1960-61, with Gail Goodrich leading the way, it won the City basketball title.
A game called Nicknames, in which nicknames of athletes are transferred to celebrities in other fields, was introduced in this space the other day by Newsday's Joe Gergen. Some new candidates for Gergen's list:
ACTORS: Joe E. (Downtown) Brown, Walter (The Flamingo) Brennan, Don (The Horse) Ameche.
ACTRESSES: Binnie (Bad News) Barnes, Marilyn (Cornbread) Maxwell, Eleanor (Boog) Powell.
SINGERS: Abbe (Night Train) Lane, Della (Pee Wee) Reese, Anita (Bear) Bryant.
COMPOSERS: Marvelous Marvin Hamlisch, Henry (Boom Boom) Mancini, Slingin' Sammy Kahn.
PRODUCERS: Slammin' Sam Goldwyn, Shoeless Joe Pasternak, Sam Bam Spiegel.
GENERALS: Ulysses (Mudcat) Grant, Robert E. (Spaceman) Lee, George (Pell-Mel) Patton.
JURISTS: Leon (The Polish Rifle) Jaworski, Sudden Sam Ervin, Earl (The Pearl) Warren.
PRESIDENTS: Zachary (Bones) Taylor, Woodrow (Hack) Wilson, Lyndon (White Shoes) Johnson.
ANCHORMEN: Howard K. (Bubba) Smith, Tom (The Bomb) Brokaw, Disco Dan Rather.
Trivia Answer: All three went to San Jose State.
Dwight Evans of the Boston Red Sox, on his batting slump: "George Scott used to say he was swinging .350 and hitting .190. I'm swinging at .190 and hitting .190."