YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Morning Briefing

Butter Up Is Foiled by Cobb

September 06, 1985

Collette Johnson of Royston, Ga., is a first cousin of Ty Cobb, who was raised in the town and returned there from time to time after his retirement from baseball.

Her husband, Young Johnson, remembers an occasion when Little League baseball was becoming popular and the townspeople were trying to get a league started.

Johnson, 63, told Russ White of the Orlando Sentinel: "Some of the organizers asked Ty if he would help. They said they wanted to name the league the Ty Cobb Little League and they could get it going if he would give them a $200 donation.

"Ty glared at them and said: 'Hell, no. You give me $200, and maybe we'll talk about it.' "

Trivia Time: Steffi Graf of West Germany, a semifinalist in the U.S. Open, won what tournament in Los Angeles last summer? (Answer below.)

Add Graf: Asked if she has the game to deal with Martina Navratilova, she said: "Not really. I still have to work on my serve, my backhand and my serve-and-volley."

She doesn't have much time. They meet today in the semifinals.

From Dr. John M. Stalberg of Pacific Palisades: "Regarding the recent spate of athletes' names that spell the same frontward or backward, what is such a word called?

"Answer.: A palindrome. Using this word will cut down on type and upgrade the intelligence level of the sports pages."

Add palindromes: Center Mike Baab of the Cleveland Browns, and offensive linemen Charley Hannah of the Raiders and John Hannah of the New England Patriots.

Last add palindromes: In Webster's, they even come up with a sentence: "Able was I ere I saw Elba."

Pete Rose told Steve Jacobson of Newsday of the time he and Sparky Anderson toured Japan, giving clinics.

"For 28 days, Sparky had them eating out of his hand," Rose said. "Then, as soon as we get home, they read that the club fired Sparky. They had to think how the hell they lost the war to those guys."

How tough is it to play in New York, with George Steinbrenner as your boss?

Dave Winfield told Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post: "I've seen it break men. Steve Kemp, Toby Harrah just couldn't play here. Other guys, quality players like Jim Rice, Wade Boggs, Eddie Murray say they'd never play here. Something's always attacking you."

Mark Gastineau is the most publicized of the defensive ends, but Howie Long of the Raiders rates himself and Tampa Bay's Lee Roy Selmon, who is out for the year with injuries, as more complete players.

"My approach is more blue-collar," Long told Greg Logan of Newsday. "His is more the executive approach. He's a limelight guy. Using a basketball analogy, I'd compare Gastineau to Bernard King, who scores 40 points a game while the Knicks often lost last season. I'm Magic Johnson, with 10 assists and five steals. The guy in Tampa is similar to Larry Bird, the total player. He's hurt now, but I think Selmon is the best."

Trivia Answer: The Olympic Games.


Pittsburgh outfielder Steve Kemp, who had off-season surgery after being traded from the Yankees, on his .232 batting average: "I don't know if it's because of the change of leagues, surgery, or I just stink."

Los Angeles Times Articles