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Morning Briefing

Kirby Doesn't Catch On

May 13, 1986

During spring training, NBC sportscaster Bob Costas promised Minnesota center fielder Kirby Puckett he'd name his first child, boy or girl, Kirby if Puckett was hitting more than .350 when his wife, due in May, gave birth.

The baby, a boy, was born last Friday afternoon, and Puckett, who hit .288 last season, was hitting .374 at the time.

So does the world now have a Kirby Costas, as Costas had promised on the air recently? Nope. Apparently, Costas' wife Randi wasn't too fond of the name Kirby. She preferred Keith, so that's the name that was selected.

"I didn't want to renege on my promise, so I thought about using Kirby as the middle name," Costas said. "But then I realized I couldn't use Kirby as a middle name without using Durwood as the first name, so I forgot the whole thing."

Trivia time: Which NBA player has played against two of his coaches?

34 Years Ago Today: Ron Necciai, pitching for Bristol, Tenn., a Pittsburgh Pirate Class D team in the Appalachian League, struck out 27 batters in a nine-inning game. One walk, a hit batter, a fielding error and a dropped third strike kept Necciai from a perfect game.

NBC, trying an experiment, announced the judges' cards after each round of two fights it televised Sunday.

During the first fight, in which Frankie Warren decisioned Ronnie Shields, the scores were announced to both the live crowd and the TV audience. But during the second, in which Meldrick Taylor decisioned Harold Brazier, the scores were announced to only the TV audience.

This created a few problems. First, Brazier's cornermen complained that Taylor's corner had access to a nearby TV monitor, while they didn't. So it was decided that the scores would be announced to the TV audience, but they would not be displayed on the screen since Taylor's cornermen conceivably could see them.

Then Taylor's cornermen, who weren't very interested until Brazier started to rally in the later rounds, began to retrieve pieces of paper containing the scores after announcer Marv Albert discarded them. Albert, in mock retaliation, threw one of the pieces of paper at Taylor's cornermen.

"I think we learned something," said Kevin Monaghan, NBC's boxing coordinator. "Either everyone knows the score or no one knows the score."

Trivia answer: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who, while with Milwaukee, played against Pat Riley, the current Laker coach, and Jerry West, former Laker coach.

Enough's enough department: Bartenders at Major Goolby's, the Milwaukee establishment where Reggie Jackson had his run-in with a fan, are now wearing T-shirts that read: "No comment."


Heavyweight Mitchell Green, who faces Mike Tyson May 20 at Madison Square Garden, after being asked why he is willing to risk his No. 7 World Boxing Council ranking against such a formidable opponent: "You don't learn nothing fighting nobody that don't know nothing."

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