Before she teed off in the second round of the $200,000 Chrysler-Plymouth golf tournament Saturday at Chatham, N.J., Jane Blalock was greeted by Msgr. James Kelly, a long-time friend.
"Little Janie, how do you feel?" Kelly asked.
Blalock, tied for the lead with Betsy King at the time, said, "I feel fine."
Kelly said: "Before you start, I want to give you a special blessing."
With that, Blalock went out and shot a 12-over-par 85 to fall out of contention.
Said Blalock: "I'm still not going to lose faith."
Add Blalock: Rather than sulk after six bogeys and a triple bogey on the front nine doomed her, Blalock was ready with the wisecracks when the round was over.
"I told my caddie I'd pay someone $100 to drive me home," Blalock said. "I'll just sit in the back seat and drink beer."
Blalock's luck wasn't all bad. Walking on a cart path between the sixth and seventh holes, she found a $5 bill. "I gave it to my caddie and told him to give it to someone who deserved it," she said.
Even with the 85, Blalock survived the cut for the final round at 152. But if she could have quit, she would have. Said Blalock: "If I could have found an outhouse, I would have locked myself in."
After Don Slaught of the Texas Rangers was hit just below the left eye by a pitch from Dennis (Oil Can) Boyd of the Boston Red Sox Saturday, Phil Rogers of the Dallas Times Herald wrote:
"All (Slaught) saw were the white shirts in the center-field bleachers at Fenway Park, the same color shirts that camouflaged the fastball that eventually ended Tony Conigliaro's career in 1975."
It sounds like a good theory, but it's doubtful the white shirts played a role when Jack Hamilton of the Angels hit Conigliaro in 1967. They were playing a night game.
They're trying to make defending World Cup champion Italy and Italian reporters feel at home in Puebla, Mexico, right down to the piano player at the hotel where the Italian contingent is staying.
During lunch one day last week after the Italians arrived for the upcoming 1986 World Cup tournament, the pianist played "Three Coins in the Fountain," "Return to Sorrento," and "Volare."
Scott McGregor of the Baltimore Orioles struggled all the way in an 8-4 victory over Oakland Saturday.
"I was tired in the first inning . . . but I got my second wind in the third inning and eight runs seemed to take care of a lot."
Eight runs will do that for you.
Michigan State basketball star Scott Skiles, after emerging from a 15-day jail sentence for violating his parole on a drug conviction: "It wasn't fun, that's for sure, but then it wasn't supposed to be fun."