YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Morning Briefing

Little Arlene, a Hall of Fame Eater

July 14, 1986

Bill Lyon of the Philadelphia Inquirer, recalling the promotions of former Philadelphia 76ers General Manager Pat Williams, said his favorite featured a performer called Little Arlene.

Lyon: "Her name was Arlene Katz--no relation to 76ers owner Harold Katz--and her schtick was her appetite. She was petite enough, barely 5 feet tall and not much over 100 pounds, but she was a relentless, rapacious eater. At one 76ers game, she took on five junk food addicts, known as the Philadelphia Phill-ups, in a gastronomic competition.

"It was a rout. The Phill-ups reeled away in belching agony while Little Arlene sat there, daintily dabbing at her mouth with a napkin after inhaling 23 hot dogs, 22 large slices of pizza and 16 large Cokes. She then offered to challenge all comers to an oyster-eating contest.

" 'Arlene,' Pat Williams said, sighing, 'enough is enough.' "

"Later, the 76ers received Arlene's hotel bill, and included was a full course roast beef dinner, which she had consumed before the contest. Truly, her digestive tract belongs in the Smithsonian."

Trivia Time: In 1956, the year he broke the 7-foot barrier in the high jump, Charlie Dumas tied for first in the Fresno Relays with a jumper who also made the Olympic team that year but not in the high jump. Who was it? (Answer below.)

16 Years Ago Today: On July 14, 1970, Cincinnati's Pete Rose bowled over Cleveland catcher Ray Fosse at home plate in the 12th inning to give the National League a 5-4 victory over the American League in the All-Star game at Cincinnati. Chicago's Jim Hickman got the game-winning hit.

On this date in 1969, Joe Niekro of the San Diego Padres beat Phil Niekro of the Atlanta Braves, 1-0.

Oil Can Boyd and Gary Carter are the biggest hot-dogs in the major leagues, George Bell plays the dirtiest, and Dick Williams is the worst manager, according to a survey conducted by the Toronto Globe and Mail.

The paper polled 26 players, one from each team.

Tom Lasorda and Pete Rose tied as the worst managers in the National League. A player who requested anonymity said of Lasorda, "If he'd put as much time and energy into managing as he does into show business, he might be a better manager, but as things are now, he's a joke."

Would-you-believe-it dept.: Minnesota's Kirby Puckett, after hitting 13 homers in the first 33 games, hit three in the next 55 games for a total of 16. After being six homers ahead of Roger Maris' record pace, he is now 19 behind. Maris had 35 homers after 88 games.

Bob Kersee, coach and husband of world heptathlon record holder Jackie Joyner, told Blaine Newnham of the Seattle Times: "When we're blessed with a son or a daughter, we'll immediately put a tennis racket or a golf club in their hands. If they get Jackie's genes, they can't go wrong. Track and field doesn't pay enough."

Joyner also was a basketball star at UCLA, and Kersee was asked if there is anything she can't do.

"She can't cook," he said. "I have to do that."

Trivia Answer: Bill Russell of San Francisco. He and Dumas tied at 6-9. Russell made the Olympic team in basketball and did not try to make it in the high jump.


Jim Ferree, runner-up in Sunday's seniors golf tournament, on his pink knickers: "When you play in pink knickers, you'd better be able to drink, play and fight like hell."

Los Angeles Times Articles