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Morning Briefing

He Doesn't Like Being Hobbled by Blame

February 20, 1987

It's the most talked-about play of the last World Series, but the way Bill Buckner tells it, his error in Game 6 made absolutely no difference, and he's tired of all the questions.

"Once I get to spring training, I'm not talking about it any more," the Boston first baseman said. "It's been blown way out of proportion in the first place. Now that I've seen the films, I know that we were not going to get Mookie Wilson at first, anyway. Stanley was not going to be there."

That's Bob Stanley, the Red Sox reliever who apparently got a late start off the mound to cover first base.

"It's just a mistake and it's still being blown out of proportion," Buckner said.

Elgin Baylor, general manager of the Clippers, was the most creative player of his day, so Blaine Newnham of the Seattle Times wondered why he didn't dunk more.

Baylor: "In my day, it was embarrassing to have someone dunk over you. So the defensive player would take you out of the game, undercut you, break your back.

"Players clogged the middle, they took charges. How many people did you ever see drive down the lane and dunk when Norm Van Lier and Jerry Sloan played for the Chicago Bulls?"

Trivia Time: When the Milwaukee Bucks and the Washington Bullets won their only NBA titles, who was a starter on both teams? (Answer below).

Add Forgettable Quotes: Herman Helms of the Columbia (S.C.) State newspaper recalls this one: "He couldn't hit an inside pitch to save his neck. If he were a white man, I doubt if they would ever consider him as big-league material."

Bob Feller said it after the Brooklyn Dodgers announced in October, 1945 that they had signed Jackie Robinson to a minor league contract.

In 1946, playing in 124 games for Montreal at second base, Robinson led the International League in batting at .349 and in runs scored with 113. The shortstop was Al Campanis. In the Junior World Series, Montreal beat Louisville of the American Assn. in six games. Campanis batted .350, tops on the club.

From Hubert Mizell of the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times: "Remember Charlie Bauman, the former Clemson linebacker Woody Hayes slugged in the Gator Bowl? For years, everywhere Charlie went, he was asked about the incident that wound up costing Hayes his job as Ohio State football coach. But enough was enough. Innocent victim Bauman is now someplace in Sarasota, Fla., tending bar under an assumed name."

Tacky Headline of the year: "DiMaggio Learning to Pace Himself."

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram came up with that after Joe DiMaggio had a pacemaker implanted in his chest.

Marvelous Marvin Hagler says he's 32, but Sugar Ray Leonard wonders if he's really 34 or 35.

Writes William Gildea of the Washington Post: "A visit to City Hall in Newark, N.J., and examination of Hagler's birth record on file there shows that Marvin Nathaniel Hagler was born May 23, 1954. When he fights the 30-year-old Leonard, Hagler will still be 32.

"Earlier in his career, Hagler's age was published in boxing reference books and articles based on a birth date of May 23, 1952. Pat Patronelli, Hagler's manager, said he added two years to Hagler's age when Hagler was a teen-ager so he would be eligible for amateur boxing."

Trivia Answer: Bob Dandridge.


Ray Perkins, new head Coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, asked if his wife objected to his 18-hour workdays: "I don't know. I don't see her that much."

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