Now it can be told. When Kevin Mitchell of the New York Mets came through with one of the key 10th-inning hits off Calvin Schiraldi in the 6-5 win over Boston in the sixth game of the World Series, he wasn't wearing anything underneath his pants.
Mitchell, a San Diego native who is now with Padres, told Dave Anderson of the New York Times: "I didn't think I'd be hitting. I hadn't hit against a right-handed pitcher in that situation all season. Danny Heep was still on the bench. I figured he'd hit for me, so I went into the clubhouse.
"I was on the phone when Howard Johnson came running in, yelling, 'Get out there, you're hitting.' I hung up the phone, then I slipped my pants back on. But I'd taken off taken off everything underneath them--my jock, my underwear."
And what was he doing on the phone?
"I was making my airline reservations to go home to San Diego," he said.
Add Mitchell: Of his confrontation with Schiraldi, once a member of the Mets, he said: "When we were roommates at Jackson, Miss. in 1983, Calvin used to tell me, 'I know how I'd pitch you, Mitch, bust a fastball inside, then throw you sliders away.' He started me off with a fastball inside, and we both laughed at each other. Then he threw me a slider away, and I hit it into left field for a single."
Add Schiraldi: Of his losses in both Game 6 and Game 7, he said: "When will I get over it? In about 20 years."
That will put him ahead of Ralph Branca.
Says Branca, who gave up the home run to Bobby Thomson 36 years ago: "A guy commits murder and he gets pardoned after 20 years. I didn't get pardoned. It's just like an alcoholic. You're going to have to live with this until they put you in the ground."
Trivia Time: What kind of a hit did Milwaukee's Joe Adcock get to break up a no-hitter by Pittsburgh's Harvey Haddix in the 13th inning May 26, 1959? (Answer below.)
George Steinbrenner didn't take kindly to the shots Bowie Kuhn took at him in his book "Hardball: The Education of a Baseball Commissioner."
Steinbrenner suggested a new title for the book: "Great Sea Stories by the Captain of the Titanic."
Maryland star Derrick Lewis said the undermanned Terps simply ran out of gas in an 82-63 loss to talent-rich North Carolina in an opening game of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
"I just saw them coming in and out, in and out," Lewis said of the Tar Heels. "After a while, I was hoping one of them would come in for me."
The nicest thing said about Oklahoma basketball Coach Billy Tubbs in a survey of officials by Newsday was, "He was a funny guy when he was coaching at Lamar."
Otherwise, these words were used to describe him: "Arrogant . . . obnoxious . . . jerk."
Tubbs found it all hard to believe.
"I'm a great guy," he said.
Trivia Answer: Adcock hit a ball over the right-center field fence for an apparent three-run homer, but he passed Henry Aaron on the bases, and the homer was changed to a double. Felix Mantilla , who was on second, was credited with the only run, and the official score became 1-0.
Cedric Maxwell, on his trade from the Clippers to the Houston Rockets: "It was like I was surrounded by Indians and, all of a sudden, along came Bill Fitch and the cavalry to rescue me."