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Morning Briefing

Rizzuto's Legend Is Growing

March 20, 1987

John Turchiano, editor of "Hotel/Voice" in New York, sends along five pages of classic calls by Yankee announcer Phil Rizzuto, the old Scooter who has become a master of malaprops and misnomers. One of them:

Once, during a weather pause, a camera closed in on a woman with a Yankee umbrella. Rizzuto took note.

"What a nice looking young lady," he said to broadcast partner Bill White. "She reminds me of the that old song, "A Pretty Girl is Like a Memory."

"Scooter," White said, "I think that's melody. "

"Really?" Rizzuto said. "How do you know her name is Melody?"

Kansas City Manager Billy Gardner, former manager of the Minnesota Twins, on why he turned down a stress test offered by the Royals: "I had enough stress in Minnesota to last me forever."

Howard Johnson, the man they call HoJo, told New York writers that he has the third base job with the Mets all locked up.

"I earned it, I deserve it, I have it," he said after hitting a home run in Wednesday's game. "I've taken control of the situation."

And what's happened to Dave Magadan, the highly touted rookie? After five games, he was hitting only .218 and had made four errors.

"He has HoJo-itis," Johnson said.

Trivia Time: Name the only three players in NBA history who averaged more than 30 points a game as rookies. (Answer below.)

Reggie Jackson was holding court with reporters before an Oakland workout when Joaquin Andujar broke in.

According to Tracy Ringolsby of the Dallas Morning News, Andujar suggested that he and Jackson establish a dress code that includes socks.

"Socks?" Jackson asked. "Who cares about socks? When I was 28 and 29, I'd look in the papers everyday and check my home runs and RBIs. That's where I was styling."

Would-you-believe-it Dept.: After Susan Butcher won the 1,150-mile Anchorage-to-Nome Iditarod sled dog race for the second year in a row, she was asked what she would do next.

"I'll take a week's break," she said, "and then start training for the '88 race."

Add Iditarod: This is the third straight year a woman has won the race, spurring sales of the already popular T shirt: "Alaska--Where Men Are Men and Women Win the Iditarod."

Trivia Answer: Wilt Chamberlain, 37.6 in 1960; Walt Bellamy, 31.6 in 1962, and Oscar Robertson, 30.5 in 1961.

Quotebook

Jerry Reuss of the Dodgers, on when you know you're going to be traded: "There are three signs. One, Al Campanis says there's no trade in the making. Two, Tom Lasorda says he loves you like a son. Three, you get your meal money one day at a time."

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