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Morning Briefing

The Big Guy Seldom Rested, Never Wilted

May 17, 1987

With the media making a big issue of all those minutes Larry Bird and the other Boston starters have been putting in, one wonders what Wilt Chamberlain is thinking.

In 1961-62, when he scored 100 points in one game and averaged 50.4 points a game for the Philadelphia Warriors, Chamberlain played in 80 games. In 79 of them, he played all 48 minutes. Including overtimes, his average for the season was 48.5 minutes per game.

Meanwhile, Bird continues to contend he's not tired, although in the last two games against Milwaukee he is 4 for 20 in the second half and 0 for 8 in the fourth quarter.

"I can play two games a day," he said.

Add Celtics: Said Coach K.C. Jones, when asked about the injury situation today: "If I see guys on crutches, with bandages on their head and someone's playing a fife and drum, I'll know I'm in trouble."

Trivia Time: Who was the first black pitcher to appear in a World Series? (Answer below.)

The best hitter in baseball today? Ted Williams told Furman Bisher of the Atlanta Journal: "The guy from the Yankees. I have to go along with him, but I'm not sure the kid from California isn't going to be as good as any of them."

That would be Don Mattingly and Wally Joyner.

"Wade Boggs is a good hitter," Williams continued, "but he's the Rod Carew type, sprays it around. Oh, what a hitter I thought Dale Murphy was going to be. What a beautiful swing, but he goes after too many bad pitches, especially last season."

From Rick Bernaldo, coach of Hillsborough of Tampa, after a 32-inning win over Manatee of Bradenton in a Florida community college game: "One of our guys slid into second base in the first inning, and his scab had healed by the end of the game."

Former NBA center Johnny Kerr, on what his epitaph will say: "I Told You My Feet Were Killing Me."

Mike Schmidt gives Darryl Strawberry the best shot at becoming the next man to hit 500 home runs, but he told the Philadelphia Inquirer: "Let's face it, home run hitting is a lost art. I mean, if I hit 30-something this year, I've got a chance to lead the league.

"It's not like when I first came up. You had Mays in the league then and Aaron in the league then. And Stargell and McCovey. And Foster hit 52 one year. And Bench was in the 40s a few years in a row."

81 Years Ago Today: On May 17, 1906, a bunt single by Ty Cobb ruined a no-hitter by Rube Waddell as the Philadelphia Athletics beat the Detroit Tigers, 5-0.

On this date in 1979, Dave Kingman of the Chicago Cubs hit three home runs, and Mike Schmidt of the Phillies hit two as Philadelphia beat Chicago, 23-22, in 10 innings at Wrigley Field. The slugfest included 11 home runs, 50 hits, and 109 at-bats.

Trivia Answer: Satchel Paige of the Cleveland Indians. In the 1948 World Series against the Boston Braves, he worked two-thirds of an inning in Game 5, allowing no hits or walks.

Quotebook

Chicago Bears Coach Mike Ditka, when asked what Jim McMahon is doing to rehabilitate his shoulder: "He's hitting the 5-iron about 180 yards."

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