Drew (Bundini) Brown, who died this week, enjoyed some rollicking times as a sidekick to Muhammad Ali but confessed that he had to tone down his act when the champion embraced the Muslim religion.
Dave Anderson of the New York Times recalled a banquet that Herbert Muhammad arranged for Ali at Gallagher's in New York before the Zora Folley fight in 1967. Bundini and trainer Angelo Dundee arrived late for the affair and were seated at the end of the long table.
Bundini surveyed the scene and noted that none of the Black Muslims at the table were drinking hard liquor. So, when the waiter came, Brown leaned close and whispered, "Bring me a martini, but put it in a big water glass so nobody will know."
The waiter nodded and started to walk away, but Bundini called him back and whispered in his ear.
"No olive," he said.
After Sam Wyche's incredible gaffe that cost the Cincinnati Bengals a win against the San Francisco 49ers, Bengal General Manager Mike Brown was asked if it was the worst he had ever seen.
"No, I saw one worse than that," he said. "One time we were trying an onside kick. We lined up all of our players on the left side of the field, and our kicker kicked it to the right."
Trivia Time: What brother combination has hit the most home runs for one club in a season? (Answer to follow.)
Wait a Minute: Chicago White Sox Manager Jim Fregosi, sympathizing with Gene Mauch, said the Angel manager would feel better once he got back to Palm Springs "to take in some of that cool, clean air."
That day, it was 109 degrees in Palm Springs.
Mike Downey, in his Wednesday column, was wondering how many people from Toronto and Montreal are living in Southern California.
It's hard to say, but it recalled Jack Kent Cooke's classic line when asked why the Kings weren't drawing better at the Forum.
"There are 800,000 Canadians living in the L.A. area," said Cooke, "and I've discovered why they left Canada. They hate hockey."
Al Davis said he prefers to refer to his non-union Raider team as a Triple-A team.
"But this is getting more like college recruiting," he told the Boston Globe. "We had three guys stolen from us who were in our summer training camp that we thought we had lined up to come back in case of a strike. Then we find out the other teams offered $500 more than we did, so they out-recruited us."
55 Years Ago Today: Babe Ruth hit his called-shot home run against Charlie Root as the Yankees beat the Cubs, 7-5, in Game 3 of the 1932 World Series at Wrigley Field.
On this date in 1961, Roger Maris broke Ruth's 34-year-old one-season home run record by hitting his 61st off Tracy Stallard as the Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox, 1-0, at Yankee Stadium.
Trivia Answer: Tony and Billy Conigliaro of the Red Sox with 54 in 1970. Tony hit 36, Billy 18. The National League record is 53 by the Aaron brothers of the Milwaukee Braves in 1962. Henry hit 45, Tommy 8.
Lee Trevino, comparing his drives to those of Jack Nicklaus: "If he'd had to play my tee ball all his life, he'd be a pharmacist."