Actor Charlie Sheen, whose baseball movie credits include "Major League" and "Eight Men Out," figured he bought a piece of the game's history when he paid $93,500 for the ball that rolled through the legs of Boston Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner in the sixth game of the 1986 World Series.
Bidding by telephone, Sheen obtained the ball at a Manhattan sports memorabilia auction Tuesday. He reportedly paid 10 times the presale estimate for the ball, which was hit by Mookie Wilson of the New York Mets.
Buckner's miscue allowed the Mets to win the pivotal Series game. After the game, an umpire was said to have given the ball to Arthur Richman, then part of the Mets' front office.
But on Wednesday, Buckner, on ESPN's SportsCenter, said that he has had the ball since that game. Which means Buckner has a pretty valuable keepsake, or Sheen has an absurdly overpriced baseball.
Add auction: Leland's, the auctioneer, reported that about 265 items were sold for a total of $1.252 million.
Also commanding a big price--$55,000--was a signed jersey that was worn by new Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver when he led the Mets to their improbable World Series championship in 1969.
Trivia time: With what team did Tom Seaver end his major league career?
Check, please: The big topic among China's Olympic medal winners, according to an official news report, is how soon they can go home so they can get a good Chinese meal. So desperate are some Chinese stars for home cooking, the Xinmin Evening News of Shanghai reported, they are considering leaving Barcelona before the closing ceremony.
"I'm dying for a bit of hot peppers and Chinese rice," the newspaper quoted 13-year-old Fu Mingxia, who won the gold medal in women's platform diving, as saying.
And Zhuang Xiaoyan, who won a gold medal in women's judo, said she would stick to the instant noodles the team brought to Barcelona rather than try more of the local fare.
Drinking it all in: Vendors at the various stadiums and arenas in Barcelona expect to sell 4.5 million soft drinks, 2 million beers and 1.5 million bottles of water before the Games end. Credit the hot weather and high humidity for the brisk sales.
Add drinking: Olympic vendors have a lower projection for sandwich sales, however--about 800,000, according to Gerald Eskenazi of the New York Times.
One reason: Eating at sports events simply isn't an established practice in Spain.
"The only experience we have with stadium food is with soccer and basketball," Alfonso Derqui, concessions manager for the Barcelona Olympic Coordinating Committee, told Eskenazi. "When bullfight rings were constructed, no one thought of putting in bars."
And Eskenazi adds another reason, drawn from his own research: "Spaniards seem to like to keep their hands free so they can hold their cigarettes."
Last add drinking: Eskenazi points out that only food and drink manufactured by the Games' corporate sponsors are sold at Olympic sites and venues. And given the amount of money involved--Coca-Cola reportedly paid $33 million to be the Games' official soft drink--those sponsors take their role seriously.
"One imagines a munchies underground in which 7-Up, Good 'n Plenty, Nathan's Famous and Mott's apple juice are smuggled in," Eskenazi writes, "perhaps in the side panels of automobiles."
Trivia answer: The Red Sox, for whom he appeared in 16 games in 1986.
Quotebook: Steve Jones, Olympic TripleCast basketball commentator, apologizing for mangling the names of Croatian players: "There are a lot of 'vitches' here."