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MORNING BRIEFING

As for Baseball Players Assn., Th . . ., Th . . ., That's All Folks

July 11, 1993|MAL FLORENCE

Cardtoons L.C. of Tulsa seeks to market a package of 130 cards that parody current and former major leaguers. Players such as Dennis Excellency of the Pathetics and Rob Quibble of the Dreds.

There's also Carlton Fist, Darryl Razzberry and Lee Smite, Don Battingly and Tommy Lasagna. The Major League Baseball Players Assn. isn't amused by the cards and is threatening legal action if Cardtoons continues its activities. In turn, Cardtoons has filed a countersuit.

Add cards: The Quibble card shows the pitcher throwing a ball into the ground. A Cal Ripkenwinkle card said he once fell asleep in the first inning and, when he awoke 20 years later, the game was still going.

So he proposed several rules to speed up play. Among them: Players may scratch themselves only between innings.

Trivia time: How many times did the American League beat the National League in the All-Star game from 1963 to 1982?

Injury prone: "The Incomplete Book of Baseball Superstitions, Rituals and Oddities" lists six freak on-the-field injuries:

Joe Amalfitano broke a thumb doing a high-five.

Bill Dickey split his head open on a dugout roof.

Doug Corbett broke a toe running to get a bullpen phone.

Jim Palmer suffered a pinched nerve looking over to first base.

Terry Harper dislocated a shoulder while waving his arms.

Tom Brookens pulled a hamstring running out a home run.

Fasten your seat belts: From Peter Leo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Advertising's relentless march toward a complete takeover of society continues. Latest evidence: As of July 1, the Capital Centre, the sports arena in suburban Washington, will be known as USAir Arena.

"Lots of luck starting events on time there. And look for the first game in sports history to be postponed because of 'mechanical problems.' "

Say it isn't so: Henry Aaron is always thought of as No. 44--the number that the Braves and Brewers retired to honor baseball's home run king--but the fact is he began his big league career in 1954 with a 5 on his back. Here are some similar numbers games:

Joe DiMaggio: No. 9 in 1936; Yankees retired No. 5.

Mickey Mantle: No. 6 for part of 1951; Yankees retired No. 7.

Roberto Clemente: No. 13 in 1955; Pirates retired No. 21.

No role player: In the motion picture "Blue Chips," currently under production, Nick Nolte plays a college basketball coach who opposes Indiana's Bob Knight in the climactic game. "Let's just hope Bobby reads the script," said Pete Newell, the former California coach and longtime scout who will help Nolte on the bench.

"We're supposed to win, but try to tell that to Knight."

Trivia answer: Once, in 1971.

Quotebook: Pittsburgh Pirate Manager Jim Leyland, on Oakland Athletic Manager Tony La Russa: "He passed the bar exam and there were times when I hardly passed a bar."

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