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MORNING BRIEFING

If Hoover Could Have Hit Ball, He'd Have Had a Contract, Too

March 29, 1994|MAL FLORENCE

Babe Ruth's 1930-31 contract, which netted him a then-record $80,000, sold for $29,900 at auction on Saturday in New York.

It was that contract that inspired what was perhaps Ruth's greatest line.

After he had signed it, he was asked by reporters why he should be earning $5,000 more than President Herbert Hoover.

"I had a better year," Ruth said.

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Trivia time: Which school has played most often in the NCAA tournament without having reached the Final Four?

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Put-down: Blackie Sherrod in the Dallas Morning News: "Sudden thought: Phillie center fielder Lenny Dykstra seems bent on proving that the more headlines you get, the less manners you need."

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Aging fast: Detroit forward Sean Elliott on Piston Coach Don Chaney, who turned 48 last Tuesday:

"I don't know how old he is, but after what we've put him through this season, he's lucky he doesn't look 70."

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What truck? "Slapshots" by Stephen Cole recalled a tremendous collision last season when Edmonton Oiler center Shaun Van Allen slumped to the ice in a dazed condition.

Word got back to Edmonton Coach Ted Green that Van Allen was disoriented and didn't know who he was.

"Good," Green snapped, "Tell him he's Wayne Gretzky."

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Calling Gunga Din: Under orders to cut the budget, Montreal Expo trainer Don McClain saved $1,000 by not ordering vitamins, normally available to players, along with sun-tan lotion, aspirin and other items during spring training in Florida.

"They tell us to drink lots of water and take our vitamins when we're down here in the sun all day," outfielder Larry Walker said. "What are we going to have to do next? Bring our own water?"

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Hall of Shame: When Minnesota's Jeff Innis became the first pitcher to give up a hit to Michael Jordan, Twins' Manager Tom Kelly said: "Mr. Innis will be in all the trivia questions."

Replied Innis: "I wasn't aware spring training statistics counted."

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Older and wiser: In an interview with John Hillyer of the San Francisco Examiner, Wilt Chamberlain said:

"The game is different (now). They play above the basket a little bit better. But sometimes I think, 'They may play above the basket, but a lot of guys during my era played between the ears.' "

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Message sent: In a recent poll by the St. Paul Pioneer-Press, only 2% of those asked in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area named the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves as their favorite sports team.

The Dallas Stars hockey team, which moved to Texas from Minnesota last year, was the favorite of 5% of those polled.

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Trivia answer: Brigham Young, with 17 appearances.

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Quotebook: Horace Grant of the Chicago Bulls on Madonna's comments that she wants to own an NBA team: "I know one thing. Wives and girlfriends would be saying, 'No way are you going to that team.' "

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