St. Louis outfielder Mark Whiten was being praised recently for his long-ball bat as well as his throwing arm.
In Busch Stadium, a yellow seat in the upper deck has a black marker on it. That's where Whiten's blast landed last August, one of only 11 upper-deck homers at the stadium in 25 years.
Pirate coach Rich Donnelly said: "Thing is, he could throw one up there, too."
Wrote Pittsburgh columnist Gene Collier: "(Whiten's) arm moves people to statements that flaunt local blasphemy ordinances."
Said Pirate coach Tommy Sandt: "If (Roberto) Clemente had a better arm than his, I'd like to have seen it. I mean, how good can you throw it?"
Donnelly: "We were in St. Petersburg in spring training, and he went into the corner for a ball and made a 300-foot throw, no hops, and nailed Carlos Garcia at third.
"He eggs you on. He'll lope after a ball to see if he can get you to run, picks it up . . . and bam, you're dead."
Said Cardinal coach Red Schoendienst, a onetime contemporary of Clemente's: "As far as arm strength goes . . . it's a tough call between Clemente and Whiten."
Trivia time: What was Willie Mays' salary in 1973, when he retired from baseball?
It worked once: The last time the Pittsburgh Steelers signed a player who had never played college football, he wound up in the Pro Bowl. He was guard Carlton Haselrig, a college wrestler who was their 12th choice in 1989.
They tried it again this week, signing free agent Elbert Ellis, a 6-foot-5, 218-pound hurdler from the University of Pittsburgh. He hasn't played football since the eighth grade.
In a workout, the Steelers said, Ellis ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash, did a 10-foot-5 standing long jump and caught every ball thrown to him.
"He's a longshot, but the kid is big, fast and a good-looking athlete," said the Steelers' Tom Donohoe, director of football operations.
Trivia answer: $180,000.
Quotebook: Ralph Kiner, New York Met announcer: "(Bobby) Bonilla has struck out three times in the game--and he's one for two."