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MORNING BRIEFING

Not Much Use for Stock of 'Official' Balls

September 18, 1994|MAL FLORENCE

Last month, in anticipation of the World Series, Rawlings manufactured about 5,000 baseballs. Each was stamped: "Official Ball. 1994 World Series."

On Wednesday, however, major league owners canceled the rest of the season because of the monthlong players' strike.

So, Rawlings has all those balls, now stored in a warehouse in Springfield, Mo.

"We don't even know if major league baseball will allow us to sell them," Rawlings spokesman Scott Smith said. "But we imagine they will let us do that."

Sure, for a piece of the action.

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Trivia time: What unusual NFL rule change was made in 1956?

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Sod story: Tom Waddle, Chicago Bear wide receiver, on the turf at Soldier Field:

"If you were playing 18 holes on this surface, you would liken it to a municipal course. You know, lift, clean and place."

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Con man: Levon Kirkland, Pittsburgh Steeler linebacker, when asked if he was pro or con on the throwback uniforms the Steelers are wearing to commemorate the NFL's 75th anniversary:

"Con. Con, con, con, con. They wouldn't look as bad if it wasn't for those Grey Poupon pants we'll wear. Maybe the guys were tougher back then, but we're a bunch of soft guys. And we don't like them."

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Clip and save: Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle, writing on the 49ers' signing of Deion Sanders:

"There seems to be some concern from interested observers that Sanders' high-octane style will upset the delicate chemistry of the team. Absurd. What his style will do to the team's delicate chemistry is advance it into the NFC locker room for the Super Bowl next January."

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Dangerous: George Kiseda, a former staff member of The Times, had this observation:

"Napoleon McCallum's season ended on grass. Dan Marino's (1993) season ended on grass. Bo Jackson's football career ended on grass.

"When are they going to get rid of that stuff?"

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Putdown: Glen Sather, general manager of the Edmonton Oilers, upon hearing that the Kings' Marty McSorley, a former Oiler, was accusing the owners of putting guns to the players' heads with moves to roll back benefits and talk of a lockout: "This from a guy who didn't have two nickels to rub together when he came to Edmonton. I didn't know he had a degree in economics."

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Sourpuss: Mark Kriegel of the New York Daily News: "Why does Donald Fehr always look like he just drank a quart of bad milk?"

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Vicious: Bob Ryan, in the Boston Globe: "Would that the Arizona Cardinals go 0-16 and Buddy (Absolutely No Relation) Ryan be exposed as the egocentric bully he really is."

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Trivia answer: Loudspeaker coaching from the sidelines was discontinued.

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Quotebook: Blackie Sherrod of the Dallas Morning News: "If God wanted us to have aluminum bats, why didn't he make aluminum trees?"

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