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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Book Covers 100 Years of Tiger Tales

May 05, 1996|THOMAS BONK

The future of Tiger Stadium may not be so hot, but baseball history buffs may know that no other professional baseball team has played 100 years at the same site as the Tigers have, right there on the corner of Michigan and Trumbull.

In Michael Betzold's book, "Queen of Diamonds: The Tiger Stadium Story," he recounts what happened in the first inning of the first game in what was then called Bennett Park, on April 28, 1896.

Dick Butler, the center fielder for the Columbus Senators, was chasing a fly ball hit by George Stallings of Detroit and promptly collided with a spectator who was walking across the field. Stallings scored while Butler lay there stunned.

Betzold estimates that the site of Michigan and Trumbull went on to host more baseball games than anywhere else--about 6,600. The Tigers figure on a new stadium in two years, probably in downtown Detroit.

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Trivia time: Who is the only player who has played with both Larry Bird and Magic Johnson on an NBA team?

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Then hit FF: Steve Kerr of the Chicago Bulls said black sneakers make him appear slow: "I look like pause on the VCR."

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Use it or lose it: Forget why anyone would keep track of such a thing, but Jayson Stark of the Philadelphia Inquirer noted the last player on a major league opening-day roster to appear in a game this season was Yankee pitcher Kenny Rogers.

Stark promptly gave Rogers an award: "The A-Trophy."

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Hollywood report: Proving once again that you really do get what you need, there's a new sports movie in the works. It's about a sports agent who represents pro football players. The agent is played by Tom Cruise. The movie is titled "Jerry Maguire," apparently because "Risky Business" already has been used.

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Gulp: You heard it here first: The chief medical officer for this summer's Olympics predicts that as many as 20 athletes will test positive for steroids. Total cost for drug testing in Atlanta? About $2 million.

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A bath won't help: According to Sam Smith of the Chicago Tribune, a poll of more than 300 NBA coaches, players and team executives named Dennis Rodman the league's dirtiest player.

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Money news: Love those seven-game series! It is estimated that the Chicago Bulls get nearly $875,000 in ticket revenue for each home playoff game.

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Just a trim, please: Dave Dorr of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said Greg Norman's collapse at the Masters reminded him of Casey Stengel's line during a losing streak as manager of the Yankees.

According to Dorr, Stengel told his barber, "Don't slit my throat. . . . I may want to do it later myself."

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Travelin' man: Peter May of the Boston Globe referred to a certain Laker forward as "Cedric (Gone Swimmin') Ceballos."

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Trivia answer: Fred Roberts.

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And finally: The Clippers' Bill Fitch on the life of an NBA coach: "Coaches are like the biggest nail on the wall. You hang all the garbage on them."

Gee, Bill, we use garbage cans in our house.

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