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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Belcher Has Right Type of Interview

June 19, 1996|MAL FLORENCE

When Kansas City Royal pitcher Tim Belcher left a typed message on his locker for reporters after he was ejected from a recent game, it might have been a communications breakthrough.

Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune liked Belcher's idea, noting that it saved precious time when there's a tight deadline to be met.

"Even a written 'no comment' would be better than waiting 10 minutes to get brushed off," he wrote.

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Trivia time: Who was the first UCLA male athlete to win a gold medal in the Olympic Games?

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Quick pit stop: Alice Coachman, the first black woman to win a gold medal, in the high jump at the 1948 Olympic Games, recalled one of her forgettable landings on days before padded pits:

"At a meet in France, the pit was supposed to be sawdust and sand. They had cleared a cattle field in the area. When I jumped, I realized I was landing in sawdust and manure. I stopped jumping right quick."

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Eastern bias: Jon Drummond, noting that he and fellow sprinters Dennis Mitchell and Carl Lewis all grew up in the Philadelphia area:

"All good things come from the East. The wise men came from the East. The sun rises in the East. The greatest sprinters in the world come from the East."

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He'll be back: New York Met second baseman Jose Vizcaino is not one to forgive and forget Atlanta's Steve Avery for hitting him in the knee with a pitch.

"He hurt me; I want to hurt him," Vizcaino said. "It's not going to end until I get him back, until he's in the kind of pain I was in. I don't know how, but I'll find a way. And when I get my chance, I won't miss."

Perhaps Vizcaino has been watching too many Arnold Schwarzenegger movies.

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Weight winner: It was reported Tuesday that UCLA's John Godina became the first American athlete to qualify for the Olympic Games in the shotput and discus since Clarence "Bud" Houser.

USC's Houser not only qualified, he won the shotput and discus in the 1924 Games and repeated in the discus in 1928.

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FYI: In case you missed it, Turkey Run, with an enrollment of 208 students, won the Indiana high school softball championship Saturday by defeating defending state champion Center Grove, 11-7.

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Looking back: On this day in 1973, Willie Davis of the Dodgers and Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds each got his 2,000th hit. It was a home run for Davis against the Braves, and a single for Rose against the Giants.

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Trivia answer: Cy Young in the javelin in the 1952 Olympic Games at Helsinki, Finland.

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And finally: Hersey Hawkins of the Seattle SuperSonics read parts of Dennis Rodman's book, "Bad as I Wanna Be," and was asked if it was the best basketball book he had ever read.

"Absolutely," Hawkins said. "No Xs and O's. Gets right to the good stuff."

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