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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Sampras Says Yes to Golf Date but Sets Own Terms

July 10, 1996|EARL GUSTKEY

Tennis star Pete Sampras was invited to play in the Isuzu Celebrity Golf Championship this weekend at Lake Tahoe.

Sampras agreed, but set down two conditions:

--NBC, which is televising the tournament, had to interview him about his favorite charity, the Tim Gullikson Foundation.

--He had to be paired with his favorite NFL player, Dan Marino.

Kind of cheeky for a guy who was eliminated in the Wimbledon quarterfinals.

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Add Isuzu: Oscar De La Hoya, boxing champion and recent golf convert, is also in the field.

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Trivia time: Which U.S. president is believed to be the first to have played baseball?

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What if . . . ? Several golfers were asked what they would be doing if not playing pro golf

Arnold Palmer: "I'd be a golf superintendent somewhere, or flying airplanes. That's it. I fly myself everywhere. I love it."

Chi Chi Rodriguez: "I would have to be a minister that lived in the ghetto, and give people some peace."

Frank Conner: "I'd be homeless. I can't do anything else but play golf."

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With green hair? The Washington Post's Kevin Sullivan, in a story about North Korea's Olympic aspirations:

"North Korea is the Dennis Rodman of countries."

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Tough draw: Willie Rios, coach of Olympic marathon runner Jenny Spangler, ran the 1,500 for Puerto Rico in the 1968 Olympics.

Recalled Rios: "Before I ran, my coach said to me, 'I've got good news and bad news. The good news is, your race is on TV. The bad news is that [Jim] Ryun and [Kip] Keino are in your heat."

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Incredible but true: Boston Red Sox first baseman Mo Vaughn has been nursing a sore finger since May 28. He's hitting .344, but has been in his worst slump of the season.

Vaughn refuses to have the finger examined, partly because he's afraid it's broken.

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Wait a minute! Atlanta's 34 city libraries will be closed during the Olympics.

"With the traffic jams we're expecting, we figured we wouldn't get many visitors," said Judith Lunsford, spokeswoman for the library system.

Better think this one through again, Judith.

During the Los Angeles Olympics, unusually heavy freeway traffic was predicted but light traffic was the rule, even in rush hour.

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Piazza partisan: Newsday's Jon Heyman, on Dodger catcher Mike Piazza: "No Johnny Bench defensively, but who cares?"

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Trivia answer: John Adams, who succeeded George Washington, is described in a biography as "frolicking with the bat and ball," presumably playing rounders or town ball. A century later, the game had evolved into baseball.

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And finally: Chi Chi Rodriguez, watching a game between the Kansas City Royals and Cleveland Indians, yelled at Royal pitcher Kevin Appier, "Hey, Appier, pitch faster! By the time you get done, my clothes will be out of style!"

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