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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Only 11 Homers, but That's Not the Whole Story

July 21, 1996|SHAV GLICK

A recent Morning Briefing item noted that Babe Ruth, then with the Boston Red Sox, led the major leagues in home runs in 1918 with 11, a mark he shared with Tilly Walker of the Philadelphia Athletics. Reader Larry Berg of San Gabriel thinks the item shortchanged the Babe.

Berg notes that in that same season Ruth also started 19 games as a pitcher, completing 18, with a 13-7 record and a 2.22 earned-run average. He also batted .300 with 26 doubles, 11 triples and six stolen bases while playing 59 games in the outfield and 13 at first base.

The Red Sox could use him today.

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Trivia time: Shaquille O'Neal will be the Lakers' fourth regular starting center since Wilt Chamberlain in 1968-69. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Vlade Divac were two of them, but who was the other?

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Can he tackle?: The president of Guilford College, William R. Rogers, decided the school's football team needed an emotional boost for its game against Randolph Macon last season.

Rogers dressed up in a complete football uniform and took the field with the squad before the start of the game. His wife, Bev, dressed as a cheerleader and also ran out in front of the stands.

Nothing helped. Randolph Macon won the game, 27-10.

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Frame job: Retired boxing promoter-publicist Don Fraser of North Hollywood recently visited Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay and noted a grave error on the photo gallery of the Rock's famous former residents.

The portrait identified as Mickey Cohen is actually Frankie Carbo, whom Fraser remembers as boxing's uncrowned czar and No. 1 mob guy of the '40s and '50s.

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The bounce test: Wonder why so many more home runs are being hit this year? Dave Cash, the Philadelphia Phillie coach, thinks he has the answer. He says if you drop some of today's baseballs, they will bounce higher than ones used five years ago.

"They're wound tighter," he said.

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Close to home: Cincinnati Bengal Coach Dave Shula has confided that he might have a guest coach at training camp this summer.

"Here's the greatest head coach who ever coached, and he happens to be my dad," Shula said. "He's a pretty dang good resource, and I plan on using him as much as I can."

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He eats well: Former USC lineman Pat Harlow, recently traded to the Oakland Raiders by the New England Patriots, does not disguise his dislike for mid-July scrimmages.

"Come join the monotony," he told Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle. "Training camp [stinks]. It's twice a day forever. I'm tired already of going against the same guys. It's really monotonous."

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Trivia answer: Elmore Smith, who started in the 1973-74 and 1974-75 seasons before being sent to Milwaukee in the Abdul-Jabbar trade.

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And finally: Boston Red Sox slugger Mo Vaughn, on the joy of hitting grand slams: "The whole game to me is RBIs. If you can pick up four on one swing, then that's a nice day."

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