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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Now They're Collecting Dust Somewhere Else

December 10, 1996|EARL GUSTKEY

Relics from old stadiums are hot memorabilia items, as bidders learned at recent auctions for items from Notre Dame Stadium, undergoing expansion, and Boston Garden, now razed.

According to Kovels Sports, a sports collectibles newsletter, these were among the most coveted items:

--Two Boston Garden seats, both signed by Larry Bird: $3,450.

--The original Boston Bruins' wooden bench: $1,380.

--The Boston Garden organ: $4,600.

From Notre Dame Stadium:

--One of four folding chairs from private boxes (original green paint): $1,265.

--Pipe humidor made from a football and autographed by Knute Rockne: $5,175.

Most impressive sale: The Boston Garden scoreboard (yes, it works): $46,000.

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Trivia time: In 1956, Jim Bailey, an Australian attending the University of Oregon, upset countryman John Landy at the Coliseum and ran the first 4-minute mile in America, 3:58.6.

At Oregon, who was Bailey's roommate?

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Pre-seven Mick: When baseball collectors began bidding at Baseball magazine's auction of its photo library, it was clear that demand for Mickey Mantle items has soared since his death.

A 1951 spring training photo of Mantle was offered, showing him wearing No. 6, before he was permanently issued No. 7.

It sold for $3,220, according to Kovels Sports.

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Only visiting teams: Amusement Business magazine columnist James Zoltak thinks Los Angeles should have NFL football . . . but without a home team.

He suggests urging the NFL to bring in several "neutral site" games each season.

"Maybe one could be played at the Rose Bowl, another at the Coliseum and maybe another at Anaheim Stadium," he writes.

"Wouldn't those Green Bay Cheeseheads jump at the chance to leave the frozen tundra for one weekend to see their Packers play, say, the Dallas Cowboys in 70-degree weather in Pasadena?"

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"You're gone, Mom . . ." The NBA's Charles Barkley, talking about skyrocketing league salaries, his age, 33, and nearing the end of his career:

"I'm firing my mother. She's off the Barkley payroll. She had me too soon."

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Add SportsLetter: Remember the NBC "Olympic Moment" profile of Russian gold medalist weightlifter Andrei Chermerkin?

He's shown chomping into a burger at the Moscow McDonald's--and talking to a friend as he chews.

SportsLetter reports Russian sports expert and Russian linguist Robert Edelman said Chermerkin uttered the word "Uzhasno!"

Translation: "This is terrible!"

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Trivia answer: USC football Coach John Robinson.

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And finally: Jumbo Elliott, New York Jet offensive tackle, talking about his hometown, Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y.: "When anyone said he had a good wardrobe, it meant he owned 10 bowling shirts."

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