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INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Talk About Being in the Right Place at the Right Time

December 13, 1996|EARL GUSTKEY

For a Leland's sports memorabilia auction last weekend in New York, Joshua Leland Evans assembled a range of items, from Jim Brown's 1958 Cleveland Brown MVP trophy to the original contract for the 1948 Joe Louis-Joe Walcott fight.

Then came a call from a 90-year-old Maine woman.

"She said she wanted to sell a picture of the 1927 New York Yankees, signed by every player, including Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig," Evans said.

"I was skeptical . . . until I saw it. It's an unbelievable piece. Things like this just don't exist."

Turns out the Maine woman was the front desk clerk at the Princess Martha Hotel in St. Petersburg, Fla., where the Yankees stayed during 1928 spring training. As the players checked in, she produced her 1927 team photo and 34 of 38 players signed it.

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Winning bid: $35,750, by actor Charlie Sheen.

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Trivia time: Which player came in second, second and first in Heisman Trophy balloting in the years he was eligible?

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Born too soon: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Gene Collier, musing recently on baseball salaries, then and now:

"Thirty-five years ago this month, the New York Yankees turned down Roger Maris' salary demand of $75,000. He'd just hit 61 home runs.

"One week ago, baseball's owners agreed to a collective bargaining agreement with a minimum salary of $150,000."

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Sweet silence: The Chicago Tribune's Mike Royko, on Albert Belle's refusal to talk to reporters:

"We'd have a happier society if everybody would just shut up like Belle.

"Dennis Rodman, for example. He likes talking to reporters. But he usually sounds deranged and unhappy.

"If that is newsworthy, then why don't they take their cameras and microphones to a state mental hospital and interview the lunatics on the other side of the fence?"

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Get a Thomas Guide: Toronto native Mark Jones, an announcer on ABC's telecast of the Western Athletic Conference championship football game, showed he needed help on U.S. geography.

He said the crowd, 41,238, was "the largest ever to see a team sports event in the state of Las Vegas."

Then he said that Wyoming receiver Davis Saraf, a Beverly Hills High graduate, grew up "on Rodeo Drive, in Hollywood."

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Cleveland Seahawks? Are the Seattle Seahawks Cleveland-bound?

The Boston Globe's Will McDonough thinks it could happen, if rumors that billionaire Paul Allen may cancel plans to buy the Seahawks are true.

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McDonough: "There is strong feeling in some high places that if Allen bails on the Seahawks, the franchise will end up in Cleveland when the new stadium there is finished."

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Trivia answer: Army's Glenn Davis, in 1944, '45 and '46.

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And finally: Carolina Panther linebacker Kevin Greene, after five tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery: "Man, what a blast. Rooting around, having fun--it was like a hog going after a sweet potato in the mud."

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