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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Just Imagine if Joey Bishop Had Gone Too

March 23, 1997|MAL FLORENCE

Stan Musial, the former St. Louis Cardinal Hall of Fame player, and his friend, author James Michener, once had dinner with Pope John Paul II while on vacations with their families.

Robert Dvorchak of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recalled that they also worshiped with the pontiff at a private Mass.

Michener wrote about the encounter in a 1990 book he called "Pilgrimage."

When two young priests peppered Musial with baseball questions, he told them, "I'm entitled to be here, because I'm also a Cardinal."

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Add Musial: He is known as "Stan the Man," a nickname he earned for his hitting prowess against the Dodgers in Brooklyn's Ebbets Field.

When Musial came to the plate, Brooklyn fans would say, "Here comes that man again, that man."

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Trivia time: Who holds the record for most points in a Final Four game?

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No opposition: New Jersey's Bobby Holik accidentally shot the puck into his own net in the third period of a 4-1 loss to Florida on Monday night.

"It was a good shot on net," he said. "Unfortunately, it was my own."

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The good life: Hall of Famer Johnny Bench makes it clear his hiring as a special consultant by the Cincinnati Reds was a public-relations move.

Said Bench, "I told them not to call me between tee times," adding, "I have one stipulation: I will not work for a living."

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Let Robin out! Peter Alliss, ABC-TV golf analyst, on Nick Faldo in Golf Digest magazine:

"The sad thing is that after all these years of being in front of the cameras, he really hasn't learned how to do it. I am sure he has a sense of humor that is a little bit Monty Pythonish. Inside of him is a Robin Williams dying to get out."

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His kind of guy: Peter Gammons in the Boston Globe on Cincinnati Red pitcher Scott Service, who collected $56,000 by twice winning the Fantasy Five in the Florida Lotto in one week:

"If Pete Rose were still managing, Service would have guaranteed himself a job."

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FYI: Hank Luisetti of Stanford was the first player to score 50 points in a game, which he did against Duquesne on Jan. 1, 1938, according to the NCAA basketball record book.

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Trivia answer: Bill Bradley of Princeton, with 58 points in a third-place game in 1965 at Portland, Ore.

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And finally: When Pat Riley was the Lakers' coach, his players reportedly grew tired of his motivational speeches. Not so with the Miami Heat, according to Ed Pinckney.

"The first time he gave us one, I expected it to be the same tired stuff I've been hearing for years," Pinckney told Peter Vecsey of the New York Post.

"I definitely was cynical in the beginning. But now I look forward to Pat's speeches. You never know what slant he's going to take. I'm just amazed he never repeats himself."

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