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First Base Digs Reveal an Earthy Writing Style

THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

August 10, 1997|ROBYN NORWOOD

When can a late-inning strategic move mark the end of a correspondence?

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, it happened when the correspondents were Mark Grace and Larry Walker, scribbling on the infield dirt at Coors Field in Denver.

Grace was at first base for the Chicago Cubs and Walker started there for the Rockies one day last month.

When Walker struck out in the fifth inning, Grace scratched out, "You'll never hit .400 like that."

"I know," Walker replied. But when Grace grounded out to first, Walker left a taunt: "You'll never hit .300 like that," and added, "I'm going to bunt."

Instead, Walker struck out for the third time.

"Hat trick," wrote Grace.

The exchange ended when Walker was moved back to his customary position, right field.

"I would have responded," Walker said. "But you can't write on grass."

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Trivia time: Name either the men's or women's winner of the French Open tennis tournament in June. Correct spelling required.

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Can I putt out, officer? Steve Serino, putting for a birdie during the New Hampshire State Amateur tournament, was arrested by two Nashua police officers on charges he had led police on a high-speed chase.

Serino says he asked, "Does that mean I can't finish this putt?"

Police said he could return if he posted bail, but the tournament director disqualified him, even though Serino's sister came up with the required $400.

Police said they issued an arrest warrant for Serino on June 10 but couldn't find him--until one of the officers who had pursued him spotted his name in the sports section.

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A mighty good goat: Last December, Atlanta Falcon kicker Morten Andersen slipped on his approach and missed a 30-yard field goal that allowed the Jacksonville Jaguars to make the playoffs. Andersen instantly became a hero to Jaguar fans.

Soon afterward, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, Andersen received about 500 Christmas cards from Jacksonville fans, and organizers of a sports banquet invited him to present an award to Jaguar quarterback Mark Brunell.

Give Andersen credit. He not only accepted the invitation, he pretended to trip as he approached Brunell with the award.

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Trivia answer: Gustavo Kuerten and Iva Majoli. Bonus points if none of your income is derived from tennis.

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And finally: Talk about your Extreme Games! A list of unorthodox August sporting events compiled by Outside magazine includes the Tetonkaha Rendezvous in Bruce, S.D., ("Blindfolded canoeists cross Tetonkaha Lake while their partners in the bow bark out commands"); the Great American Duck Race in Deming, N.M., ("Humans dress as ducks while the real things waddle down a track") and the Sourdough Rendezvous Gold Rush Bathtub Race in Canada's Yukon ("Solo helmsmen steer eight-horsepower bathtubs 486 miles from Whitehorse to Dawson").

Four hundred and eighty-six miles in a tub? Now that's extreme.

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