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INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Williams Put His Signature on This Story

September 11, 1997|MAL FLORENCE

Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Mel Parnell tells this story about pitcher Pedro Ramos, who, as a rookie with the Washington Senators in 1955, struck out Ted Williams in his first start against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Exuberant, Ramos kept the ball and after the game asked Williams to autograph it. Williams grumpily complied.

A month or so later, the Senators returned to Boston and Ramos again faced Williams. This time Williams belted a Ramos pitch into the bleachers in right-center field. As he rounded second he shouted to Ramos: "If you can find that S.O.B., I'll sign it too."

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Trivia time: Norm Van Brocklin set one of the NFL's longest-standing records in 1951 when he passed for 554 yards against the New York Yanks. Who is the only other Ram quarterback to pass for 500 or more yards?

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Riches to rags: Larry Ball, a former University of Louisville player, had the distinction of playing for the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins and the winless 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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Hardship case: Michael Jordan turned down a two-year deal with the Chicago Bulls and signed for one season at a reported $36 million.

Said Michael Ventre of MSNBC: "He's got a wife and kids. How can he be so irresponsible about his financial security?"

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NFL hypocrisy: John Madden has taken the NFL to task for promoting big hits on its videos and then fining players who make them.

"I was at an NFL seminar a year ago, and it started off with this 'big hits' kind of thing with the music and all that. It was basically a video of guys committing all kinds of illegal acts on one another. Then the video was over, and they had a seminar on rules."

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Torrid pace: Larry Walker of the Colorado Rockies has an outside chance to become the first National League player to win the triple crown since Ducky Joe Medwick of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1937.

Walker is leading the league in batting (.371) and home runs (43) and is third in RBIs (114).

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FYI: If UCLA (0-2) loses to Texas on Saturday, it will be the Bruins' worst start since they went 0-4 in 1971, a season that resulted in a 2-7-1 record.

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Looking back: On this day in 1959, the Dodgers ended the two-year, 22-game winning streak of Pittsburgh Pirate relief pitcher Elroy Face when they scored two ninth-inning runs for a 5-4 victory.

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Trivia answer: Vince Ferragamo, who passed for 509 yards against the Chicago Bears on Dec. 26, 1982.

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And finally: Adam & Eve preempted the second half of Fox Sports West 2's coverage of Saturday's game between Cal State Northridge and Hawaii.

Just as the second half was about to begin at midnight, TCI East Valley Channel 40 automatically switched to the Adam & Eve adult channel.

According to a TCI spokesman, there were no complaints.

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