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INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Junior Has to Do Some Hammering to Catch Hank

September 28, 1997|EARL GUSTKEY

Does Ken Griffey Jr. have any chance of catching Hank Aaron's career home run record of 755?

Yes.

If Griffey, who is 27 and has 294 home runs, averages 40 home runs for the next 12 seasons, he would pass Aaron sometime during the 2009 season.

And Mark McGwire?

Probably not.

McGwire, who will turn 34 Wednesday, has 385. If he averages 40 a season until age 40, he'd have 625, in fourth place behind Aaron, Babe Ruth (714) and Willie Mays (660).

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Trivia time: What do Griffey and Stan Musial have in common?

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Switchmen: Cincinnati Reds' catcher Eddie Taubensee, talking about his 16-month-old son and another son due in January:

"I want them close together so I can coach them in Little League and I can use them in double switches. Then they'll know what their Daddy's career was like."

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The Manning derby: Brian Allee-Walsh of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, in noting the Chicago Bears' slow start (now 0-4), recalled the Bears' disastrous 1969 season.

"[The team] went 1-13, then lost the coin flip to Pittsburgh to determine who got the No. 1 draft pick, who turned out to be Terry Bradshaw.

"The Bears' luck would be to beat Ditka's Saints on Oct. 5 and lose the lead for Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning."

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On the air: Pro football announcer John Madden, talking about his early years in broadcasting:

"I didn't have any idea what to do. I didn't even know how to hold the microphone. My wife said: 'Hold it like Pat [Summerall] does.' And that was my fourth year."

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FYI: Voters in 11 western Pennsylvania counties will vote Nov. 4 on whether to finance the building of two new Pittsburgh stadiums, a 38,000-seat park for the Pirates and a 62,000-seat stadium for the Steelers.

Both teams now use 27-year-old Three Rivers Stadium, which would be razed if the issue passes. Three Rivers has $38 million remaining on its debt.

The Steelers' stadium would be built near the Three Rivers site and the Pirates' park would be at the north end of the Sixth Street Bridge.

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Unacceptable: Florida Marlin Manager Jim Leyland, on the rap he has never won a postseason series:

"Are you telling me if Francisco Cabrera hits a one-hopper to Jay Bell in '92 and we go to the World Series, I'm a genius? But because he hit one in the hole and we lost that I'm an idiot? I don't buy that."

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Trivia answer: Both were born in Donora, Pa.

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And finally: Philadelphia Eagle punter Tom Hutton--whose botched hold of a possible game-winning field goal may have cost the Eagles an upset at Dallas--on why he didn't throw to wide-open Ray Farmer in the end zone after he had picked up the ball and rolled out:

"I was running for my life," he said. "I didn't see him open until Thursday."

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