Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

THE INSIDE TRACK | Morning Briefing

Joltin' Joe Lights Up a Cuban

April 03, 1998|MAL FLORENCE

Fidel Castro, the former baseball prospect turned Cuban dictator, recently revealed to a group of visiting Americans that he had always dreamed of owning Joe DiMaggio's autograph, according to the New York Daily News.

When word made its way back to DiMaggio, the Yankee Clipper was initially reluctant. But he relented and sent Castro a signed ball, which Castro received two weeks ago.

"He doesn't approve of Castro's politics," a friend of DiMaggio told the paper. "But he figured, if it helps relations between Cuba and the U.S., then OK."

No mention whether the ball was new, or scuffed.

*

Trivia time: DiMaggio holds major league baseball's longest hitting streak, 56 games in 1941. Who is second in this category?

*

Like junk mail: Mike Monroe in the Denver Post: "Once a year the Bulls spend a practice signing balls and equipment to be donated to charities.

Michael Jordan missed the session last week. Said Steve Kerr, when asked what the stuff was worth: "Unless Michael signs it, nothing.' "

*

Shameful: Rick Telander of the Chicago Sun-Times, writing on the Northwestern basketball point-shaving scandal:

"This is not a sweet moment for NU alums, a largely highbrow group who, for the most part, approve of the school's recent and serious attempts at becoming a sports power. Maybe they will do some rethinking of that approval now that the Wildcats might be better known as the Wild-Cash."

Telander is a former Northwestern football player.

*

Memories, memories: Running back Curtis Martin, who left the New England Patriots the other day to join the New York Jets as a restricted free agent, has a vivid memory of the Jets, which, under the circumstances, is a little surprising.

"I took my hardest hit against the Jets [last season]," he said at a news conference.

"Marvin Jones broke my entire helmet. He hit and I just heard a 'boom!' I was so dizzy that I couldn't figure it out. I thought something was wrong with the entire stadium. My helmet was spinning around on my head because all the air was gone from it."

*

Now we know: Some final, Final Four observations by C.W. Nevius of the San Francisco Chronicle:

"Best Description of How Clearly in the Center of San Antonio the Alamo Really Is: From a Minnesota sports columnist: 'So, as I understand it, Santa Anna attacked from the cover of a yogurt store?' "

*

Like an arcade: Mike Littwin of the Rocky Mountain News, writing on opening day at Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix:

"I'm telling you, there's so much going on in this place--and, yes, watching the roof open was very much a religious experience, if you just go by the music--you don't know where to look.

"For an expansion team, of course, distractions can be a blessing."

*

Destined to lose: After the Rhode Island Rams squandered a late lead and lost to Stanford in the NCAA Midwest Regional men's basketball final at the Kiel Center, Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Dispatch wondered:

"Will Ram fans ever go home happy on a Sunday in St. Louis?"

*

Prepared: From comedy writer Earl Hochman: "Race driver Jeff Gordon credits his pit crew for half of his 31 victories and the other half to the number on his racer . . . 911."

*

Trivia answer: Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds, 44 games in 1978.

*

And finally: After Charles Barkley called him a "gutless official who holds grudges," NBA referee Jack Nies said:

"People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw people through them."

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|