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THE INSIDE TRACK | Morning Briefing

RBI King's Head Got Too Big for His Crown

July 08, 1998|SHAV GLICK

Hack Wilson's RBI record of 190 for the Chicago Cubs in 1930 is under assault this season by Juan Gonzalez of the Texas Rangers, who has 101 at the all-star break. Wilson, who died in 1948, is a bit of a forgotten figure.

He stood only 5-feet-6 and wore Size 6 shoes, but he weighed 190 pounds and took an 18-inch collar. He swung a 40-ounce bat he called "Big Bertha."

After his remarkable 1930 season he went downhill fast.

"I received a salary of $40,000," he recalled in an interview shortly before his death. "I started to drink heavily. I had a lot of natural talent . . . but I sure lacked a lot of other things, like humility and common sense."

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Trivia time: What is the longest a golfer on the PGA Tour has gone between victories?

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How others see us: Nick Canepa in the San Diego Union-Tribune:

"After a few weeks on the job as Dodgers' GM--the position he's always wanted--Tommy Lasorda is now more full of himself than he is of linguine and clams. Tommy is the perfect GM for Rupert Murdoch and Fox. Where can they find a front-office baseball man with greater recognition or club loyalty?"

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Different strokes: Five-time Wimbledon champion Pete Sampras told John McEnroe, "The way I act on court is because of my parents."

The volatile McEnroe replied, "I'd like to say that the way I acted on court was not because of my parents."

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The new game: The new minor league baseball team in Altoona, Pa., will be known as the Altoona Curve. It's not because it has a curveballing left-hander. It's for the famed Horseshoe Curve, a miles-long curve of railroad tracks that skirts a steep part of the Appalachian Mountains.

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Puffing along: Formula One officials have insisted they would remove races from countries that introduce strict anti-tobacco legislation in favor of Asian countries with less severe regulations.

Why? Because 10 of the 11 F1 teams carry tobacco logos on their cars. Only Stewart-Ford does not.

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Past tense: The Seattle Seahawks are hoping their new free-agent receiver lives up to his name--Thomas Caughtit.

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The record game: Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Ken Griffey Jr. aren't the only ones chasing a major league home run record.

Alex Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners has 27 home runs and is on pace to break Ernie Banks' record of 47--most by a shortstop.

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Looking back: On this day in 1941, Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox hit a two-out, three-run home run in the ninth inning, giving the American League a dramatic 7-5 victory in the All-Star game at Detroit's Briggs Stadium.

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Trivia answer: 15 years 5 months 10 days between Butch Baird's 1961 Waco Open and 1976 San Antonio Open wins.

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And finally: After failing to catch up with Detroit rookie Matt Anderson's fastball for a third strike, Dmitri Young of the Cincinnati Reds said, "I didn't even get close to that last one."

To which teammate Barry Larkin responded, "I've got news for you; you didn't get close to any of them."

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