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THE INSIDE TRACK | Morning Briefing

'Be Like Bo' Had a Ring to It in 1990

September 14, 1998|HELENE ELLIOTT

Although the NBA is keeping Michael Jordan off the court, he has been spending his time in court.

The Chicago Bulls' superstar is fighting a multimillion-dollar lawsuit that alleges he reneged on an agreement to star in a 1991 basketball movie that flopped without his marquee name.

Jury selection began last week, but it wasn't easy to round up 12 Chicagoans who are impartial about Jordan.

Finding that neutral dozen, "will be an interesting challenge," said Dean Dickie, the plaintiffs' attorney.

The movie, "Heaven Is a Playground," was made with former Loyola Marymount star Bo Kimble after Jordan, who had signed a contract guaranteeing him $350,000 plus 5% of the film's profits, backed out and returned a $50,000 upfront fee. "Doesn't have the same ring, does it?" Dickie said of Kimble's name.

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Trivia time: Who is the all-time home run leader among players who never won a league home run title?

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Sammy, take note: When Mark McGwire became the first to set the single-season record with his 62nd home run, he also gained a two-man security detail.

Joe Walsh, the St. Louis Cardinals' director of security, and Tony Wagner, assigned by baseball as a resident agent, accompany McGwire wherever he goes. "Any time you get to that stature, whether it's rock stars or political figures or sports stars, naturally you get a lot of people that worship you," Walsh said. "Then there are the crazies you've got to be on the lookout for."

Wagner said after three decades as a police officer he never takes anything for granted.

"You don't know who you might have in a crowd," he said. "He's so well-liked by everybody you wouldn't think that would be a problem, but I've been a cop for 31 years and I know what's out there."

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Mark twain: Chicago Cub pitcher Steve Trachsel, the Long Beach State alum who gave up McGwire's 62nd home run, doesn't mind being linked with the infamous feat. In fact, he hopes to profit from it.

"I've been giving my agent a hard time," Trachsel said, "because a couple of guys came in and said, 'You should be getting about 10 grand a month for the rest of your life in autograph signings.' And my agent hasn't gotten any calls yet."

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Trivia answer: Stan Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals, who hit 475 home runs.

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And finally: Cammi Granato was a trailblazer as captain of the U.S. women's Olympic hockey team, which won the first Olympic gold medal awarded to women in the sport in February at Nagano, Japan.

But Granato, recently hired by the Kings do to radio commentary, isn't a pioneer in the broadcast field.

Sherry Ross was the first woman to be an analyst on the broadcasts of an NHL team, working on New Jersey Devil games from 1992 to 1995. She later returned to daily journalism with the New York Daily News.

Granato will have a tough time matching Ross' wit. Asked about her novel status when she got the job, Ross said: "I put the broad in broadcasting."

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