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The Inside Track | Morning Briefing

Every Night Is Dumb Promotion Night in Tampa

February 23, 1999|MAL FLORENCE

Mike Veeck, the son of baseball Hall of Famer Bill Veeck, is at it again. He has scheduled special events or giveaways on 70 of 81 home dates for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in his new role as senior vice president of sales and marketing.

It has been reported that he will have "Lawyer Night," at which every attorney will be charged double.

Said Veeck, "The umpires, obviously, should come out in flowing robes. . . . We'll have a kangaroo court down the first base side, and down the third base side we'll have the hanging judge."

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More Veeck: He is carrying on the tradition of zany promotions begun by his father, who was known as the P.T. Barnum of baseball.

In 1951, the senior Veeck had 3-foot-7 Eddie Gaedel bat for the St. Louis Browns, wearing No. 1/8. Gaedel walked on four pitches.

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Trivia time: Which was the only horse to win the Santa Anita Derby and Handicap in the same year?

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Wild week: Last Tuesday, Tim McCarver was hired as a New York Yankee broadcaster. On Wednesday, after returning to his home in Rancho Mirage, he shot his first hole in one on the 150-yard third hole at Mission Hills. On Thursday, the Yankees acquired Roger Clemens.

"This has been one of the most unbelievable weeks of my life," McCarver said. "If someone told me a month ago that in the course of three days I would be named a Yankee broadcaster, shoot a hole in one and then be commenting on Roger Clemens being a Yankee, I would have told them they were crazy."

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More discriminating: ESPN sportscaster Rich Eisen, after the LPGA announced new qualifying standards for its Hall of Fame:

"Under the new criteria, Lawrence Taylor would not have gotten in."

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The "if" file: Mark Purdy in the San Jose Mercury News: "If the Raiders return to Los Angeles, don't be stunned if the 49ers make inquiries about the vacant Coliseum.

"Why? If that won't kick-start the new Niners stadium, nothing will. That's why."

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Staying power: Blackie Sherrod in the Dallas Morning News: "In his 17 terms as Duke buckets coach, Mike Krzyzewski has never had a player jump to the pros before his eligibility expired."

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FYI: "Antelope" Al Krueger, the former standout USC end who died Friday, had the distinction of scoring touchdowns in consecutive Rose Bowl games against two previously unbeaten, untied and unscored upon teams.

In 1939, he caught the winning touchdown pass in a 7-3 victory over Duke. In 1940, he caught a touchdown pass as the Trojans defeated Tennessee, 14-0.

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Trivia answer: Stagehand in 1938.

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And finally: Martina Hingis, the world's top-ranked women's tennis player, has four vehicles--two Opels and two Porsches--but she has not been allowed to drive them unaccompanied until now.

She passed her driving test on the first attempt Friday. The minimum age to drive in Switzerland is 18, and Hingis turned 18 on Dec. 2.

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