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THE INSIDE TRACK | Morning Briefing

It Probably Will Taste Better Than That Gum

August 06, 2000|JIM BARRERO

Looking for a piece of hockey history? If you're willing to part with $4.99, you can buy yourself a chance.

Brian Price, president of In The Game trading cards, is taking memorabilia collecting to another level by offering chopped bits of pads worn by legendary goaltender Georges Vezina--for whom the league's trophy for the top player at the position is named--affixed to the back of hockey cards.

"Part of me, as a lover of the game, did not want to do it," said Price, a Toronto businessman.

But he rationalized that some 300 sports fans and collectors of memorabilia would get a chance to take home a four-centimeter by one-centimeter piece of hockey history, so the pads went under the knife.

Of course, the fact that Price paid five figures--he won't disclose the actual amount--for the pads also was a factor.

Thus, if you buy a pack of Be A Player 2000-2001 Memorabilia Series, set for release Aug. 16, you have about a 1-in-2,400 chance of coming up with a swatch of Vezina's historic pads.

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Trivia time: Who had the most combined runs batted in and runs scored in a major league season?

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Accountability: English Premier League soccer team Tottenham said it will offer a full refund on all season tickets after it sold French midfielder David Ginola to Aston Villa.

The club said in a statement that some fans told it that they wouldn't have bought season tickets if they knew Ginola would be sold.

"The club would not like to feel that any of its fans have been misled," the statement said.

What a concept.

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Priorities: Doctors concerned they'll be caught in traffic while rushing to emergencies during the Sydney Games have been refused passes to drive in special Olympic lanes.

Staffers at several major Sydney hospitals asked Olympic officials for the passes, but were told such an arrangement would require similar concessions to other groups.

"Athletes are our priority. We don't want the world's athletes to be late for an event," said Bob Leece, chief executive officer of the Olympic Roads and Transport Authority.

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Loser's lament: Miami Heat Coach Pat Riley told Dan LeBatard of the Miami Herald that the recent deal to acquire Eddie Jones from Charlotte was necessary after years of frustrating playoff losses.

"The game creates a lot of genuine attachments. But the results create detachments. The results make you detach. We didn't meet expectations. I'll give P.J. [Brown] a hug if I see him on the street. I'll tell Jamal [Mashburn] I was proud to coach him. But we simply weren't good enough. We weren't good enough to be the winner."

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Trivia answer: Babe Ruth, with 348 in 1921. Ruth had 171 RBIs and 177 runs.

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And finally: Solano Steelhead owner Bruce Portner had a vivid description for the Contra Costa Times after being punched in the face by former National League MVP Kevin Mitchell during a brawl in a Western League game:

"I went down with Kevin Mitchell standing over me and when I woke up there were 18 Kevin Mitchells."

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