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THE INSIDE TRACK / A look at where they're playing
and what they're saying | MORNING BRIEFING

Sign of the Times That Bidding Could Hit Six Figures

July 02, 2000|MIKE TERRY

On July 15 and 16, Robert Edward Auctions of Watchung, N.J., will auction a baseball signed by the Chicago White Sox before the final game of the 1919 World Series, better known as the "Black Sox Scandal."

Eight White Sox players were banned from baseball for gambling on the series, won by Cincinnati.

Described as the most significant and valuable team-signed baseball in existence, the item carries a $50,000 minimum bid.

"A final price well into six figures is entirely reasonable," said William Mastro, chief executive of MastroNet, the parent company of the auction house conducting the sale. "This baseball is in top condition and displays all the key requirements for a museum quality piece."

Tops among those requirements are the signatures on the "Official American League baseball"--22 players, two umpires, and the ball's initial owner. The most important signatures are those of the legendary eight men out: Joe Jackson, Eddie Cicotte, George Weaver, Chick Gandil, C.A. Risberg, Fred McMullin, C.P. Williams and Hap Felsch.

Baseballs with Jackson's signature are exceedingly rare. Jackson was, for the most part, illiterate and seldom signed his name on anything but legal documents.

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Trivia time: Which was the only thoroughbred named horse of the year five times?

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Hear her roar no more: Ila Borders, the only female player in men's professional baseball, has retired, ending a career in which her manager called her "one of the most courageous people" to play the game.

The 26-year-old left-hander, pitching for the Zion Pioneerzz in St. George, Utah, left after she gave up five hits and three runs in a 10-6 loss to the Feather River Mudcats.

"I'll look back and say I did something nobody ever did," Borders said. "I'm proud of that. I wasn't out to prove women's rights or anything. I love baseball."

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Sensible explanation: Miami Herald columnist Greg Cote did not have much sympathy for the decision by Spaniards Alex Corretja and Albert Costa to withdraw from Wimbledon in a dispute over seedings.

"Corretja and Costa took Wimbledon's seeding as a personal insult, a lack of respect," Cote said. "Ever notice that athletes who complain the most about a lack of respect tend to be the ones who want to get it by talking instead of doing?"

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What's in a name? Michigan State basketball Coach Tom Izzo's newly adopted son has big shoes to fill, at least based on his name--Steven Mateen Izzo.

Steven is for Steve Mariucci, Izzo's boyhood friend and coach of the San Francisco 49ers. Mateen is for Mateen Cleaves, who led the Spartans to the national championship this year under Izzo's coaching.

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Trivia answer: Kelso was horse of the year from 1960-64.

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And finally: Steve Rosenbloom in the Chicago Tribune: "Sammy Sosa says his relationship with Don Baylor is beyond hope. Sosa's agent says Sosa's relationship with Baylor has nothing to do with this. Must be hard to keep your self-martyring stories straight when you're snaking your way to the front of the money store."

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