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The Inside Track | Morning Briefing

He Probably Didn't Get an Autograph

May 01, 2000|HOUSTON MITCHELL

A security guard at Milwaukee's Grand Avenue Mall must be oblivious to the NBA playoff excitement down the street.

Indiana Pacers Reggie Miller and Jalen Rose, in town to play the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center in a best-of-five series, were stopped by the guard at the shopping center for creating a disturbance Friday night as fans crowded around for autographs.

As Miller and Rose strolled through the mall, shoppers began calling out to the two and approaching them for autographs.

That irked a security guard who was either unaware--or didn't care--about Miller and Rose's star status. He warned the fans to keep quiet and then asked the players to leave for "causing a disturbance."

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Trivia time: Since expansion began in 1961, who are the only two players to play on five World Series championship teams?

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The name game: There is no end to the Philadelphia Phillies' gimmickry. With the Arizona Diamondbacks in town two weeks ago, the Phillies gave free admission to any fan 6 feet 8 or taller in honor of 6-10 pitcher Randy Johnson.

Last weekend with the St. Louis Cardinals in town, the Phillies gave free passes to anyone whose name begins with "Mc" or "Mac" to honor Mark McGwire. And when the Cincinnati Reds arrive later this week, the Phillies will give free admission to anyone who is a Junior, in honor of Ken Griffey Jr.

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Hold on to that: The ball that eluded Bill Buckner found a new home--in the prize collection of a lifelong New York Met fan.

Seth Swirsky, a songwriter and author in Beverly Hills, paid $63,945 early Friday in an auction to get the ball that Mookie Wilson grounded through Buckner's legs in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.

"I think that ball is one of the few pieces in sports history that every single fan knows where they were when that play happened," Swirsky said. "It's a part of sports folklore."

"I grew up in New York and love the Mets, and that helped too," he said.

The ball previously belonged to actor Charlie Sheen, who paid $93,500 for the souvenir in 1992.

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Trivia answer: Catfish Hunter and Reggie Jackson.

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The Air's up there: Michael Jordan displayed some hang time at North Carolina again, this time using a small lift over his new restaurant rather than his legs on the basketball court.

More than 300 people watched Thursday at Chapel Hill, N.C., as the retired basketball star added his signature to the sign above the entrance of Michael Jordan's 23, named for his uniform number with the Tar Heels and the Chicago Bulls.

"It's part of the history of Chapel Hill, so you've got to do it, just to say you saw The Man," senior Tom Bogan said.

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And finally: Jim Armstrong in the Denver Post: "Have you checked out Houston's Enron Field? They ought to call it the Anti-Dome. Don Zimmer could go out of that place with his fungo bat."

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