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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

Stopping DiMaggio's Streak Was No Easy Task

July 20, 2001|Earl Gustkey

For a story on the 60th anniversary of the end of Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak, the New York Post's Kevin Kernan interviewed participants in the game in which the Cleveland Indians stopped DiMaggio on July 17, 1941.

DiMaggio, who died at 84 in 1999, was robbed twice by great stops by Cleveland third baseman Ken Keltner. Then the streak ended when shortstop Lou Boudreau retired DiMaggio with an outstanding play.

"Everyone talks about the two plays by Keltner, but the one I'll never forget is the play made by Boudreau," said DiMaggio teammate Tommy Henrich, 88, in a phone interview from his Prescott, Ariz., home.

Boudreau, 84, who lives in Frankfort, Ill., celebrated his 24th birthday that night.

"I was fortunate," he said. "The ball took a bad hop. If I hadn't had my glove up, the ball would have hit me in the face."

Henrich told Kernan he knows a thing or two about streaks. He and his wife Eileen recently celebrated their 60th anniversary.

"Let Joe have his streak, I'll take mine," Henrich said.

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Trivia time: Who is baseball's all-time at-bats leader?

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Mia-money: Mia Hamm's endorsement deal with Nike expires next month and her agent, David Bober, has begun negotiations for a richer deal, according to SportsBusiness Journal.

How rich? Bober said he's using Venus Williams' five-year, $40-million deal with Reebok as a barometer.

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A Quake-less MLS? San Jose Mercury News columnist Mark Purdy wonders how much longer Major League Soccer can keep the Earthquakes in San Jose.

"The Earthquakes remain last in attendance," he wrote. "That's about 5,000 below the league average for a team with the third-best record."

The Earthquakes are run by the Sharks, San Jose's NHL team.

Purdy: "The Sharks aren't looking to get rich off the Earthquakes. But the Sharks aren't looking to get poor, either."

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Any suggestions? The St. Louis Rams are seeking bids for naming rights for St. Louis' domed stadium after the January bankruptcy filing by Trans World Airlines. In 1995, TWA agreed to pay $1.3 million per year for 20 years for naming rights.

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Not invited: Dave Winfield still isn't welcome at New York Yankee old-timers' games.

The impending Hall of Famer created animosity with the Yankees when he decided to be depicted wearing a Padre cap, not a Yankee cap, on his Hall of Fame plaque.

Dwight Gooden, Reggie Jackson, Phil Rizzuto, Enos Slaughter and Yogi Berra are scheduled to appear at Saturday's game, but not Winfield.

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Trivia answer: Pete Rose, 14,053. Second: Hank Aaron, 12,364.

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And finally: Peter May of the Boston Globe on criticism he received for calling San Antonio Spur center David Robinson greedy for not taking a bigger pay cut to improve the team: "Just remember Spur fans, when the team is a player short next season because of money concerns, or if Robinson disappears again at the sight of Shaq, we told you so."

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