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Only the True Shaq Fan Can Decide if This Collectible Item Makes the Grade

November 29, 2001|STEVE HARVEY

Forget about the court case over who owns Barry Bonds' 73rd home run ball. Plenty of other great sports memorabilia are available to the savvy buyer.

Shaquille O'Neal's report card, for instance.

Yes, Lelands auction house of New York is offering the Laker center's 1994 transcript from Louisiana State University as part of Shaq's "paper ephemera collection." Also included are a signed letter from him, an uncashed check (for $10.23) and a McDonald's restaurant guest pass. Minimum bid for these treasures is $200.

Lelands printed a microscopic photo of the report card in its catalog, probably so people like me couldn't just clip it out for free.

But, working with my Sherlock Holmes Junior Magnifying Glass, I was able to learn that Shaq received a B in "Internship in Mkt," along with three A's, in "Problems in Agric Econ," "Stage Spch Dialects" and "Skill Wk With People."

I'm not sure what use he has made of his "Stage Spch Dialects." Perhaps Shaq has dreams of becoming a 7-foot-tall, 340-pound character actor. At any event, he must be great performing at parties.

I also think it's good thing his on-again, off-again feuds with co-star Kobe Bryant and coach Phil Jackson date back just to 2000 or his "Skill Wk With People" grade might have been lowered.

Wait, there's more: Lelands is also offering some Dodger equipment that's in less than first-rate condition, somewhat symbolic of the team's recent fortunes (see accompanying).

The Bonds ball, reconsidered: Two bleacher fans claim ownership of the spheroid, as you may know. But sportscaster Chuck Madden of KNX-AM (1070) believes a third party, silent so far, is entitled to it.

Madden contends that this individual was the last person clearly in possession of the ball: the Dodgers' Chan Ho Park, who served up the fat pitch to Bonds.

Strange Coincidences Dept.: The Beach Reporter newspaper, meanwhile, carried this item out of Hermosa Beach: "An autographed baseball signed by Joe DiMaggio was reportedly stolen from a home on Sixth Street between Nov. 5 and Nov. 7. The victims told police their home was fumigated by using a tent to cover the house. After the tenting was removed, they noticed the ball was missing from a glass cabinet. The ball's estimated value is between $500 and $600."

Let's hope the termites followed the thieves home.

There's more of Mo: Don't think, by the way, that the woebegone Anaheim Angels are completely forgotten these days. In a piece titled, "The Mysterious Mysteries of Televised Sports," Mad magazine put one of the Angels' heftiest players in the spotlight.

"Why do broadcasters keep calling the Kentucky Derby 'the most exciting two minutes in sports,' " Mad asked, "when nowadays, a much more likely candidate for that title is watching Anaheim's Mo Vaughn run the bases?"

A wealth of aides: Art instructor Neil Keller of Monterey Park sent a snapshot he took at a middle school. He says the extra heads are a valuable resource for teachers at the end of the year when so many papers have to be graded (see photo).


On Wednesday, KFWB-AM (980) held its latest "Business Breakfast," offering "survival tips" for small businesses during the recession. The location sort of summed up the economic climate: the House of Blues.

Steve Harvey can be reached later at (800) LA-TIMES, Ext. 77083 or by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A., 90012.

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