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Donnelly Appreciates Support

June 08, 2003|Bill Shaikin | Times Staff Writer

MIAMI — The fan perceived injustice and took action, to the extent that he could. When Less Antman read that the players' union had prevented reliever Brendan Donnelly's name from appearing on T-shirts and other memorabilia commemorating the Angels' championship season, he composed and circulated an online petition urging the union to lift the ban.

Donnelly served as a replacement player during the 1994-95 strike. The union does not admit those players as members, thus denying them a share of licensing revenue. The petition took no position on the membership issue but argued the omission of Donnelly's name from the World Series championship roster printed on T-shirts and elsewhere was an act of historical revisionism that made the union appear "petty, vindictive and ridiculous."

Antman, a personal financial advisor from the San Diego County town of Bonsall, gathered 798 signatures and recently presented a copy of the petition to Donnelly. Antman got an autographed picture with the inscription, "Thanks for everything."

Said Donnelly: "It's not going to change anything. But it's cool that someone took the time to do that and people took the time to sign it."

Antman submitted the petition to the union and is awaiting a response. Union spokesman Greg Bouris said he had not seen the petition.

"We appreciate this individual's support of a player, of baseball and of his club," Bouris said. "The players have reviewed the policy on this issue, and it has not changed."


Shortstop David Eckstein did not play, one night after his left hand was bruised by a line drive in batting practice. Eckstein hit off a tee and soft tosses before the game and said he could not generate enough strength to take an effective swing. But Eckstein said he felt "100 times better" Saturday than Friday, and Manager Mike Scioscia said the injury "doesn't seem long-term." ... Infielder Benji Gil got the first intentional walk of his career Friday, after 1,540 at-bats. Gil, who has played exclusively in the American League, was walked by Florida's Carl Pavano with pitcher Kevin Appier on deck.... The Marlins' newspaper ad promoting the game called angels "God's personal servants, which leaves us wondering why this team ever loses a game." Angel coach Joe Maddon, citing Jesus' feeding the hungry with fish: "God must have some affection for the Marlins. The fish got those people out of a tough jam way back when."

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