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He's Not Big Papi, He's Just Grandpa

The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

May 19, 2006|Pete Thomas | Times Staff Writer

Joe DiMaggio's granddaughters are peddling a memorabilia collection -- his last New York Yankees uniform and a love letter from Marilyn Monroe are among the items -- that may fetch more than $4 million.

Kathie Stein and Paula Hamra were close to DiMaggio but never saw him play and say the memorabilia will mean more to others. The collection will be sold at auction today and Saturday in New York.

"I was a big Joe grandpa fan. I wasn't necessarily a big Joe baseball fan," Stein told the San Francisco Chronicle. "I was a fan of my gramps. He was fantastic to our kids."

More DiMaggio: Stein shared a story about the time DiMaggio attended one of his great-grandkid's baseball games. The third-base coach didn't show so DiMaggio volunteered. He walked onto the field wearing sunglasses and a golf cap, prompting another kid's parent to say, "Does that old guy know what he's doing?"

Trivia time: Quarterback Doug Flutie recently announced his retirement from the NFL. What was distinctive about his final play last season?

Bait and switch: These are not good times for the San Jose Sharks, who were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs by the Edmonton Oilers.

But they're great times for shark fisherman Martin Arosteugi, a Florida doctor who this week had his catch of a 385-pound lemon shark approved as a fly-rod world record.

"When it opened its huge mouth, I said to myself, 'This shark could eat half of me in one bite,' " the diminutive angler said.

The blitz is on: The president may want to call an audible when the NFL champion Pittsburgh Steelers arrive at the White House for a June 2 reception.

Linebacker Joey Porter told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "I'm going to have a swagger when I walk in there too. I don't like the way things are running right now. I feel like he has to give me some of my money back, so I got something to tell Bush."

The Big Wiesy? Michelle Wie this year will compete on the LPGA Tour, PGA Tour, European PGA Tour, Asian Tour and Japan PGA Tour.

Said her father, B.J. Wie, to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin: "As long as she has good health and good motivation, she wants to travel around the world like a global player -- like Ernie Els."

Say it ain't so! From Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com: "Anyone else get the feeling Barry Bonds is just dragging on this whole passing Ruth thing on purpose? You know, out of spite? 'You all really, really hate me right? Good. Now I'm just going to make you follow my every at-bat, every waking moment, every damned day. I'm \o7never\f7 going away.' "

Trivia answer: The dropkick against the Miami Dolphins was the first successful dropkick for an extra point in the NFL since 1941.

And finally: From Jay Leno: "Barry Bonds is still one home run away from tying Babe Ruth's record. He's still in a home run slump. You know what I think the problem is? Since he's stopped using steroids, his hat is falling over his eyes. I think his head has shrunk."

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