Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania on January 6, 1989 · Page 24
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Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania · Page 24

Indiana, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Friday, January 6, 1989
Page 24
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C-8 - Sunday, July 23, 2006 SPORTS VIEW (fiaxeiie This was Clemente's grandest slam win, lose & DREW by Drew Litton {I'll 50 years Tuesday night. On July 25,1956, Roberto Clemente did something that may have been done only once in the history of baseball. And I was there to see it. The Pirates played the Chicago Cubs at Forbes Field that Wednesday evening. I was seven years old, going on eight. For most of the game 1 sat with my dad in his company's box seat — upper deck, front row, third base side. The Pirates were behind 8-5 after eight innings so we followed my dad's usual plan of leaving our seats and heading for the lower level behind home plate. The idea was to grab an empty seat near the aisle so we could make a quick traffic-beating exit as soon as the last out was made. JOHN STEIGERWALO THERE NEVER was a last out. And, as it turned out, we had just about the best seat in the house for what may have been the most spectacular ending in Pirates' history. (I know. I know. You're thinking about Maz's home run in 1960. That was only more spectacular because it was Game 7 of the World Series. Reduced to its essence it was just a walk-off home run.) The Pirates loaded the bases and dementi 1 was up against (im Brosnan, one of the best relief pitchers in baseball. Clemente hit a line drive into the gap and it ran all the way to the wail. I don't remember which wall, probably because I couldn't see over the fans who stood up in front of me, but f can still see Clemente rounding second and heading for third. AND I can see Bobby Bragan, who was the manager and the third-base coach, giving Clemente the stop sign and Clemente running right through it. I can see the close play at the plate, the slide, the umpire making the safe call and the catcher jumping up to get in the umpire's face to argue. Then I remember my dad pulling me through the exit. He was big on beating the traffic. It was an inside-the-park, grand slam, walk-off home run. Believe it or not. there's a name fora grand slam that is hit in a home team's final at-bat and results in a one-run win. It's called an ultimate grand slam. When Clemente did it 50 years ago, it was the ninth time it had been done in major league baseball history. The last player to hit one was (ason Giambi of the Yankees on May John Steigerwald is a sports anchor/or KDKA-TVin Pittsburgh. His column appears each Sunday in The Indiana Gazette. 17, 2002. He was the 22nd player in history do it — if you count the first one by Roger Connor on Sept. 9, 1881. The first player in the modern era to do it was {who else?) Babe Ruth, on Sept. 24, 1925. But Clemente's was INSIDE THE PARK. I'VE TRIED for 50 years but 1 can't imagine a more exciting way to end a game. I'm also pretty confident that none of the other ultimate grand slams were inside the park and I'm pretty sure that Clemente was the only guy to run through his manager's stop sign at third base. How many times do you think that highlight would have been shown if ESPN had existed in 1956? Too bad it was too soon to qualify for an ESPY. THINK OF the thousands of major league baseball games that have been played and the thousands of times that a team has been in position to win with an ultimate grand slam. And it's only happened 22 times. In Clemente's case, probably- only once. I don't know if seven-year- olds in 2006 make a habit of reading the sports pages, but I remember reading about the game the next day and I remember quite a bit of discussion about whether Clemente should have been fined for running through the stop sign (he wasn't.) In his recently released book about Clemente, David Marranis makes a reference to the home run and writes that some of Clemente's teammates considered it to be more proof that Clemente was a typical Latin hot dog. NINETEEN YEARS later, I was doing play-by-play for the Lafayette (La.) Drillers in the Texas League. Bobby Bragan, the league president, was my guest in the booth. By then, I wasn't sure if I had really seen what 1 thought I saw or I had dreamt it, so I asked Bragan if my recollections were accurate. He said they were and that he never considered fining Clemente. But. you know what? At the time, seeing a grand slam to win a game by one run in the bottom of the ninth didn't seem like such a big deal to me. A little more than two months earlier, on May 11, 1956. I was at I orbes Held when Danny Kravity. of the Pirates hit the eighth ultimate grand slam in major league baseball history to beat the Phillies fi-5. By the way, I'm pretty sure we beat the traffic both times. r STILL Mia£U£ WIE WOULD BENEFIT THEY GOT THAT WRITE... Re: The push for Major League Baseball to honor former Pirates great Roberto Clemente HE IS worthy of a larger, more permanent presence, not because of what he represented, but because of what he did, and what he died trying to do. William C.Rhoden, New York Times News Service aaa Re: Alex Rodriguez DID THE money make him a target? Absolutely, but A-Rod has aided in the frenzied examination by becoming another piece of adversity for the Yankees to overcome. Selena Roberts, New York Times News Service ASK BABE Re: Darts on TV SO NOW ESPN is trying to sell us darts as a pseudo sport. Makes sense except that you burn more calories pressing the remote than those guys do tossing the darts. Here I thought I was just drinking beer the last lime 1 played poker and tossed a few darts. Little did I know I was in serious training. Jim Armstrong, The Denver Post WHAT'S MY LINE? Andruw Jones, Braves Tuesday, July 18, at St. Louis AB R H RB) 2B HR Slugging pet. Jones, cf, batted 4th 535612 2.400 Just when you thought it was safe to assume Atlanta's 14-year reign as division champions was on the brink of collapse, the Braves went on a season-best seven-game winning streak. Atlanta hit five home runs off live Cardinals pitchers while cruising to a 14-5 victory. But the Braves aren't nipping on the Mets' heels ... yet. Overproduction helps make Bonds cards less attractive By BABE WAXPAK Scripps Howard News Service DEAR BABE: I have a Topps Barry Bonds card No. 620 from 1988. Wade Brown, San Bernardino, Calif. Ah yes, diis reminds of the days when Mark McGwire was reaching the Babe Ruth zone when it came to homers and everyone wanted to know about all of his cards. Not all Bonds cards are valuable, especially since he's not that popular with collectors. This is especially true for regular issue cards from the late 1980s and early 1990s. For starters, remember the basic rule that you have to add a year to the last one for stats listed on the back to get a card s year. You have a 1989 card that Beckett lists for $1 .50. That's probably bein fpretty generous when you figure in Bonds' lack of popularity with collectors, the overproduction of the 1989 set and Internet sales. DEAR BABE: A friend gave my husband a Mark McGwire Fotoball from ! 998 that has his 1997 stats on it. Betty High, Pittsboro, N.C. Unfortunately, like several other former darlings of collectors tainted by the steroids scandals, McGwire has pretty much fallen off the face of the earth, especially when it comes to this type of memorabilia. The Fotoball is probably worth a few dollars at best. aaa DEAR BABE: I have a 1966 spring training program for the Cleveland vs. Los Angeles game on April 6. 1 966. This was Koufax's first day back with the team after holding out (with Don Drysdale). I attended that game. Does this add any special value to the program? Jackie Hill, Ashtabula, Ohio Koufax is not the easiest signature to come by. The signed program is worth $150, said Mike Gutierrez, owner of in Arizona. There's no added value for when he signed, because you'd have a hard time proving that he signed it on a certain date. aaa DEAR BABE: I won a baseball in a Boston Bruins charity golf event. It was announced that the ball was an official game ball of the 1986 World Series. It is signed by 17 members of the Boston Red Sox including Jim Rice, Jody Reed, Tom Bolton, Spike Owens, Dwight Evans, Wade Boggs, Marty Barrett, Mike Greenwell and others. The ball is a Rawlings official ball American League with Bobby Brown President. MickLaRoche, Methuen, Mass. If it's from that time period you should be able to see remnants of silver gelatin on the paper. There's a big difference between an official World Series ball and a game ball that was actually used in a game. Seventeen signatures is a little on the light side for a team-signed ball. The big problem is that Roger Clemens is not among the names you listed. He's the key. A World Series ball with that many signatures without Clemens is worth $100, said l.arry Studebaker of in Saugus, Mass., a suburb of Boston. Add Clemens and the value jumps to $350. If it's a game-used ball, the value without Clemens is $1,000 and $1.200 with him, Send card questions to Rahe Waxpak in care of this newspaper. H) Box 492397, Redding, (A 96049-2397 or send e-mail to babeii i axpak^ } redding.coni. If possible, include card number, year and brand or a photocopy. Please do not semi cards. Babe Waxpak is a feature of The Record Searchlight in Redding, Players the Steelers must replace as they start their NFL title defense As if it couldn't have come soon enough, the Steelers open training camp on Friday at St. Vincent College. Although they are the reigning Super Bowl champions, many questions surround the defense of the club's fifth NFL crown. Jerome Bettis Halfback Retired Everybody knew Bettis was ripe lor retirement. That he played his final game in his hometown and walked home a champion makes a great story for all concerned. But his retirement creates a different story. The Sleelers enter training camp with 1,000-yard rusher Willie Parker, talented but injury-prone Duce Staley and a much-improved Verron Haynes as their choices at halfback. Those three will have to step up their game, knowing they don't have Bettis to fall back on. Chris Hope Safety Joined Titans Something happened after the Steelers sank to 7-5 and on the brink of missing the AFC playoffs. The defense found its game. Hope was part of a defense that allowed only 33 points over the last four games, all of which the Steelers won as they ducked into the AFC playoffs. He led the Steelers witji three interceptions and also recovered a fumble. As a secondary he, Troy Polamalu, Ike Taylor and Deshea Townsend got better when the Steelers needed them to get better. Antwaan Handle El Wide receiver Joined Redskins Yes, yes, Randle El threw the touchdown pass that clinched the Steelers' 21 -10 Super Bowl win over the Seahawks. But have you already forgotten what Randle El meant to the special teams? Randle El returned four punts 1or touchdowns in his four seasons with the Steelers, including two last season. He might talk himself up as a displaced quarterback, but his real talent lies in the return game. And that's where the real void was created when he left the Steelers. Kimo von Oelhoffen Defensive end Joined Jets Von Oelhoffen left the Bengals when they were lousy, hoping to latch on to a winner. He gets himself a Super Bowl ring and then signs with the Jets as a free agent. If you had a hard time recognizing what he, defensive end Aaron Smith and nose tackle Casey Hampton did, that was OK. As a defensive line, they were THAT good. Travis Kirschke was von Oelhoffen s backup but, like Randle El, starred on special teams. Someone needs to step in ... yesterday. fifi **l DON'T know how you can compete when some of the teams can pull from populations of 40,000. " Dave Caruso, Gorell Windows manager, on the decision by the Pennsylvania Junior American Legion to disallow the player-allocation draft, after his team was eliminated from the Western Regional tournament. The draft allowed Indiana County teams to choose players from non-qualifying teams to enhance their rosters. "WE'RE TRYING to forget about the first half and not look at the record. There were 70-some games to go when we started the second half. Let s go out and play hard in the second half, go out and win ballgames and win series and quit talking about the first half. " Sean Casey, Pirates first baseman "THE BEST performance in the modern history of the Tour. " t Jean-Marie Lebtanc, Tour de France race director, on Floyd Landis' victory in Stage 1 7 and his return to the title chase after seeming to tail out of it a day earlier. "WE ARE a terrifically forgiving country, in part, because we have such a low standard of morality-Bui I've thought about this question a lot, and I believe that people would have forgiven Barry Bonds. " Fay Vincent, former baseball commissioner "Tim DW1 even have enough to indict a ham sandwich, let alone Barry Bonds. " Michael Rains, Bonds' lawyer, after hearing the news that the slugger would not be indicted Thursday. A new grand jury will take up where an outgoing one left off and consider perjury and tax-evasion charges against Bonds. "WHETHER WE three or lose three, come Thursday. I 'm not going to say the season is over. I won 't be celebrating and I won 't be crying because we 'II have 67 games left. " Jim LeytaMd, Tigers manager, on Detroit's series with the reigning world champion Chicago White Sox last week. "THE GOOD thing about last night s game is that I probably had my worst game of the year and we still won. Third base is a position that I 've got to keep working at. 1 never had that feeling at shortstop. I 'm still learning. I m trying my best. " MnlMrigMx, Yankees third baseman and a Gold Glove shortstop in Texas, who made three errors in Monday night's flame.

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