Tiny Tim had a dickens of a time in Kansas City last week. The long-haired singer, in town for an appearance at the Playboy Club, had the papers for his divorce from Miss Vicki served on him in the morning, then decided to catch a basketball game at the NAIA tournament that evening. During a halftime interview he told the announcer, "I know your Kansas City baseball team has some interesting players, particularly Tommy Harper." Harper plays for Boston.

Way things are going, the acupuncture needle may shortly replace the liniment bottle in athletic training rooms. The latest puncturee is Defensive Tackle Ed Lothamer of the Kansas City Chiefs, who was directed to a visiting acupuncturist, Dr. Kunzo Nagayama, by his chiropractor. The 270-pound Lothamer's problem was a back injury he got in, of all things, the Chiefs' weight-lifting program. Dr. Nagayama stuck Lothamer in 15 places with his therapeutic needles, and before you could say Ping-Pong diplomacy he had Lothamer free of pain. Dr. Nagayama said afterward, "First time one that big."

Alarums and excursions in Annapolis, Md. over John Dennis' victory in the fourth annual St. Patrick's Day Beer Race. Contestants are supposed to sprint 200 yards with a mug full of green beer on a tray, the winner being the one who finishes firstest with the mostest. The other 56 entrants were upset because Dennis, a local radio announcer, ran the race sober.

As provocative as he may be on ice skates, Derek Sanderson has his limits on celluloid. The cheeky star of the Boston Bruins hockey team was cast recently in a walk-on role for an X-rated movie that features some body checks never dreamed of on a hockey rink. Apparently embarrassed by the frankness, Sanderson asked that his scenes be deleted from the film for its showings in the United States. But movie fans can still catch Sanderson's act in Canada, where his scenes are left in. His propriety apparently does not extend that far north.

Here is a picture of St. Patrick's Day conviviality at the Los Angeles Dodger training camp in Vero Beach, Fla., right? Wrong. The man at left, Marvin Miller, is the negotiator for the Major League Players' Association, and the man second from right is Walter O'Malley, the owner of the Dodgers. That's Mrs. Miller and Dick Moss, the Players' Association lawyer, listening in. And any minute now there is supposed to be a strike of players against the clubs. So why are these people smiling?

Johnny Cash, the country-Western singer, may be nearing the end of a whopper of a fish story. Back in 1965 Cash went angling in the Los Padres National Forest near Santa Barbara. On leaving, he gunned the motor of his camper, sending sparks into nearby brush and starting a 508-acre fire that took 450 fire fighters, eight aerial tankers and four helicopters to put out. The Government slapped Cash with a bill for $82,000, which the singer tried to regain from his insurance company. The company refused the claim, and Cash took them to court. A month ago Judge Robert R. Willard decreed that—pending appeal—the company must pay the $82,000, which ought to buy Cash a lot of fishing gear.

Uganda's speed-loving President, General Idi Amin, believes in walking softly but keeping a heavy foot on the accelerator. Last year he was stopped and reprimanded for speeding in his jeep. Now the gendarmes will have to catch him first. Amin recently bought a supercharged $20,800 Citroën sports car with a Maserati engine. To break in his new machine the president took it on a 557-mile, eight-hour spin across the Uganda outback, leaving a trail of red dust and chicken feathers. But no traffic tickets.

Mel Renfro, the bald eagle of the Dallas Cowboy defense, showed up at the preseason conditioning program with a new hairpiece that he says "makes me appear seven years younger." So far the cornerback with the convertible top has been unable to find a comparable solution for those 30-year-old legs.

Pete Hamm has what you might call Mickey Mouse living arrangements these days. The Minnesota Twin pitcher arrived in Orlando, Fla. for spring training with his wife and son, only to discover that the development of Walt Disney World had almost tripled local rentals. Hamm solved the problem by moving his family into a 13-by-10-foot tent on a woodsy $3-a-day site only nine miles from the Twin camp, and they spend most of their evenings sitting by the fire and looking at the stars.