•The National Audubon Society won a preliminary injunction on Feb. 3 in Federal District Court in Washington, D.C., forcing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to stop trying to capture the five California condors remaining in the wild and add them to the 21 condors already in a captive breeding program. The government claims the bird will become extinct unless it can be brought back through captive breeding. The Audubon Society fears that the Service would "back away from its commitment to the habitat" if no birds are left in the wild, according to Amos Eno, wildlife director for the Society. Last week a compromise was reached, providing for the capture of one more condor.
•Tommy Harper, who was fired as a Red Sox instructor late last year, filed a racial discrimination complaint against the team on Jan. 30, charging that he had been dumped for complaining about the Red Sox' use of the segregated Elks Club in Winter Haven, Fla., where the club trains in the spring. The Sox say that Harper's contract wasn't renewed because of "dissatisfaction with his performance." A decision by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission isn't expected until summer.
•An out-of-court settlement was reached in Dartmouth College's efforts to dismiss football coach Joe Yukica 18 months before his contract was to expire (SCORECARD, Jan. 6). Dartmouth said Yukica, who had sued to keep his job, could coach next season, but that would be his last at the college.
February 24, 1986
•Pittsburgh bartender Jeffrey Mosco pleaded guilty on Jan. 23 to three counts of selling cocaine, thus becoming the seventh and last defendant in that city's baseball cocaine case to be found guilty of selling drugs to major-leaguers (SI, May 20, 1985). Mosco will be sentenced March 7. Two other defendants in the case—Curtis Strong and Shelby Greer—appeared recently before a new federal grand jury in Pittsburgh looking into additional evidence of drug use in pro sports.
•The line of those threatening to initiate lawsuits against Technical Equities Corp., a San Jose—based investment firm that filed for protection under federal bankruptcy statutes on Feb. 7, is growing. Among the company's clients were at least 123 current or former pro athletes, including 15 members of the Los Angeles Raiders. Investors included TV commentator and former baseball player Don Drysdale (who was in for a reported $500,000); golfers Sally Little, Kathy Whitworth, Jane Blalock and Chip Beck; San Francisco Giants pitcher Atlee Hammaker; former soccer player Kyle Rote Jr.; and former basketball star Rick Barry. Before Technical Equities filed for bankruptcy, its stock tumbled from $22 to $1.50, it defaulted on loans and its president resigned. One of Technical Equities' clients, former Oakland Raider Pete Banaszak, who sued the company last week, told SI, "We don't like to talk about losing that kind of money, but we're all very concerned."
•The Washington State Department of Ecology fined Olympic Pipe Line Co. $15,000 after a department report found the company negligent in the pollution of Des Moines Creek. The department confirmed that a faulty valve at an Olympic fuel-storage facility was responsible for fouling the stream and killing up to 50,000 fish over a two-mile stretch (SCORECARD, Jan. 13).
JUST AS WE SUSPECTED
The popular image of the hot-dog skier is of a booze-guzzling, devil-may-care type who hits the slopes early, then parties late into the night. In this case, it seems, image is close to reality. Two researchers at the University of Maastricht in The Netherlands have found that teetotalers are 50% more likely to get hurt on the slopes than skiers who imbibe heavily, and that people who sleep long and deeply are more prone to injury than those who are late-to-bed and early-to-rise.
IT'S WHAT I ALWAYS WANTED!
If you've been getting overheated on the practice range, what with all the bending over to tee up the ball, you can now relax. Relief comes in the form of the Tee-Wizz, a battery-operated gizmo that holds a dozen balls and, at a push of a button, feeds them one by one to the tee through a plastic tube.
This nifty item was one of many on view at the first-ever Super Show, staged earlier this month in Atlanta by the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association. It was a colorful scene, with pastel tennis rackets, fluorescent tennis strings and gold lamé sneakers decorating some of the 2,300 booths at the World Congress Center. The very latest in sports was seen in many images: a hot-pink pogo stick called the Jet-Star Super Trainer; a basketball shoe covered, purposely, with graffiti; a Stinky Pinky bag filled with a secret mineral that absorbs foot odor.
If the visitor to Super Show grew tired and thirsty, there was the Sit-N-Sip—a plastic stadium seat that could be filled with a favorite beverage. It has a tube attached and can deliver a most cordial cordial.
AMERICA'S GIANT SLIMDOWN
The Tee-Wizz and Sit-N-Sip were hardly the Super Show's only gimmicks. There was also Superclass, the largest aerobic exercise class in history. Staged to raise money to fight drug abuse among young people, Superclass was broadcast nationwide on cable television and caused an estimated 75,000 people to perspire in unison. Organizers say the fund-raising aspect of Superclass was "very successful," but we look at it another way: With 75,000 people exercising for two hours straight, each burning up roughly 650 calories per hour, we figure that America worked off nearly 49 million calories—or the equivalent of 13,928 pounds of fat. Dessert, anyone?
BASEBALL GOES TO YALE
The other day at Yale University's stately Sheffield-Sterling-Strathcona Hall, a distinguished panel expounded upon eternal and not-so-eternal verities at a symposium entitled "Does Baseball Have a Future? Or, Does It Have a Great Past Ahead of It?" The panelists agreed that baseball had a future, which immensely cheered an audience of 400. "Baseball is a vital part of our nation's heart and soul," said commissioner Peter Ueberroth. Yale president A. Bartlett Giamatti, a lifelong Red Sox fan, saw deep value in the game. "It crystallizes many issues in American life for us," he said, though he worried that labor disputes and drug problems represented "an invitation to use baseball to make us feel bad instead of good." Roger Angell, who writes elegantly about the game for The New Yorker, said, "I think baseball is strong, with great recuperative powers. It is not immortal, but strong." Peter Gammons, the former Boston Globe baseball writer who recently joined the SI staff, agreed. Noting that baseball had faced its difficulties squarely in the past, he said, "I remain optimistic."
One dour note: All felt that Lou Piniella may have a short term as Yankee manager because, as Giamatti put it, "The spiritual infrastructure of this team in New York is profoundly flawed and weak."
ADVICE FROM LEFT FIELD
During the same visit to Yale, Ueberroth delivered a Chubb Fellowship lecture in which he detailed his plan to combat international trafficking in illegal drugs. His agenda includes "aggressive diplomacy," and better control of smuggling at U.S. borders. That last item had been touched on in a December speech in which Ueberroth complained that U.S. border patrols had been using "Tinkertoy equipment" while "AWACS are sitting on the ground."
Now if the commissioner would only unveil details of his plan, promised last May, for getting drugs out of baseball.
Will Perdue, a backup center at Vanderbilt, seems to be leading the NCAA in shoe size with a 21½ AAAAAAA. But he's hearing footsteps. They belong to North Carolina State forward Charles Shackleford, who wears a size 18½ sneaker. The 19-year-old Shackleford is still a growing boy: At 17 he wore a 17 shoe, and at 16 he wore a 16. Perdue's ahead, but it's a footrace.
NOW SWITCH-HITTING FOR L.A.
Sometimes you can't tell the players even with a program. The Dodgers recently signed two prospects from the Dominican Republic: Esteban Felipe and Philipe Esteban.
THE CALL THAT WOULDN'T DIE
The St. Louis Cardinals know what they like in art, and they don't like this painting. Entitled simply The Call, it's a postimpressionistic, postseason rendering of umpire Don Denkinger's controversial call in the sixth game of last year's World Series. As any Missouri schoolkid could recite for you: Denkinger ruled the Kansas City Royals' Jorge Orta safe at first; replays showed he was out. The Royals subsequently rallied and won the game and then Game 7. Cards fans remain convinced the Series was stolen.
Bill VonSeggern, a lawyer in Grand Island, Neb., felt that way and commissioned local artist Bob Kerby to do the painting. After Kerby captured the awful moment on canvas, VonSeggern founded Bad Call Poster Co. and began selling copies of the work for $15 each. But the Cards, saying they wanted to put the call behind them and also claiming trademark infringement, demanded that VonSeggern stop selling the posters. VonSeggern, who has sold more than 500 of them, says he won't close up shop.
THEY SAID IT
•Charlie Simmer, Boston Bruins forward, upon returning to action after an eye injury: "The doctor told me, if I see two pucks, to take the one on the left."
•Buddy Baron, Cincinnati disc jockey, on the Chicago Bears' use of acupuncture: "Good thing William Perry didn't need it. They'd have to use a harpoon."
•Chuck Nevitt, the Detroit Pistons' 7'5" center, on growing up with a 6'7" dad, a 6-foot mom, two brothers over 6'7" and a 6'3" sister: "I never worried about whether I was adopted."