By New York Mets ace Dwight Gooden, a toothbrush in the shape of a baseball bat. The Bat-a-Brush, designed by Dr. Allen Finkelstein of Suffern, N.Y., is a polypropylene replica of Babe Ruth's bat. Finkelstein, whose product should reach the shelves by Opening Day 1992, examined Gooden's teeth before signing him as spokesman and found Doc to be "immaculate about his oral hygiene." Finkelstein hopes to add Mets catcher Mackey Sasser to his medicine-cabinet battery by having him promote a pump toothpaste dispenser.
In his powerboat racing debut, rapper Vanilla Ice, who drove a 48-foot Apache Express to a 10-mile win over his closest competitor at the aptly named Hooligan's Offshore Grand Prix of Miami. Said Vanilla Ice, "I felt the need for speed."
By a falling willow tree, the 1983 Mercedes of former Cleveland Indian Andre Thornton, while he was driving it in More-land Hills, Ohio. The tree, which apparently snapped under its own top-heavy weight, slammed into the roof and windshield of the car, knocking Thornton unconscious. A United Parcel Service driver chased the still-moving car and reached through an open window to shut off the ignition. Thornton suffered minor injuries, including a sliced tongue.
For six days atop a 30-foot-high platform in a Tacoma, Wash., parking lot, Tacoma Stars coach Keith Weller, in an effort to save his foundering Major Soccer League franchise by selling 1,000 season tickets. Weller, who grew accustomed to heights in his off-season job as a roofer, brought along a portapotty, bedding, a cellular phone and a Nintendo Game Boy. Although Weller fell 557 tickets short of his goal, he had to climb down on July 28 so he could prepare for his daughter's wedding.
August 4, 1991
From Cincinnati to Boca Raton, Fla., Pete Rose, after completing 1,000 hours of court-ordered community service as part of his July 1990 sentence for tax evasion. Rose, who plans to continue appearing at sports memorabilia shows, has also expressed interest in breeding thoroughbred horses and managing a restaurant. Although Rose says the reason he left Cincinnati—his home for all of his 50 years—was so that he could lead a more normal life, he recently responded to a charge that he was running away by saying, "I sign more autographs in Boca than I do in Cincinnati."
Behind a 4-for-4 performance by New Mexico representative/third baseman Bill Richardson, a three-year losing streak by the Democrats in the annual Roll-Call Congressional baseball game, in Alexandria, Va. Despite having former American League 20-game winner Jim Bunning (Ky.) on their team, the Republicans still lost 13-9. In the sixth inning, after an apparent homer by Curt Weldon (R., Pa.) was ruled a double when the ball got stuck in the outfield wall, House minority leader Bob Michel, of Illinois, said jokingly, "Those guys are used to cheating."