Facts, Oddments for the Book

The 1985-86 edition of the Guinness Sports Record Book is just out, and following are some selected bits of information:

--The largest fish ever caught on a rod is an officially ratified man-eating great white shark weighing 2,664 pounds and measuring 16 feet 10 inches, caught by Alf Dean at Denial Bay, near Caduna, South Australia, April 21, 1959.

--The smallest fish ever to win a competition was a smelt weighing 1/16th of an ounce, caught by Peter Christian at Buckingham Ferry, England, Jan. 9, 1977. This beat 107 other competitors who failed to catch anything.

--Mats Wermelin, 13, of Sweden scored all 272 points in a 272-0 win in a regional boys' basketball tournament at Stockholm Feb. 5, 1974.

--George Foreman, who waved an American flag after winning the Olympic heavyweight title in 1968, never fought a title fight in the United States. He won the title from Joe Frazier at Kingston, Jamaica, in 1973. He defended it against Joe Roman at Tokyo in 1973 and against Ken Norton at Caracas, Venezuela, in 1974. He lost the title to Muhammad Ali at Kinshasa, Zaire, in 1974.

--Bobby Fischer gave up his world chess title 10 years ago, but on the officially adopted Elo system, he is recognized as the greatest Grandmaster of all time with a 2,785 rating. Current world champion Anatoliy Karpov of the Soviet Union has a 2,700 rating, lower than that of countryman Gary Kasparov at 2,710.

--Members of the croquet Hall of Fame include W. Averell Harriman, Louis Jourdan, Alexander Woollcott, Darryl F. Zanuck and Harpo Marx.

Trivia Time: When Eddie Gaedel, a midget, appeared as a pinch-hitter for the St. Louis Browns against the Detroit Tigers in 1951, what was his uniform number? (Answer in column 2.)

Says free-swinging Mickey Mantle in the book "The Mick," which he authored with Herb Gluck: "With all due respect, I never figured myself to be a Pete Rose. Charlie Hustle, right? The world's greatest singles hitter. He chokes the bat, protects the plate, and concentrates on getting a piece of the ball. It's his thing. And I have a world of admiration for him. However, if I had played my career hitting singles like Pete, I'd wear a dress."

Good-news-bad-news dept.: The NFL record for lowest percentage of passes intercepted, lifetime, is 3.3%, held by Roman Gabriel. The record for most fumbles, lifetime, is 105, held by Roman Gabriel.

Dick Young of the New York Post, on the breakup of Muhammad and Veronica Porsche Ali: "They have not been together in a true sense for quite some time. They have shared the same California mansion, the same as two people might occupy rooms on different floors of a hotel, going their own way, she the aspiring model/actress, he the bored celebrity with not enough to do, and neurologically troubled besides.

"She was a cold fish. Gorgeous and cold. The night Ali fought for the last time, she went to dinner in Nassau with John Travolta. That was more her style. She never appeared to be a part of Ali's life."

Trivia Answer: 1/8.


John McEnroe, asked if he thought during the third set that the cause was lost against Kevin Curren: "Well, no. I was hoping he might break an ankle."

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