Glasnost reached the sports world Wednesday at the United Nations when Valentin V. Lozinskiy, the Soviet ambassador, formally relinquished Moscow's claim to have invented baseball.
"We do not pretend that we invented baseball any longer," Lozinskiy said at a luncheon for a Hoboken (N.J.) boys team that will tour the Soviet Union next month. "Sometimes we said that, but this is just an empty boast."
The tour is sponsored by Taco Bell. Taco Bell is owned by Pepsi Cola, which several years ago gained entry to the Soviet market.
Said Lozinskiy: "I hope that baseball will soon be as Russian as Pepsi Cola."
Now-it-can-be-told Dept.: Bruce Keidan of the Pittsburgh Press said that Jose Lind, the Pirate second baseman who can jump over humans--he leaped over Joe Garagiola before one televised game--was once offered to Philadelphia for Rick Schu.
Keidan: "Fortunately, the Phillies laughed at Syd Thrift, the Pirate general manager. They told him, 'Look, if we need a high jumper, we'll sign Dwight Stones.' "
From Toronto Blue Jays Manager Jimy Williams, denying that George Bell shoved him during a dugout argument: "But we weren't exchanging gifts."
Tom Lasorda a genius? Writes Richard Justice of the Washington Post: "He may not control a game as, say, Gene Mauch did, and he may not be the strategic genius Earl Weaver was, but in a profession that's probably as much mental as physical, a matter of playing through slumps, fatigue, losing streaks, divorces, births and deaths, Lasorda unquestionably is a genius."
Says former Dodger reliever Tom Niedenfuer, now with Baltimore: "Tommy is the best. Players want to play for him. He makes you feel good about yourself."
Said Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Jim Traber, after facing Cleveland Indians pitcher John Farrell, a former Oklahoma State teammate: "There are a lot of Oklahoma State guys around. But if I don't start hitting, there'll be one less."
Trivia Time: What did hurdler Harrison Dillard, Washington Redskins end Hugh Taylor and Wake Forest basketball coach Horace McKinney have in common? (Answer below.)
Washington Redskins linebacker Wilber Marshall, asked about Seattle Seahawks linebacker Brian Bosworth, told the Baltimore Sun: "If you want to paint your hair and want to do all that stuff, that's fine. But if you're saying a lot of things like, 'I like blood,' the next thing you know, you've got a lineman 20 yards downfield trying to drill you in the butt."
Trivia Answer: The same nickname, Bones.
Timmy Newsome, Dallas Cowboys fullback: "My job is to do two things--block and keep Herschel Walker out of the ring against Mike Tyson."