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One Play Gave New York 2 Hits

An event that led to sports and theater history took place 69 years ago today.

On Jan. 3, 1920, Harry Frazee, owner of the Boston Red Sox, sold pitcher-outfielder Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees for $125,000 plus a $350,000 loan.

Everyone knows that Ruth became the most legendary baseball player of all-time and turned the Yankees into the game’s most successful franchise.

What a lot of people don’t know is that Frazee used the loan to turn the play “No, No, Nanette” into a hit on Broadway.

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There has been plenty written and said about several Soviet hockey and basketball stars coming to play in the United States and Canada, but according to James H. Jackson of the Baltimore Sun, defenseman Kevin Lowe of the Edmonton Oilers wouldn’t mind playing in the Soviet Union.

“It would be one heck of an experience to be the first athlete from North America to play over there,” Lowe said. “It’s not a gimmick. I’d like to go out of curiosity of their politics, their society, their life style.

“I’ve heard people say I’m crazy. I think it would be an 8-to-10 month commitment out of my life, but I’ve made a lot of commitments to the game to be the best player I possibly could be. I wouldn’t want to be at the end of my career when I did it. I’d want to be competitive.”

The Miami Heat lost the first 17 games of its first season before beating the Clippers, but things began looking up last week when it won two straight.

Said forward Pat Cummings: “We started to walk with our first two wins--now we’re starting to ride our bicycle.”

Add Heat: During the exhibition season, Miami forward Scott Hastings said to a trainer for his former team, the Atlanta Hawks: “I’m scared. I think I’m the best player here.”

Hastings was slightly off. He’s last on the Heat with a 3.8-scoring average.

Last add Heat: Despite the team’s nickname and locale, the Heat is cold. No Miami player is shooting 50% from the field and the team average is 43.3%.

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Coach Bill Walsh of the San Francisco 49ers called one of the National Football League’s rarely used plays when he had Mike Cofer try a free kick on the last play of the first half in Sunday’s 34-9 playoff victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

The kick was set up when Walsh had John Taylor call for a fair catch at midfield on a Minnesota punt. Cofer then missed badly on a field-goal attempt from there.

“I’ve always wanted as a coach to try that,” Walsh told reporters with a smile. “It was sort of fun--until we kicked it and then everybody ran in.”

Quotebook

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Coach Mike Ditka of the Chicago Bears, responding when asked if his next heart attack might come on the sidelines: “I’m going to make it. And if I don’t then I’ll tell you what, it’s going to be earth-shattering, with the coach dying on the sideline.”


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