Y.A. Tittle, the latest inductee into the National Quarterback Hall of Fame, was speaking at an elaborate black-tie affair put on to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Among his stories was one about how the San Francisco 49ers had traded him to the New York Giants in 1961, after Coach Red Hickey had wrongly figured that the shotgun was the formation of the future and that Tittle lacked the mobility to play it.
“We played the Giants in an exhibition game and I noticed Andy Robustelli, when he came in on me, didn’t unload,” Tittle recalled. “And then Sam Huff red-dogged up the middle and veered off. I thought this was all so strange.
“But the Giants told me on the way to the locker room that they had a chance to get me in a trade, and Coach Allie Sherman had said if anyone hurt Tittle before the deal could be closed it was going to cost them $1,000.”
Add Tittle: How good was Y.A.?
Good enough to be the only man in history to be drafted in the first round three times.
In 1948, he was drafted No. 1 twice, by the Cleveland Browns of the old All-America Conference and the Detroit Lions of the National Football League.
Three years later, in 1951, he was put back in the draft when the Baltimore Colts franchise was withdrawn and the 49ers made him their first choice.
Trivia time: Until goaltender Kelly Hrudey was traded to the Kings, the New York Islanders had used him and Billy Smith exclusively. Who was the last player in the nets for New York aside from them?
Now you see him ... : Kevin McHale of the Boston Celtics, hearing that Wade Boggs of the Red Sox had once “willed himself invisible” to escape a mugger, said he can believe it.
“I thought that’s what he did against (the Oakland Athletics’ Dennis) Eckersley in the playoffs last year,” McHale said.
For those with short memories, Eckersley struck Boggs out looking.
Add forgetable quotes: “The job has not been offered to me. If it was offered to me I don’t know that I would take it.” --Washington State football Coach Dennis Erickson four days before accepting the coaching position at Miami (Fla.).
Jed, Granny and Elly May: If the Dallas Cowboys make some trades in the near future, don’t be surprised to see linebacker Jeff Rohrer’s name coming up.
It’s unlikely that the former Yale player endeared himself to the Cowboys’ new owner with this remark:
“Jed Clampett is the only other oilman I know, and he would have given a better interview than Jerry Jones.”
Tall order: A team composed of New York Mets coaches beat a team of writers who cover the Mets, 52-46, in a recent basketball game.
“This may be hard to believe for some people, but the writers were in better shape than the coaches,” Met Manager Davey Johnson told the Baltimore Sun’s Tim Kurkjian.
“If we didn’t have three substitutes, we would have had three heart attacks. They brought in a guy who was just starting his writing career. He was 6-foot-11.”
Trivia answer: Rollie Melanson. He was in the nets for the Islanders in November, 1984.
Boxer Hector Camacho on Ray Mancini before their fight Monday night: “Ray’s looking bad this year. I’m better looking and I got shorter hair. They won’t confuse me for my girlfriend.”