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A Rare Time Finley Didn’t Have Last Word

When the sometimes cantankerous Charles O. Finley was running the Oakland A’s, he could be a headache for the media.

Joe Gilmartin, a Phoenix sportswriter, once called him for an interview, and to every question, Finley would answer, “That’s none of your damned business.”

Finally, hoping for anything, Gilmartin asked an innocuous question about some player.

Finley: “That’s none of your damned business. I don’t know why I’m talking to you anyhow. Phoenix? What’s Phoenix to me? What’s the circulation of your paper, anyway?”

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Gilmartin: “That’s none of your damned business.”

Add forgettable quotes: Said Rick Reuschel the day before the All-Star game: “The starting time is definitely in the starting pitchers’ favor.”

A believer: Oakland’s Dave Parker, once thought by some to be the best player in baseball, said of Bo Jackson: “He is the greatest athlete I’ve ever played against. He has an extremely quick bat. He’s strong as a bear. He’s a world-class runner. He has good instincts in the outfield, with a tremendous arm. And he’s still learning.”

Oops dept.: Said Harry Weltman, general manager of the New Jersey Nets, in introducing first draft choice Mookie Blaylock to the media: “I’d like you all to meet Mookie Wilson.”

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Trivia time: What two Hall of Fame sluggers have the same first and middle names?

Now-it-can-be-told Dept.: Did you know that Gene Autry is in the baseball Hall of Fame? Well, sort of.

Carl Yastrzemski, named this year to the Hall of Fame, told Joe Gergen of Newsday, “I gave Gene my Gold Glove from 1967, and he gave me the gun and holster he used in the movies. He said, ‘I hope you have as many hits as I had with this.’ He’s done so much for baseball I thought it should be in the Hall of Fame.”

Add Yaz: Once, when he was fighting a slump in Boston, he came to the plate to find that the umpire was Ron Luciano, who liked to chat with the batters.

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Said Yaz: “Listen, Ron, my kid is batting .300, my wife is fine, I haven’t heard any new jokes and I don’t want to know about any great restaurants. I’m 0 for 15 and I want you to keep your mouth shut.”

Candy girl: From LPGA star Patty Sheehan, who is sponsored by M&M; Mars Inc.: “My caddie had a dream that the M&Ms; Peanut bag ate him. I said, ‘John, you’re not well.’ ”

Add Sheehan: Asked why she turned pro in the midst of such a successful amateur career, she said, “I got tired of polishing all that silver.”

18 years ago today: On July 13, 1971, Reggie Jackson’s mammoth home run off the power generator on the right-field roof at Detroit’s Tiger Stadium highlighted a barrage of six home runs, three by each team, as the American League beat the National League, 6-4, in the All-Star game.

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Trivia answer: Henry Louis Gehrig and Henry Louis Aaron.

Quotebook: Jim Dent, on being the longest hitter on the Senior PGA Tour: “I can air-mail the ball, but sometimes I don’t get the right address on it.”


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