Little League Tries to Show a Bigger Heart

Little League officials in Williamsport, Pa., have decided to follow their noses for public relations. And their hearts. . . . well, maybe.

In December, they denied a souvenir uniform to Matt Sewell, a member of the Trumbull, Conn., team that won last year’s Little League World Series. Matt had not played in the World Series games.

For seven months, Trumbull Coach Tom Galla argued without success that Sewell, despite being injured shortly before the World Series, had been a team leader during the playoffs and deserved a uniform.

Friday, Little League headquarters relented.


Little League public relations director Steve Keener told Paul Doyle of the Hartford Courant: “We were contacted by people from all over the country and we sensed that something was wrong. People were not going to leave this alone. The only way to resolve this was to give the youngster the uniform.”

Add Little League: Sewell’s supporters included King center Wayne Gretzky, who heard of the incident on a Los Angeles radio talk show. Maury Povich also covered it on television’s “A Current Affair.”

But the clincher came Friday morning, when an all-sports radio station in New York interviewed Galla, followed by Matt and his father two hours later. The station broadcast the phone number of Little League headquarters, and the final deluge was on.

Trivia time: How many Olympic gold medals has Mark Spitz won?


Called shot: After Oakland Athletic center fielder Dave Henderson had three runs batted in Thursday during the A’s 5-2 victory over Baltimore, he said: “Put me in a game that’s 10-1, and I’ll be one of the worst players out there.”

Saturday, the A’s defeated the Yankees, 10-1. Henderson was hitless in five at-bats.

Promoted for promoting:

The Erie Wave of the World Basketball League has placed Soviet Karlis Muiznieks on its taxi squad and activated 6-foot-2 reserve guard Chris Hollan--but not on the strength of Hollan’s six points and three assists in 19 minutes of playing time in two games earlier this season.

Ray Hernan, Wave general manager, told the Associated Press: “Chris deserves to be activated for the rest of the season. (He) has done so much for us in the area of player appearances at community and charity events. He has shown that he is truly a great role model for Erie-area kids.

“As for his basketball abilities, Chris has been a model practice player for the entire season and now it’s time for him to be given a chance to show himself.”

I do, I don’t have to: Kansas City Royal outfielder Jim Eisenreich got a base hit in his last at-bat as a bachelor Friday night.

Saturday, his wedding reception at the Royals Stadium Club ended on schedule, and Eisenreich was able to change out of his tuxedo and report to the dugout in full uniform . . . only to find that he had been left out of the starting lineup.


Eisenreich told AP: “If I’d known Duke (Manager John Wathan) was going to give me a game off, I’d have asked for Sunday.”

Trivia answer: Nine. Spitz won two in Mexico City in 1968 and seven in Munich in 1972.

Quotebook: Boston Red Sox outfielder Tom Brunansky, during a slump in which he was hitless in 34 at-bats: “If I get a hit, I might stop the game and ask for the ball.”