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French Offer Spot for Borg to Regain Magic

In a season of giving, generosity surrounds Bjorn Borg’s comeback attempt.

Philippe Chatrier, head of the French Open, said last week that he would welcome Borg’s entry in the 1991 tournament “because you can’t turn down an application from someone who has won the French Open six times.”

Stefan Edberg, the world’s top-ranked player, also spoke kindly, albeit skeptically, about Borg’s dream of returning after an eight-year retirement.

Said Edberg: “I took a five-week layoff and it was extremely tough to come back. . . . But miracles can happen.”

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Add Borg: After practicing with him recently, 11th-ranked Jonas Svensson said the former winner of five consecutive Wimbledon championships “fought very hard during our sessions, and he’s still the world’s best player with a wooden racket.”

Of course, there’s a difference--at least 10 m.p.h. in ball speed--between wooden rackets and modern, oversized graphite models.

Percy Rosberg, Borg’s first coach, said recently that when Borg tried using modern rackets, he “told me he lost control on the third or fourth stroke in a rally.”

Trivia time: Who was the oldest major league player to hit a home run?

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And a video store: Gary Richardson and Arthur Ferguson, employees of the New Zealand syndicate that will contend for the America’s Cup in 1992, accompanied two of the syndicate’s three boats on their 18-day voyage by freighter from New Zealand to San Diego via San Francisco.

Richardson said he wouldn’t mind doing it again, except, “The next time I’d make sure the ship had a VCR.”

Cold comfort: Terry Pluto of the Akron Beacon-Journal recently reported on the 12-month layoff facing Cleveland Cavalier guard Mark Price, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligaments in his knee in November.

Wrote Pluto: “For advice and support, Price won’t have to look any farther than teammates Winston Bennett and Steve Kerr.”

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Kerr began by telling Pluto: “People said I had no mobility before the surgery, and they say I still don’t.”

Sticky issue: Last year, Richard Keranko, 44, of Pittsburgh filed suit in against the Washington County Youth Baseball League on behalf of his son Matthew, 16.

He lost.

Keranko’s beef was that Matthew had been left off the 1989 all-star team as a 14-year-old Pony League catcher.

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Friday, the Commonwealth Court turned down an appeal by Keranko, ruling that he had no right to sue a non-profit organization.

Keranko said in his suit that his son’s coach at the time, Jim Osbourne, held a grudge against the family because Matthew’s mother poured soda pop over Osbourne’s head when he kept another son out of two games four years ago.

Add Pony League: In their decision, the judges cited a letter written to the boy by Pony League president Roy Gillespie, which included the advice:

“Very few of us--if any--get all out of life that we want. Most of us--if not all--will feel at various times along the way that we have been cheated a bit or passed over because someone didn’t like us, liked someone else better, was related to someone or was returning a favor.

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“All I can suggest, is, keep on trying. Holding a grudge usually isn’t worth the effort.”

Trivia answer: Philadelphia Athletic pitcher Jack Quinn, who hit the last of his eight career homers at age 46.

Quotebook: Coach Don Morton, fired a year ago by Wisconsin, which finished 1-10 this season: “I don’t keep up with the papers. Which bowl game are the Badgers going to, anyway?”


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