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Watson Helps the President to Get a Grip on His Problems

Meet Tom Watson, diplomat.

When the Ryder Cup captain met President Clinton, he offered to give him a lesson. Clinton didn’t say if it was for golf or politics. The President told the story to Golf Digest:

“When they (the Ryder Cup team) came to the White House . . . Watson says to me, ‘Hold this golf club, Mr. President. Now, look at your grip. If you move your grip too far to the left, it gets you in trouble on the right. If you move your grip too far to the right, it gets you in trouble on the left. The trick is to keep your grip balanced in the center.’ ”

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Trivia time: Which Clipper player was born in Paris?

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True confessions: Mary Lou Retton now says she didn’t eat Wheaties when her picture appeared on the cereal box.

Retton let the truth be known during a visit to New Body Magazine to promote a skin-care product. She insisted things were different now.

“It’s nice to represent something I believe in,” Retton said.

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Mark the calendar: Nolan Ryan, the king of strikeouts and no-hitters, is the oldest pitcher to have a no-hit game in the major leagues. Ryan was 44 when he shut down Toronto without a hit on May 1, 1991.

That was 85 years to the day after Philadelphia’s John Lush held Brooklyn hitless on May 1, 1906, becoming the youngest pitcher to do so at 20 years 6 months.

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Bad timing: A soccer exhibition between England and Germany scheduled on April 20, Adolf Hitler’s 105th birthday, might be moved to another date because hooligans from both countries are threatening to battle one another.

English rowdies are already circulating pamphlets threatening to “re-enact World War II” at the game, the German newspaper Die Welt reported.

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Another era: The Rev. Charles J. Ceradini, an All-American basketball player at Duquesne in 1913 before 64 years in the priesthood, died recently in Pittsburgh. His death caused friends to recall one of his favorite stories.

“We’d be called ‘Micks’ and ‘fisheaters’ (during games) and had to stand and take it,” he once said. “One year, a player named Chuck Davies (later a Duquesne coach) charged into the stands at a heckler who had hurled religious taunts. He fought like a terror for us.

“Davies was a Presbyterian.”

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Editor’s nightmare: In the official program of the Daytona 500, an article on Neil Bonnett began:

“Considering what he’s been through, Neil Bonnett must feel that he’s in heaven heading into Speedweeks ’94 at Daytona International Speedway.”

Bonnett died Feb. 11, nine days before the race.

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Get your bets down: Bristol University in England is offering students a course that could be an odds-on favorite--horse racing.

Those who sign up for the degree course will be touring British racecourses and meeting top trainers and owners.

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Good genes: Ryan Leahy, grandson of former Notre Dame Coach Frank Leahy, was one of four team captains elected by the Fighting Irish for the 1994 football season.

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Trivia answer: Dominique Wilkins, when his father was stationed there in the Air Force.

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Quotebook: The Dallas Cowboys’ Troy Aikman, after spending the day in Sterling Marlin’s pit during the Daytona 500: “It made me happier (seeing Marlin win) today than when we won the Super Bowl.”

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