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Boxer’s Commemoration Idea Torched by Flickering Flame

For his Aug. 11 retirement at the Amateur Athletic Foundation, boxer Paul Gonzales had requested that a symbolic Olympic torch the AAF keeps lighted be turned off for the day to commemorate the end of his 10-year career.

On Aug. 11, 1984, Gonzales won the Olympic gold medal in the flyweight division at the Los Angeles Games.

The AAF, however, denied Gonzales’ request to have the flame extinguished.

“We have a hard enough time getting someone to turn off the lights here at night,” quipped Barry Zepel, a foundation publicist.

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Actually, Zepel acknowledged that the symbolic helix has been anything but an eternal flame. He said it is given to periodic blackouts because of mechanical problems.

So instead of turning it off intentionally, the nonprofit foundation presented Gonzales with the AAF’s 10-year anniversary flag.

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Trivia time: Who is the only player to have been the No. 1 pick in the baseball draft twice?

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We like it: Gene Sapakoff in the Charleston Post and Courier discussing that South Carolina city’s new 7,100-seat baseball stadium, which is scheduled to open next spring:

“How about considering Charleston’s long association with the South Atlantic League (commonly known as the Sally League) when naming our new ballpark?

“Sally Field.”

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Suspicious minds: So Elvis Grbac makes only $140,000. So he saves the San Francisco 49ers money under the salary cap. How dare some cynics suggest that’s why he is the backup quarterback.

“There are very few young quarterbacks in the league who have the potential to one day take a team to the championship level, and Elvis Grbac is one of them,” 49er offensive coordinator Mike Shanahan said. “He has excellent arm strength. He can make all the throws that are necessary in the NFL. And he can do it with the best of them.”

Which of course explains why Grbac was drafted in the eighth round last year.

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Getting carded: The owner of the Hot Card Connection in Wheeling, W. Va., angry over the baseball strike, filed his protest by dumping about 2,000 cards and, at least for a few days, choosing not to sell any major league memorabilia.

“I pulled out all my baseball cards, and replaced them with minor league cards,” Dennis Prochaska said. “I’m not selling anything endorsed by the Major League Baseball Players Assn.

“I did this because they’re getting so much money, even while they’re on strike, from royalties on team merchandise. They’re still getting paid even when they don’t play.”

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A dozen or so youngsters didn’t exactly share his sentiments.

They quickly scooped up the major league cards.

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Trivia answer: Danny Goodwin. In 1971, when he was a high school senior, the Chicago White Sox took him with the first pick. Then in 1975, when he was a college senior, the Angels took him first.

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Quotebook: Cleveland Brown defensive back Antonio Langham, on his contract that pays most of his salary after this season: “I figured I could survive with a half-million dollars until March, 1995, maybe longer.”


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