Wooden Provides a Special Moment

Dennis Tito, the L.A. financial tycoon and do-it-yourself astronaut, was the keynote speaker at the Special Olympics Breakfast of Champions at Long Beach State on Saturday. Rafer Johnson presented trophies to the male and female athletes of the year.

Although John Wooden was an invited guest and not part of the program, emcee Bill Macdonald asked Wooden to say a few words anyway.

After arriving at the podium, Wooden said, "The good book says, 'From those who are given a lot, much is expected.' I wasn't listed as a speaker, so don't expect much."

But Wooden, as usual, did deliver much, including this line:

"Abe Lemons once told me I should coach track and field. He said, 'It is the easiest sport to coach. All you have to do is just tell them to stay to the left and hurry back.' "


Trivia time: Who was Michael Jordan's minor league manager?


Gas prices: From Fox- Sports.com's Randy Hill: "To discourage citizens from burning the city to the ground, Denver police played the tear gas-card after the Avalanche won the Stanley Cup. The L.A. Police Department considered emulating Denver's strategy, but the price of tear gas in Southern California has risen to more than $2 per gallon for unleaded."


Dad's choice: MasterCard.com asked dads for which sporting event they would most like to receive tickets on Father's Day. The response: Super Bowl, 35%; World Series, 30%; NBA Finals, 16%; Masters, 12%; U.S. Open tennis, 4%, and Stanley Cup finals, 3%.


Ball boy blues: Cleveland outfielder Marty Cordova tried to field a ball recently, but a ball boy was in the way. Indian Manager Charlie Manuel went out to argue with umpire Jerry Layne.

"He told me the ball boy was in play," Manuel was quoted as saying by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "I told him, 'He's too fat to be in play.' I told him to get him out of there because he couldn't get out of the way of the ball.

"Layne asked me, 'Are you serious?' I told him, 'I'm as serious as a heart attack.' "


Uptown, upstream: Cleveland pitchers Dave Burba and Steve Reed enjoy river fishing on their days off. You just wouldn't expect the river to be the East River in New York.

"It's the best-kept secret in New York," Burba told the Plain Dealer.

Burba caught a 15-pound striper and Reed said he caught a 12-pound blue perch.


Looking back: On this day in 1960, Ted Williams hit his 500th home run, becoming the fourth player to accomplish the feat.


Trivia answer: Former Philadelphia Phillie manager Terry Francona was Jordan's manager with the Birmingham Barons.


And finally: ABC college football commentator Ed Cunningham recalls when he was playing for the Arizona Cardinals and they were in Washington for a game against the Redskins. An unnamed teammate was reading a marquee as the team bus drove past a movie theater, and another teammate on the other side of the bus asked him what was playing at the theater.

" 'Home Alone 2' and 'Coming Soon' " was the answer.

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