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In Oregon, Ballhandling Remains Pesky Issue

Times Staff Writer

A dropped pass by Oregon receiver Keith Allen ended the Ducks’ chances of upsetting California on Saturday.

Former Long Beach Press-Telegram sports columnist Loel Schrader recently e-mailed a story involving dropped passes by Oregon receivers and the mistake Boston Red Sox shortstop Johnny Pesky made in the 1946 World Series.

Pesky held the ball a fraction of a second too long while handling a relay from outfielder Leon Culberson on a double by Harry Walker of the St. Louis Cardinals. Pesky’s hesitation allowed Enos Slaughter to score from first with the deciding run in Game 7.

Schrader recalls once asking Pesky about the play.

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“Yes, I hear about it often,” said Pesky, a Portland native. “I went home to Oregon after that World Series and attended an Oregon football game. It was pouring and passes were being dropped.

“Finally, some guy near me got up and yelled, ‘Throw the ball to Pesky, he’ll hold onto it.’ ”

Trivia time: Pesky served as interim manager of the Red Sox after what manager was fired near the end of the 1980 season?

Party animal: Vijay Singh, in an interview with Mike Tirico that aired Sunday on ABC, said he hasn’t celebrated that he is the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world.

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Singh said he only celebrates on the inside.

“I don’t know how to celebrate,” he said. “It’s kind of sad, really. When people win golf tournaments, they go out and have a drink and party with friends. I haven’t done that.

“Maybe when the tour is over, I’ll go out and get drunk for a month.”

Name game: It was reported recently that David Hackman, an off-duty deputy sheriff from Los Banos, Calif., faces felony charges related to an altercation at Angel Stadium after an Angel playoff game against the Red Sox on Oct. 6.

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Hackman, according to police, was leaving the stadium when Daniel Slama of Huntington Beach tapped him on the head with one of those Thunderstix. Hackman, police said, chased after Slama and threw him to the pavement, allegedly causing injuries.

“The only way this story would be any more improbable,” wrote Scott Ostler in the San Francisco Chronicle, “would be if the two surnames were reversed.”

Looking back: On this day in 1970, Tom Dempsey of New Orleans kicked a 63-yard field goal on the game’s final play to give the Saints a 19-17 victory over the Detroit Lions.

The kick set an NFL record that was tied in 1998 by Denver’s Jason Elam.

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Trivia answer: Don Zimmer.

And finally: Philadelphia’s Terrell Owens, who didn’t catch a pass until the Eagles were trailing the Pittsburgh Steelers, 21-0, Sunday, took a lot of heat on NFL pregame shows.

Said Fox’s Terry Bradshaw: “T.O. doesn’t get it. T.O. will never get it because T.O. cares about nobody but himself.”

Said ESPN’s Steve Young: “He’s turning into Dennis Rodman.”

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Larry Stewart can be reached at larry.stewart@latimes.com.


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