He knows Ripken will draw crowd

Times Staff Writer

Brooks Robinson says he expects a record crowd for Cal Ripken Jr.'s inevitable induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in July.

"They'll break the all-time record with attendance at this one," the Baltimore Orioles' Hall of Fame third baseman told the Baltimore Sun. "When I was inducted in '83, the whole state got behind it. We wowed them up there [in Cooperstown, N.Y.]. They ran out of hats, shirts, everything. I think they'll be prepared for this one."

One person Robinson does not expect to be in attendance: Mark McGwire.

"I guess you have to ask yourself, does he really deserve it and did he play the game the way it's supposed to be played?" Robinson said.

Robinson believes voters will need several years to determine whether McGwire used steroids during his career.

"I think there's a lot more to come out soon," he said. "I think we'll be better informed when all the facts come out."


Trivia time

What was Brooks Robinson's career high for home runs in a season?


Older, but better?

If McGwire and others used performance-enhancers to bloat their home-run totals, Robinson said, "The guys who should be upset are the home run hitters. To see these guys go past some of the great ones -- the 500 club -- that's upsetting."

Robinson has that right. His old Orioles teammate, Frank Robinson, has dropped from fourth to sixth on the all-time home run list, and is less than thrilled about it.

"Let's take Barry Bonds," Frank Robinson told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "You don't get better as you get older....

"We don't know what [taking steroids] really does for you. I've been told you can bounce back from injuries quicker. Your eyesight gets better. Your reflexes get better."

Robinson hit 91 of his 586 home runs from the ages of 36 to 39.

Over the same age period, Bonds hit 209 homers and won four National League most-valuable-player awards.


Proven defensive tactic

Seattle Storm forward Lauren Jackson says she would someday like to try out for the men's National Basketball League in her native Australia.

"One day, when I come back from the WNBA, I'd like to have a go," she told the Sydney Daily Telegraph.

"I'd sit on the bench. I'm not saying I'm better than any of them. That would be a joke. But it would be a challenge.

"And if any of the boys came near me, I'd knee them."


Cowabunga! Skier's big day

Sometimes news stories write themselves. Credit Darren Friesen of the Edmonton Sun with crafting the perfect set-up with this lead paragraph from Lake Louise, Canada:

"Lindsey Kildow had a cow while celebrating her victory at the Winterstart World Cup."

The punch line is that Kildow's pet cow, Olympe, gave birth to a female calf Sunday, the same day the 22-year-old American skier won the Winterstart gold medal.

Kildow received Olympe the cow as a prize for winning a race in Val d'Isere, France, a year ago.

Kildow had the option of returning the animal and taking $1,200, but elected to keep the cow.

The skier said she named the newborn Sunny.


Trivia answer

Robinson hit 28 home runs in 1964. He totaled 268 during a 23-year career.


And finally

Arkansas Athletic Director Frank Broyles told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that he's not surprised Houston Nutt's name keeps surfacing for football coaching vacancies.

"If they don't put his name [out] there," Broyles said, "it's because he's been diagnosed with leprosy."


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