Do you find this randy?

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Incidental Dodger stat offered in today’s media notes, before the Dodgers’ Randy Wolf faces the Cubs’ Randy Wells at Wrigley Field (5 p.m., Prime Ticket)

Today marks the sixth time in Randy Wolf’s career that he is facing an opposing pitcher with the same first name. Wolf has matched up with Randy Johnson four previous times in his career, including twice last season. The left-hander also locked horns with the Yankees’ Randy Keisler in an Interleague game back in 2001.

They actually have this stat you can look up? FYI, on MLB 2K9, I have Wolf facing the Padres’ Randy Jones tonight.

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Our Daily Dread: Do we have to spell it out for you?

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Reuters
Paige Vasseur, a 13-year-old from Rio Norte Junior High in Valencia and sponsored by the Daily News, tries to stay focused during Round II of the 2009 National Spelling Bee on Wednesday.

Although we’ve struggled with this skewed idea year after year, and re-planted it again yesterday when the first signs of it started to penetrate the wire services (linked here), the more we sit unentertained by ESPN’s three-hour-plus coverage of the 82nd Scripps National Spelling Bee from Washington D.C., this morning, the easier it was to construct a list of the top five things that the all-sports network should not be allowed to air on any of its competitive channels, even though in some cases we’ve come to not just accept but embarassingly embrace:

1. Poker
2. The hot-dog eating championships
3. Bloated anchors who believe they’re bigger than whatever they are covering
4. The Little League World Series
5. The Spelling Bee

The first two are better suited for the Game Show Network and/or the Food Channel.
The last two should be, if Disney really wants it that badly, on a Disney Channel of core kids programming — not filtering their way through the other Mickey Mouse outlets of ESPN and then, in a two-hour live (East Coast) event, on ABC for the Spelling Bee finale tonight (8 to 10 p.m.), with Tom Bergeron putting his ‘Dancing With the Stars” and “America’s Funniest Home Movies” spin on it.

The third one doesn’t belong anywhere.

Trying to catch our daily “SportsCenter” update this morning, we were interrupted by a program that at one point was reduced to Erin Andews crouched down in a tight green dress, trying to extract an interview with a 9-year-old third grader named Sriram Hathwar from a Montessori School in Painted Post, N.Y., whose mouth was crammed with a cookie as he explained how he failed to nail the word “fodient” (he used an “a” instead of an “e”) — and was already adept as using all the cliche responses that a college football player would have told Andrews in the same situation if she was at an Ohio State-Michigan contest.

So, little Sriram (check notes to make sure the name is right), you have five more years of eligibility left, Andrews reminded him, as if she was talking to Beanie Wells. When does studying begin for next year?

“Well, maybe we’ll just, like, let it go for a week or so then we’ll start studying again,” Hathwar said.

“Maybe you deserve a little break,” Andrews said, completing ignoring the parent’s wishes and putting them on the spot now to give their poor kid a break — from you and everyone else trying to manipulate his schedule, thank you very much.

And maybe we all need a break from this on ESPN, which actually went past its three-hour window to complete the fifth round (that was once around for 41 contestants, then another for the 36 left from that).

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Paige Vasseur (pictured here, from a link to her bio on the official Spelling Bee website), a 13-year-old eighth grader from Valencia’s Rio Norte Junior High (and sponsored by the Daily News), got her big break here today.

She left batting .500.

Scribbling on the back of her giant No. 12 card the letters to put together “brachylogy” in her first go-around (sounds like something that Dick Vitale tries to master each March), she was tripped up in her second appearance on “skeuomorph,” a noun that no one in their right mind would ever just drop into a sentence on the playground. She couldn’t decide if it started with an “s” or a “c.” She guessed incorrectly. Her mom was there to give her a hug.

(Paige’s bio page, by the way, mentions that she has two Roborovski hamsters named Fluffernutter and Miss Fluffykins, and she wants to become a scientist. So she’s got that going for her).

With all apologies to Akeelah and her Spelling Bee adventure on the silver screen, how fair is that to skew up a kid’s self esteem going into high school already seen as someone who couldn’t go the distance by her future classmates. Can Paige turn the page on this weekend that quickly and enjoy the rest of her summer, or will “skeuomorph” keep her up at night in a cold sweat? Thanks, ESPN, for helping her sleep better. And exposing her to boys who stumbled onto this when they were looking for more of Erin Andrews.

Chris McKendry reminded us at the top of the broadcast that 11 million kids entered this thing around the world months ago, and 293 made it these nationals. Included in those final 41 who made what Andrews called “the ESPN round” were names such as Kavya Shivashankar, Avvinash Radakrishnam, Aishwarya Pastapur, Viabhau Vivilala, Kennyi Aouda, Neetu Chandak, Siraj Sindhu, Tino Cusi Delamerced, Anamika Veeramani, Akshay Raghoram, Mouctika Palori, Aditya Chemudupaty and Serena Skye Laine-Lobsinger.

Wait, how did she get in?

Even analyst Paul Loeffler, a one-time contestant but now a grown man paid to explain everything, admitted that for most of these children, English is a second language. They had to study it more carefully — all those crazy rules that made no sense. So, in fact, they have an advantage in some respects than those who were taught in American schools (although many are home schooled or go to private institutions).

Do you see this becoming a national incident in need of U.N. intervention?

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Oh, and among those who made it to the final rounds, we left out Sidharth Chand, a 13-year-old eighth grader from Detroit Country Day School.

Who has a mustache. He almost looks like a mini-Norman Chad on a poker show.

Connor Aberle, a 13-year-old seventh grader homeschooled in Portland, Ore., also has some fuzz under the nose.

Danny Almonte would be proud of them.

So, what kind of louche plan does ESPN have for allowing these potential people — some of them just a couple years removed from Huggies — under the TV spotlight on a channel that specializes in wins, losses and keeping score, and tell them they did a “great job!” even if they couldn’t shuffle through the alphabet quickly enough to complete words such as machtpolitik, cicatrize, bardiglio, strepitoso, myriacanthous, laeotryopus, myriarch or Beckmesser?

(Louche, by the way, was a word that Miss Chemudupaty, a 14-year-old from Staunton, Va., was forced to spell at one point. It means “devious, perverse, sinister”)

At one point, Veronica Penny, an 11-year-old from Ontario, Canada, put the palm of her hands up to her eyes and buried her face as she tried to extract the correct spelling of “clary” clearly in her mind.

“Don’t be alarmed,” said Loeffler. “It helps her concentrate.”

“She’s not crying,” added McKendry.

No, we are. Just from watching these kids unnecessarily put through the ringer while we await ESPN’s next expose on “Outside The Lines” about pushy parents and their non-athletic kids who just want to stop reading a dictionary during their down time.

For the all-sports channel’s functionality, we did notice that it continued to run its revolving scroll across the bottom of the screen with any pertinent news that came through. Including, as one kid was trying to crank out the word “nescience,” that the A’s had put Nomar Garciaparra (calf) back on the DL.

Apparently, a non- slow news day. And it came after a commercial break where Sports Illustrated was pimping the fact that it has a subscription deal that can save you 69 percent, plus get the Swimsuit issue included, and before McKendry was promoting the network’s coverage Friday of the Lakers-Nuggets Game 6, as “the Lakers try to close it out, but it won’t be easy.”

Just as uneasy as watching a pre-teen asking the judge to use “tonsorial” in a sentence and getting: “Rob wore a baseball cap for two weeks following his tonsorial disaster.” (It has nothing to do with getting his tonsils ripped out, but having a bad barber … keep that in mind the next time you see Tiki Barber on the “Today” show).

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Another spry youngin’, 13-year-old eighth grader Miguel Gatmaytan, was asked to figure out how to spell “mancala.”

Which is, by definition, “Any of the various games from Africa or southern Asia that involve competition between two players in the distribution of pieces (as beans or pebbles) into rows of holes or pockets (as on a board), under rules that permit accumulation of pieces by capture.” In a sentence: “There are 200 versions of mancala played around the world.”

There’s another thing that we should never have to see on ESPN: The Mancala World Series. With Chris Berman hosting.

Comment here or at thomas.hoffarth@dailynews.com.

More reading: Linda Holmes’ “Monkey See” piece on National Public Radio’s site (linked here), where she calls this event an “oddly addictive spectacle.” She writes: “You’re not seeing kids demonstrate that they spell well in real life as much as you are seeing them perform an advanced academic trick. … There aren’t a lot of televised triumphs available for kids who are very, very bright and unusual, and that’s part of what makes the Bee mesmerizing. Television will show you lots of kids who are attractive and conventionally cute, and from time to time, it will show you the ones who are good at sports. But very, very bright and unusual?”

Also: This Q-and-A by Time magazine with Jacques Bailly on winning the event as a 14-year-old in 1980 and now acting as the judge who prounces the words and banters with the contestants as they try to quiz him for more information (as well as stall for time) (linked here).

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AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
That’s Tim Ruiter — common spelling — a 12-year-old from Centreville, Va., after spelling his word correctly in round six this morning of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, bringing him to tonight’s finals.

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How Sonia Sotomayor saved baseball nearly 15 years ago

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By Ronald Blum
The Associated Press

Long before she was a Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor was an umpire between baseball players and team owners.

Her decision as a U.S. District Court judge to issue an injunction against owners on March 31, 1995, ended a 7-month strike that had wiped out the World Series for the first time in 90 years.

“We thought it was well written, tightly reasoned,” union head Donald Fehr recalled this week. “She had done her homework, ran a good courtroom. The experience we had there certainly would suggest that she would acquit herself well anywhere.”

When the National Labor Relations Board went to court that March 27 seeking an injunction forcing owners to restore free agent bidding, salary arbitration and the anti-collusion provisions of an expired collective bargaining agreement, Sotomayor’s name came out of the wheel.

She held a telephone conference call with the parties, decided witnesses weren’t necessary and scheduled oral arguments. After listening to lawyers for 90 minutes, she took 15 minutes to deliberate, then spent 45 minutes reading her decision, making clear the bulk of it had been prepared ahead of time.

“She came to the oral arguments on the case with a decision at hand and used the oral arguments basically to confront her own decision-making,” said Gene Orza, the union’s chief operating officer. “She obviously found the
parties’ arguments did not require any change in the conclusion she had reached.”

Continue reading

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Ortiz using ster … we’re not gonna put that out there

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From the latest Fox MLB press release:

With David Ortiz’s continued struggles and his recent demotion to sixth in the Red Sox lineup, MLB on Fox reporter Ken Rosenthal has noticed that the whispers of steroids and performance enhancing drugs has started and he believes its unfair.

“Ten years ago, no self-respecting journalist would have speculated that a player was using PEDs without some form of proof. Today, respected journalists, blogs, chat rooms and other Internet vehicles, have blithely suggested that Ortiz is in a decline because he no longer take PEDs,” said Rosenthal. “It’s irresponsible. It’s unfair. It needs to stop. Several times in recent weeks, radio talk-show hosts have asked me what I thought of the possibility that Ortiz was using PEDs.

“I have no idea if David Ortiz used PEDs; probably no journalist does. I could not even make an educated guess, and it would be unprofessional of me to do so. Here’s one thing I do know: Before steroids, players actually declined as they got older. Ortiz is 33. Maybe he is losing his skills. Maybe he just stinks. If I were an innocent player, I would fight back. But I wouldn’t even know where to start.”

More of Rosenthal’s column (linked here)

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Vote for Manny … please … and how it take this long?

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If you’ll recall the list of 50 things Manny Ramirez could do during his 50-game suspension, check out No. 25 (linked here) and then read this story:

The Associated Press

Jason Rosenberg was heading home and listening to satellite radio when he heard that Manny Ramirez was fourth among National League outfielders in initial All-Star voting. By the end of the night, a new Web site was born: Vote for Manny.

“I said it would be funny if Manny got elected, because he’s coming off a suspension on July 3 and the All-Star Game is a week later, so they don’t even have that sort of built-in protection,” the 39-year-old from New York suburb Ardsley said Wednesday. “So I got home, and just quickly threw a Web site together.”

Rosenberg got voteformanny.blogspot.com up and running Tuesday night, designed to point out that MLB has no rule preventing players coming off drug suspensions from becoming All-Stars. It links to an online All-Star ballot and implores fans: “Remember, vote early and often!”

Ramirez was suspended for 50 games on May 7 after his drug test showed artificial testosterone and baseball investigators obtained documentation that he received HCG, a banned female fertility drug taken by some after steroid cycles to restart natural testosterone production.

He’s eligible to return to the Dodgers on July 3, 11 days before the All-Star Game in St. Louis.

In the initial All-Star vote released Tuesday, Ramirez was on 442,763 ballots, trailing Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun (663,164), the Chicago Cubs’ Alfonso Soriano (545,354) and the New York Mets’ Carlos Beltran (476,843).

“The All-Star Game is for the fans and I think if he got voted in, then it would be appropriate for him to play,” said Philadelphia’s Charlie Manuel, the NL manager. “Once he serves his suspension, he’s paid his penalty and he’s just like every other player.”

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa had the opposite view: “The fans have a right to vote, but I think it’s probably not fair to the guys who are out there playing. It’s pretty tough to do what he did and then miss a good part of the season. But it’s up to the fans.”

Voting began April 22, so it’s unclear how many were cast for Ramirez before the suspension. Baseball’s drug agreement states “a player shall be deemed to have been eligible to play in the All-Star Game if he was elected or selected to play; the commissioner’s office shall not exclude a player from eligibility for election or selection because he is suspended under the program.”

In AL voting released Wednesday, the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez was third among third basemen with 245,414, trailing Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria (664,060) and Texas’ Michael Young (296,025).

“It would be too interesting, too funny, too pick-your-adjective to see Manny get elected,” Rosenberg said. “It’s got to be MLB’s nightmare that the two biggest stars who have implicated themselves or gotten implicated by this are now potentially starting in their signature midsummer moment.”

Rosenberg is a Yankees fan who works in finance and has a regular blog devoted to baseball at itsaboutthemoney.blogspot.com, which he started more than a year ago.

He intends to keep the Manny Web site up and running through the All-Star Game.

“Most fans have had enough PED discussion, the steroids discussion, are sick of hearing it,” Rosenberg said. “Voting proves it, and yet the media still wants to cast everyone as an outcast and a pariah if they ever used or been accused or, in Manny’s case, been caught.”

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Tetering on the truth: Did she survive this leap of faith for a few ad bucks?


EMBED-Hannah Teter is in the Moment – Watch more free videos

That’s gold-medal snowboarder Hannah Teter jumping off a mountain for an energy beverage.

It’s our very educated guess she probalby doesn’t drink said drink. When we asked the very health-conscious Teter once whether she actually drank Mountain Dew, a major sponsor of extreme sports, she kind of krinkled her nose and asked that we really didn’t need to know her answer.

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Try the Spero-Stu soup for Friday night

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Mychal Thompson’s pending personal obligation — attending the high school graduation of his son Trayce, a standout baseball player at Santa Margarita High in Orange County (bio linked here) — means he’ll miss Friday’s Lakers-Nuggets’ Game 6 broadcast on the KLAC-AM (570) team in Denver.

Which also means that, by some string pulling, the radio station will bring in Stu Lantz to call the game with Spero Dedes, according to our people in the know.

Lantz has done strictly the Lakers’ local TV broadcasts for FSN West and KCAL Channel 9 the last six seasons (two with Paul Sunderland and four with Joel Meyers) after the team abandoned the simulcast upon Chick Hearn’s passing. He’s been apart of the team’s broadcast the last 21 seasons. Oh, that’s right, you’re probably in the know about as well.

It’s the first time Lantz has been paired up for a Laker game with Dedes, who’s been doing the Lakers’ radio since his hiring before the 2005-06 season. They did a couple of NBA Network Summer League games a few years back so they are familiar with each other’s approach.

Turn down the sound Friday on the ESPN telecast — it’s OK, that’s what the mute button is for — and synchronize the audio from the radio to sample what the future of Lakers’ basketball could sound like.

Or look like.

Oh, her? She’s Krystle Lina. Wearing a Jerry West retro jersey. For no apparent reason, other than to counteract the top photo.

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This bleeds into the Dodgers-Rockies game at noon, kickball breath

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AP Photo/Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano
Pope Benedict XVI, left, greets Swiss referee Massimo Busacca at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican today. Busacca has been chosen to take charge of the UEFA Champions League Final between Barcelona and Manchester United at Rome’s Olympic Stadium this evening. Others are referee assistants Matthias Arnet, third from right, and Francesco Buragina, right, and fourth official Claudio Circhetta, second from right.

Today, ESPN, 11:25 a.m. (with the Dodgers-Rockies starting at noon on Prime Ticket) will be the Champions League final between Barcelona and Manchester United and … wait, there’s a stabbing pain in my leg …

ROME (AP) — An American and Manchester United fan were hospitalized after being stabbed today ahead of the Champions League final. Nine people, including United and Barcelona supporters, were arrested.

Four Italians were arrested in Ostia, on the coast near Rome, after they attacked an American, apparently mistaking him for a United supporter. The man was beaten up and stabbed in his thigh and backside, police said.

A United fan was taken to a hospital after he was stabbed in the thigh, police said. The fan reported that he had been attacked by four people near his hotel in the Vatican area.

Up to 50,000 United and Barcelona supporters converged on Rome for the match tonight, and large numbers of police patrolled the city.

Three Barcelona fans were arrested after police searched their car and found blunt objects, including clubs and a javelin, police said. They were traveling from Civitavecchia, a port near Rome where hundreds of Spanish fans had arrived by ship.

Two United fans were arrested for assaulting bystanders and police in Campo de Fiori, a historic piazza and popular tourist hangout. Police said the men were drunk despite a ban on alcohol sales imposed by authorities in areas including the city center and near the stadium.

Hundreds attended Pope Benedict XVI’s public audience at the Vatican, waving their flags and scarves before the pontiff. The match referee, Massimo Busacca of Switzerland, greeted the pope at the end of the audience.

Some 67,000 people are expected to pack the Stadio Olimpico for the match.

Many could be stabbed later.

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Do you’re own spelchek on this

Maybe there’s no write way to say this, but we’ll try: The National Spelling Bee has no busines being presented to the American publik as a sport. On ESPN. On ABC. On any network teevee.

Put it on the Lurning Channel. Find a place for it on Nickleodeone. Wedge it in between “Sesame Street” and the “Reading Rainbow” on PBS.

And definitely, no live.

Otherwise, read the first account of this annual exersize from the Associated Press wire service, nowing that ESPN covers it for three hours starting at 7 a.m. on Thursday (with Eren Andruws assisting) and then ABC has two more hours in prime time (8 to 10 p.m., when most of these kids are fast aslepe) later that day — and this celebrating the fact there’s a contestent from China emerging makes this all smell of Little League baseball, when they decided eventually to make an “American” champ and an “International” champ and have them skware off for the world title:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The oral rounds of the Scripps National Spelling Bee (linked here) opened Wednesday with a touch of geography and a celebratory pump of the arms from the first contestant from China.

Kun Jacky Qiao became the first speller to represent China in the competition for more than $40,000 in cash and prizes. The 12-year-old seventh-grader at the Beijing BISS International School, which caters to the children of expatriates in China, had no problem with “recuperate.”

The bee has included international competitors for three decades. Two winners have come from outside the 50 states: Hugh Tosteson of Puerto Rico in 1975 and Jody-Anne Maxwell of Jamaica in 1998. This year’s field also includes spellers from New Zealand, Ghana and South Korea.

Thirteen-year-old Lindsey Zimmer of Notasulga, Ala., was the first of a record 293 spellers in the 82nd annual bee to step to the microphone Wednesday. The eighth-grader who likes to play the flute aced the word “longitude,” drawing out the letters with her Southern accent.

The competition began Tuesday with a written test. Those scores were to be combined with oral round results to determine who will advance to the semifinals. The finals will be broadcast by ABC during prime time Thursday for the fourth consecutive year.

The opening oral round gave the spellers their only guaranteed moments on stage, and the words were relatively easy — at least compared with the mind-blowing stumpers officials planned for later rounds. Only 16 of the first 144 youngsters misspelled, while others raced through familiar words such as “lyric” and “custard.”

There were also tense and comical moments that have made the bee compelling to watch. Some spellers smiled as they approached the microphone, while others seemed on the verge of nervous tears.

Canadian Jonathan Schut muttered “that’s helpful” when told the origin of the word “gimmick” was unknown. The 14-year-old from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, breezed through it anyway.

After 14-year-old Imogen Page of Blue Hill, Maine, exhausted all the information she could get about the word “cowardice,” she asked: “Is there anything else you can tell me?”

“It’s a nice day,” pronouncer Jacques Bailly offered.

Imogen handled the word with ease.

Two of the returning favorites went through their familiar rituals to correctly spell their words. Three-time finalist Kavya Shivashankar of Olathe, Kan., wrote with a finger on her palm as she called out the letters to “disciples,” while last year’s runner-up, Sidharth Chand of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., mimed writing on his placard to help him get through “chaotic.”

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Hey, kids … would you rather be back home in Canada watching two U.S. teams going to the Stanley Cup finals, or in D.C. where you can possibly apply for asylum? By the way, we did a spellcheck on this story: It came out clean.

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Our Daily Dread: A shriney welcome to Dalkowski, Maris and Eisenreich

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The annual election of the Shrine of the Eternals holds much anticipation for the results than those of the Baseball Hall of Fame because … just because.

And Steve Dalkowski, Roger Maris and Jim Eisenreich now don’t ever have to feel slighted by the later. They’re a member of the former. Which, to many fans, is a bigger honor.

In voting for the 2009 Class by members of the Baseball Reliquary during April and May, Dalkowski had the greatest response (34 percent of the ballots returned), with Maris (30 percent) and Eisenreich (27 percent) just ahead of Effa Manley, Casey Stengel and Don Zimmer (all with 26 percent).

Dalkowski, Maris and Eisenreich will be enshrined at the Pasadena City Library on Sunday, July 19 by the Southern California-based nonprofit dedicated to fostering an appreciate of American art and culture through the context of baseball history.

One of these you definitely know about. Another you should know about. The third … he’s a former Dodger, remember?

Why is there a specialness about these three, and the others who’ve gone before them?

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The most intriguing has to be Dalkowski (Wikipedia bio linked here with a story here by the HardballTimes.com linked here).

He was Ron Shelton’s inspiration for Nuke LaLoose in the movie “Bull Durham” — a wild, hard-throwing minor leaguer who logged nine minor-league seasons (1957-’65), amassing 1,400 strikeouts in 995 innings — along with 1,354 walks. Otherwise unimposing (5-foot-10 and a buck 70), the left-hander was said to reach 105 to 110 mph (pre-radar) — Ted Williams once said Dalkowski was the hardest thrower he’d ever seen. “White Lightning” threw so fast that at least one opposing batter soiled his uniform in expectation of facing him (or so the legend goes).

In one game, Dalkowski (with Earl Weaver as his manager in Aberdeen, South Dakota), threw a no-hitter with 20 strikeouts — and 18 walks.

In a blog posting on SportsHollywood.com (linked here), former minor-leaguer Robert Fabbricatore admits that while he was “awarded a Bronze Star for my actions in Vietnam … I should have gotten a Silver Star for spending 20 minutes in a batting cage with Steve Dalkowski.”

Just before making the Baltimore Orioles’ roster, Dalkowski blew out his arm. It led to a bout with what was described as “uncontrollable alcoholism.” After his career was over, he headed out to these parts and was working for a time as a migrant farm worker in California’s Central Valley. The Association of Professional Ball Players helped him for a 20-year span until the 1990s when he went to a health-care center in his hometown of New Britian, Conn., where he reportedly lives these days with his sister, about to turn 70 on June 3.

Terry Cannon, the executive director of the Baseball Reliquary, said he notified Dalkowski of his enshrinement and will attempt to contact him later this week to see if he is healthy enough to make a trip to Pasadena for his induction.

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Maris (linked here), of course, set the single-season home-run record with 61 in 161 games in ’61 (also the AL MVP with 132 runs scored), a mark since shattered by Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds and nearly approached by Alex Rodriguez. What do those four have in common? We’re not sure.

But they really have nothing more in common with Maris, who died in 1985 after a bout with cancer. He’s often mentioned as a player who deserves Baseball Hall of Fame induction — 275 career homers, 851 RBI (142 of them coming in ’61, the year after his first AL MVP season of 1960), but that may never happen. He played 12 seasons, the last two for the St. Louis Cardinals after the Yankees let him go following the 1966 season.

Why isn’t he in the “real” Hall. Statistically alone, the Baseball Reference compares his body of work to those like Danny Tartabull, Eric Davis, Jesse Barfield and Tony Armas. But none of them are a two-time MVP and single-season record of anything.

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Eisenrich (linked here), a member of the Dodgers in his last season in the big-leagues in 1998 (75 games, 147 at bats, .197 average, coming over in the package with Florida for Mike Piazza), battled through Tourette Syndrome during his career. The 50-year-old had uncontrolable physical tics and jerks and erratic behavior — which resulted in the Minnesota Twins eventually waiving him for $1 before he was properly diagnosed. He was a very good left-handed hitter and outfielder for the Royals, Phillies and Marlins (playing in two World Series) and ended up playing 15 seasons with a .290 career mark.

Eisenreich began to produce for his new team, the Kansas City Royals, emerging as a gifted left-handed hitter and outfielder. In 1967, he was named the Royals most valuable He now heads the Missouri-based Jim Eisenreich Foundation for Children with Tourette Syndrome (linked here), which he founded with his wife in 1996.

These three join Shrine of the Eternals members Jim Abbott, Dick Allen, Emmett Ashford, Moe Berg, Yogi Berra, Ila Borders, Jim Bouton, Jim Brosnan, Bill Buckner, Roberto Clemente, Rod Dedeaux, Dock Ellis, Mark Fidrych, Curt Flood, Josh Gibson, William “Dummy” Hoy, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Bill James, Bill “Spaceman” Lee, Marvin Miller, Minnie Minoso, Buck O’Neil, Satchel Paige, Jimmy Piersall, Pam Postema, Jackie Robinson, Lester Rodney, Fernando Valenzuela, Bill Veeck Jr. and Kenichi Zenimura. Get them all together for a game, and you’d have one heck of a movie script.

More info on the organization at www.baseballreliquary.org.

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