D. Henderson agrees to A's 3-year offerDave Henderson...

Sports briefly

December 12, 1990

D. Henderson agrees to A's 3-year offer

Dave Henderson became the first new-look free agent to come to terms when he agreed yesterday to a three-year contract with the Oakland Athletics worth slightly less than $8 million.

The outfielder, 32, was one of 15 players made new-look free agents Friday in the $280 collusion settlement between baseball owners and the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Henderson had one season remaining with the A's, at $1 million, on a three-year $2.8 million deal. Last week's settlement gave him the right to negotiate with any team through Jan. 29.

Jack Clark, another new-look free agent, received a contract offer from the Boston Red Sox, but the parties do not appear to be close to a deal.

Oakland, which signed free-agent pitcher Eric Show Monday to a two-year deal worth approximately $1.5 million, now turns its attention to re-signing Bob Welch, who won 27 games and the American League Cy Young Award in 1990.

* Sid Bream, who overcame three knee operations to help the Pittsburgh Pirates capture the National League East championship, has been named the winner of the 26th annual Hutch Award.

Bream hit .270 and drove in 67 runs in 149 games after sitting out most of the 1989 season. He signed with the Atlanta Braves as a free agent after the season.

The voting is by a panel of major-league broadcasters and writers.

The award goes to a player who overcomes adversity to go on to further accomplishments. It is named in honor of Fred Hutchinson, a major-league pitcher who managed the Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals and died of cancer in 1964 while serving as manager of the Cincinnati Reds.

* Major-league owners have formally ratified the seven-year agreement negotiated with the minor leagues, the baseball commissioner's office said.

The National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, the minor leagues' umbrella organization, is conducting its ratification vote with results expected tomorrow.

Hockey

The Boston Bruins say forward Bob Carpenter is lost for the rest of the National Hockey League season after lengthy surgery to repair his left kneecap and the cartilage behind it.

The team reported it's unclear whether Carpenter, who began his career with the Washington Capitals, will ever be able to play hockey again because of the damage. Carpenter was injured as he slammed into the boards during a game Saturday at Montreal.

A team of three surgeons had to piece together fragments of the shattered kneecap, lining them up into their original position. Then they had to repair the cartilage behind it.

Carpenter, 27, is the only Bruin to appear in all 80 games last

season. He had played in each of the 29 contests this season,

with eight goals and eight assists.

Golf

The U.S. Fidelity & Guaranty companies dropped their commercial sponsorship of the $1 million USF&G golf tournament after 1991 because of what the insurance conglomerate said were hard economic times.

The announcement was not unexpected. Earlier this year, USF&G executives said a worsening national economy would force USF&G to re-examine its sponsorship of athletic events.

The New Orleans-based companies did not say whether they would continue sponsoring the USF&G Sugar Bowl postseason college football game each New Year's Day in New Orleans.

Tommy Wulff, the golf tournament's executive director, said the tournament would continue "for the next several years with or without a sponsor."

* Golden Bear International, Jack Nicklaus' golf course design company, is going public -- not in the financial sense, but in the production business.

Over the next five years, Nicklaus and associates hope to design about 50 courses open to the public for daily fees.

"If I'm going to have golf courses here for people to enjoy or hate, I should have golf courses being played by people at all levels of golf and all walks of life," Nicklaus said Monday at his annual State of the Bear news conference in North Palm Beach, Fla.

Gateway to victory Mike Tyson vs. Donovan "Razor" Ruddock?

Maybe, maybe not.

Promoter Don King says it will happen, but Tyson's manager of record, Bill Cayton, says he might try to stop it.

After Tyson and Ruddock recorded first-round knockouts in bouts Saturday night, King said Tyson-Ruddock would happen in late March or early April and "hopefully will be for the WBC heavyweight title."

If not, King says they will fight a 12-rounder with the winner in line to fight the winner of the Holyfield-George Foreman title bout April 19.

Then there's Cayton.

Still Tyson's manager of record although he and the former champion are estranged, Cayton said he is holding discussions with his attorney about whether he can block the fight.

"It's not in Mike Tyson's best interest to take this fight," Cayton said. "It only benefits Don King. I think's its the wrong fight at this time."

Auto racing

The pub where Rob Moroso drank beer before his fatal accident Sept. 30 is not to blame for the wreck that killed the

rookie NASCAR driver and another person, the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement division said.

The A.L.E. said in a written statement that it found no evidence of irresponsible service by any establishment visited by Moroso, 22, the night of the accident.

According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, Moroso was driving in excess of 75 mph down North Carolina 150 near Mooresville when he lost control of the car on a curve and slid into the path of an oncoming car.

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