This team moves along the baselineNBC announcer Bob Costas...

Off the beat

February 10, 1991

This team moves along the baseline

NBC announcer Bob Costas was asked by the editors of Dallas' Mavericks Press to name his National Basketball Association All-Star baseball team. Here are some of his selections, with comments:

* First base: Manute Bol, Philadelphia 76ers -- "He makes Willie 'Stretch' McCovey look small."

* Shortstop: Isiah Thomas, Detroit Pistons -- "In basketball, you want the ball in his hands at crunch time. In baseball, you'd want the ball hit to him. Just a hunch he'd be dangerous at bat, and likely a good bunter."

* Catcher: Charles Barkley, 76ers -- "Imagine Charles blocking the plate?"

* Left field: Muggsy Bogues, Charlotte Hornets -- "The little guy can cover a lot of ground. Besides, he'd bat leadoff and draw a ton of walks."

* Pitcher: Bernard King, Washington Bullets -- "Bernard is like the pitcher who had a great fastball, got hurt, and came up with another pitch to save his career."

* Manager: Danny Ainge, Portland Trail Blazers -- "A former infielder with the Toronto Blue Jays. We have to have some legitimacy, right?"

Baseball's Hall of Disappointment

Roger Maris, Richie Ashburn and Harvey Kuenn were also shut out of the Baseball Hall of Fame this week.

A ruling by the Hall's board said any post-war player who doesn't get two-thirds of the vote in any of his 15 years of eligibility cannot get into the shrine. Ashburn, who called the decision unfair, said he and the other two were under consideration for Cooperstown by the Veterans Committee.

The highest percentage he ever received was .430; Maris' was .410, and Kuenn's was .390.

"I can't say if Kuenn, Maris or I ever would have been voted into the Hall of Fame," he wrote in his Philadelphia Daily News column Thursday. "But we should have been given the same consideration every other player has received."

Officially, it can be dangerous game

Facing angry coaches isn't always the most hazardous part of the job for college basketball officials. And that goes for after the final buzzer, too.

On Monday night, Joe Silvester of the Big Ten tripped as he ran up the ramp at Illinois' Assembly Hall after the Illinois-Northwestern game and had to be carried off by fellow officials Ed Hightower and Terry Stoudt. X-rays of Silvester's ankle showed no fracture, but it was a bad enough sprain that he will have to miss at least one game.

Halfway through the conference season, there have been three cases of injured officials. Earlier, Mike Stockner suffered a broken foot when a player accidentally stepped on it and is out for the season. And more recently, Jim Bain aggravated a knee injury during a game that required arthroscopic surgery; he is out for three to four weeks.

The Quote

Washington Bullets coach Wes Unseld, asked the big differences between now and his playing days in the National Basketball Association: "Imagine guys kissing other guys on the court. Can you imagine Gus Johnson kissing Dave DeBusschere or me kissing Willis Reed? I don't think they'd let Willis back in Louisiana, and I know they wouldn't let me back in my neighborhood."

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