Last call for the BabeMickey Owen, a former Brooklyn...

Off the beat

April 07, 1991

Last call for the Babe

Mickey Owen, a former Brooklyn Dodgers catcher, recently told the Los Angeles Times that he was managing the Mexico Blues of the Mexican League when Babe Ruth hit a home run for the Mexico City-based baseball team in 1946.

Owen said that Ruth was signed as a publicity stunt.

"They grooved him a few pitches," Owen said of Ruth, who died two years later. "He hit one way up in the bleachers. The crowd went crazy. So, I was the manager for Babe's last home run. There's some trivia for you."

Don't tell his agent

Pitcher Frank Viola of baseball's New York Mets said he believes that he should be paid about the same as teammate Dwight Gooden, who last week signed a contract that will pay him $5.15 million a year, but teammate Ron Darling doesn't agree.

" 'V' is a great pitcher, but Doc and [Roger] Clemens are way up there, and the next group of guys is [down] here," Darling told Newsday. "I hope it doesn't become a pride thing with him. 'V' has great statistics, but Doc is Doc. 'V' pitches with guile and finesse. Whether you like it or not, singles hitters will never be paid as much as [Darryl Strawberry]. People like strikeouts. They're the slam dunks of baseball."

Spirits in the material world

According to Sports Illustrated, tennis star Mats Wilander, a sometime guitarist who is in the midst of a 17-city Swedish rock-concert tour, traded the trophy he won for winning the 1988 French Open to Sting for a Grammy Award.

The quote

Former San Francisco 49ers All-Pro guard Randy Cross, after two ex-teammates, safety Ronnie Lott and running back Roger Craig, signed with the Los Angeles Raiders: "Neither of those guys can play anymore. I honestly don't know what [Raiders owner] Al Davis is thinking of."

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