Too bad Buford didn't expand on idea to buy a team in Miami 20 years ago

Phil Jackman

June 12, 1991|By Phil Jackman

Reading time, two minutes:

Poor Don Buford. When it was announced Monday that Miami and Denver would in all likelihood be getting National League expansion teams, thoughts jumped back 20 years and spring training with the Orioles. Buford, employed in the O's minor-league operation now but the leftfielder then, came by the information that the Miami franchise in the Florida State League was for sale. He was all for buying. His fellow players scoffed at the idea and "Buf" backed down. Just think if he had gotten into the ownership end of baseball and endured, something he was expert at, what great position he'd be in today.

* Last year's winner Andre Agassi and John McEnroe have committed into the Sovran Tennis Classic in Washington July TC 13-21. The Virginia Slims women follow a month later, Aug. 19-24, with Steffi Graf and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario heading the 28-player field.

* "The Baseball Chronology" (MacMillan) revisited: On Aug. 311974, Portland Mavericks manager Frank Peters rotated his players so that every man played an inning at each position. It worked. Portland won a Northwest League game against Tri Cities, 8-7. P.S. -- Peters was an Oriole farmhand at one time who brought a few smiles to spring training.

* After 11 weeks of practice and games, it wasn't unreasonablto expect the WLAF World Bowl game between London and Barcelona to be better than that 21-0 snore the other day. They must have known something in the U.K., the London TV rights holder opting for tape of a red-hot kabbadi match between Punjab and Tamil Nadu. Does anyone know what kabbadi is?

* The Washington Capitals, no world beaters when it comes tdrafting as evidenced by the fact that throughout the '80s only one of their No. 1s, Kevin Hatcher, lived up to expectations, get the 14th and 21st selections in the NHL grab-bag June

22. Trade 'em, guys.

* Andrew Maynard of Laurel puts his NABF light-heavyweightitle on the line against Ed Mack at the Washington Convention Center next Tuesday (USA Network). Mack is a Temple University student majoring in Risk Management, which seems an appropriate field of study considering his profession.

* Speaking of the manly art, the former practitioners due to binducted into the Veteran Boxers Association Maryland Boxing Hall of Fame this autumn are Elkin Brothers, Bobby Garcia and Gene Gunther (pros) and Ray Minnick and Fred Tuttle (amateurs) . . . Believe it or not, Dwight Qawi is still lacing on the ol' padded mittens . . . And there's an Australian welterweight named Attila Fogas.

* With PGA Tour wins the last two weeks sandwiched around double round of U.S. Open qualifying, Billy Andrade has shot 68-64-64-67-69-65-68-68-69-68 and that doesn't include a birdie deuce to defeat Jeff Sluman at Avenel. All told, he's 43-under-par for his last 181 holes. Last tourist to win three straight tourneys was Gary Player (1978). Jackie Burke won four in a row in '52.

* Next time the gang's discussing dynasties, slip the name Stanford and the women's tennis team in there. It has won six straight NCAA titles (going back to the days of Elise Burgin) and an end to the run doesn't appear in sight as the squad's full of underclasswomen.

* Trainer Nick Zito saying Strike the Gold's jockey Chris Antleran "a masterful race" in the Belmont is patently ridiculous. The kidtook the horse back to last after a half-mile and made up all but a neck of his 16-plus-length deficit. And it appeared the steed could have gone around again.

* Beth Daniel not only has the Mazda LPGA Championship tdefend at Bethesda Country Club June 24-30, she has a two-tourney win streak alive at the course, having won the

Greater Washington Open in 1989 there.

* Some of the handles on the guys appearing on the Universal Independent Wrestling show at the Stoney Creek Democratic Club in Riviera Beach Saturday (7 p.m.) include Wild Thing, Sledgehammer, Killerhit, Hangman and Voodoo. Gracious!

* Watching the feature on John Elway's ballplaying days in the Yankees' organization on "This Week in Baseball" over the weekend recalled the time we checked out his wares at Oneonta in the New York-Penn League. Fans didn't care about his hitting, running or fielding, they just wanted to see him throw the ball from deepest rightfield.

* The Maryland Bays, unbeaten after six games in the APSL, araveraging 2,400 fans a game at home, 3,100 on the road. Their top scorer and a good bet to lead the league in points, Jean Harbor, was "discovered" playing on the Nigerian Embassy team in Washington a few years ago.

* An educated guess is that more fans would rather have reaabout Mark Gastineau getting knocked out in 12 seconds than his winning in that fashion as happened against a stiff in the Virginia outback the other day. Already, Ms. Neilsen's ex-squeeze is talking Holyfield, Tyson and Foreman.

* Babe Ruth, who hit .301 with 34 home runs and 103 RBIs thaseason, obviously got bored with the 1933 campaign. The last day, to put some folks in the seats and after pitching just once in a dozen years, he took the hill and scattered 12 hits in a complete-game victory over Boston. Oh, he belted a homer, too.

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