Whatever happened to . . .Tom Dodd's major-league career...

Off the beat

July 15, 1991

Whatever happened to . . .

Tom Dodd's major-league career lasted 13 at-bats, for the Baltimore Orioles in 1986, and included one home run, off a 3-2 pitch from the Toronto Blue Jays' Jimmy Key. His minor-league career lasted 11 seasons and was long enough for 207 home runs, more than any active player.

Dodd, 32, retired after last season and is managing Court Street Cafe, a restaurant in Decatur, Ala., that offers steaks, prime rib "and everything in between." He's working 75 hours a week.

"On some of these hot summer nights, sometimes I feel like I belong in the ballpark, and I miss it," Dodd said. "But I don't miss it enough that I'm sick about it.

"I think I was capable of playing in the major leagues, and everybody I've talked to said the same thing. As far as feeling any remorse or bitter feelings, I have none."

Fire extinguisher

The World Student Games made a stumbling start yesterday in Sheffield, England, when British astronaut Helen Sharman tripped, extinguishing the blazing torch being used to light the ceremonial flame.

Sharman, who earlier this year spent eight days in space, had just received the torch in the center of the Don Valley Stadium in front of a capacity crowd of 25,000.

But as she made her way along the red carpet, heading for the ceremonial bowl, she stumbled. The torch crashed in embers to the ground, leaving Sharman stunned and confused.

After a few seconds' delay, officials urged her to run the rest of the way with the torch extinguished. The flame in the bowl was ignited automatically and the ceremony continued.

Games official Penny Dain said: "She tripped on a curb under the carpet at the edge of the track."

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