SI Vault
Edited by Richard Demak
June 01, 1992
Artless Dodgers
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June 01, 1992


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"My granddad and Elvis's granddad were brothers," says Kirk, explaining his link to the King. Kirk was two when Elvis died in 1977. In fact, when asked whether Elvis has affected his life much, the compendious Kirk replied, "No, I don't guess he has." Still, the King does pop up in family conversation every now and then. Kirk says that just the other night his father received a call "from a guy saying he was Elvis."

Double Trouble
Eric and Derek Spielhagen are identical twins who play on the baseball team at the Woodberry Forest (Va.) School. The two seniors from Beeville, Texas, each batted .486 on the season with 17 hits in 35 at bats.

A Close Call

Early on the morning of May 21 the California Angels were traveling from New York City to Baltimore for a weekend series when one of their two buses overturned along the New Jersey Turnpike. Twelve players and staff members were hurt, none seriously, but Angel manager Buck Rodgers suffered a fractured rib, elbow and kneecap. He isn't expected to return to the dugout for at least a month.

Thankfully, the Angels were healthy enough to play their game on Friday night in Baltimore, but the accident raised a horrific question: What would happen if many players on a team were killed or severely injured? Here's how three major pro sports have answered that question.

?Baseball's American and National leagues have slightly different rules. If six or more players on an American League club are lost for at least 30 consecutive games, each of the other teams in the league must submit a list of four active players—a pitcher, a catcher, an infielder and an outfielder—to the league office. The weakened team would then choose players until it had selected five fewer than it had lost, replacing the lost players with others who play the same position.

If a National League team loses seven or more players for at least 60 days, the other teams must each submit a list of 12 players. The weakened team would then choose players until it had picked six fewer than it had lost. According to both plans, no team could have two players picked in an emergency draft until every other team had had one player selected.

?If an NFL team loses 15 or more players for the season, the commissioner could decide to cancel the rest of that team's schedule. If he did so, the team would choose replacement players in an emergency draft. Before the emergency draft, every team would be permitted to protect 34 players, and no team could lose two players in the draft until all the others had lost one. The weakened team would also get the first choice in the next year's college draft.

If the commissioner decided that the the weakened team should complete its season or if the team lost fewer than 15 players, the team would be granted priority on all waiver claims. In addition, if it was left with fewer than two quarterbacks, a special quarterback draft would be held. The other teams each could protect two quarterbacks, and after the season a drafted quarterback would return to his original team.

?If an NBA club loses five or more players, the league must hold a "disaster draft." Each team would freeze five players from its 15-man roster (including players on the active and injured list). The weakened team would then draft players until it had replenished its team.

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