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Edited by Jack McCallum and Richard O'Brien
April 22, 1996
Coming Home
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April 22, 1996


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The Sound of Music
On Opening Day at Jacobs Field, the Cleveland Indians welcomed New York Yankees reliever Steve Howe into the game by blaring Billy Joel's Big Shot over the P.A. system. Howe has been suspended seven times for drug and alcohol use, and the song, about a high-living New Yorker, includes the lyrics "You had the Dom Perignon in your hand and the spoon up your nose." The Indians later apologized. But as far back as 1942, when Ebbets Field organist Gladys Gooding played Three Blind Mice as the umpires came onto the field, there has been a grand--and sometimes tasteless--tradition of sending a message over the P.A. A few recent examples.

The Victim

The Circumstance

The Offending Tune

St. Louis catcher Darrell Porter, mid-'80s

Porter, a recovering alcoholic, comes to the plate in Pittsburgh

Beer Barrel Polka

Boston third baseman Wade Boggs, '88

Boggs, after a much publicized extramarital affair with Margo Adams, digs in versus California

The Addams Family theme song

Toronto pitcher Jack Morris, '92

Morris, having left Twins to sign a $10.8 million contract with Jays, returns to Minnesota

I Want to Be Rich

Oakland pitcher Dave Stewart, '85

Stewart, recently busted for love-in with transvestite prostitute named Lucille, takes mound at California


Philadelphia outfielder Andy Van Slyke, '95

Van Slyke, a few days after smacking a mascot dressed as the Muppet Bert, steps up in Pittsburgh

Sesame Street theme song

Coming Home

Travis Roy's homecoming included a memorable stop at Fenway Park last Saturday afternoon for a game between the Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians. Roy, who has become a symbol of courage and determination since he was paralyzed when he slammed headfirst into the boards during his first game as a Boston University hockey player on Oct. 20, got an autographed bat from Jose Canseco, a jersey from Mo Vaughn, cleats from Roger Clemens and some auto racing talk from fellow NASCAR aficionado Mike Greenwell. Then, before the game, Roy was wheeled out to the mound. A piece of Velcro was placed on his right palm, another on a baseball, and he handed the ball to Sox catcher Bill Haselman as a ceremonial first pitch. "It would be nice if I could throw it," said Roy, "but I'll just do a little handoff."

On Sunday afternoon the 20-year-old Roy was back at his family's house in Yarmouth, Maine, two hours north of Boston. Having spent the previous nine weeks undergoing rehabilitation at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, he would now begin a new life with his parents, Lee and Brenda, that would be far different from the active, sports-oriented life he once led. And, faced with that difficult transition, what meant the most to Travis last weekend was not schmoozing with the big-league superstars at Fenway but what happened after the game when he attended the hockey team dinner at Metcalf Hall on the BU campus.

Yes, he got a standing ovation when Terriers coach Jack Parker mentioned him in his remarks. And no one could help but be moved when Roy presented Parker with a framed painting—a stick figure of himself in his number 24 BU uniform—that he had painted, brush in his mouth, during his stay at the Shepherd Center. But for the most part he was just a hockey player again, a kid who chatted with his teammates, listened with pride to a review of the season (the Terriers made the Final Four of the NCAA tournament) and received his varsity letter jacket. Said Ed Carpenter, BU's sports information director, "Travis was just another member of the team who happened to be sitting in a different type of chair."

Wrong Again

Last Thursday night in Toronto, police on a narcotics detail were looking for a dealer who had just sold crack cocaine to an undercover cop. At about 9 p.m. officers surrounded and handcuffed a man outside a restaurant. Boy, did they get the wrong guy.

The suspect taken into custody was onetime middleweight contender Rubin (Hurricane) Carter, who spent 19 years in a New Jersey prison for a triple murder he didn't commit. Now 60 and living in Toronto, Carter is executive director of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted.

Police termed the arrest another "case of mistaken identity" and offered to pay for damage caused by a search of his Mercedes. But Carter is considering legal action against the department, which has lately come under criticism for stopping blacks more frequently than whites on Toronto's streets. And, understandably, he remains angry. "The last time I was told I was under arrest," says Carter, "I didn't see the light of day for 20 years."

Addition Is a Plus

Sacred Heart University, a Division II school in Fairfield, Conn., is hardly synonymous with big-time college sports. But what the Pioneers have achieved lately is as significant as any bowl victory or Final Four appearance. In an era when school administrators are most interested in subtraction, Sacred Heart has in the past six years added 21 intercollegiate sports, including football, men's and women's hockey and men's and women's tennis, to increase its total from eight to 29. In addition, the Pioneers have been a model for New England Collegiate Conference rival Franklin Pierce as it, too, bucks the cutback trend. Pierce is adding seven club sports for 1996-97, with the hope of making them intercollegiate the following year.

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