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Scorecard April 21, 1997
Edited by Richard O'Brien and Hank Hersch
April 21, 1997
NHL Playoff Preview...Death at the Masters...The Two Tim Belchers...The Indiana Compromise...Remembering a Pitcher...North Korea's Biggest Export?
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April 21, 1997

Scorecard April 21, 1997

NHL Playoff Preview...Death at the Masters...The Two Tim Belchers...The Indiana Compromise...Remembering a Pitcher...North Korea's Biggest Export?

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In February 1952 the Browns acquired Cain, and he had his best season. His 12-10 record included a 1-0 win over the Cleveland Indians in which he and Bob Feller both threw one-hitters. Yet even years after his retirement in '54, Cain did not forget to whom he owed his place in history. At Gaedel's funeral in '61, Cain was the only ballplayer present.

A Tall Order

A 7'9" North Korean may be coming to an arena near you. Ri Myong Hun, 28, wants to play in the NBA. The center on North Korea's national team, the rail-thin, 235-pound Ri can dunk flat-footed and would supersede 7'7" Washington Bullet Gheorghe Muresan as the tallest player in NBA history.

Though economic sanctions against North Korea have prevented Ri from signing a contract in the U.S.—such a deal would violate the 1950 Trading with the Enemy Act—Ri's Cleveland-based agent, Michael Coyne, has launched a vigorous appeal to the state department for an exemption. North Korea supports the appeal. "We're hoping to have him in Canada within a few weeks so he can be evaluated by NBA scouts," says Coyne, who is so sure Ri will get a contract with the league that he's working on spec until Ri does.

Ri made his international debut last August in a tournament in Taiwan. In North Korea's 89-67 loss to a squad of U.S. collegians, he scored 27 points and made 11 of 12 free throws. That convinced the U.S. coaches, Wake Forest assistants Ernie Nestor and Russell Turner, that Ri had pro potential. "With more development," says Nestor, "this guy could be a player."

Not everyone agrees that Ri is NBA material; league scouting consultant Marty Blake says Ri is a "joke." But Coyne says he has been contacted by seven teams in the league. Pete Newell, who specializes in training big men, told Cleveland Cavaliers president Wayne Embry that Ri is a "likely prospect." Says Embry, "He would be worth looking at if we get him out of North Korea. Of course, he hasn't played good competition. This is a different league."

At least Ri knows he would have NBA centers looking up to him.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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