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August 10, 1998
NFL Hall of Fame Two Nominees for 1999
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August 10, 1998


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Bases Empty

With Runners On


Mike Blowers, A's




Bobby Abreu, Phillies




Rich Aurilia, Giants




Jeff Cirillo, Brewers








Ryan Klesko, Braves




Dave Martinez, Devil Rays




Joey Cora, Mariners




Brian Jordan, Cardinals




NFL Hall of Fame
Two Nominees for 1999

When you're one of the 36 selectors on the Pro Football Hall of Fame committee, as I am, you're like a coach. After the enshrinement ceremony has closed the book on one season, you draw a deep breath and start working on next year's campaign. Now that the 1998 inductions are history-free safety Paul Krause, wide receiver Tommy McDonald, tackle Anthony Munoz, middle linebacker Mike Singletary and center Dwight Stephenson entered Canton last weekend there are two players I'll push hard for: Dave Wilcox, an outside linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers from 1964 to '74, and Cliff Harris, the Dallas Cowboys' free safety from 1970 to '79.

At 6'4" and 240 pounds, Wilcox did the unspectacular things better than anyone else. He was all but impossible to hook to tire inside on running plays; no one at Wilcox's position ever jammed a tight end better. In terms of technique I consider him one of the best outside linebackers in history. Will this be enough to get him on the ballot? We'll see.

Harris was the first of the killer-style free safeties later epitomized by the Oakland Raiders' Jack Tatum. Harris, though, had exceptional cover skills; Tatum was merely a hatchet man. During Harris's era, no defensive back in the game hit harder, and isn't that what football is all about? At least that will be my pitch.
—Paul Zimmerman

Deal of the Week
A Trade with A Catch

The trade itself wasn't that unusual. On July 23, 28-year-old righthander Ken Krahenbuhl was sent from the Western League's Pacific Suns (who play their home games in Oxnard, Calif.) to the Texas-Louisiana League's Greenville (Miss.) Bluesmen in return for an undisclosed amount of cash, a player to be named later and 10 pounds of expertly filleted Mississippi River catfish.

These are the same Blues-men who last year accepted 50 pounds of pheasant from the Sioux Falls (Iowa) Canaries of the Northern League for second baseman Sean Murphy and who two years ago surrendered an unopened copy of a classic Muddy Waters album to acquire first baseman Andre Keen from the now defunct Meridien (Miss.) Brakemen. So when Krahenbuhl grew tired of toiling for the fading Suns, who were 14-48 through Sunday, and expressed a desire to return to Greenville, where he had pitched last season, Pacific general manager Mike Begley used his live bait to land some flavorful fillets. "That catfish," says Begley, a former resident of Mississippi, "that's good eatin'."

The bewhiskered Krahenbuhl learned the terms of the deal only when he arrived at Greenville's Legion Field on July 24. "I was mad," he says. "I didn't think I deserved to get traded for fish." That night, still steaming, he took the mound to cries of "Hey, Catfish Ken" and set down 27 straight Amarillo Dillas. He pitched the ninth inning of his perfect game in a driving rain, ideal weather, everyone agreed, for a catfish.

World Cup Follow-up
Bittersweet Vindication

Esse Baharmast, a 44-year-old soccer referee from Denver, became an international whipping boy last month when he called a penalty against Brazil late in its final first-round World Cup game against Norway in Marseilles. Baharmast ruled that a Brazilian defender had yanked the jersey of a Norwegian attacker. Norway converted the penalty kick for a 2-1 victory and qualified for the second round instead of Morocco, whose players cried on the field in Saint-Etienne when they heard the news.

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