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Lost & Found
Adam Duerson
July 12, 2004
This year's search turned up Olympians, flashes in the pan and some of the biggest names in sports—and we mean huge
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July 12, 2004

Lost & Found

This year's search turned up Olympians, flashes in the pan and some of the biggest names in sports—and we mean huge

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Phil Nevin, 3B, Astros

Best season in 2001: 41 HRs, 126 RBIs for Padres


Alex Rodriguez, SS, Mariners

2003 AL MVP was youngest to hit 350 homers


Paul Wilson, P, Mets

Injury-plagued until 2001 but now Reds ace


Darin Erstad, OF, Angels

Centerfielder led AL with 240 hits in 2000


Kris Benson, P, Pirates

Injuries main reason for 41-48 career mark

Three athletes who were known as much for their girth as their game


Swing a sledgehammer for a half hour at the crack of dawn. Face 100 pitches from the left side of the plate, then 100 more from the right side. Rest. Repeat. That's part of the drill at George Scott's summer baseball clinic, which has an enrollment of one: his son Brian, an 18-year-old standout infielder who recently graduated from Greenville (Miss.) High and has a scholarship to Alcorn State. In August, when the average high in Greenville is 93�, good ol' Dad adds hill sprints to the regimen.

After managing in Mexico and the independent leagues, Boomer, 60, now tutors Brian, the youngest of his three sons. Though admittedly not in great shape—the 6'2" Scott says he's pushing 270 pounds—he has the wisdom of a ballplayer who hit 271 home runs and won eight Gold Gloves between 1966 and '79. "Knowing what I know," Scott says, "I can make him twice the player I was."
—Adam Duerson


His career was filled with monster dunks and supersized meals. But Mel Turpin wants to talk about a gigantic crush. In 1997 Turpin ran into Kerry Soper, his health teacher when he was a senior at Lexington (Ky.) High in the late '70s. "All those old feelings came back," says Turpin, 43, a star 6'11" center at Kentucky before a disappointing five-year career in the NBA. He asked Soper, nine years his senior, to go out. A year later he asked her to marry him.

Now a security guard at a Nissan dealership in Lexington, Turpin, at 350 pounds (90 over his NBA weight), is happy to weigh in on the league's current big men. " Oliver Miller, that's a big dude," he says of Minnesota's 315-pound center. "In my day, they thought the big man was supposed to be thin. They didn't know too much. It was medieval.
—Adam Duerson

These days he looks like a wine barrel balanced atop a pair of sturdy supports, each resembling one of the massive turkey legs he offers on his menu. Greg Luzinski has finally landed where fans always imagined he was most comfortable: behind a barbecue grill. Following a 15-year career as a major league outfielder and DH, the Bull—a nickname that characterized his power (307 career homers) as well as his stature (the four-time All-Star estimates that at his peak he carried 250 pounds on his 6'1" frame)—went home to Benita Springs, Fla., in 1996 and perfected his barbecue recipes. Now he can be found at Bull's BBQ, which occupies a tent beyond rightfield at Citizens Bank Park, the new stadium in Philadelphia, where he spent II seasons. Luzinski, 53, wanders the stands before games, signs autographs and taste-tests his ribs, pulled pork and chicken. His big ambition: whipping the proprietor of Boog's Barbecue at Camden Yards in Baltimore, former Orioles slugger and close friend Boog Powell, in a grill-off, perhaps in Atlantic City.
—Adam Duerson


On her way back from a tennis match in New Jersey in 1980, Andrea Jaeger, then 15, had an epiphany: She wanted to help sick children. She directed her limo driver to stop at a toy store, where she bought several hundred dollars worth of gifts to give to kids in the critical-care unit of Helen Hayes Hospital in West Haverstraw, N.Y. "I just felt a calling at that moment," says Jaeger, who turned pro at 14 and rose to No. 2 in the world 19 months later.

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