BILL LEE, RHINO
"If football players can run for office, why can't baseball players?" asked former major league pitcher Bill (Spaceman) Lee the other day as he launched his U.S. presidential campaign (he is challenging, among others, New York Republican Congressman Jack Kemp, the former NFL quarterback who has also announced his candidacy). Lee will run as a member of the newly formed U.S. offshoot of the Rhinoceros Party, an irreverent Canadian-based organization that has proposed such things as abolishing the law of gravity and eliminating unemployment by dissolving the agency that records it. Don't laugh: Rhino candidates received nearly 100,000 votes in the 1984 Canadian federal elections. "It's a legitimate campaign," insists the Spaceman.
Lee, who says he will ask gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson to be his vice-presidential running mate ("Who knows more about vice?"), wants to abolish guns and butter ("Both can kill you") as well as the designated hitter. If elected, he will try to institute compulsory exercise for all Americans. And like any good spaceman, he will throw his weight behind Star Wars.
"It wasn't a bad movie," he says.
NOW IT CAN BE TOLD
In New York City bookstores the new offerings include Met memoirs from players Gary Carter and Len Dykstra and broadcasters Ralph Kiner and Tim McCarver. Also on the shelves is a new version of Keith Hernandez's autobiography, whose cover billing promises "The exclusive inside story of the 1986 season."
'THE TRUE BOSS'
"He was the true boss in the world of sports," noted the West German newspaper Die Welt last week following the death from cancer of billionaire sporting-goods magnate Horst Dassler. Dassler, 51, chairman of the family-owned Adidas company, was a power broker without equal in the Olympic movement (SI, Feb. 9). He is said to have delivered the votes that elected Juan Antonio Samaranch president of the International Olympic Committee in 1980 and to have helped assure the awarding of the 1992 Summer Games to Samaranch's hometown of Barcelona.
West Germans knew Dassler as "the nation's shoemaker." Said former soccer star Franz Beckenbauer, now coach of the West German national team, "I never saw a man who worked that hard and was that dynamic."