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The Boston Red Sox have asked slugger Jim Rice, who has hit only three homers since last July 22 and just two doubles this season, to try wearing glasses when batting. Though he wears them off the field, Rice has refused to use them at the plate, saying that he sweats too much. Contact lenses are also out of the question, according to Rice, because his eyes don't produce enough moisture.
The Baltimore Orioles made the same suggestion to first baseman Eddie Murray, who at week's end had hit five homers since August 12 of last year, and he vetoed the idea too, saying that glasses would make him look old. "Vanity is more important than production to some players," says one trainer. "Not Reggie Jackson, though. He wore glasses."
DRIFT OF THE DRAFT
THE HIT KING'S NEW CLOTHES
When four-time American League batting champion Wade Boggs dropped into a 7-for-45 slump recently, what did he do? "I took as much batting practice as I could," says Boggs. "But the weather was so bad that extra hitting was sporadic. I couldn't get loose. I had so much clothing on I felt like Robocop."
During the slump, Boggs, who is renowned for his superstitions, used 10 pairs of shoes to find one that had two hits in it. He also wore a different T-shirt every day. "I found one I really liked," he says. "I figured it had at least one hit in it, but I went oh for 4, so I threw it away. I tried new underwear and jocks. I even had Rawlings make me up two new road uniforms. I used a new bat almost every time up. Whenever I broke a bat before, it always seemed that I got two hits with the new one. Not this time."
Boggs, who also believes chicken has magical powers, finally regained his form April 27 when the Red Sox came back to Boston for a series against the Twins. Including the three hits he got that night, he is batting .444 since then. The home cooking must have done it.
On April 25, Lew Krausse, a former pitcher for the Kansas City and Oakland A's, celebrated his 45th birthday, and to acknowledge the occasion, we published a picture of his 1965 baseball card in SI. As soon as the issue appeared, the telephone in Krausse's Holt, Mo., house began ringing. "I was tickled," says Krausse. "Fifty people must have called, but the funny thing was that a lot of them said, 'You really looked different when you were younger.' "