by Trevor Hoffman, the alltime saves record. The Padres' closer, 38, passed Lee
Smith on Sunday when he nailed his 479th save with a perfect ninth inning
against the Pirates. Hoffman, a native of Bellflower, Calif., who broke in with
the Marlins in 1993, set the mark in his 817th game, 205 fewer than Smith
pitched in during his 18-year career. San Diego CEO Sandy Alderson presented
Hoffman (above, with catcher Paul Bako) with a golden bell trophy, a reference
to Hells Bells, the AC/DC song that blares when Hoffman enters a game at Petco
Park. "It's overwhelming," said Hoffman, who helped preserve the
Padres' 1 1/2-game lead in the NL West with the win.
To USC, Brent Musburger, for revealing the meaning of one of quarterback John
David Booty's hand signals during ABC's broadcast of the Trojans' win over
Nebraska on Sept. 16. When cameras caught Booty waving his thumb and pinkie in
a "hang loose" sign to his receivers, Musburger said, " John David
told us that [is] his signal when he finds one-on-one [coverage]." USC sent
a formal complaint to ABC and the Pac-10, saying Musburger had divulged
information that was given to him for background purposes only. "We're
sorry this led to an unfortunate misunderstanding, which was never our
intention," said an ABC spokesman.
During its victory over Southern University in Baton Rouge last Saturday, the
North Carolina Central football team. During the game, sneakers, cash, jewelry
and equipment were taken from players' stalls in their locker room. (Security
has been an issue at Southern. During the home opener a 59-year-old man was
fatally shot across the street from A. Mumford Stadium.) As of Monday there
were no suspects in the robbery.
To a kennel in California, Steelers linebacker Joey Porter's pet pit bull and
mastiff after the dogs attacked and killed a miniature horse. The dogs, named
Tina and Nemo, got out of the yard at Porter's Pine, Pa., home and entered a
corral on a neighbor's farm. Porter, who said the dogs were not raised to be
attack animals, was cited for harboring dangerous dogs, failure to confine the
dogs and failure to have them licensed. He faces up to $1,000 in fines.
From the hospital, two months after undergoing surgery to remove his stomach,
Japanese home run king Sadaharu Oh (above), 66. The slugger, who hit 868 homers
for the Yomiuri Giants, underwent surgery on July 17 after being diagnosed with
stomach cancer. He was originally released in August but returned when he had
trouble digesting his food. "I have come to terms with the fact that I have
no stomach, and being able to take food properly has been a lot more difficult
than I expected," said Oh.
By the Pac-10, a leave of absence for the rest of the season, to Gordon Riese,
one of the replay officials who worked Oregon's controversial win over Oklahoma
on Sept. 16. After officials blew two late-game calls, the Pac-10 handed down
one-game suspensions to the seven-man crew of on-field officials as well as to
Riese and Roger Judd, a replay assistant. Riese, 64, a retired math teacher who
has been a Pac-10 official for 28 years, said he received death threats from
irate Sooners fans. "I can't sleep, I can't eat, my blood pressure is
skyrocketing," he said. "I feel so bad I missed the call, it's driving
For Northern Colorado in a home loss to Western Illinois last Saturday, Rafael
Mendoza, less than two weeks after he was allegedly stabbed in his kicking leg
by his backup in an attempt to win the starting job (Scorecard, Sept. 25).
Mendoza (right) averaged 39.8 yards on four kicks, including a 58-yarder.
Mendoza, who suffered a five-inch-deep wound to his thigh, spent the week
practicing punts with Nerf footballs; after pregame warmups he told coach Scott
Downing that he felt no pain and was ready to play. "It felt good
today," said Mendoza. "I'm glad to be back."
For drunken driving early on Monday morning, Bengals linebacker Odell Thurman.
Cincinnati's leading tackler as a rookie last season, Thurman is already
serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.
On Monday, hours after the Bengals beat the Steelers (page 48), a Cincinnati
police officer stopped Thurman after seeing his SUV cross a double yellow line.
Thurman, who was with two teammates, was brought to a DUI checkpoint, where
police say his blood-alcohol content was measured at 0.18, more than twice the
legal limit. Thurman, the sixth Bengal arrested in the last year, is scheduled
to appear in court on Oct. 2.
At age 77, Syd Thrift, whose career as a baseball executive lasted nearly 50
years. A pitcher who never reached the majors, Thrift oversaw the Royals'
revolutionary baseball academy in the early '70s, drafted Rickey Henderson in
'76 and became Pittsburgh's G.M. in '86 and hired little-known White Sox coach
Jim Leyland as the Pirates' manager. "He was the one guy willing to take a
shot on a nobody," Leyland said. Leyland led the Pirates to the NLCS three
times, but Thrift wasn't around to see it. He clashed with the owners and left
for the Yankees' front office in '89. Thrift retired from his last job, as a
consultant for the Devil Rays in 2004. He died shortly after undergoing
knee-replacement surgery; the cause of death was not known.
At age 80, Mickey Hargitay, whose popularity as a bodybuilder launched his
acting career. After Hargitay won the Mr. Universe competition in 1955, Mae
West gave him a role in her nightclub act, where he was seen by Jayne
Mansfield--who reportedly told her waiter she wanted "a steak and the man
on the left." Hargitay and Mansfield (above) married in 1958 and appeared
in several movies together, including The Love of Hercules. (Their daughter,
Mariska Hargitay, is an Emmy-winning actress on Law & Order: SVU.) Arnold
Schwarzenegger, who played Hargitay in 1980's The Jayne Mansfield Story, told
the Los Angeles Times that seeing the Hungarian-born Hargitay win the Mr.
Universe title was an "inspirational force" in his own career.