Nowadays, most guaranteed player contracts prohibit athletes from skiing. To get their winter fun, many players turn to snowmobiling. Lansford's injury may change that, and none too soon. An informant of ours in Eagle County, Colo., reports that a certain Baltimore shortstop was dashing through the snow last week. Yes, the second-longest consecutive-game playing streak in baseball history was riding on a snowmobile.
THE BULL'S DAUGHTER PUTS UP A GOOD FIGHT
Stephanie LaMotta is a fighter. That should come as no surprise considering that her father, Jake LaMotta, the middleweight champion of the world from 1949 to '51 and the man portrayed in the film Raging Bull, was one of the toughest fighters ever to take—or give—a punch. Stephanie holds no title belts, but clearly she is a chip off the old block.
Stephanie, 31, lives in Los Angeles, where she is an actress as well as a boxing and fitness instructor. She is also a spokeswoman for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. She has had the disease since 1979, enduring bouts with partial paralysis and near blindness. (There is no known cure for MS, a disease of the central nervous system that affects some 250,000 Americans.)
Yet Stephanie, currently in remission, continues to train and to campaign in support of research to combat the disease. In this fight she has vowed not only to go the distance, but also to win. "People paint too tragic a picture," she says. "I get out and do what I have to do. I don't succumb to this stupid thing that's annoying me."
Stephanie is the fifth of Jake's seven children; her mother, Dimitria, was the fourth of his six wives. She remains close to her father, often accompanying him to big fights. She insists that the movie's brutal portrait of her father was raving bull. "They didn't show the sensitive side of him," she says. Stephanie even remembers going with her father to the Metropolitan Opera. Of course, Jake provided his daughter with other cultural advantages as well. "He taught me how to punch," she says happily.
One night in London in 1982, Stephanie KO'd a would-be mugger who demanded money. "I was all set to write him a check, too," she says, indignation in her voice, "until he pulled a knife on me." Instead of a handout, the assailant got a left to the body and a right to the jaw that knocked him cold.
These days Stephanie works out regularly at the Los Angeles Youth Athletic Center Gym under the started five years ago, is thriving. She puts her 42 clients (among them actors, secretaries and executives) through their paces in their homes or at the gym. Her video, Stephanie LaMotta's Boxersize Workout, is scheduled to be released in March, and she hopes someday to open a gym. Her days are full. She gets up at 5 a.m. to care for her horse, a white Appaloosa named Jack. She trains. She goes to auditions. Whenever she can, she squeezes in time with her fiancé, pop musician Jacques Dreyfus. ("I have a Jack, a Jake and a Jacques," she says.) She also answers the guidance of Tony Rivera, a former trainer of Roberto Duran. Her own training business, which she hundreds of letters she receives each week from other MS sufferers.
"I love hearing from them," she says. "I tell them they have to enjoy their lives and be good to themselves. You have to keep fighting, and it's so much easier to fight when you know you're not alone."