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Williams insists he won't be deterred. He says that as soon as someone in the family identifies Pete's handiwork, Cooperstown will have its first Rose window.
Alexander Julian, one of New York's hottest men's fashion designers, recently agreed to do the uniforms for the Charlotte Hornets, who will debut as an NBA expansion team next season. Julian, a native North Carolinian, would accept no money for his efforts; instead, he asked for air shipments of down-home barbecue, which he said was virtually impossible to find in the Big Apple. The Hornets agreed to send him monthly five-pound batches of pork barbecue from Papa Doc's Pig Palace in Charlotte.
You think Julian was joking? When the Hornets missed the December shipment, he promptly sent them an overdue notice.
Tiger outfielder Kirk Gibson and six other major leaguers have come full circle. Arbitrator Tom Roberts ruled last week that because owners colluded not to sign them—or any of 55 other free agents—following the 1985 season, the seven players are now free agents again. The question is: Will owners of rival teams try to sign them this time?
Other than Gibson, the free agents tend to be old, medically suspect or both. It's debatable, for instance, whether a team would be wise to offer 40-year-old Carlton Fisk of the White Sox more than his current $700,000-a-year salary. However, Gibson, 30, should be in demand: The Dodgers offered Pedro Guerrero for him this winter, and the Yankees wanted to swap Dave Winfield for him. If owners don't make an effort to sign Gibson, who's in the final year of a $1.36 million-per-annum contract with the Tigers, they could further impair their standing with Roberts, who's now deciding how much the clubs must pay in monetary damages to the 1985 free agents (including the 55 who weren't covered by last week's ruling; all of them either are out of baseball or became free agents at some point after 1985). Moreover, the owners must consider the thinking of another arbitrator, George Nicolau, who's determining if they were also guilty of collusion in their dealings with 1986 free agents. If Nicolau follows Roberts's precedent, he could set free such big-name players as Tim Raines, Jack Morris and Andre Dawson later this year.
As for Gibson, if no team tries to sign him now, he will have one dubious consolation: He will become a free agent again next fall when his contract with Detroit expires.
A SIGN OF CHANGE
Thanks to the efforts of Phil St. John, a social worker who's a Sioux, and to a blunt but effective poster created as a public service by a local advertising agency, the Minneapolis public school system has set a commendable example for the rest of the country.