THE IMELDA MARCOS OF BASEBALL
Pirate outfielder R.J. Reynolds owns more pairs of shoes than he can count. "I have a shoe fetish," he says. "On a road trip, I take eight or 10 pairs. And I might bring five pairs of sneakers. If I wear a sweat suit, my sneakers must match. When I wear cuffed slacks, I wear laced shoes. No cuffs, I wear loafers."
Reynolds even wears a necklace with two gold shoes on it. "I have about every color and style of shoe," he says. "I have red, mustard.... I don't think I have green. I have pairs that I've never worn. The only kind I don't have are patent leather. I just don't like 'em."
IF YOU LEAVE THEM....
Yankee pitcher Chuck Cary has left two tickets for Joe Jackson at every Yankee game—home and away—this season. That's Joe Jackson the singer, not Shoeless Joe. "I've never met him, but I'd like to," says Cary. "I ran into him once in Greenwich Village, but I didn't want to bug him. So I figured I'd leave him tickets to repay him for all the musical enjoyment he's given me the last 10 years." Cary says some bogus Joe Jacksons successfully claimed the tickets earlier this year after word got out about the freebies, but Cary has since provided the ticket office at Yankee Stadium with one of Jackson's album covers so the real McCoy can be identified.
PLAYERS PASSING IN THE NIGHT
Three weeks ago, Philadelphia rookie outfielder Jim Vatcher heard rumors that the Phillies were planning to trade for Braves outfielder Dale Murphy—Vatcher's idol. "I thought, Great, I'll get to meet him," says Vatcher, 24, who had a poster of Murphy, 34, hanging in his room as a teenager. Murphy was indeed traded to Philadelphia, but Vatcher went to Atlanta in the deal. "Pretty ironic," says Vatcher. "I even got his locker."
ACE OF THE STAPH
What a pleasant surprise: a pitcher being allowed to catch a high pop-up. Expo reliever Steve Frey grabbed one on Aug. 9, but there was a reason, according to Montreal third baseman Tim Wallach. Frey had been released from the hospital on Aug. 7 after receiving treatment for a staph infection and still wasn't completely recovered. "I wasn't going near him," says Wallach. "I've got open cuts on my knee and my hand."
WORLDS WIDEST SHORTSTOP
On Aug. 16, Minnesota's Kirby Puckett made his major league debut at four different positions. Winner of four straight Gold Gloves in centerfield, he opened the game in rightfield. Then in the eighth inning, Twins manager Tom Kelly moved Puckett to the infield so that he could keep Gary Gaetti available to pinch-hit. Kelly didn't want Puckett near a batted ball, so depending on the hitter, he switched Puckett from shortstop to third base or to second. Puckett got no chances. "I'm glad Puck is one of us utility in-fielders now," said Minnesota's Al Newman. "Maybe he'll raise the starting salary, a little."
BY THE NUMBERS
? Cincinnati's Herm Winningham tied the major league record for triples in a game when he hit three on Aug. 14 against St. Louis. Before this season, the feat had not been accomplished since 1981, but it has been done twice in the last 3� weeks. The Cubs' Shawon Dunston also had a triple-triple, on July 28.
?On Sunday, Dodger rookie shortstop Jose Offerman hit a home run in his first major league at bat. He had not hit a homer in 454 at bats in the minors this season.