A TALE OF TWO CITIES
Braves catcher Greg Olson is having an identity crisis. He is constantly getting letters intended for Oriole pitcher Gregg Olson. "How in the world can someone write a letter to an Orioles' pitcher and send it to Atlanta?" says Greg. "I must have 50 letters of his. This winter was ridiculous. I got 18 fan letters at my home, and 17 were for him. With the first few I wrote back and said, 'You have the wrong Gregg Olson.' After that, I kept 'em. I have more Gregg Olson baseball cards [enclosed in the letters in hope that Olson would autograph and return them] than anyone in America."
BENCH BRAGGS, SAVE A TREE
How strong is Reds outfielder Glenn Braggs? On June 20, he snapped his bat in half on a pitch that he barely tipped. Braggs did this in his ninth game after having been traded from the Brewers. "I'm surprised it took me so long to do that in this league," said Braggs afterward. "In Milwaukee, I was doing it like every time up. One time I took 12 bats on a road trip and broke 10 without making contact. I broke three in one game in Seattle." How does the righthanded Braggs, who is 6'3", 210 pounds, break them? He whips the bat with such force that on his follow-through, it hits his left shoulder and snaps.
THE CASE OF THE MISSING BATS
Sometime during the Padres' May 22 to May 30 road trip, 184 of their bats were stolen from an equipment room in San Diego. On June 9, Padres outfielder Tony Gwynn was doing an autograph show in San Diego when a youngster gave him a Gwynn model bat to sign. "I knew that it was stolen; we have secret markings on our bats," says Gwynn. "I told the kid. I'll give you tickets to the game tonight and I'll give you another bat, but I have to take this one.' "
Gwynn went to the store where the boy said he had bought the bat, explained his mission and took six bats that he believed had been stolen. Gwynn then brought the bats to the police. Two days later, all but about 30 bats were recovered, and the culprits were found to be seven local high school students. "The detective solved it so fast, it was unbelievable," says Gwynn. "I told the detective, 'If you ever need help solving any more cases, look me up.' I feel like Inspector Clouseau."
A POOR SELF-IMAGE
A few Pirates wear T-shirts given to them last year by journeyman catcher and former teammate Junior Ortiz, who's now a Twin with a lifetime .257 batting average. The T-shirts read: I CAN'T HIT, I CAN'T THROW, I CAN'T RUN, WHAT AM I DOING HERE? Ortiz, who is actually a fine defensive catcher, says he designed the shirts "just for laughs" and is planning a T-shirt to give to his Minnesota teammates. But first he wants to bounce some ideas off his seven-year-old son, J.J. And what does J.J. stand for? "Junior Junior," says Junior.
BY THE NUMBERS
?Against Baltimore on June 20, Cleveland pitcher Tom Candiotti threw 6? innings, allowed eight hits, walked five hitters and hit a batter, but gave up only one run. That run was unearned; it came on a throwing error by Candiotti.
?At week's end Angel pitcher Mark Langston had fanned 33 hitters in his last three starts, but his team lost all three games by the same score—2-1. By comparison, White Sox reliever Barry Jones had 22 strikeouts all season and was 8-1.
?At week's end Tommy Gregg of the Braves was 7 for 25 as a pinch hitter and 0 for 38 in his other at bats.