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Pirate teammate Gary Redus calls him the Doctor of Glove. Pittsburgh coach Rich Donnelly calls him the True Value Man. In the minors he was nicknamed Emmett, after the fix-it man on The Andy Griffith Show. He's Bucs reliever Bob Patterson, and he can fix most anything. "He's coming over Saturday to upholster my couch," said Donnelly last week.
Mostly, Patterson repairs baseball gloves. He has fixed 25 or 30 this year. In April, former teammate Tom Prince's favorite (and only) catcher's mitt split. Patterson stayed up until 3 a.m. mending the two-inch tear in time for that game. An industrial technology major—"that's shop," he says—at East Carolina, Patterson has also developed a new glove oil. "I can't divulge the formula," he says. "That's my million-dollar patent."
HALL OF SHAME
Those slow home run trots are annoying, aren't they? The Yankees' Mel Hall took 33 seconds to circle the bases after hitting a homer in a 12-0 win over the Twins on May 23. The next time Hall came to bat, Minnesota pitcher Tim Drummond threw close to his head, prompting Hall to have words with Twins catcher Brian Harper. After the game, Hall, who this spring had said that he thought he could whip Mike Tyson, said, "His [Harper's] chance against me is slim. He's better off going out and getting hit by a car."
Said the Twins' Kirby Puckett, "It's the slowest trip I've seen in seven years. If somebody on our team did that, TK [Twins manager Tom Kelly] wouldn't play him the rest of the season. I mean, was he afraid he would pull a hamstring?"
Replied Hall, "I hit the ball 440 feet. What am I supposed to do? Sprint?"
HOLD THE ANCHOVIES
BY THE NUMBERS
?The A's Rickey Henderson picked up the 892nd stolen base of his career against the Indians on Saturday to equal Ty Cobb's 62-year-old American League record. Henderson had played only 1,511 games, while Cobb needed 3,033 games to amass his total. Next up: Lou Brock's major league record of 938 steals.