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December 23, 1993

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Look for a brighter, sharper Andy Van Slyke when you go to a Pittsburgh Pirates game next season. Or Orlando Merced. Or Jay Bell.

City officials hope to have a new, $5 million scoreboard with a clearer video picture up at Three Rivers Stadium by April - in time for the 1994 baseball season.

The city’s Stadium Authority and Spectacor Management Group, which manages the stadium for the city, presented the scoreboard idea Wednesday.

Modern video scoreboards have pictures as sharp as a home television set, said Jimmy Sacco, a Spectacor executive.

At 11 years old, the existing scoreboard is older than any other scoreboard in major-league baseball. Two other boards erected in 1982, at Shea Stadium in New York and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, have been replaced.

The proposed scoreboard would have a mini-board on each side for information and advertising.

The proposal to refurbish the stadium also includes flagpoles with bright- colored flags on the stadium roof and a flashing, neon marquee on the outside.

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - The College of Charleston’s top scorer, forward Rodney Connor, is out for the rest of the season with a thumb tendon torn while he and a teammate were horsing around in his dorm room.

Connor was averaging 19.7 points per game during the first three weeks of the season, including 29 points during the Cougars’ 70-57 victory over South Carolina State Dec. 4.

The 6-foot-7 freshman also was the team’s second-leading rebounder with 5.7 per game.

Connor cut his thumb Friday night, requiring nine stitches. A specialist determined Connor would need surgery and it would be at least three months before he could play again.

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MIAMI (AP) - Florida Marlins left-hander Chris Hammond, who won only one game after the All-Star break last season, received a hefty raise Wednesday to $925,000 for next season.

Hammond made $260,000 in his first year with the Marlins. The new contract, a one-year deal, also includes a $25,000 performance bonus.

The 27-year-old Hammond was 10-4 at the All-Star break this year but finished 11-12 with a 4.66 ERA, his highest in three full major-league seasons.

His signing leaves the Marlins with two players eligible for arbitration: relievers Joe Klink and Rich Rodriguez.

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IRVING, Texas (AP) - The Dallas Cowboys placed center Mark Stepnoski on injured reserve Wednesday because of season-ending surgery planned on his right knee.

Taking Stepnoski’s place on the active roster will be James Parrish, a 6- foot-6, 310-pound offensive tackle from Temple. Parrish joined the Cowboys practice squad on Dec. 7 and has been working out with the team since.

Stepnoski will undergo surgery in early January to repair damage to his right knee.

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PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (AP) - Michael Cloud, an All-America running back from Portsmouth High School, has verbally committed to Boston College next year.

Cloud rushed for 1,810 yards on 233 carries and scored 27 touchdowns last season when Portsmouth went 10-1 and won its third straight Super Bowl in the Championship Division.

Although the NCAA’s official letter of intent signing date is Feb. 2, Cloud informed Boston College of his decision last week, he said.

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CHICAGO (AP) - Pitcher Shawn Boskie, one of four players cut loose by the Chicago Cubs earlier this week, was re-signed as a free agent on Wednesday.

Boskie agreed to a $300,000, one-year contract, a raise of $90,000. The Cubs did not tender a contract on Monday in order to avoid salary arbitration.

Boskie was 5-3 with a 3.43 ERA in 39 games with the Cubs in 1993. He also was 6-1 in 11 starts for Class AAA Iowa of the American Association.

Boskie, 26, pitched in 105 games with the Cubs over parts of four seasons, going 19-29 with a 4.48 ERA.

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