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Names In The Game

July 10, 1994

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ What do New York Yankees great Mickey Mantle, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, country singer Charley Pride and broadcaster Pat Summerall have in common?

They’ve all spent lots of mmoney for the privilege of buying the best outdoor spots at The Ballpark in Arlington. The four are among approximately 3,200 Texas Rangers fans and companies who have bought ″seat bonds″ and, in effect, lent the team between $500 and $5,000 per seat, interest-free for 15 years. Game tickets are not included.

Pride, who left for another commitment after singing the national anthem at a recent game, has yet to use his four seats behind the Rangers dugout. The Country Music Hall of Famer and longtime season-ticket holder paid $16,000 in seat bonds. Annually, he spends about $5,000 for tickets.

″My schedule doesn’t allow me to go,″ Pride said in Sunday’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The newspaper reviewed Arlington city records on the bonded seats and luxury suites to find out who bought The Ballpark’s best spots. Rangers first baseman Will Clark paid $100,000 for a 10-seat suite.

Aikman’s personal manager Verna Riddles said the quarterback gives his four club-level seats to ″friends and family, players, Cowboys staff, corporate sponsors and potential corporate sponsors,″ and watches games on a big screen television in the office of Aikman Enterprises.

Mantle has club box seats that he’s never used.

″I can’t go sit in the stands,″ he said.

Summerall often goes to the new $191 million stadium, which was primarily paid for with $135 million from Arlington’s half-cent sales tax.

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana University recruit Charlie Miller gets inspiration from his older brother, James, who has never hit a jump shot or made a free throw.

Muscular dystrophy has left James Miller, 32, unable to walk. He suffered a collapsed lung seven years ago and has been confined to South Miami Hospital, where a respirator pumps air through a tube attached to his throat.

″He tells me to keep a level head, always be right-minded and never to think negative thoughts,″ Charlie Miller said in The Indianapolis Star Sunday. ″He’s been an inspiration ... a big-time inspiration.″

Charlie Miller led the state of Florida with a 33-point scoring average at South Miami High, and was one of the nation’s most coveted recruits. Coaches from around the country visited Charlie Miller, and he made sure his brother was not left out.

Michigan’s Steve Fisher, Kentucky’s Rick Pitino, Georgia Tech’s Bobby Cremins and Indiana coach Bob Knight all visited South Miami Hospital, where they were quizzed by James Miller.

″James loved seeing the coaches and asking questions,″ Charlie Miller said. ″He asked questions about the school, the graduation rate, what it’s like playing there and things like that.″

The lessons are not lost on Charlie Miller. When his brother speaks, with the help of a speech amplification device, Charlie Miller leans close and listens. Charlie Miller remembers when he and his brother were sitting at the hospital, joking and laughing, and his brother suddenly turned serious.

″He was saying people take too many things for granted,″ Charlie Miller said. ″That’s one thing I learned from him - to appreciate everything I have. He made me realize that everything is valuable to you and that you don’t want to lose it.″

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YONKERS, N.Y. (AP) - Cat Manzi, one of the top harness drivers in the East, will guide Bullville Victory in the Hambletonian Aug. 6 and the Red Mile Oct. 7.

Manzi drove Bullville Victory to a 1:58 2-5 upset triumph Saturday night in the Yonkers Trot, the first leg in trotting’s Triple Crown. The Hambletonian at the New Jersey Meadowlands and the Red Mile at Lexington, Ky., are the other two legs of the Triple Crown.

The last horse to win trotting’s Triple Crown was Super Bowl in 1972.

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GOTHENBURG, Neb. (AP) - Dallas Cowboys tight end Jay Novacek hasn’t forgotten his hometown and his hometown hasn’t forgotten him.

Civic projects Novacek has supported in this city of 3,400 people in south- central Nebraska include an autographed Super Bowl football used by the Gothenburg Rotary Club to raise money for its scholarship fund.

On his trip home for the Fourth of July, Novacek was presented with his high school football jersey as Gothenburg School Board president Randal Strohmyer said that the No. 15 would be retired.

Rotary Club member Dan Spray unveiled a sign to be placed just outside of town that reads, ″Home of NFL All-Pro Jay Novacek.″

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