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Reno Pleased by McGwire, Sosa Chase

September 25, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Baseball fan Janet Reno is as heartened by the fans who’ve caught the baseballs as she is by the home run competition between sluggers Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.

When a reporter noted Friday that the St. Louis Cardinal and Chicago Cub power hitters are tied so far at 65 home runs and she has been rooting for them to end up tied, the attorney general told her weekly news conference:

``What has been the greatest victory of all has been their sportsmanship and the sportsmanship of the American people who bring the balls back.

``For a nation that is supposed to be so concerned about material things, for a game that has seen ticket prices skyrocket and salaries skyrocket, to see these two men use some of their money to help others, to see people bring the balls back without asking for anything, really gives us a whole new dimension to these days.″

Sosa has given computers to schools and built athletic training facilities for children in his homeland, the Dominican Republic, and McGwire donates over 10 percent of his more than $9 million annual salary to a foundation for abused children.

In all but two cases since the two sluggers tied and passed Roger Maris’ record of 61 home runs, fans have returned the home run balls they snagged to McGwire and Sosa. In return, they’ve met McGwire and Sosa and been given signed baseball bats and jerseys and a chance to participate in batting practice.

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