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Obituaries in the News

June 17, 2004

Rob Derkson

NEW YORK (AP) _ Rob Derksen, the manager of Greece’s Olympic baseball team and a scout with the Baltimore Orioles, died Wednesday. He was 44.

Derksen died in the New York area, the Orioles said. The team did not know the cause of death.

Derksen was still under contract with Baltimore while working with the Greek team that was preparing to compete in the Athens Games this summer.

A former pitching prospect for Milwaukee, Derksen also managed in the minor league systems of the Brewers and Boston Red Sox.

Derksen managed the Australian Olympic team in 1996 and guided the Guam squad that tried for an Olympic spot in 2000.

Greece received an automatic bid to the Olympic baseball tournament because Athens is hosting the games.

Derksen was from Hales Corners, Wis., and was drafted by the Brewers in 1982.

After his playing career ended because of an arm injury, Derksen went on to manage and coach in the Brewers’ system at Beloit. He later managed in the Boston organization and then became a Pacific Rim scout for the Orioles.

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Max Rosenberg

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Max Rosenberg, who produced dozens of low-budget movies, including ``Tales from the Crypt″ and the early rock ‘n’ roll movie ``Rock, Rock, Rock,″ died Monday after a brief illness. He was 89.

Rosenberg died in a Los Angeles hospital, said Julie Moldo, vice president of Rosenberg’s company, Rearguard Productions.

A New York native, Rosenberg was a lawyer when he became a distributor of foreign films in 1939. He became a producer in 1954. With partner Milton Subotsky, he made ``Junior Science,″ an award-winning series of TV science programs for children.

Their movies included ``Rock, Rock, Rock,″ produced in 1956. It starred Tuesday Weld and featured performances by Chuck Berry and Frankie Lymon and an appearance by disc jockey Alan Freed.

``The exciting thing was collecting the music,″ Rosenberg recalled in a 2000 interview with the Hollywood Reporter. ``As for the picture itself, there’s not much to commend it. It’s just a bunch of songs connected to a stupid plot.″

Most of Rosenberg’s movies involved the horror or supernatural. ``The Curse of Frankenstein,″ made in 1957 with England’s Hammer Films for $500,000, brought in $7 million.

After forming Amicus Productions in England in 1962, Rosenberg and Subotsky made popular horror anthologies, including ``Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors″ and ``The House That Dripped Blood.″

``They established themselves as one of the leading purveyors of supernatural, horror and suspense films during that period,″ said Dennis Bartok, head of programming at the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.

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Ralph Wiley

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) _ Ralph Wiley, one of the original Page 2 columnists for ESPN.com and a former senior writer for Sports Illustrated, died Sunday of heart failure. He was 52.

Wiley joined Page 2 at its inception in November 2000 and had written more than 240 columns for ESPN.com.

Wiley also had appeared on ESPN’s ``Sports Reporters″ since 1990. He provided regular commentary for ESPN’s SportsCenter and formerly worked as an NFL analyst for NBC.

After graduating from Knoxville College, Wiley worked as a copyboy for The Oakland (Calif.) Tribune. He soon was promoted to a city beat writer and a year later to sports. By the end of his 6 1/2 years at the Tribune, he was a regular columnist.

Sports Illustrated hired Wiley in 1982. He remained there for nine years, writing 28 cover stories, many about boxing (most notably, the Mike Tyson trial), baseball and football.

Wiley also wrote three books and co-wrote several others, including with Spike Lee and Dexter Scott King, as well as articles for magazines and national newspapers.

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