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Names In The Game

April 30, 1997

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ A life-size bronze statue of strikeout king Nolan Ryan is destined for the ball park where he didn’t have a chance to play.

The Texas Rangers will unveil Ryan’s statue before Friday night’s Boston Red Sox-Texas Rangers game at the Ballpark. It will stand in the middle of Vandergriff Plaza behind center field.

Ryan’s No. 34 was retired last September. He pitched for Texas from 1989-93. The $195 million Ballpark opened in spring 1994.

The statue was sculpted by Toby Mendez of Washington County, Md.

The unveiling will coincide with Arlington Appreciation Night. That event also took place on May 1, 1991, when Ryan pitched his seventh and final no-hitter.


WASHINGTON (AP) _ Boston Celtics players Antoine Walker, Marty Conlon and Pervis Ellison toured the capital with 46 Boston public school students to reward them for doing well in school and serving their communities.

``This celebration is part of a greater effort for community outreach and encouragement for kids to stay in school,″ Celtics vice president Stuart Layne said.

The students, all eighth graders, included two from each of 23 public schools in Boston. Nearly all of the students have perfect attendance in school, good grades and take part in some sort of community service program, said Phil Pennellatore, a chaperone.

As part of its ``Stay in School″ program, the team plans to honor a group of students for their achievements each year with an educational tour or other special event.


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ Gov. George Pataki nominated former state Sen. Michael Hoblock as chairman of New York’s Racing and Wagering Board.

``Mike Hoblock brings a wealth of experience to the Racing and Wagering Board,″ Pataki said Tuesday. ``His proven track record in both the private and public sector will be of invaluable assistance to me and renews our commitment to business across the state.″

Hoblock would replace Jerry Bilinski, who resigned last August amid controversy over his horse-related business dealings. As chairman, Hoblock would oversee the state’s thoroughbred and harness racing activities, in addition to activities like Bingo and chance games in the state.


SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (AP) _ Twins George and Philip Von Backstrom were on the same team their entire lives in South Africa, Germany and in community college in Scottsbluff, playing basketball and soccer.

That’s about to change for the brothers, each 7-foot-2.

George Von Backstrom signed a national letter-of-intent to play basketball for Oregon State five days after Philip Von Backstrom signed with Pac-10 rival Southern California. Both plan to redshirt next season.

Oregon and Southern Cal face each other twice a season.

``It will be great competition for both of us,″ George said. ``It will be the highlight of each year.″

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