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Names In The Game

July 17, 1997

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) _ Shoeless Joe Jackson deserves a place in baseball’s Hall of Fame and a group of residents from his hometown are determined to make it happen.

More than 90,000 people, including Mayor Knox White, have signed a petition asking baseball officials to give the fallen hero his due at Cooperstown, N.Y.

Jackson and seven Chicago White Sox teammates were acquitted by a federal jury of charges they conspired with bettors to throw the 1919 World Series, but commissioner Kennesaw Landis banned them from organized baseball.

Joe Thompson, who is writing a biography of Jackson, said various pro-Joe campaigns around the country may soon be unified under a committee that would be able to get a formal hearing before the baseball owners’ council.

The petition portrays Jackson as a victim of a power play by Landis. And Thompson believes justice is only a matter of time.


KIEV, Ukraine (AP) _ A Ukrainian coach drew a lifetime suspension from his country’s soccer federation for allegedly attacking two referees in their hotel room after a match.

The incident reportedly took place after Yuri Pogrebnyak’s Metallurg team lost 2-0 to Mariupol on Sunday.

According to one of the referees, Pogrebnyak and three other men showed up at the refs’ room in the pre-dawn hours.

Pogrebnyak began to argue about a goal that had been disallowed.

``We tried to explain our point of view, but without hearing us out, Pogrebnyak stood up and hit (the other referee) in the face with his fist,″ referee Vadim Shevchenko said.

The coach and the three other men then punched and kicked both referees for several minutes, he said.

The referees were treated at the airport before leaving town, Shevchenko said. He said they did not go to Mariupol police because Pogrebnyak warned them that city authorities were under his control.

Doctors who examined the referees when they returned to Kiev said both had broken noses and one also suffered a broken rib.


NEW YORK (AP) _ Hideki Irabu has a very important fan who might be able to get him some very good seats for the Winter Olympics in his native Japan.

The head of the Nagano Olympic Organizing Committee, Makoto Kobayashi, interrupted a business trip this week to travel to Yankee Stadium and watch Irabu pick up his second victory for the New York Yankees.

``The Japanese people are delighted, absolutely delighted,″ Kobayashi said Thursday. ``First we had (Dodgers pitcher Hideo) Nomo, now Irabu.″

Kobayashi, who pitched, caught and spent time time at both first and third base in his youth, was in New York for meetings with two key Olympic partners _ computer giant IBM and CBS, which has the U.S. TV rights to the Winter Games.

Kobayashi said he was certain that the problems that plagued last year’s Atlanta Olympics _ transportation, computer breakdowns and over- commercialization _ would be avoided in Nagano.

``These are things that all organizing committees must do,″ he said. ``We were in Atlanta to watch, and it was very helpful for us to see this.″


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ A son of former Kansas City Royals star George Brett will undergo brain surgery next week because of a leaking blood valve.

Robin Brett, 18 months old, began having seizures this month. His condition has been treated with medication while the Bretts have consulted with several area neurosurgeons. The Bretts, who have two other sons, have not decided where the surgery will be performed.

``We’ve been told that Robin’s condition is fixable through the surgery,″ George Brett said Wednesday. ``But when you think about the surgery ... it’s brain surgery. It’s pretty scary.″

Robin’s mother, Leslie Brett, became aware of a problem with Robin’s health during a family trip to her parent’s home in Wichita during the Fourth of July weekend.

George Brett, Royals vice president of baseball operations, was with the team in Cleveland but returned home when he learned Robin was sick.

Robin, who was named for former Milwaukee Brewers star Robin Yount and for Mrs. Brett’s brother, Rob, was flown from Wichita to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

``Robin doesn’t know anything is wrong,″ George Brett said. ``For 23 hours, 59 minutes each day, he’s a normal, healthy boy. Then, the seizures happen. But we’re all going to get through this.″


LONDON (AP) _ David Moorcroft, former world record-holder at 5,000 meters, was appointed Thursday as chief executive of the troubled British Athletic Federation.

Moorcroft, 44, who retired from competition four years ago, still holds the European 5,000-meter record. He is a former Commonwealth and European champion at the distance.

Moorcroft replaces former sprinter Peter Radford, who resigned in April after three years as BAF chief executive. During Radford’s tenure, the BAF had conflicts with several leading athletes _ including Linford Christie and Colin Jackson _ and reportedly lost more than $800,000.

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