'Hurricane' Peter McNeeley was only a big puff of wind


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Would it be too cruel to suggest that heavyweight Peter McNeeley lived up to his nickname "Hurricane" all right, Hurricane Felix?

* In his heyday, Mickey Mantle wasn't the most cooperative ballplayer in the Yankees' clubhouse, often spending about an hour in the trainer's room after a ballgame. Later on, however, even as a man of few words, he could deliver a wry gem.

It's the third game of the 1964 World Series, the 12th and last Der Mick would take part in and the Yankees and Cardinals are vTC tied, 1-1, entering the last of the ninth in Yankee Stadium. Out of the St. Louis bullpen comes Barney Schultz, who has had a great year as a reliever (1.64 ERA) with his knuckler. Mantle frightens most in attendance with a loud line drive that crashes into a seat in the upper deck in right field less than a second after it had been struck.

Mick's assessment of the situation was simple: "Uh, the ball didn't knuckle."

* Talk about a coincidence, both semifinal games in the Arena Football League playoffs ended with 56-49 scores, Tampa Bay beating Albany and Orlando squeezing by Iowa. The Florida neighbors meet for the gonfalon in St. Petersburg (no, not Russia) Sept. 1 with the final score expected to be 56-49.

* Muhammad Ali's daughter May May, 27, is a stand-up comic in the lounges of Las Vegas casinos while she's attending UNLV. The Champ thinks it's great. She's not into crudities. For instance: "You know, I like Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie, but who wants to get up in the morning and fight over the makeup?"

* If you haven't seen the movie "Cobb" yet, run (don't walk) to the video store.

* Place-kicker Nick Lowery was cut by NFL teams 10 times before he caught on. A Brit with an Ivy League background (Dartmouth), Lowery started in 1978, but didn't latch onto a full-time position until he beat out Hall of Fame kicker Jan Stenerud in Kansas City in 1980. The guy has missed five PATs in 16 years. His field-goal accuracy exceeds 80 percent and now, back with the New York Jets, he's 25 field goals away from the all-time record of 373, held by Stenerud, incidentally.

* Reason No. 4,357 why ballplayers have no great love for their employers: Pitcher Ron Darling was informed his 13-year career was likely over and dismissed by the Oakland A's on his 35th birthday.

* Of course Lee Janzen, who has won three PGA Tour tourneys and about $1.3 million this year, should be on our Ryder Cup team. But there are about a half-dozen other guys of whom you can say the same thing. Curtis Strange?

* Besides finishing 10th in the 7.1-mile Falmouth Road Race Sunday in 32.27, Chris Fox of Hagerstown, who represented the United States at the World Championships in Sweden, beat Todd Williams by a minute. Williams is one of two big hopes (with Bob Kennedy) we have for some success in the middle distances at next summer's Olympic Games. Kenyans finished 1-2-4-5-6-7-8-9 in the race, a South African sneaking in for third.

* Mike Ryan, bullpen coach of the Philadelphia Phillies, is calling it a career at the end of the season. I remember him as a fuzzy-cheeked rookie catcher for the Red Sox. Et gloria sic transit mundi.

* The 50-year career of comic Max Patkin, who thrilled more kids in minor-league ballparks than all the players combined, is now in the books and his diamond garb is now at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. The guy deserves more, like a bust.

* About now, you're probably "comeback-ed" out what with all this business about Monica Seles and Mike Tyson returning to the tennis and boxing wars after forced layoffs. The overreaction to Seles destroying the field on the way to the Canadian Open title (she won 60 of 74 games played) and Tyson still looking like he could knock down a building with either hand has been comical. Do you think a world-class athlete, in this case two No. 1's, forgets all while on sabbatical? Never!

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