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Original Issue

The latest for the Greatest...Kareem to sell his Bel-Air lair...Martina improves 20/20's vision

By Michael Jordan. A chance to play on the 1992 U.S. Olympic basketball team. Jordan, who will host the season premiere of Saturday Night Live on Sept. 28, cited his busy schedule and passion for golf as reasons for not pursuing a spot on the national team. A three handicapper, Jordan shot a 24-over-par 166 for the opening two rounds in his first serious golf tournament, the Western Amateur, in Benton Harbor, Mich. Jordan's score placed him 159th out of 162 competitors, and he missed the cut for Round 3. "This swing is not going to make a living for me," said Jordan. "Not yet."

Wing C at the Miami Beach Convention Center, to Muhammad Ali Hall, a site made famous by Ali in 1964 when he defeated Sonny Liston to become heavyweight champion of the world for the first time. After a luncheon held to honor Ali, the former champ made impressions of his hands and fists in concrete for the walk of fame outside the Miami Beach Theater.

By Mickey Mantle at his Manhattan eatery, actor John Goodman, who had just finished production on the movie The Babe, in which he plays the title role of Babe Ruth. The two spent five hours together, with Mantle's chef serving up his special recipe for fried zucchini with English mustard sauce. After Goodman did a Mantle impersonation, Mantle removed a lithograph of the Bambino from the wall and presented it to Goodman, adding the inscription, "You make a great Babe." For good measure, Mantle signed his own name across Ruth's chest.

The network television ratings race last week, ABC's 20/20, which featured a 15-minute Barbara Walters interview with Martina Navratilova in which Navratilova discussed her emotional breakup with ex-lover Judy Nelson. The show, viewed in nearly 13 million households, earned 20/20 its first No. 1 ranking since July 5, 1984, when the program featured a segment on serial killers.

For sale: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's Bel-Air mansion. Asking price: $4.3 million. The four-bedroom house has extra-high doorways and countertops to accommodate Abdul-Jabbar's 7'2" frame; there is also a guest cottage, racquetball court, swimming pool and gymnasium. The house was custom-rebuilt in 1985 after a fire destroyed the original. Abdul-Jabbar, who owns a second residence in Kauai, Hawaii, has an eye on some beachfront property in California.

Former Philadelphia Phillie pitcher Chris Short, 53; of heart failure; in Wilmington, Del. Short, who was playfully referred to as Styles by his teammates because of his truly unstylish wardrobe, won 17 games or more four times in five years (1964-68). Ranked fourth on the Phillie alltime victory list, Short loved the game so much that he pitched in a semipro league in Delaware long after his major league career was over. In 1988, he suffered a brain aneurysm that had left him in a virtual coma for the last three years.



Jordan prefers woods over medals.