To baseball great Ted Williams, the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. Despite losing nearly five full seasons to military service, Williams is 10th on the alltime home run list with 521. Uninterrupted, he might have approached Babe Ruth's milestone 714 career homers—long before Hank Aaron (755) passed the Babe. "An American legend," President George Bush called Williams as he presented the medals in a White House ceremony. Other recipients included former Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill and former first lady Betty Ford, whose husband, President Gerald Ford, bestowed the same honor on Williams's great rival, Joe DiMaggio, way back in 1977.
For $2,100 at a charity auction in Evansville, Ind., an unwashed one-piece uniform-skirt worn by Madonna in the upcoming movie A League of Their Own. Part of the movie, which is about a women's professional baseball league during the 1940s, was filmed in Evansville. Doug Burton, a construction worker from Boonville, Ind., made the winning bid. A New York Yankee jacket autographed by Evansville's own Don Mattingly went for $52.50.
The traditional but boring uniforms worn by the North Carolina men's basketball team since 1970, in favor of a trendy design by Alexander Julian, coach Dean Smith's couturier of choice. Julian, UNC class of '69, has outfitted the Tar Heels in Argyle-accented game togs. The warmup jackets are denim, the pants and shorts are pleated, and the primary color has been changed from familiar Carolina blue to an icier shade of baby blue. Now the Tar Heels will clash with virtually every stationary object inside the Dean Dome, including all 21,572 seats.
Astro righthander Mike Scott, the 1986 National League Cy Young Award winner. Scott, 36, developed a devastating split-fingered fastball before the 1985 season and became one of the most feared pitchers in baseball. "If he'd learned the split four or five years earlier," said Giants manager Roger Craig, who taught him the pitch, "he would have been in the Hall of Fame." Scott (124-108) had surgery last winter to repair his damaged right shoulder, but rotator-cuff pain limited him to two starts in '91.
For the permanent use of driver A.J. Foyt, the number 14, by CART, the governing body of Indy Car racing. Foyt, winner of 67 Indy Car races during a 35-year career, may retire at the end of 1991, but cars owned by him will also receive exclusive rights to number 14. Neither CART nor NASCAR, which sanctions stock car racing, has ever retired a number before.
Tony Bennett, the Green Bay Packer linebacker, and Tony Bennett, the star guard at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, to Tony Bennett, the legendary singer. At the suggestion of a local newspaper, the athletes surprised the elder Bennett at the Green Bay airport when he arrived for a performance. None of the Bennetts are related, and the singer said he had previously met only one other namesake. "A stripper," he said. "She spelled it T-o-n-i."
Williams finally made it into the Bush league.