To the Pro Football Hall of Fame, in his 15th and last year of eligibility, former Baltimore Colt John Mackey. The prototype of the modern tight end, Mackey had the speed to run deep patterns and the power to run over tacklers like a Mack truck. As head of the NFL players' union, he filed a suit against the league that toppled the "Rozelle rule" and temporarily won free agency for players. The stodgy media panel that guards the gates of the Hall lightened up this year, admitting another successful litigant against the NFL—maverick Raider owner Al Davis. "They decided to let all the trouble makers in at once," Mackey observed. That would also apply to the third inductee, rowdy fullback John Riggins, although not to the fourth, low-key cornerback Lem Barney.
Tracy Austin, with an invitation to become, at 29, the youngest member of the Tennis Hall of Fame. The ultimate prodigy—no offense, Jennifer Capriati—won 32 tournaments by 1984, when a back injury caused her to flame out at the ripe old age of 21. A comeback attempt was stalled by a 1989 car accident in which she suffered a crushed knee, but at times since then Austin has entertained thoughts of abandoning her work as a TV commentator to try again. "In a way it feels weird," she said of her enshrinement. "I never felt like I retired."
Rampant speculation that Pittsburgh Pirate manager Jim Leyland was planning to follow Bobby Bonilla down the gangplank. Last week Leyland, 47, signed a five-year contract binding him to the Bucs through 1996. "I'd like to manage in Pittsburgh for my whole career," he said.
From a flaming convertible in the midst of a downtown parade to celebrate Miami's co-national championship, three members of the Hurricane football team. Center Kelvin Harris, receiver A.C. Tellison and defensive end Anthony Hamlet vaulted from the car when they discovered it was burning. The convertible was gutted, and three other cars were damaged after sparks from the vehicles ignited confetti that had piled up on the ground. Explained linebacker Derrick Golden, "The cars wanted to be just like the Hurricanes—on fire."
Plans for a Royal wedding, by George Brett, Kansas City's most eligible bachelor for nearly two decades. Brett. 38, will marry 27-year-old Leslie Davenport on Feb. 15. The news was relayed to an eager public via a message on an electronic billboard on Interstate 35 outside K.C.: GUESS WHO SAYS "I DO." GEORGE BRETT!
By repeated blows to the midsection from a pint-sized assailant, heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield. During a visit to the Atlanta boys' club where he learned to box, Holyfield offered to spar with some teenagers. Ebo Elder, a 13-year-old state champ, went after Holyfield with a fury. "I didn't think much of him," said the 4'11" Elder. "No defense, and he doesn't punch hard." Are you listening, Riddick Bowe?
WALTER IOOSS JR.
Mackey was tough on and off the field.