Skip to main content
Original Issue

Sports Beat

Considering the list of guest stars, the Feb. 17 episode of the
CBS sitcom Yes, Dear could have been taped in Cooperstown. Jerry
Van Dyke (right, kicking) plays Big Jimmy, who has long bragged
to his son about managing Hall of Famers Ernie Banks (left,
flinching), Johnny Bench and Frank Robinson in the minors. The
son arranges a reunion, only to discover that the retired stars
actually despise his dad. Banks felt particularly at home during
last month's taping. His stunt double for a fight scene (yes,
there is one) was one-time Cubs teammate Jophrey Brown, and
Banks's son Joey accompanied his father to the set. "Being on
stage is like being at bat," says Banks, 72, who appeared on
Married...with Children in 1993. "The adrenaline, the
excitement, the fun, the teamwork is all there. I told them if
another role comes up, I'm ready to play two."

Even though she was raised in California, Serena Williams pledged
her allegiance to the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl. Might it have
something to do with the 20 dozen roses she reportedly received
during the final weekend of the Australian Open from Tampa Bay's
star receiver, Keyshawn Johnson? After winning the Open, Serena
flew immediately to L.A., then choppered to San Diego for the
game. Afterward Serena and Keyshawn, neither of whom would
comment on their relationship, mingled at a postgame bash at the
W hotel.

Richard Petty has NASCAR records, a Presidential Medal of Freedom
for charity work, a place in the Motorsports Hall of Fame--and
now his own breakfast cereal. This week General Mills is
introducing Richard Petty 43's, named of course after his car's
number. (The company is also donating $43,000 to Petty's Victory
Junction Gang Camp, which will host kids with chronic or
life-threatening illnesses and is set to open in June 2004.) The
King, 65, says he helped in the creation of the cereal, a
brown-sugar-sweetened rice and corn concoction shaped in 4's and
3's. "They ran everything past us," he says. "It all tasted
pretty good to me."

Pulitzer Prize--winning author David Halberstam is at work on
another baseball book. The Teammates, to be published by Hyperion
in May, chronicles the 60-year friendship among Red Sox players
Ted Williams, Dom DiMaggio, Bobby Doerr and Johnny Pesky. The
book, which revolves around a trip Pesky and DiMaggio took to see
a wheelchair-bound Williams in October 2001, grew out of
relationships Halberstam developed with those players while
researching his 1989 best-seller, Summer of '49. "It's a book on
friendship, getting older and affection," Halberstam says.

"Sleep tight" has a special meaning for Yao Ming, especially on
road trips. The 7'5" Rockets center recently told a Chinese
newspaper how cramped he feels in king-sized hotel beds. Michael
Lu, director of housekeeping at the Oakland Marriott City
Center--where the Rockets stay when visiting the Warriors--read
the story, and he and his staff stitched together a roll-away and
a king-sized mattress to create a 10-foot-long bed for Yao's
recent stay there. Yao slept so soundly that he asked Lu (in
Chinese) to "hold that bed for me!" for next time.


THREE COLOR PHOTOS: ICON SPORTS MEDIA (LEBRON) PICTURE THIS If LeBron James's suspension for accepting merchandise is upheld, this may already be a vintage style. 1. NBA headband ($8 at NBA store). 2. Authentic replica jersey ($225 on eBay). 3. KING JAMES mouthpiece ($7.99; you'll need to customize this and other items). 4. Tattoo covers (per school rule; $1.99); one tat says KING JAMES and GLORIA (Mom's name); the other, HOLD MY OWN. 5. L23 biceps band ($9). 6. CHOSEN ONE shin band, after last year's SI cover line ($9) 7. Adidas pro-style shoe ($75).



A woman is suing a Lexington, Ky., surgeon and University of
Kentucky sports booster because he cauterized "UK" onto her
uterus before removing it in a hysterectomy.


Canucks All-Star defenseman, on his improvement since being
acquired from Florida in '99: "When I got traded here it turned
my career around 360 degrees."