His vow to run to the home of every Thai boxer who won a gold medal in Athens, Uthen Theekayu. The 41-year-old waiter from Rayong Province, Thailand, ran 250 miles over eight days (he slept at police stations) to reach the Ratchaburi Province home of Manus Boonjumnong (left), who won the country's lone boxing gold, at 141 pounds. Alas, when he arrived at Manus's house, the champ wasn't home--he had an audience with the king. The case of the runner going to the Thai wasn't a total bust, however: Manus brought Uthen to a nearby resort and planned to present him with a gold necklace, and the Ratchaburi Sports Association gave Uthen 2,000 baht (about $48) to cover his expenses home.
At Pro Player Stadium, several Marlins players and coaches, who held an impromptu four-night slumber party when Hurricane Frances drove them from their homes. About a half-dozen players stayed in the clubhouse, manager Jack McKeon and two of his coaches slept on an air mattress in his office, and pitcher Josh Beckett slept on a couch in the umpires' locker room. The team's cook prepared meals, and the players kept abreast of the news on the clubhouse's eight televisions. "We had a sauna, steam room, all the amenities of a first-class hotel," says McKeon, who exercised by taking walks on the concourse. "The only problem was the fire alarm went off at 7 a.m. one of the days and woke us all up." None of the players' homes was seriously damaged.
And bowled in an international tournament for the first time, the U.S. national cricket team, which took part in the Champions Trophy event in London. The U.S. was crushed--losing by 210 runs to New Zealand, the biggest margin of victory ever for the world's second-ranked team--in its first match last Friday. The Yanks took another drubbing, losing to reigning world champ Australia on Monday. But winning wasn't the point for a nation struggling to establish a cricket identity at home and abroad. "The whole idea was that we perform to our best and look as professional as possible under the circumstances," said manager Carlyle Miller, a native of Guyana. (There are only three U.S.-born players on the 14-man team.) The U.S. qualified for the event by beating powerhouses Scotland and the United Arab Emirates. Said team captain Richard Staple, "Hopefully this will put the sport in a positive light in the States."
Into the checking account of Mark Guthrie, a former Hartford Courant deliveryman, $301,102 worth of payroll checks intended for Mark Guthrie, a former Cubs relief pitcher. The checks were erroneously deposited in the fall of 2003 by the Tribune Co., which owns both the paper and the team. After catching the mistake five weeks later, the Cubs asked Guthrie, who lives in Chester, Conn., to return the money. Guthrie originally consented but then changed his mind. "I need them to open the books to me and show me I don't have any tax liabilities," said Guthrie, who lost his job in May. "It's mind-boggling. They never should have made the mistake to begin with." The Cubs withdrew $275,000 from Guthrie's account before he froze it, and the team is suing Guthrie for the remaining $26,000. Says Cubs lawyer Paul Guggina, "There is absolutely no question the money does not belong to Mr. Guthrie of Connecticut, and we are hard-pressed to understand his continued refusal to return it."
By the United States Postal Service, an Arthur Ashe stamp that will be issued next year. The 37-cent stamp features a picture of Ashe taken by Michael O'Neill for the cover of the Dec. 21, 1992, issue of SI, in which Ashe was named Sportsman of the Year. (He died of AIDS-related pneumonia two months later.) "Arthur Ashe was a man who was unafraid to redefine the boundaries of his world," said USPS vice president Henry A. Pankey as the stamp was unveiled at the U.S. Open. "Through his efforts on and off the court he pushed us all to make the world a better place."
STEVE MARCUS/REUTERS (BOONJUMNONG)
¬©2004 USPS (ASHE)