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For the Record


by Trevor Hoffman, the alltime saves record. The Padres' closer, 38, passed LeeSmith on Sunday when he nailed his 479th save with a perfect ninth inningagainst the Pirates. Hoffman, a native of Bellflower, Calif., who broke in withthe Marlins in 1993, set the mark in his 817th game, 205 fewer than Smithpitched in during his 18-year career. San Diego CEO Sandy Alderson presentedHoffman (above, with catcher Paul Bako) with a golden bell trophy, a referenceto Hells Bells, the AC/DC song that blares when Hoffman enters a game at PetcoPark. "It's overwhelming," said Hoffman, who helped preserve thePadres' 1 1/2-game lead in the NL West with the win.

To USC, Brent Musburger, for revealing the meaning of one of quarterback JohnDavid Booty's hand signals during ABC's broadcast of the Trojans' win overNebraska on Sept. 16. When cameras caught Booty waving his thumb and pinkie ina "hang loose" sign to his receivers, Musburger said, "John Davidtold us that [is] his signal when he finds one-on-one [coverage]." USC senta formal complaint to ABC and the Pac-10, saying Musburger had divulgedinformation that was given to him for background purposes only. "We'resorry this led to an unfortunate misunderstanding, which was never ourintention," said an ABC spokesman.

During its victory over Southern University in Baton Rouge last Saturday, theNorth Carolina Central football team. During the game, sneakers, cash, jewelryand equipment were taken from players' stalls in their locker room. (Securityhas been an issue at Southern. During the home opener a 59-year-old man wasfatally shot across the street from A. Mumford Stadium.) As of Monday therewere no suspects in the robbery.

To a kennel in California, Steelers linebacker Joey Porter's pet pit bull andmastiff after the dogs attacked and killed a miniature horse. The dogs, namedTina and Nemo, got out of the yard at Porter's Pine, Pa., home and entered acorral on a neighbor's farm. Porter, who said the dogs were not raised to beattack animals, was cited for harboring dangerous dogs, failure to confine thedogs and failure to have them licensed. He faces up to $1,000 in fines.

From the hospital, two months after undergoing surgery to remove his stomach,Japanese home run king Sadaharu Oh (above), 66. The slugger, who hit 868 homersfor the Yomiuri Giants, underwent surgery on July 17 after being diagnosed withstomach cancer. He was originally released in August but returned when he hadtrouble digesting his food. "I have come to terms with the fact that I haveno stomach, and being able to take food properly has been a lot more difficultthan I expected," said Oh.

By the Pac-10, a leave of absence for the rest of the season, to Gordon Riese,one of the replay officials who worked Oregon's controversial win over Oklahomaon Sept. 16. After officials blew two late-game calls, the Pac-10 handed downone-game suspensions to the seven-man crew of on-field officials as well as toRiese and Roger Judd, a replay assistant. Riese, 64, a retired math teacher whohas been a Pac-10 official for 28 years, said he received death threats fromirate Sooners fans. "I can't sleep, I can't eat, my blood pressure isskyrocketing," he said. "I feel so bad I missed the call, it's drivingme crazy."

For Northern Colorado in a home loss to Western Illinois last Saturday, RafaelMendoza, less than two weeks after he was allegedly stabbed in his kicking legby his backup in an attempt to win the starting job (Scorecard, Sept. 25).Mendoza (right) averaged 39.8 yards on four kicks, including a 58-yarder.Mendoza, who suffered a five-inch-deep wound to his thigh, spent the weekpracticing punts with Nerf footballs; after pregame warmups he told coach ScottDowning that he felt no pain and was ready to play. "It felt goodtoday," said Mendoza. "I'm glad to be back."

For drunken driving early on Monday morning, Bengals linebacker Odell Thurman.Cincinnati's leading tackler as a rookie last season, Thurman is alreadyserving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.On Monday, hours after the Bengals beat the Steelers (page 48), a Cincinnatipolice officer stopped Thurman after seeing his SUV cross a double yellow line.Thurman, who was with two teammates, was brought to a DUI checkpoint, wherepolice say his blood-alcohol content was measured at 0.18, more than twice thelegal limit. Thurman, the sixth Bengal arrested in the last year, is scheduledto appear in court on Oct. 2.

At age 77, Syd Thrift, whose career as a baseball executive lasted nearly 50years. A pitcher who never reached the majors, Thrift oversaw the Royals'revolutionary baseball academy in the early '70s, drafted Rickey Henderson in'76 and became Pittsburgh's G.M. in '86 and hired little-known White Sox coachJim Leyland as the Pirates' manager. "He was the one guy willing to take ashot on a nobody," Leyland said. Leyland led the Pirates to the NLCS threetimes, but Thrift wasn't around to see it. He clashed with the owners and leftfor the Yankees' front office in '89. Thrift retired from his last job, as aconsultant for the Devil Rays in 2004. He died shortly after undergoingknee-replacement surgery; the cause of death was not known.

At age 80, Mickey Hargitay, whose popularity as a bodybuilder launched hisacting career. After Hargitay won the Mr. Universe competition in 1955, MaeWest gave him a role in her nightclub act, where he was seen by JayneMansfield--who reportedly told her waiter she wanted "a steak and the manon the left." Hargitay and Mansfield (above) married in 1958 and appearedin several movies together, including The Love of Hercules. (Their daughter,Mariska Hargitay, is an Emmy-winning actress on Law & Order: SVU.) ArnoldSchwarzenegger, who played Hargitay in 1980's The Jayne Mansfield Story, toldthe Los Angeles Times that seeing the Hungarian-born Hargitay win the Mr.Universe title was an "inspirational force" in his own career.

Go Figure

Consecutive completions by Redskins QB Mark Brunell against the Texans onSunday, an NFL single-game record.

Career TD catches by New Hampshire senior David Ball, tying the Division I-AArecord set by Jerry Rice at Mississippi Valley State.

Score by Mitsuhiro Tateyama on the par-3 8th hole at the Acom Internationallast Thursday, the worst single hole by a Japan Tour pro since 1987.

Doubles by the Nationals' Alfonso Soriano, the first player ever with 40 homeruns, steals and doubles in a season.

Home runs by Barry Bonds, who broke Hank Aaron's career NL record with a homeragainst the Brewers last Saturday.

Foul Play

DURING THE average major league baseball game, 49.9foul balls will be hit into a crowd of 31,399. So the odds of a particular fanbeing hit by a ball off the bat of a particular player (say, her husband) arepretty long. But not long enough for the liking of Laura Gibbons, the wife ofOrioles DH Jay Gibbons. In the ninth inning of Baltimore's game againstMinnesota last Saturday, Gibbons fouled a ball straight back over the screenbehind the plate--and into Laura's ribs. "She's a little bruised up. She'sgoing to be O.K." said Gibbons (left), who noted that a Camden Yards usher"took one" for Laura when another foul ball came screaming her way afew days earlier.

Mrs. Gibbons wasn't the only fan to come under firelast week. At the Royals-Mariners game on Sept. 17, the Wartko clan of ShawneeMission, Kans. (Rick, a consultant; his wife, Karen; and their sons,11-year-old Chris and five-year-old Eric), had a couple of balls come theirway. What made it special is that Chris and Eric (above) each snagged one--inthe same inning, less than 10 pitches apart and at their first major leaguegame, no less. At first the boys didn't realize how rare their feat was (andhow good their luck was), but Rick says, "They figured out that the ballsshould be safely tucked away in their pockets."

Salleying Forth

A former NBA star turned TV host pledges to be one,uh, stern ABA commissioner

FORMER NBA star John Salley, the new commissioner ofthe three-year-old American Basketball Association, is an evangelist forentertainment. "People want to get out of their lives for 2 1/2 hours,"the Best Damn Sports Show Period cohost told owners at the ABA's meetings inIndianapolis last Friday. "During the Great Depression everyone was losingmoney except Charlie Chaplin." Entertainment the ABA has: This is theleague in which an owner once fired her coach mid-game; Nick Lachey co-owns theHollywood Fame; and the league runs its own version of American Idol, a musictour called Starz in Motion.

But the ABA has also been beset by operational chaos.Teams fail to tape games, forget to post stats on the league website--andsometimes don't show up for road games if travel costs are too steep. AfterSalley, a Fame part owner, was introduced on Friday, he pledged some toughlove--and threatened to go "gangsta" if necessary: "If you miss agame, you're gone. If you're hurt, we'll try to help you--but if you're dying,we'll shoot you."

The ex-Piston, 42, vows not to be lumped in withfellow former Bad Boy Isiah Thomas, who presided over the demise of the CBA."I love to laugh and giggle and smoke cigars and drink cognac," hesaid. "But I have a reputation and a name."

• For more on the Vermont Frost Heaves, the ABA teamowned by SI senior writer Alexander Wolff, go to














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ASH THE COMMISH Salley's Best Damn gig will help sell the ABA.