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September 14, 1998 - Image 25

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-09-14

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - September 14, 1998 - 11B

'Slammin' Sammy' belts Nos.
61 and 62, equals McGwire

' CHICAGO (AP) - Not so fast, my mother, for my wife, my kids and
Mark. Slammin' Sammy may win the the people I have around me. My
4 r. race for the home run record after all. team. It was an emotional moment,"
Sammy Sosa tied Mark McGwire Sosa said.
yesterday, connecting twice against Sosa, who has four homers in his
the Milwaukee Brewers to raise his last three games, was carried off the
total to 62. field after the victory, which kept the
"It's unbelievable. It was something Cubs one game ahead of the New
that even I can't believe I was doing," York Mets in the N.L. wild-card race.
Sosa said following the Cubs' 11-10, He was on deck when Mark Grace hit
10-inning victory. "It can happen to the game-winning homer.
two people, Mark and I." "It was chilling when McGwire did
Sosa homered off Bronswell it. I was dumbfounded," Grace said.
Patrick in the fifth inning, sending an "I thought pretty much the home run
0-1 pitch 480 feet into the street race was going to be McGwire's. But
_ behind the left-field fence at Wrigley when my buddy gets hot, he can hit
Field. Sosa hit another 480-foot them in a hurry. And he proved that.
homer in the ninth, a solo shot off "I just hope Sammy gets the atten-
Eric Plunk. tion he deserves. Not only has he hit
yThat one dropped Babe Ruth into 62 homers, but has carried us. He
fourth place on the single-season list is without a doubt the MVP of the
with 60, which he hit in 1927. Roger National League."
v Maris hit 61 homers in 1961 for a McGwire's Cardinals played in
r record that McGwire broke Tuesday Houston on Sunday night and he
against the Cubs in St. Louis. declined comment before the game.
Now, amazingly, a mark that had He and Sosa have homered 20 times
stood for 37 years has been passed on the same day this season, feeding
twice in less than a week. off the competition to set the most
With tears and sweat running down hallowed record in baseball.
his face as he sat in the dugout after Both of Sosa's homers cleared the
rhis second triumphant tour around the back fence at Wrigley Field, sending
bases, Sosa came out for three emo- fans scrambling for balls worth tens
tional curtain calls. Fans littered the of thousands of dollars to memorabil-
field with paper cups and other debris ia collectors. Sosa has 10 homers this
while chanting "Sam-mee! Sam- year off Milwaukee, his most against
mee!" causing a delay that lasted six any team.
AP PHOTO s' After the first homer, a parade of
nmy Sosa hit two home runs off of Milwaukee pitching yesterday, giving him 61 for the year. Sosa's big day tied him with "I have to say what I did is for the fans raced after the ball as it went
ark McGwire in the race to make history. McGwire has not homered since breaking Roger Maris' record. people of Chicago, for America, for down the street. Sosa, meanwhile,
Rafter wins all-Australian U.S. Open final 7I3

rounded the bases pumping his fists
as the sellout crowd began stamping
its feet.
By the time Sosa struck out in the
seventh, the street was filled with
fans. When he hit in the ninth with the
Cubs trailing 10-8,they were chanti-
ng "62! 62!" - and So a didn't dis-
appoint them.
Home run ball No. 62 was caught
by a man in his mid- 0s whose iden-
tity was not immcdi itely known.
Police officers surrounded him and
took him to the closest station for his
own protection.
"We got him out of there because
we thought he v as going to get his
behind kicked," Sgt. Mary O'Toole
said.
The man's plans for the ball were
not immediately known. The fan and
groundskeeper in St. Louis who got
McGwire's home run balls Nos. 61
and 62 gave them to the slugger, who
gave them to the Hall of 1Fame.
The ball Sosa hit for No. 61 was
retrieved by John Witt of Dixon, ll.,
who stuffed it in his pocket and
promised to negotiate with him.
Witt was sitting in a van off
Kenmore Avenue outside the stadium,
watching the game on a small TV
when he saw Sosa swing. He got out
of his van and the ball bounced a cou-
ple of times and landed at his feet.
"I didn't think I had a chance," he
said. "It's an unbelievable feeling. ...
How do you know how much it's
worth?"

NEW YORK (AP) - It was Aussie Rules tennis at
the U.S. Open on yesterday and Patrick Rafter had by far
the bigger, meaner game.
Rafter retained his title with an awesome display of
*ed and accuracy, winning an all-Australian battle
with Mark Philippoussis 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-0.
Both players dived to the concrete courts and sent vol-
leys rocketing across the net. But Rafter had near per-
fection to go with his power.
The third-seeded Rafter had just five unforced errors
against the unseeded Philippoussis, whose usually over-
powering serve became a liability. He had just five aces
and 13 double faults, the last on the final point of the
match.
Rafter won the final 10 games.
after, who had to rally from a two-set deficit in the
t round but never was threatened again in the tourna-
ment, won $700,000 and moved up to No. 2 in the world
rankings - just behind Pete Sampras, whom he defeat-
ed Saturday in the semifinals.
The match was tied at one set apiece and was 2-2 in
the third set when Rafter took command. After holding
serve, Rafter moved to break point on an incredible
point during which he raced around the court to return
an overhead, a forehand into the corner and a drop shot.
He broke Philippoussis' serve on the next point.
uestions disa
ter Davenpo

Rafter then won the next eight games to close out the
match.
Rafter, looking like a Samurai warrior with a ponytail
and a mangy beard that he grew during the tournament,
has a game tailor-made for the hard, fast courts and hard,
fast balls of the U.S. Open.
Philippoussis, in his first Grand Slam final, stayed in
the match by saving 13 of 14 break points until midway
through the third set, but Rafter converted five of his six
break points after that.
Rafter faced just three break points in the match and
lost his serve only once. His serve was broken only
seven times in the seven rounds of the tournament.
It was intense tennis from the start. Late in the first
set, Rafter tumbled to the court for a shot. When a ball-
boy brought over a towel, Rafter dried off the court -
not himself. Philippoussis made a similar dive later in
the match.
Though the two players are not close and didn't speak
to each other most of the summer because of a feud that
began when Philippoussis declined to play on the
Australian Davis Cup team, there was a gentlemanly air
to the match.
When Rafter made bad service tosses and caught the
ball instead of hitting it, he yelled, "Sorry, mate," across
the net.

Rafter's victory gave the Open its second consecutive
repeat champion. Sampras won in 1995-96.
As Australian flags waved in the stands, Rafter cap-
tured his sixth title of the year and improved his record
to 25-2 since Wimbledon.
Rafter appeared to be in trouble just before taking
command of the match. In the fifth game of the third set,
he was up 40-0 but lost three straight points.
He came right back to hold his serve, though, begin-
ning his run of 10 straight games. Included in that run
was a streak of 12 unanswered points in the fourth set.
Philippoussis was trying to join Andre Agassi as the
only unseeded men's champion in U.S. Open history.
Agassi pulled off the feat in 1994.
Philippoussis swept to the final with power, blowing
opponents off the court with 130-mph serves. His shots
even sound different than those of other players - they
have a full-throated "THWACK" that approaches a roar.
But Philippoussis' power was no match for the speed
of Rafter, who has won all three of their career matches.
The second set was the first Rafter has ever lost in their
rivalry.
"I felt I was moving very well on his serve and made
him play tough volleys," Rafter said. "He wasn't getting
as many free points as he's used to"
Davenport kissed
many of the ques-
tions about her
ability goodbye
Saturday when
she defeated
defending cham-
pion Martina
Hingis, 6-3, 7-5.
AP PHOTO

AP PNOTO
Australian Patrick Rafter defeated countryman Mark Philippoussis in four sets yes-
terday to win his second straight U.S. Open singles championship.

ppear
rt's win

NEW YORK (AP) - Lindsay
Davenport had been in tennis' waiting
i a long time.
Touted as one of America's finest
young players after winning the U.S.
Open junior championship in 1992, she
was unable to push past the promise of
her potential.
Except for a couple of doubles
championships, Davenport carried the
label of a Grand Slam also-ran. Then
came a dream summer that ended with
-3, 7-5 victory over defending
c mpion Martina Hingis for the U.S.
Open crown, the title she's always
craved.
"The sight at the end of the tunnel of
winning the Grand Slam was what kept
me going," she said.
For Hingis, it completed a doubles
Grand Slam. She won with Mirjana
Lucic at Australia, then with Novotna
at the French, Wimbledon and U.S.,
becoming only the fourth woman in
ory to complete the sweep.
ntil the Open, Davenport's only
Slam successes had been ,. doubles.
She won the French in 1996 .vith Mary
Joe Fernandez and the U.S. Open last
year with Novotna. Her Olympic gold
medal in 1996 was largely ignored, but
it was a signal she was getting ready to
move into tennis' upper echelon.
Last September, she reached the U.S.
en semifinals for the first time and
r got to semis at the Australian and
French Opens and the quarters at

Wimbledon.
"At the French, everybody criticized
me for playing a bad match in the
semis," she said, recalling a straight-
sets loss to eventual champion Arantxa
Sanchez-Vicario. "I looked at it as
such a positive. I did so well at the
French. I thought I was hitting the ball
well.
"Again at Wimbledon, I thought I
was doing well. Once Wimbledon
ended, I couldn't wait for the hardcourt
season to begin."
She also embarked on a fitness pro-
gram that trimmed 25 pounds and left
her quicker than ever. Even a semifinal
loss to Steffi Graf in an Open tuneup
couldn't diminish her enthusiasm.
She marched through the Open like
a player on a mission, and it paid off.
"The two weeks have been great,"
she said. "I didn't lose a set. I played
great tennis. I don't think I ever really
got down on myself, which has been a
big thing. I was able to really, in my
eyes, act like a champion and really
win the title."
Hingis did not make it easy. With
Davenport up a set and serving for a 5-
2 lead in the second, the world's No. 1
player rallied.
Davenport became the Open's first
American-born women's champion
since Chris Evert in 1982. The signifi-
cance was not lost on the 22-year-old
from Newport Beach, Calif.
"No one's done it in a long time," she
said. "I'm proud to be the first one."

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