- The Washington Times - Monday, April 8, 2002

There will be a permanent sports exhibit honoring the greats and near-greats of D.C. jockdom, and it should be something to see.
Frank Ceresi, formerly director of the National Sports Gallery at MCI Center, is curator of the sports exhibit, along with Carol McMains, through their FC Associates firm in Alexandria. The project has just begun, but Ceresi would like to hear from anyone who has something to contribute.
"We're just throwing an artifacts fishing line out there," said Ceresi, who can be reached at 703/717-0559. "If anyone has photos or any other memorabilia they'd be willing to donate or loan us, we'd like to hear from them."
Ceresi is handling the project under the auspices of the Historical Society of Washington. He hopes to videotape interviews with prominent Washington sports figures people like Red Auerbach , John Thompson , Morgan Wootten , Willie Wood and long-time tennis player and coach Allie Ritzenberg .
Ceresi's exhibit will occupy 2,000 square feet in the City Museum, which will be located in the restored Carnegie Library at Mount Vernon Square. It's sure to be a winner for anyone interested in local sports of yesteryear often an overlooked field.

Thompson still silent
I hate to write this, but for the third straight season Hall of Fame broadcaster Chuck Thompson will do no radio play-by-play for the Baltimore Orioles. That still leaves two excellent announcers in Jim Hunter and Fred Manfra, but Chuck's absence is a big, fat minus for baseball fans in the Washington-Baltimore region.
Thompson, who is pushing 80 pretty hard, has suffered for two years from macular degeneration an ailment not uncommon among senior citizens that causes capillaries and veins to break in the eyes and fill them with blood. He can do most things fine, but describing ballgames from a distance is not one of them.
As Thompson left the field at Camden Yards after participating in Opening Day ceremonies last Monday, a fan inquired, "Hey, Chuck, ya gonna be doing any play-by-play this season?"
Thompson, an extremely positive thinker who usually sees the glass as half-full, shook his head ruefully. "Not with these eyes," he said.
Although he presumably will be available to do some commentary on the broadcasts, Chuck's distinctive voice will ring only in our memories when action commences. Too bad. Very few broadcasters have matched him in baseball's 80-odd years on the air and nobody else has ever said, "Go to war, Miss Agnes!"

Ye of little faith
If you're uncertain about the power of prayer, you might want to keep an eye on the American League Central standings. About 30 fans gathered at St. John's Episcopal Church in Detroit the other night to pray for the Tigers, with the Rev. Steven Kelly leading the congregation.
Not to leave anybody out, the faithful prayed for everyone from the players to the grounds crew. The Tigers were 66-96 in 2001 and haven't had a winning season since 1993.
"They need all the help they can get," said St. John's Greg Oates , a long-time church member. "Fans should come through here before every game and pray. Maybe we should do it for the Lions, too."
Immediate results, however, might make the believers question their faith. After the prayer session, the Tigers lost again, dropping their record to 0-4.

The envelope, please
Golfer Tiger Woods, cyclist Lance Armstrong and sprinter Maurice Green of the United States have been nominated for the World Sportsman of the Year Award given by the Laureus Foundation. Also nominated were auto racing driver Michael Schumacher of Germany and swimmer Ian Thorpe of Australia.
Nominees as Sportswoman of the Year include tennis players Jennifer Capriati and Venus Williams and pole vaulter Stacy Dragila of the United States, golfer Annika Sorenstam of Sweden and swimmer Inge de Bruijn of the Netherlands.
The Laureus Foundation funds and promotes sports as a tool for social change around the world. Award winners in numerous categories will be announced May 14 in Monaco.

A really great day
Quickie trivia quiz: What monumental event in Washington sports history occurred 38 years ago last week, on April 1, 1964? (Answer in five words.)
You don't know? That means you're either too young or too old
Norman Snead for Sonny Jurgensen.

Eminently quotable
Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams, on his persona: "I hope I don't change. I just respect the business of coaching too much to say that I can ease off a little bit now that we have won the national championship."
Golfer Chi Chi Rodriguez , on the Senior Tour: "We are a show tour we put on a show for the fans. When you do that, you've got to smile. But when you shoot 75 or 77, well, it's hard to make a monkey grin without giving him a banana."
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, on opening the season Sept. 9 at new CMGi Field against the team New England defeated for the AFC championship, the Pittsburgh Steelers: "I get chills thinking about it. This place is going to be rocking."
Former Washington Redskins defensive end Dexter Manley, on being sentenced in Houston for evidence tampering after he was convicted on March 20 of swallowing cocaine during a January 2001 drug bust and failing to show up for a court-ordered meeting after his conviction: "It was a great mistake I made [in not showing up]. If I had to do it all over again I would not do the same thing. I would adhere to what the judge asked me to do."

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