- The Washington Times - Monday, March 3, 2003

Philadelphia boxing promoter P.J. Augustine, who has helped restore the sport's faded luster in his hometown, will try to work his magic Saturday night when he puts on a card at historic Lincoln Theater on U Street NW. And he might need some magic to make a go of it in these fistically deprived parts.
The main will send area favorite Derrell "Too Sweet" Coley against somebody named Anthony Ivory in an eight-round middleweight affair, but the bout probably won't match the fight Augustine endured to stage it.
P.J.'s preferred site was Howard's University's Crampton Auditorium, which would have been a notable first in the checkered history of local boxing. Augustine said he promised the university $40,000 to help aspiring journalists $30,000 from his pocket and Coley's entire $10,000 purse before he would take a nickel from the proceeds.
After agreeing to the deal, he said, the university reneged and declared Crampton unavailable, despite the proposed windfall. Steve Johnson, who runs the facility, did not return calls from The Washington Times requesting an explanation, but Augustine suspects that D.C. Boxing Commission member Michael Brown interceded because rival promoter Jeffrey Jackson has a card scheduled in the city March15 and did not want the competition.
The commission's first hearing on Augustine's request to put on his card was something of a farce. With member Mabel Boatwright hospitalized, the two remaining members split 1-1, and the request was denied. When chairman Arnold McKnight ordered a subsequent vote with Boatwright present, Augustine's card was approved.
It remains to be seen whether the latest in a l-o-o-n-g series of mostly hit-and-run promoters can make a go of it in D.C., but Augustine has impressive credentials. Only 33, he owns a successful towing business in Philly and plans to stage nine fight cards there this year, plus the one here and a couple in North Carolina. All this comes less than a year after he got into the sport.
Like most people in boxing, Augustine isn't exactly shy. He says he began promoting because fighters in Philadelphia "truly need and desire someone of my caliber to come in and save them, almost like Moses did. They need me to part the Delaware River and let my people free."
And while he's at it, why not the Potomac?
Emmitt as a Redskin?
Here's a suggestion for Dan Snyder, who undoubtedly will be delighted to receive it: Why not sign Emmitt Smith for next season?
I don't know if the Dallas Cowboys' old warhorse would be able to help the Redskins at 34, but his presence in burgundy and gold probably would drive Jerry Jones nuts, if he isn't already. And remember that George Allen's Redskins got a couple years out of Calvin Hill (1976 and '77) after he left the Cowboys.
Dan, baby, go for it.
Charlie Brown's moment
Considering that the Pittsburgh Pirates have suffered 10 straight losing campaigns, one of their six bobblehead giveaways this season seems highly appropriate.
Good grief it's none other than good, ol' wishy-washy Charlie Brown, the immortal "Peanuts" character created by the late Charles M. Schulz, who was winless lifetime going back to the comic strip's beginnings in 1950.
Other bobbleheads to be handed out at PNC Park include those of legendary Pirates broadcaster Bob Prince and hometown Negro League star Josh Gibson. Unfortunately, perhaps, they knew what success was between the white lines.
A real hot dog
You might say the career of star sprinter Gail Devers is going to the dogs. Literally.
Devers is attracting a lot of attention with her new training partner, a 7-pound Pomeranian named Kaleb. Devers, who has won four world titles outdoors and two indoors, takes the dog with her everywhere, including to the track in the Northridge section of Los Angeles, where she's been working out.
Kaleb lines up behind or next to her and starts running when he hears the starting gun or "go!" signal. Of course, he's not long on patience. Says Devers: "If you take too long, he'll start barking."
Since Devers decided to become her own coach, Kaleb has been her only company at the track. At home, he has filled in for Devers' three Rottweilers who died within a few months in 2001.
And might Kaleb someday beat his mistress under competitive circumstances? Well, they say every dog has his day …
Recalling Ted
Springfield author John B. Holway is considered the premier literary historian of Negro League baseball, but he doesn't limit himself. Holway expects to publish his 11th book this spring when an updated version of "The Last .400 Hitter," his 1991 tome on Ted Williams, hits bookstores.
No, Holway says, he won't deal with Williams' death last season and the subsequent furor concerning his son's desire to have his remains cryogenically frozen. Instead, the book will concentrate on Teddy Ballgame's .406 batting average of 1941, a feat nobody has approached since.
Well known by students of baseball lore is how Williams entered the final day batting .3996 technically a .400 average and was given a chance by Boston Red Sox manager Joe Cronin to sit out a doubleheader against Philadelphia.
T. Ballgame snorted at the idea, played both games and went 6-for-8. Of course.
Eminently quotable
Retired manager Whitey Herzog, on his chances of getting into the Hall of Fame after failing to be selected by the Veterans Committee: "I could get in, I guess, if I came back to managing. But I hope the Lord doesn't need a manager up there yet."

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