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Right Name, Wrong Number
Rick Reilly
April 27, 1998
Dennis Rodman is sleeping with a truck driver.
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April 27, 1998

Right Name, Wrong Number

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"Great!" said the clerk. "I've upgraded you to a suite! No charge!" Larry Mize got that suite the rest of the year.

There are people all over the U.S. whose lives have been altered because of what some stranger can do with a ball or a sand wedge or a pair of figure skates. According to one Internet source, there are more than 200 Jerry Rices, 109 John Stocktons, 61 Willie Mayses and 11 Orville Moodys. There's a Herschel Walker in Savannah, a Richard Petty in Valdosta, Ga., and a Bobby Thomson in Wachtung, N.J. Oops, that's the Bobby Thomson. He's actually in the book, as are Bobby Bowden, Mark Fidrych and Byron Nelson.

For the average Joe ( Montana), sharing a name with a celeb gives him a dollop of power that he otherwise wouldn't taste. Take George Steinbrenner. He runs a lawn and garden equipment company in Stafford, N.Y., but he gets a lot of mail for a certain famous despot. The other day he received a letter from a very sincere woman who said her father's dying wish was to have his ashes sprinkled in centerfield at Yankee Stadium. Could Mr. Steinbrenner find it in his heart to grant her this small favor?

George Steinbrenner thought about it for a half minute, called her up and told her, "All you do is wander out into the stadium any off day, wait for a wind blowing toward home plate, take your father's ashes, throw them up in the air and go, 'Adios, Dad!' " The woman, half grateful, half stupefied, said thanks and hung up.

Hey, George, think you can get us a new stadium?

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