25 Years Ago in Bonac Sports 08.18.11

August 7, 1986
    This season, Howard Wood, who does his own salary negotiating now, and who has “played every position except guard,” returns to Spain’s “A” professional basketball league, with Valencia.
    “The directors at Burgos fed me a lot of lies — they still owe me quite a bit of money,” he said without bitterness during a stroll on Newtown Lane the other day. “They’d say, ‘Howard, you’re the American so you must score 40 points and get 20 rebounds.’ I said I would if they’d pay me on time.”
    He noted in this connection that he had had a 49-point game last season, and had scored a career-high 56 points in a tournament in Italy.
    “. . . At least I know that with Valencia I’ll get paid,” he said with a laugh. “The team’s sponsored by a bank.”

    Rob Nicoletti of Ecker Insurance leads the East Hampton Town men’s slow-pitch softball league in home runs, with 10.

August 14, 1986
    When it comes to name recognition the Writers have already won the annual Artists-Writers Game that is to be played Saturday afternoon at East Hampton’s Herrick Park for the benefit of the East Hampton Day Care Center.
    Managed by Ken Auletta, a nonfiction writer and newspaper columnist, the Writers boast a lineup of heavy hitters in the literary field such as John Irving, George Plimpton, Peter Maas, Avery Corman, and Bruce Jay Friedman, not to mention journalism’s equivalent of Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance — Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward, and Ben Bradlee.

August 21, 1986
    Mike DePalmer Sr., who coached Paul Annacone at the University of Tennessee, and who gave a clinic with the 23-year-old touring pro at the Bridgehampton Tennis and Surf Club throughout last week, said, “If they [the clinic-takers] left with improved footwork and with a better general knowledge of the game, we accomplished what we set out to do.”
    “It was excellent — very enjoyable,” said one of the enrollees, Ken Ferrin, who plays at the East Hampton Tennis Club. But one couldn’t be expected to vastly improve one’s game in such a brief period, he added. “Tennis isn’t easy,” said Ferrin. “If you took piano lessons for a week, would you expect to play well enough to give a concert?”

    John Scanlon, the emcee of the Artists-Writers Game, outscored both teams with his wry remarks. When Ben Bradlee, editor of The Washington Post, strode to the plate, Scanlon said something to the effect that “he’s played football with the Kennedys, golf with President Ford, hackey sack with President Carter, and he’s been playing softball with the Reagan administration for the past six years.”
    “Up for the Writers now is John Paul Newport of Fortune magazine,” Scanlon said at another point. “Newport was the most valuable player last year in the Sag Harbor Saturday morning softball game. He’s from Texas, a country boy. It took him five years to find out that Hanukkah wasn’t a duck call.”

August 28, 1986
    The name of Paul Annacone, not heretofore a household word, echoed around the nation Tuesday night and Wednesday morning in the wake of his first-round 1-6, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 upset on Tuesday afternoon of John McEnroe in the United States Open tennis tournament.
    It was the first time that McEnroe, a four-time Open champion attempting a comeback after a seven-month layoff, has been put out of the tournament so early, and the first time since 1969 that the preceding year’s finalist had been unseated in the Open’s opener.
    . . . It was his son’s “biggest win so far,” agreed Paul’s father, Dominic, who added that “McEnroe is perhaps the greatest player of all time.”

    The Hampton Classic, now North America’s largest hunter-jumper show, which 10 years ago was hit by a hurricane, and which four years ago was assaulted by a tornado the week before it opened, got off to another shaky start on Sunday as horses and ponies, apparently unnerved by gusty winds that swept over the 60-acre site, refused, bucked, and in one case ran wild. A dozen or so young riders were dumped, one reportedly suffering a broken arm and dislocated shoulder.