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BOB RIEF has been named GM of Nike Golf. His background includes stints with Karhu, Raichle and Nordica, and was most recently GM of Karhu's outdoor division....CHRIS MCGINLEY has been named golf club product marketing manager and DENNIS ALLEN was named product manager for golf balls at Titleist and Foot-Joy Worldwide (GOLF WORLD, 9/15 issue).
MARV ALBERT paid a visit to David Letterman last night. With the help of the Jets' NICK LOWERY and DON SILVESTRI, Albert and Letterman kicked footballs into the audience. Letterman to Albert: "You kick like a girl" ("Late Show," CBS, 9/20)....DENNIS RODMAN made his acting debut as a guest star on the CBS series "Courthouse" last night ("Extra," 9/20)....LORI HAMAMOTO has been named Dir of Media Services for the Knicks (SportsTicker)....DIEGO MARADONA has announced the launch of an int'l soccer players' union to promote and safeguard players' rights (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 9/19)....Redskin DARRELL GREEN's Youth Life Foundation will help pilot the National Children's Environmental Education Program which kicks off September 26 in Washington, DC (Youth Life Foundation).
Walter Haas, Jr., the patriarch of the family that owned Levi Strauss & Co. and the Managing Partner of the A's since buying the team from Charlie Finley in '80, died yesterday of cancer at the age of 79. Haas, whose family has the sold the team as of November 1, was honored at the Oakland Coliseum Sunday even though he couldn't attend. His family was given a standing ovation and his name was installed on the outfield fence. A's star Mark McGwire called Haas the "nicest man who has ever been put on this earth." In San Francisco, columnist C.W. Nevius writes, "The death of Walter A. Haas yesterday leaves the world of sports one gentleman short, and there are no good prospects in the farm system. ... My guess is that [Hass] was the last of a breed, the beloved owner" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/21).