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SBD/April 1, 2014/People and Pop Culture
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Published April 1, 2014
CAVE DWELLER: Merrimack College Dir of New Media BEN BARKER "left his job" after he beat out "some 20,000 other baseball fanatics" to spend six months in the MLB Fan Cave in N.Y., where he will watch all 2,430 MLB games this season. Barker said, "When I told my boss, the athletic director at Merrimack, that I applied, he said to me, 'Just promise me one thing, if you get it, you'll take it.' That was really great." Barker's girlfriend, current Miss New Hampshire SAMANTHA RUSSO, was "very understanding," as she also "applied to be a Dweller" in the cave (BOSTON HERALD, 4/1).
NAMES: A dozen Seahawks and MLS Sounders players yesterday "paid a visit to a community center close to the fatal Washington mudslide." They were met in Darrington, Wash., by "a crowd of more than 300 children, parents and other area residents." Players "signed autographs, tossed footballs and kicked soccer balls in an effort to bring some smiles to an area hit by tragedy" (AP, 3/31)....Baseball HOFers HANK AARON, NOLAN RYAN, TOM SEAVER, PHIL NIEKRO and HOYT WILHELM have been selected to the inaugural class of the Baseball Legends of Jacksonville. Double-A Southern League Jacksonville Suns Owner PETER BRAGAN JR. made the selections (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 4/1)....Spurs coach GREGG POPOVICH is "among the donors to the multimillion-dollar fundraising campaign that will renovate Butler's 86-year-old Hinkle Fieldhouse" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 4/1)....ESPN boxing analyst TEDDY ATLAS was honored Sunday at the third annual New York State Boxing HOF induction ceremony and awards dinner in N.Y. (ESPN)....Former Phoenix Int'l Raceway Owner BUDDY JOBE will be inducted into the Arizona Sports HOF on April 16 (PHOENIX BUSINESS JOURNAL, 3/28 issue)....Lions QB MATTHEW STAFFORD "recently got engaged to his longtime girlfriend, KELLY HALL" (FREEP.com, 3/31).