SBJ/March 20 - 26, 2006/Faces Places

Inside out

Kristin Ianiero left her job at PR firm MWW Group for romance. When she was working the Torino Games for Bank of America, she told it this way: “My boyfriend, Nick Adams, scheduled a Feb. 16 visit, but he came on the 14th. I was getting ready for dinner out after a long day’s work when he called to me. He was on the veranda among plants and flowers. The Torino vista was magnificent; the sky was filled with stars. Music wafted in from the Swiss Hospitality House next door. Nick was waiting with six red roses. After a wonderful speech, he proposed. In Italy; on Valentine’s Day! Later we had a romantic dinner of homemade pasta and wine. We walked along Via Po and Via Roma taking pictures and enjoying our special day.” Adams is a Charlotte schoolteacher; Kristin left Jersey to be with him.

Stair master: Global Crossing CEO John Legere ran
to the top of the Empire State Building in 17:10.
Brian France has taken a stake in Charlotte, too. The NASCAR CEO bought a home in the prestigious Myers Park section shortly before the Hall of Fame was awarded to the city. France also has homes in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Los Angeles.

Actor Rob Schneider got batting lessons from Willie Mays and Barry Bonds, drilled a couple of shots into the outfield, took infield and ran bases with the Giants while filming “Benchwarmers,” an ESPN2 special also starring David Spade and Jon Lovitz set for April 2, directly after the season opener.

Ron Blomberg, the first designated hitter in baseball history and the first prominent Jewish Yankee, wrote “Designated Hebrew: The Ron Blomberg Story” (Sports Publishing), co-written by Dan Schlossberg. Former Yankee PR director Marty Appel wrote the foreword. … We are living in “a Golden Age” for Jewish baseball players, according to Shel Waxman and Ephraim Moxon of the Jewish Sports Review. Between 1982 and 1989 there was only one Jewish MLB player, Mark Gilbert of the White Sox. In 2005, Brad Ausmus, Craig Breslow, Scott Feldman, John Grabow, Shawn Green, Adam Greenberg, Al Levine, Mike Lieberthal, Jason Marquis and Scott Schoeneweis played. Gabe Kapler, Kevin Youkilis and Adam Stern were in the same Red Sox lineup. … Jewish Major Leaguers, the company that issued a card set of 142 Jewish players two years ago, updated it with 55 new cards, including Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss (pioneer of the modern World Series), Max Patkin, Mel Allen, Bud Selig, Marvin Miller and Donald Fehr. … MSG broadcaster Spencer Ross has been calling games for 40 years, but this year he recorded a first. He interviewed two Jewish coaches on the same pregame show, Lawrence Frank (Nets) and Larry Brown (Knicks).

Columnist Maria Sharapova supplied Smash
Magazine with a photo from her 18th birthday.
Hoops: Memphis friends of Grizzlies Antonio Burks and Lorenzen Wright won Oscars for best song, “It’s Hard Out There for a Pimp.” Paul “DJ Paul” Beauregard and Jordan “Juicy J” Houston are members of Three 6 Mafia and Grizzlies season-ticket holders. … Four little men missed 8 of 12 dunks in the “Little Big Man Slam Dunk” contest at halftime of a Knicks-Grizzlies game in Memphis. Spud Webb judged; 5-foot-9 Keith Hardaway won … The entire team showed up at Chelsea Piers for “Knicks Bowl Seven” along with alumni, announcers and celebrities Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child, actress Chloe Sevigny, comedian Steve Harvey and SI swimsuit models Petra Nemcova, Anne V, Yamila Diaz and Aline Nakashima. “The Flying Tomato,” Shaun White, showed off his gold medal. The 200 grand raised goes to New York children via the Red Holzman Foundation. … Williams, who teamed up with fellow Chicago natives Quentin Richardson and Eddy Curry for three straight spares, recently bought a minority share in the Chicago Sky, the WNBA’s newest franchise. … Hoops brings out the stars: Spike Lee and Woody Allen were joined at a Knicks-Sacramento game by Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof, and Ashanti, Vivica A. Fox and Star Jones. At Cameron Indoor Stadium for Duke-UNC, J.J. Redick’s final home game: David Falk, Cal Ripken Jr., Lovie Smith, Bruce Hornsby, James Carville and Al Hunt. Also the Pump Brothers. Who? Dana and David Pump run the Double Pump youth basketball program in California, are frontmen for Adidas’ grassroots program and are liaisons between coaches and Final Four ticket brokers. … Grammy-winning lyricist and Linkin Park producer Mike Shinoda is a UCLA fan, but he told CSTV “#1 College Sports Show” host Michelle Beadle that his bracket picks Villanova.

Round the horn: No ghostwriter for Maria Sharapova. She is a columnist for Smash, a new youth tennis magazine. For the first regular issue, she dug through her photo albums for shots of her visits to the Great Wall, the Louvre and Red Square. In the most personal shot she’s cutting her 18th birthday cake last April in Valencia, Spain. To the surprise of editor James Martin, “She even wrote the captions.” … It took Global Crossing CEO John Legere 17 minutes, 10 seconds to run up the 86 floors of the Empire State Building. He finished 87th in the annual run-up. German winner Thomas Dold finished in 10:19.

John Genzale can be reached at johngenzale@gmail.com.

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