SBJ/July 17 - 23, 2006/Faces Places

Inside out

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan met with Bill Russell, Dikembe Mutombo, Jerome Williams and Samuel Dalembert as NBA players get behind UNICEF. Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, LeBron James, Pau Gasol, Yao Ming, Andrei Kirilenko and Elton Brand filmed a global PSA. Annan had helped Mutombo establish a Congo hospital. Also, Sudanese native Luol Deng filmed a World Food Program PSA. More than 190 NBA players are traveling this offseason for causes such as Basketball Without Borders. … Jim Cain, former president of the Stanley Cup-winning Carolina Hurricanes, flew to Raleigh for Game 7. As President Bush’s ambassador to Denmark, he hosted an Independence Day celebration of American sports in Copenhagen, which included LPGA Commissioner Carolyn Bivens, Dan Morgan, Morten Andersen and George Gervin.

Bryan Cave partner Norm Samnick, who was remembered in the New York Cosmos documentary “Once in a Lifetime,” said Warner Communications boss Steve Ross one night in 1975 ordered him to Brazil to sign Pele. “I got a passport, tickets and was on the plane in five hours.” The Warner SVP also signed Franz Beckenbauer, head of Germany’s World Cup host committee, and Giorgio Chinaglia. … Leland’s auctioned off Chinaglia’s Cosmos jersey with “faint blood stains” for $2,000. “It’s so nice that people are this interested,” said the team’s all-time leading scorer.

David Kohler, who as president and CEO of SCP Auctions sells high-end sports memorabilia, claims to have the “biggest personal collection for one franchise.” He has been collecting Lakers memorabilia since he was in high school 26 years ago. His prize possession: George Mikan’s Minneapolis Lakers rookie jersey. … Geppi’s Memorabilia Road Show’s auction of Phil Rizzuto stuff will include the platinum record he received for his background play-by-play on Meat Loaf’s “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” a song about a couple making love in a car with the radio tuned to Rizzuto’s call of a Yankees game. … Diamondbacks outfielder Luis Gonzalez bought No. 20 of 200 limited-edition sets of Don Marquess’ baseball photographs selling for $2,500. Gonzo’s uniform number is 20. … Olympic gold medalist Shaun “The Flying Tomato” White, who traded his snowboard for a skateboard on the Dew Action Sports Tour, will do a private signing of 400 items for Grandstand Sports & Memorabilia, according to founder Howard Schwartz, who previously has had exclusive signing deals with Sarah Hughes and the 1980 U.S. hockey team. … Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney recently honored the ’72 team, the only U.S. hockey team to win an Olympic medal on foreign soil in the last 50 years. Jerry Caraccioli, who wrote “Striking Silver” with his twin, Tom, said Romney was “recognizing local boys who done good.”

Kohler’s collection gets ink (above);
Gonzalez buys into Marquess’ art.
Kathy Schloessman did it again. She put together an all-star lineup, including Reggie Bush and Amy Trask, for NFL 101 and 201. The L.A. Sports and Entertainment president also signed Andrea Kremer, Willie McGinest, Rodney Peete, Sean Salisbury and Rod Woodson for the July 13 event. Mike Pereira, NFL senior director of officiating, was to set up a complete replay station. … Patriots alums Russ Francis, Pete Brock, Garin Veris and Troy Barnett taught football at Boston English High School to 100 sixth- through eighth-graders.

Pro volleyball’s Mike Lambert chatted up SI swimsuit model Michelle Lombardo at a Nautica/Sports Illustrated bash in Hermosa Beach. Lombardo plays Adam Sandler’s mistress in the comedy “Click.” Misty May, Dax Holdren, Eric Fonoimoana and swimsuit model Marisa Miller were also at the party. … Rachel Wacholder, Elaine Youngs and Liz Masakayan will host volleyball clinics for kids as Hilton Hotels sponsors hospitality on the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour.

Nautica/SI partyers (from left): Lombardo,
Fonoimoana, Holdren, May, Miller and Lambert.
After Ravens President Dick Cass donated a kidney in Boston to a longtime friend from law school, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti told the Baltimore Sun: “It wasn’t his brother. It was a friend. You have to ask yourself, ‘How good a friend would it have to be to give up a kidney?’” … Former NL President Bill White and Marty Appel eulogized former umpire Eric Gregg, who died of a stroke at 55 after a lifetime battle with obesity. Phillies owner Bill Giles and former umps Bruce Froemming and Terry Tata attended the funeral. … Jon Heyman, formerly of Newsday, will write a baseball column for SI.

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

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