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July 25, 1997

Baseball reports losses of $185 million in 1996

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NEW YORK (AP) - Baseball owners, while still losing money, are losing a
lot less than they did in the immediate aftermath of the 1994-95 strike.

The 28 teams lost approximately $185 million last year, the first full
season after the strike, according to data obtained by The Associated
Press. That raised the losses to $875 million over a three-year period.

But the 1996 bottom line was the best since before the 232-day player
strike, with last year's loss nearly half that of the 1995 season.

In 1993, the last full season before the strike, the teams combined for
an operating profit of $36 million on record operating revenue of $1.87
billion. The following year, when the World Series was wiped out for the
first time since 1904, the teams had an operating loss of $363.8 million
on revenue of $1.21 billion.

In the 1995 season, shortened by three weeks because of the strike, the
teams combined for a loss $326.3 million on revenue of $1.38 billion,
according to final figures recently given to teams by the commissioner's

Revenue rebounded to $1.67 billion last year, according to preliminary
figures, but expenses rose to a record $1.85 billion.

If the strike hadn't occurred, revenue probably would have topped $2
billion in 1996 based on past performance.

Players, in comparison, came out relatively well following the strike,
losing about $333 million in salaries and bonuses. Their average salary,
$1.17 million at the end of the 1994 season, finally surpassed its
prestrike level, increasing to $1.38 million on opening day this year.

While salaries are up again this year, so is attendance, increasing 4.9
percent in the first 16 weeks of the season to an average of 27,807.
Following the strike, the average dropped 20 percent, from 31,612 in
1994 to 25,260 in 1995.

Baseball's 1997 revenue also will be helped by a 7.1 percent rise in the
average ticket price to a record $11.98.

Figures used by the owners do not include expansion fees, which are
considered income from the sale of a capital asset. They also do not
include depreciation or interest received and paid.

Data was provided by a management source on the condition he not be identified.

Ventura's return to Sox adds to Rangers' pain

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AP Sports Writer

CHICAGO - During long hours of rehabilitation, when depression would
sometimes join pain and monotony, Robin Ventura would look ahead to the
day he would rejoin the Chicago White Sox.

Just to put on a uniform would be a treat. To be in a major league
lineup would be something he'd savor. He promised himself, after a
grotesque ankle injury threatened his career, that he would have fun.

No way, however, could Ventura have scripted a more dramatic return to
the big leagues than the one he enjoyed the one he orchestrated Thursday

He received ovations from fans and handshakes and back pats from
umpires and adversaries alike.

And then he delivered a game-winning double in the eighth inning, his
first hit of the season, to give the White Sox a 2-1 win over the Texas

``I definitely think this is one I'll remember,'' Ventura said after
tossing his cap into the stands in a rare display of emotion as he was
congratulated by jubilant teammates.

``Just to be able to play again when you get something taken away you
love to do and to be able to come back and do it before they expect you
to do it is special,'' he said.

``It was just enjoyable to be on the field and contribute.''

Ventura received a loud standing ovation when he came to bat in the
first inning and waved to the crowd before stepping into the box.

Ventura got a pat on the back from third base umpire Rich Garcia when
he took his position to start the game, along with a handshake from
Rangers third base coach Jerry Narron.

When Ventura batted in the first inning, he got a handshake from Texas
catcher Ivan Rodriguez.

Matt Karchner (3-0) got the victory despite giving up a game-tying solo
homer to Dean Palmer in the eighth, keeping Doug Drabek from getting a
win after he allowed just two hits in seven innings. Roberto Hernandez pitched the ninth for his 26th save.

Irvin tossed endorsement thanks to Aikman's help

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DALLAS (AP) - Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin has a new endorsement
deal with a sports apparel company, thanks to quarterback Troy Aikman.

Irvin will endorse products of Logo Athletic.

Irvin had lost several lucrative endorsement deals following his no
contest plea last April to a cocaine possession charge and his
subsequent five-game suspension by the National Football League.

He also was the target of a murder-for-hire plot and was accused of
sexual assault by a topless dancer who later recanted the accusation.

Terms of the endorsement agreement have not been announced.

It was announced on Thursday, one day after it was disclosed that Irvin
and teammate Erik Williams settled a lawsuit they filed against KXAS-TV,
a Dallas-area television station.

The station settled for $1.1 million each in connection with the
station's coverage of the sexual assault allegations.

``I view the Logo Athletic deal as a sign that some people are telling
me they believe in people. They're saying they believe things happen in
life and things go wrong off the field but that some companies will
still take a chance on you, and I truly appreciate it,'' Irvin said.

``When things get better, you look back and see that first company that
stepped back with you, and you'll remember them just like I remember
Nike for sticking with me.''

Aikman, one of the leading spokesmen for Logo Athletic, is involved in
the company's advertising and marketing.

Aikman declined to comment on Irvin's deal with the company.

The Dallas quarterback also has personal relationships with several of
the company's top officials, said Eddie White, a spokesman for Logo

``Troy Aikman means a lot to this company, and when he talks, we
listen,'' White said. ``Troy said he had a friend who was looking for
something, and we decided to look into the situation.''

``Michael Irvin is one of the greatest receivers in football, and
between the white lines, he has been a great competitor,'' White added.

Irvin acknowledged getting some help from Aikman.

``Troy had a lot to do with this, and I've thanked him and told him that
I appreciate it,'' Irvin told The Dallas Morning News.

Pecos Enterprise
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP Materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use. The AP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing.

Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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