Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Morning Briefing Eye Openers

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Morning Briefing Eye Openers

Article excerpt

JOHN KRUK, alias The Krukster, was quite a hit Thursday night on "Late Show with DAVID LETTERMAN."

Kruk, the Philadelphia Phillies' slugger who is aerobically challenged, had the host howling with deadpan humor aimed at his own corpulent self.

Kruk narrated the epic tale of the time he was at first base against the Colorado Rockies in the thin air at Mile High Stadium in Denver:

"There's no air, a 3-2 count, two outs, I gotta run," Kruk said.

DAVE HOLLINS fouled off several pitches, with Kruk huffing and puffing on every one. Finally, Kruk turned to the first-base coach, "and I tell him I'm not running no more. Guy tells me I have to."

Letterman intervened to advise Little League viewers to pay attention: "Apparently you don't have to run if you don't want to."

The tale continues with Hollins getting a hit that propels Kruk all the way to home plate, which he approaches with a slide.

"I got no momentum," Kruk said, "so I kind of stick. DARREN DAULTON had to pick me up and help me into the dugout."

"That's an inspirational story," Letterman says.

***** Krukster, Part II: Dapper as always, the unshaven Kruk showed up in battered blue jeans, a black Steely Dan T-shirt and a baseball cap. As he sprawled in the guest chair, Letterman greeted him by saying, "Thanks for fixing yourself up."

Who says baseball needs help marketing its stars?

*****

It's the pro football version of "Phantom of the Opera."

ACE CACCHIOTTI lives at NFL Films in Mount Laurel, N.J.

His bedroom is the film vault. He sleeps on a cot amid more than 40,000 reels of game films from the 1920s to the present.

Cacchiotti, 40, is a former jewelry salesman who grew up in Providence, R.I., rooting for the New York Giants. He became director of archives in 1989 at NFL Films.

"My bed is in the aisle with the 1950s," he told Knight Ridder Newspapers. …

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