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Names In The Game

August 22, 1993

BOSTON (AP) _ Rob Deer isn’t going to win a batting title. But the newest Red Sox promises he’ll provide Boston fans with plenty of thrills.

Deer, who has hit 25 or more homers in a season six times but has struck out once every three at-bats, made good on that promise in his first at-bat for Boston on Sunday with a towering homer to left field.

″I don’t pretend to be a .300 hitter. I’m not going to fight for a batting crown,″ said Deer, traded from the Detroit Tigers on Saturday for a player to be named later. ″But I’m going to excite some people.″

He excited teammate Mo Vaughn, who raised his arms in triumph and bowed several times as Deer’s homer landed high in the screen atop the Green Monster. He also excited fans, who applauded until he waved his batting helmet from the dugout.

″I think this ballpark is going to be good for me,″ Deer said. ″Being a dead pull hitter, it’s going to be conducive to my style of hitting.″

Deer has 220 homers in a major-league career that also has included stops in San Francisco and Milwaukee, but has a batting average of only .221. He has 1,330 strikeouts in 3,689 career at-bats.

″I’m not a savior or anything like that,″ he said. ″But I know there’s things I bring to a ballclub.″

Deer, in the final year of a contract that is paying him $1.9 million this season, said he has no idea where he’ll be playing next year - and is not ready to think that far ahead.

″I’ve got 44 games left this year, and that’s my priority,″ he said.

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DALLAS (AP) - Defensive back Richie Butler will be playing his senior season at Southern Methodist with the blessing of Pope John Paul II.

Butler studied in Rome earlier this summer through the Ford Foundation Incentive Award program.

He was invited to a Mass celebrated by the Pope.

″I had a chance to talk to the Pope briefly, and asked for his blessing for my ministry and athletics career,″ said Butler.

Butler is an ordained Baptist minister.

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SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - Sydney’s Chinese community Sunday held a festival and flag-raising ceremony to show its support for the city’s bid to host the Olympic Games in 2000.

The event was to show the world the Chinese community wanted Sydney to host the Games, and not Beijing, the capital of their homeland, said deputy mayor Henry Tsang.

New South Wales state premier John Fahey, Lord Mayor Frank Sartor and Chinese community officials raised a Sydney-bid flag in Chinatown during the festival.

Sydney and Beijing are competing against Manchester, England; Istanbul, Turkey and Berlin for the right to host the Games. The International Olympic Committee will make its decision in Monte Carlo on Sept.23.

Sydney is home to a number of large ethnic communities, including 300,000 people of Chinese origin.

Fahey said Sydney’s ethnic diversity was one of the strengths of the bid.

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TIRANA, Albania (AP) - Not everyone in Albania is wild about soccer.

Despite free admission for women, only about 4,000 people attended a European Champion’s Cup match between Albanian champion Partizani and Akranis of Iceland. There were 11,000 empty seats at Qemal Stafa stadium.

The teams played a scoreless tie.

The second-round match will be played in Iceland.

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