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Part 3: Six Degrees
of Al Martin

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Hey, kids! Thanks to sports, it's a small world after all. Look how easily sports can connect two completely unrelated people!

Six Degrees of Separation

Al Martin
According to his press guide bios dating to when he played for the Pirates, Seattle left fielder Al Martin played football at USC. He also told a Seattle columnist this summer about getting his bell rung while trying to tackle Michigan running back Leroy Hoard. Martin, who also was married to two women at the same time, never played football at USC.
  While Martin was with Pittsburgh in 1998-99, the Pirates played spring training games against the Blue Jays, then managed by Tim Johnson. Johnson was fired in mid-March 1999 after the club learned he fabricated battle stories about fighting with the Marines during the Vietnam War. Johnson spent the war serving in a stateside reserve unit. Tim Johnson
Shaquille O'Neal The Blue Jays used to share SkyDome with the NBA's Raptors, and Shaquille O'Neal had several good nights inside the Dome. He also claimed on a radio show this spring to have had a good night with Venus Williams, Cindy Crawford and the recently departed Aaliyah. He later had to apologize, admitting he didn't sleep with any of the three women.  
  Shaq had a cameo performance on the Grammy-award winning "Q's Juke Joint" album produced by Quincy Jones. Another Grammy winner was the duo, Milli Vanilli, who won the award for best new artists in 1990, prompting Rob Pilatus (Milli? Vanilli?) to tell Time magazine that his group contributed more to pop music than McCartney, Dylan and Jagger. Unfortunately, the two had to return the award after it was revealed that they did not sing any of their songs, instead dubbing in the voices of others. Said Pilatus (Vanilli? Milli?): "We sold our souls to the devil."
Buggles The Devil is one of the many popular (annoying?) characters portrayed by Jon Lovitz during his days on "Saturday Night Live," but not as famous as The Liar. That character was a pathological liar who constantly made up stories and created the national catchphrase, "Yeah ... that's the ticket."  
Lovitz also appeared as a scout in the wonderful 1992 baseball movie, "A League of Their Own." Twelve-year-old Danny Almonte of the Bronx was in a league of his own last week when he pitched the first perfect game in the Little League World Series since 1957 (he allowed only one run all season). But reporters and investigators have discovered two documents showing he is really 14. His family denies it, insisting Danny is really 12.

How old is Almonte? Martin says he's 34 because he played football with him at USC. Johnson says he's 53 because he fought with him at Khe Sahn. O'Neal says he's 31, because they double-dated with Venus and Serena Williams. Fabrice Morvan, the only surviving member of Milli Vanilli, says he's 33, because Almonte opened for the band in 1989 at Budokan. And Lovitz says he's not only 35, he's also a woman, because he was in the cast of "A League of Their Own."

Yeah ... that's the ticket.

Jim Caple is a senior writer for

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