Nolan Ryan May Make A Pitch For Votes

Posted: September 14, 1989

Nolan Ryan, baseball's greatest strikeout artist, disclosed yesterday that he's considering a run next year for Texas agriculture commissioner while continuing to pitch for the Texas Rangers. The pitcher, who first talked about seeking public office in 1985, said he was asked to run last week by the 350,000-member Texas Farm Bureau, the state's most influential agricultural group. The bureau opposes the current commissioner, Democrat Jim Hightower, whom it sees as too pro-consumer. Ryan, who owns a ranch in Allen, Texas, campaigned for President Bush last year. A Hightower spokesman said that although his man "has never had to face Ryan's fastball . . . Ryan has never faced Texas hardball politics." A Rangers spokesman said the team would have no problem if its star decided to run for the agriculture job. "I don't think there's a guy on the team who knows what that position is anyway," he said.

HERE AND ABOUT

Grammy award-winning gospel singers James Cleveland and Tramaine Hawkins will perform at the Civic Center at 6 p.m. Sept. 23. Tickets are $10 to $25.

Jessica Savitch will have scholarships established in her memory at Temple, Penn and her alma mater, Ithaca College in New York. The $150,000 endowment at each school has been established by family and friends of the late KYW-TV and NBC newscaster, to help undergraduates pursuing careers in broadcast journalism.

MARKINGS

Joe Namath's is still the most expensive football card at $900, but the second most pricey ($300), according to the New York Daily News, is the 1960 card of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Jack Kemp, who once quarterbacked for the Buffalo Bills. "If he's ever elected president, the price of his card will go through the roof," said Football Monthly's John DellaFera, who watches card sales.

TV bandleader Paul Shaffer will assume John Belushi's part when he joins Dan Aykroyd tomorrow in Memphis for a Blues Brothers jam at the groundbreaking for the Great American Pyramid, a sports and entertainment venue on the Mississippi River.

Clint Eastwood will record a duet with Randy Travis on the country star's next album, Heroes and Friends. Later this month the movie star will join in ''Smokin' the Hives," in which he gives avuncular advice to Travis. Already in the can are Travis sing-alongs with George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton and Roy Rogers.

THE ROYAL WATCH

The place for monarchy mavens to be this weekend is Copenhagen, where a swarm of Europe's royals will celebrate the silver wedding anniversary of exiled Greek King Constantine and his Danish-born wife, Queen Anne-Marie. The centerpiece event is a Saturday gala dinner for 400 guests at the 16th-century fortress castle, Kronborg. For security reasons, no guest list was announced.

In the Netherlands, the 70 honor guards who escort Queen Beatrix to parliament once a year are looking for commercial sponsorship after a budget

cut left police unable to pay the $50,000 bill for special uniforms and horses. They'll have to hurry, what with the queen's next parliamentary jaunt set for Tuesday. "Don't worry," said a police spokesman. "The horses won't be carrying signs with the name of the sponsor."

ON THE CUTTING EDGE

Bruce Salter, a South Carolina restaurant owner who is under investigation for refusing to serve blacks and who boasts of once kicking out James Brown, declared that he changed his policy after a visit Tuesday from the soul singer's black lawyer, George Hill. Salter said he'll serve blacks at his Buffalo Room in North Augusta "as long as they don't come in and tear up the place." Hill said Salter twice slammed the door on him. "I wanted to check it out," said Hill. " . . . Eventually he invited me in. We came into the bar first and then he said, 'Come on in the dining room and sit down. I want to talk to you some more.' It turned into a 2 1/2-hour visit." Salter said he invited Hill back to his place because he found him smart and good to talk to. But some see Salter fortifying himself for a license revocation hearing Oct. 12. Said Salter: "I ain't going to say nothing. Let them think what they want."

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