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A's retire their first number: Catfish Hunter's 27

Hall of Famer Jim "Catfish" Hunter, the ace of the Oakland Athletics' championship teams of the early 1970s, on Sunday became the first player ever to have his number retired by the A's. Hunter, 45, was honored with a pregame ceremony involving several teammates from the A's championship teams from 1972-74. The tribute culminated with the unveiling of a yellow jersey trimmed in green and white with Hunter's No. 27 emblazoned on the leftfield fence at the Oakland Coliseum.

"It's just a great honor," said Hunter, who was overcome with emotion several times and wiped away tears during his acceptance speech. "Thanks. It was a great pleasure and honor (to play in Oakland)."

The A's career leader with 131 wins, Hunter was the 1974 Cy Young Award winner.

Arm-weary Sutcliffe placed on 15-day disabled list

CHICAGO _ Rick Sutcliffe was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday by the Chicago Cubs in order to make room for left-hander Danny Jackson.

Sutcliffe has been unable to regain strength in his right arm this season after missing almost all of last season following arm surgery on May 7, 1990.

"I knew it was coming," Sutcliffe said. "I was throwing at 88 (mph) against Atlanta and the next time out against New York it was 82 and I couldn't get anybody out."

Printed mention of baseball

from 1825 discovered

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. _ The legend of Abner Doubleday has taken another hit.

The earliest known printed reference to organized baseball in America has turned up in the July 13, 1825, edition of a New York newspaper _ 14 years before Abner Doubleday allegedly devised the national pastime in Cooperstown.

The Delhi Gazette, dated July 12, 1825, contains the names of nine men challenging any group in Delaware County to a game of baseball at the home of Edward B. Chace for $1 each, per game.

"It is a significant find, without any question, for early baseball," said Tom Heitz, librarian at the Baseball Hall of Fame.

They said it . . .

"I called the doctor and he told me the contraptions were an hour apart." _ Mets catcher Mackey Sasser, on how he knew his wife was in labor.

"This kind of club is easier to manage if you've got the nerve to watch them swing. It's 162 nights of terror." _ Tigers manager Sparky Anderson on his lineup of free-swingers.

Around the bases . . .

The Phillies put infielder Randy Ready on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained right side.

The Giants moved pitcher Rick Reuschel from the 15- to the 60-day disabled list and optioned outfielder Rick Parker to Class AAA Phoenix. The club also purchased the contract of infielder Tony Perezchica from Phoenix.

Braves reliever Jeff Parrett was optioned to Class AAA Richmond and outfielder Tommy Gregg was recalled.

The Expos have suspended catcher Nelson Santovenia without pay for failing to report to Class AAA Indianapolis.

The Brewers' Robin Yount played in his 2,503rd career game Sunday, tying him for 30th on the all-time games-played list with Babe Ruth.

San Francisco put pitcher Rick Reuschel on the 60-day disabled list and optioned Rick Parker to Class AAA Phoenix.

_ Compiled from Associated Press reports.