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Boston owner Jean Yawkey suffers stroke

Jean Yawkey, majority owner of the Boston Red Sox, had a stroke Thursday night and was rushed to the Massachusetts General Hospital in serious condition.

Yawkey, 83, was being treated in the trauma center, hospital spokesman Martin Bander said. He said an ambulance was called to the Four Seasons Hotel, a downtown hotel where Yawkey lives, at about 5:30 p.m.

Yawkey is the widow of Thomas A. Yawkey, who owned the Red Sox for 43 years until his death in 1976. She never has granted a news interview but is popular with the players. During her tenure as principal owner, she has attended every game in Fenway Park, watching from her luxury box on the roof.

Yawkey became a one-third owner in 1978, dividing the team's stock with Haywood Sullivan and Buddy LeRoux. She later bought out LeRoux to secure a controlling interest in the team.

Yawkey serves on the board of directors at the Baseball Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown, N.Y. She built a wing of the tourist attraction and dedicated it to her husband's memory.

Palmeiro becomes super-rich Ranger

NEW YORK _ First baseman Rafael Palmeiro scored the second arbitration victory against the Texas Rangers in two days, receiving a $3.85-million salary instead of $2.35-million.

Arbitrator Gil Vernon made the decision a day after hearing the case and a day after Rangers outfielder Ruben Sierra was granted a record $5-million. Palmeiro made $1,475,000 last season, when he hit .322 with 26 homers and 88 RBI.

Two relief pitchers avoided arbitration by agreeing to one-year contracts Thursday. Just minutes before his hearing was to begin, Mike Henneman and Detroit settled at $2,437,500, a raise of $1,337,500. Lee Guetterman and the New York Yankees agreed at $1.6-million, a raise of $550,000.

Henneman sought $3-million in arbitration, and the Tigers offered $1.7-million. Guetterman, who had been scheduled for a hearing today, asked $1,895,000 and was offered $1.3-million.

Around the pros

Yakima sale: A group based in Yakima, Wash., on Thursday completed the purchase of the Yakima Bears of the Class A Northwest League, after getting permission from the league, the parent Los Angeles Dodgers, and baseball commissioner Fay Vincent. Tradition Sports, Inc. bought the team from D.G. Elmore of Bloomington, Ind. The price was not disclosed.

"The Yakima Bears baseball club is locally owned and operated for the first time in almost 30 years," the team said in a news release. The Bears moved to Yakima from Salem, Ore., two seasons ago.

Old-timers: The Upper Deck Heroes of Baseball will play exhibitions at all 26 major-league stadiums this season, as well as Denver's Mile High Stadium, home of the expansion Colorado Rockies. Don Bodow of the Upper Deck Co. and Rick White of Major League Baseball Properties made the announcement Thursday in New York.

For each game, the Upper Deck Co. will donate $10,000 to Baseball Assistance Team, a non-profit organization founded in 1986 to help current and former baseball employees in need.

Athletics: Outfielder Jose Canseco said he is declining the team's request that he report for spring training next week. League rules say a player must show up by March 4.

Tigers: Wayne County executive Edward McNamara said he has spoken with developer Joel Ferguson and automotive heir Edsel Ford II about their interest in buying the team from Domino's Pizza Inc. chairman Thomas Monaghan.

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