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Boggs barters to get back ball

Wade Boggs was emphatic about keeping the baseball he would hit for No. 3,000. It wasn't going to the Hall of Fame. It wasn't going to the Devil Rays. It was going to be retrieved immediately and put in a safe place.

He never had considered the possibility that he might hit a home run and have to barter to get the ball back from a fan.

"He actually wanted my first-born son, and I couldn't give up that," Boggs joked.

Mike Hogan got an autographed jersey and one of Boggs' game bats.

Hogan, who recently moved to Tampa to work in the sports information office at the University of South Florida, said he had not even planned to go to Saturday night's game.

Then he looked around his empty apartment and decided a night at the ballpark might be a good idea.

"I have an alarm clock in my apartment. That's it," Hogan said. "I could either work all night on the men's basketball media guide, or I could come here."

Hogan met with Boggs in the clubhouse after the game to present the ball.

"He told me congratulations," Hogan said. "I said, "No, I think I should be congratulating you.' "

THE DOCTOR WAS IN: When it was all over and Cleveland had won the game, at least one player in the Indians clubhouse admitted to basking in the glory of Boggs' moment.

"I was so glad he did it here," Dwight Gooden said. "And I was glad I was here to see it."

Gooden and Boggs are two of the most famous players to have come out of Tampa Bay and were teammates with the Yankees.

"That was the greatest home run trot I've ever seen," Gooden said. "If it was me, I'd still be running the bases."

ACCIDENTAL TOURIST: Indians pitcher Chris Haney thought he threw a pretty good breaking pitch to get strike two on Boggs. When he tried to repeat it, Boggs turned Haney into a trivia item as the first pitcher to give up a home run on a 3,000th hit.

"If you have to do something like that to get in the record book, I would just as soon not be in the record book," Haney said. "I'm glad for him. He deserves it. But I didn't want to be the guy who gave it up."

STILL TICKING: And how did Boggs celebrate after his historic hit? Was he emotionally spent? Was he still on a high?

"It was like nothing had happened," pitcher Dave Eiland said. "He was sitting next to me in the dugout and he started asking (hitting coach) Leon Roberts about (Paul) Shuey. What does he throw? What should Wade expect his next time up. A lot of guys would have wanted to come out of the game. But he goes back up there and works a walk.

"That goes to show you the professional hitter he is."

_ JOHN ROMANO, ROGER MILLS

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