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Inqlings | An engagement out of left field

Up for bidding: a signed lithograph of slugger Hank Aaron. The bidders, at a benefit Thursday for Philadelphia Futures: Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins and Michelle Fonseca, fiancee of leftfielder Pat Burrell.

At a benefit hosted by the Phils' Chase Utley, bidding was heated to raise money for urban youths, but there was little pin action.
At a benefit hosted by the Phils' Chase Utley, bidding was heated to raise money for urban youths, but there was little pin action.Read more

Up for bidding: a signed lithograph of slugger

Hank Aaron


The bidders, at a benefit Thursday for Philadelphia Futures: Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins and Michelle Fonseca, fiancee of leftfielder Pat Burrell.

With the price at $4,500, Fonseca offered to go higher - if Rollins would also part with his gigantic diamond "JR" pendant.

Wait. Pat Burrell's fiancee? When did that happen? In December, during a bit of theater in Scottsdale, Ariz., Burrell invited Fonseca to a resort and proposed - and relatives emerged after she accepted. Friends of the camera- and media-shy couple, who grew up in California, say they will marry in November. They've been together nearly three years, which explains why Burrell, now the longest-serving Phillie, shed his dawg rep a while back.

Fonseca may have been jokingly coveting Rollins' bling, but her engagement ring is serious.

As for the bidding, Rollins laughed at Fonseca's suggestion. The litho was his for $5,500.

The "Get in the Game" benefit - the annual bowling outing at Strikes Bowling Lounge in University City hosted by second baseman Chase Utley (who rolled a 128) - drew a gaggle of other Phils, including pitcher Geoff Geary (132 and 133), centerfielder Aaron Rowand (114 and 115), and first baseman Ryan Howard (whose score I did not get), plus team president David Montgomery, Citizen Bank's Stephen Steinour, and agent/manager Arn Tellem. Rollins bowled a 109, hardly all-star level.

Among non-Phils, NBC10's Doug Kammerer rolled a 217, three behind high scorer Ryan Shickling, an intern with Brown Bros. Harriman & Co., a sponsor. Jamie Apody of 6ABC had a 160.

The event has raised nearly $750,000 for Philadelphia Futures' Sponsor-a-Scholar program, which mentors urban youths and sends them to college.

Radio activity

Erich "Mancow" Muller

, the syndicated radio prankster and conservative pundit, gets a Philly outlet starting tomorrow. He'll be heard on WWDB-AM (860) in

Don Imus'

former slot, from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays. The Chicago-based Mancow, heard on about two dozen stations, raised a stink in '93 when he blocked the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge while another DJ got a haircut; he was poking fun at

President Clinton

, accused of tying up traffic at LAX while getting a haircut. That bit cost him his job and his station $1.5 million.

Grace Blazer, at talk WPHT-AM (1210) for a thousand years (the last six-plus as program director), resigned Friday. She says she needs a change; to what, she doesn't know.

Light rock WBEB-FM (101.1) is advertising for a morning partner for Tiffany Hill, four months after letting Chris McCoy go. Man? Woman? Station is keeping options open.

Sports talk WIP-AM (610) this week will air a five-day "virtual tournament" among six top Eagles teams, starting with a simulated game between Dick Vermeil's 1980 squad and Ray Rhodes' 1995 team. The hour-long games, with Joe Conklin impersonating announcers Merrill Reese and Bill Campbell plus assorted guests, will start at 8 p.m. tomorrow through Thursday on Glenn Macnow's show; the final will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday on the Macnow-Ray Didinger show.

Mounds of real estate

A five-bedroom Colonial on 21/2 acres in Rose Valley that was the longtime home of Phillies reliever

Tug McGraw

and his wife,


, is on the market for $2.45 million. McGraw, the 1980 World Series hero, who died in 2004, was a home cook par excellence, and the kitchen is serious, with a Wolf commercial stove, Sub-Zero fridge, and slide-out microwave oven; a second kitchen outdoors has two grills.

Nearly seven years since he pitched for the Phillies, Curt Schilling and his wife, Shonda, are finally out of here. Their five-bedroom on an acre in Birmingham Township, Chester County, sold May 3 for $1.275 million. Asking price was $1.45 million. The Schillings - he's with the Red Sox - live in suburban Boston in the home they bought from former Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe.

Digest this . . .

Food & Wine mag editor

Dana Cowin

, who New Yorkerly sniffed at Philly's restaurant scene two years ago as "boring," eats a bit of crow. Reporting on a recent Philly trip in June's F&W, she came away mildly impressed: "There are now more places I want to try in Philadelphia than in New York." The story is online at



Consider, then, that Philly chefs and restaurants were ignored at this year's James Beard Awards, handed out last week in New York. The lone local tie was Buddakan - the New York version - honored for its graphics.

Phillips Seafood might be setting a record for a restaurant opening when the ribbon is cut Thursday at the Sheraton City Center. The high-end fish house got the keys to the former Shula's Steak House space only three weeks ago; unlike restaurateurs who drop millions on renovations, Phillips opted for a minor tuna-up.

Briefly noted

Diet Coke fueled

Desperate Housewives'

Jesse Metcalfe

at a party Thursday marking the opening of the BOSS Store at the Pier Shops at Caesars Atlantic City. (He's newly out of rehab.) Metcalfe was $6,000 ahead at the blackjack table.

Katie Couric will broadcast the CBS Evening News from the East Terrace of the Art Museum on May 22. Couric will turn up on CBS3's noon news that day, and will attend a VIP ribbon-cutting party at the station's new HQ that night.

The Eagles cheerleaders got to Mexico's Maya Riviera on time last week for their calendar shoot, but their swimsuits were delayed in customs for half a day. (A cache of film was delayed nearly four days.) Meanwhile, fourth-season cheerleader Allison Williams flew out early for her weekend wedding.


Southwest Airlines CEO

Gary C. Kelly

addressed about 300 people Wednesday at the Pyramid Club in a talk sponsored by the Center City Proprietors Association and Temple's School of Tourism and Hospitality Management. Know how

Oprah Winfrey

gives her audiences perks? Kelly, marking Southwest's third anniversary at PHL, offered round-trip tickets to all.

Inqlings |

See the Phillies' Jimmy Rollins signing autographs at the "Get in the Game" benefit at