SOMEONE STOLE ITEMS that once belonged to the great Ted Williams during an auction preview in Swanzey, N.H.

Now, the last time we checked, stealing was still a crime - one that often results in a prison sentence. That said, what could possibly be so valuable and important as to be worth the risk?

Was it:

a. an autographed bat?

b. a copy of Williams' first major league contract?

c. a cap with a fishing license attached?

d. a wad of old chewing tobacco?

You're batting 1.000 if you picked "c" (although, in this eBay-crazy world, we wouldn't be surprised if you selected "d").

The items were pilfered from the Knotty Pine Auction Service last week. The New Hampshire Sunday News reported that auctioneer, John Pappas, expected the items to go for $1,000 or more at the auction, held Saturday. They were being auctioned by Williams' third wife, Dolores Wettach Williams. The two were married from 1967-73.

The license, issued in 1970 to "Theodore Williams" was - along with notes about favorite fishing holes - in a holder attached to a fishing cap.

We spell relief, W-O-O-D

University of Texas pitcher Austin Wood is a reliever who got no relief. Wood entered a regional playoff against Boston College with one out in the seventh inning and pitched for 13 innings as the host Longhorns defeated the Eagles, 3-2, in 25 innings, the longest game in NCAA history.

The game began at 7:02 p.m. Saturday and ended 7 hours, 3 minutes later at 2:05 a.m. yesterday.

"I can't believe I threw 13 innings," Wood told the Associated Press. "I was tired, but we never doubted that we were going to win that game." *

- Tom Mahon