Dusty Rhodes, 82, who helped the Giants win their last World Series title, in 1954, died Wednesday of cardiopulmonary arrest at Valley Hospital Medical Center in Las Vegas. He lived in Henderson, Nev.

Mr. Rhodes went 4 for 6 with two home runs - mostly as a pinch-hitter - in the Giants' sweep of the Cleveland Indians in the 1954 Series. Pinch-hitting for Monte Irvin in the 10th inning of Game 1, he had a tiebreaking, three-run homer off Bob Lemon for a 5-2 victory at the Polo Grounds.

The outfielder played with the New York Giants from 1952 to '57, then appeared in 54 games for the San Francisco Giants in 1959. He had a .253 career average.

Mannywood to A-ball?

Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez may get back on the field next week for single-A Inland Empire when he becomes eligible to begin his assignment, according to manager Joe Torre.

Ramirez, who was suspended for 50 games for violating baseball's drug policy, is eligible to be reinstated July 3 against San Diego.

Civil Rights Game

Cincinnati will play host to the first regular-season Civil Rights Game when the Reds take on the Chicago White Sox tomorrow night.

Among those expected to attend are Bill Clinton, Bill Cosby, Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar Robertson, and Hank Aaron.

Weekend festivities will serve as a tribute to the civil-rights movement and will try to increase interest in the sport among black youths and showcase Cincinnati's National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

The game had been a spring-training exhibition in Memphis, home of the National Civil Rights Museum.

That's a lot of squatting

Houston's Ivan Rodriguez received a standing ovation Wednesday night when he broke Carlton Fisk's record of 2,226 games caught, doing it against the team he caught 1,426 of those games for - the Rangers.

In the game, Texas shortstop Omar Vizquel got his 2,677th hit, tying Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio for most hits in the majors by a Venezuelan.

Rodriguez, 37, made his major-league debut for Texas as a 19-year-old.

Help for the Mets?

Mets lefthander Oliver Perez, who was placed on the disabled list with arm trouble on May 7, threw 48 pitches in three shutout innings in an extended-spring-training game yesterday in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Righthander John Maine, on the DL with discomfort in the back of his throwing shoulder, threw off a mound for the first time since June 6 in Washington.


As many as 18 Washington Nationals are on the trading block, according to ESPN.com. Talk about cleaning house. . . . The Padres placed pitcher Chris Young on the 15-day DL because of inflammation in his right shoulder. That means San Diego's best pitchers are out, with Jake Peavy having been placed on the DL last weekend.