LONG BEACH, Calif., made headlines last month when its team in the Little League World Series became the first to win back-to-back titles. If this feat sent the message that Long Beach is a fertile ground for young athletes, it was right on target.
Many of the Little Leaguers may wind up in one of the six area high schools that form the Moore League, a conference named for a former state athletic administrator. According to the Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles, two area sports statisticians have made a strong case that this may be the best interscholastic league of its kind, based on the high number of professional athletes it has cultivated.
The league has seen 50 former players go on to the National Football League, 33 reach baseball's major leagues, 13 land in the National Basketball Association, and 22 compete in the Olympics. Billie Jean King also graduated from a Moore League member, Long Beach Poly High School, but it did not offer girls' varsity tennis at the time she attended in the 1960s. Knicks' coach cashes in on Bulls' success
Since the Chicago Bulls won a third straight National Basketball Association title in June, one of the beneficiaries has been Pat Riley, coach of the New York Knickerbockers. He receives an undisclosed share of the royalties on all official NBA merchandise that uses ``3-peat'' or ``three-peat,'' a term he helped popularize and later, with the league, established legal claim to.
Riley became aware of the term's marketability while coaching the Los Angeles Lakers, who came up short in trying to achieve this rare feat. In Los Angeles, he coached Earvin (Magic) Johnson, whose versatile talents inspired the team's public-relations staff to popularize the term ``triple double'' as the description for the performance of a player who contributes double-digit totals in three statistical categories - points, assists, and rebounds - in a single game.
Riley, perhaps more than any other NBA coach, seems to grasp the marketing potential of what he does. He's even formed a company that uses his nickname - Riles & Company - to market himself as a motivational speaker.
The New York Times reports that he pulls down about $25,000 per appearance delivering pep talks to employees of such corporations as General Motors and International Business Machines. Much of his philosophy is now available for wider consumption in a new book, ``The Winner Within: A Life Plan for Team Players'' (Putnam, $22.95). Big hit for a big hitter
On the whole, baseball is not a ``big man's'' game. There seems no special advantage to being tall, and at least one noticeable disadvantage - a larger strike zone. Even so, Dave Winfield has managed to coordinate his 6 ft. 6 in. frame as well as any high-rise talent to play the game. The other week, he achieved the hallmark of career consistency by collecting his 3,000th hit, thus joining only two other players - Hank Aaron and Willie Mays - with at least 3,000 hits, 450 home runs, and 200 stolen bases.
The milestone hit poetically came in the uniform of the Minnesota Twins, his fifth team in 21 seasons and the one closest to his boyhood neighborhood. Winfield grew up in St. Paul and was a basketball and baseball star at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. The case of Lake Placid's disappearing trees
Allegations of mismanagement and nepotism have been leveled against the New York State agency assigned to operate the sports facilities in Lake Placid, site of the 1980 Winter Olympics. One issue a state investigator intends to resolve is who gave permission to chop down 38 trees on Whiteface Mountain in order to install a mobile telephone transmitter.
Ned Harkness, who retired two weeks ago as president of the Olympic Regional Development Authority, says he does not know who authorized the tree removal and says he is proud of the job he did directing the authority, which oversees a United States Olympic training facility. As for another charge - hiring relatives and friends - he considers that inevitable. ``If you're up in Lake Placid, everybody's related to each other, even the trees....''