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Moment of glory for a 13-year-old: Seeing The Big Dipper in a little town

Most-fascinating athletes for a sports fanatic in his impressionable teenage years: football players Jim Brown and Bobby Lee Bell, baseball player Willie Mays, boxer Muhammad Ali and golfer Arnold Palmer.

Years later, these excellent happenings took place for a longtime sportswriter:

• Waited several days for a call from Brown for an interview on an upcoming documentary when the phone rang one night at 10, and he talked for well over an hour. Fantastic.

• Several encounters with Bell, the greatest gridiron Gopher of all, including at a Twins exhibition game in Fort Myers, Fla., when I was able to go to the home dugout and say to instructors Rod Carew and Tony Oliva, “Bobby Bell’s up there and wants to say hello.