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The Wiz could turn a phrase

Updated: June 14, 2004, 11:14 PM ET
By Ray Ratto | Special to ESPN.com

Ralph Wiley had a few thousand great moments in his day, which turned out far too short for everyone's good, but the one he had in Oakland, his first big-time journalism stop, was the time he didn't copyright BillyBall, and lost a small, albeit large, fortune.

Wiley, who died Sunday at 52 of a heart attack, was a columnist at the Oakland Tribune in 1980, then as later a smart, provocative, thoughtful, funny and thoroughly worthwhile press box companion. He understood it then; he understood ...

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