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October 19, 2002

Buzz Aldrin

David Gump

Jim McDonald

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA: Game One (First Pitch Press Conference)

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

DAVID GUMP: My name is David Gump with LunaCorp. I'm here to start the briefing on the first pitch from the International Space Station, which will actually kick off the first game of the World Series from outerspace, not from California. With me is Jim McDonald, who is the Senior Vice President of Advertising and Marketing for RadioShack; and Buzz Aldrin, who landed on the moon in Apollo 11, and would like to also help us open up space to a broader range of activities, which the first pitch from the Space Station represents. RadioShack began working on this project ten months ago with Major League Baseball. It follows up to an event we did on the Space Station in spring 2001 when they brought Father's Day gifts up to the cosmonauts and astronauts on the Space Station. One of the basic ideas here is to show the Space Station is big enough to hold a Major League Baseball event. Dr. Aldrin will also comment on how this helps open up space to a broader range of activities. For your reference, after we talk, I've got media advisories that describe the first pitch. I've got CD Roms of visual photos from the first pitch, and also scripts of the first page will be shown just before the game starts. So, for the opening comment from RadioShack, I'd like to introduce Jim McDonald, Senior Vice President.

JIM McDONALD: Most often, we're asked, "Why is RadioShack involved in space exploration?" Frankly, it's very relevant to our business. In fact, the great Apollo mission that put the first men on the moon, that scientific endeavor in terms of the R and D that went into that mission actually led to the development of the cellular phone and the satellite dish that RadioShack now sells more of than anyone else in the U.S. We find it very germane to our business, and excusing the pun, it's a great way to elevate the brand as well. Certainly, this is a part of a continuing effort that we have been involved with for several years now, including the first television commercial shot on the Space Station that David referenced. These talking picture frames were a nice way to give Father's Day greetings to the American astronaut and Russian cosmonaut from their daughters. They actually had recorded messages on there, were delivered in time for a Father's Day greeting. Then one of the Russian cosmonauts filmed the entire event for us. We received the film back about ten days later from a returning Russian vehicle and had it on the air last June for Father's Day. It was a very differentiating way to support our retail efforts at our 7,200 stores throughout the United States. I turn it over to Buzz now, for some opening comments.

BUZZ ALDRIN: My knees are pretty good (laughter). It's my back that's getting a little bit older. I was on a football team in high school, a little bit too small to qualify at West Point. I was a pole vaulter there. I ski and I scuba dive now, and swim. I pay attention to all the competitive sports because I think they represent a cross section of our country. I think they command an attention that we find in the space program very attractive to try and see if we can meld this together to get the support of our space program. But 15 years ago, studies about the future of the space program were distributed and briefed to different people. It was at that time that we learned in the space program that people really did consider it possible to fly in the shuttle. They said, "When are we going to get a chance?" Then a few people would throw out the word, "Why don't you have a lottery?" I paid attention to things like this and I began to see where the future of our space program would be so tremendously enhanced if we had a competitive business, if we had an opportunity for people to fly in space, because there's so many people that want to. One of the things we really need to introduce new rocket systems is high flight rate. We feel, many of us who have looked at studies, that there are millions and millions of people who will pay a significant amount - maybe not the $20 million that the Russians are pioneering right now - and David and I are somewhat familiar - he's a little bit more than I am because of his associations with the company over in Russia that helps to schedule people - but there are several companies that are marketing adventures in space. It's the awareness of the opportunities of space travel that I think form the basis for my friendship with David. Matter of fact, he's the president of a company that I formed, a nonprofit company, about maybe five, six years ago called Share Space Foundation, trying to share space with as many people as possible. The more commercial activities that we can begin to do -- you have to realize that government participants in space, astronauts, are not allowed by law to actually market and advertise and promote products. So eventually, we're going to need people who are not government folks to go along in space to help to market these products. That's why a number of our openings, so far, have been with the Russians and different products have been marketed. We feel that this first pitch, in particular, is beginning to open the door to the NASA awareness of exactly how much an increased popularity the space program could mean to the young people of today and their recognition of the science. For example, you throw a pitch in space, and it doesn't go like this (curving), it doesn't curve, it just goes straight. I guess it would curve if you had enough spin on the ball... But the astronauts in space, you may have seen some of them eating a banana and the banana's peeled down like this, they throw the banana and it rolls. You can imagine the new things that can be done that are very instructive in space. So I really welcome this opportunity that RadioShack and its continued involvement in supporting activities in space has brought about in this first pitch activity. I think there's some more details about who actually is going to throw the pitch and how you're going to see it, both on television and on the big screen when it happens today. It will be different than other first pitches, I can assure you.

DAVID GUMP: Are there any questions?

Q. What kind of baseball fan are you now? Did you play much baseball when you were younger?

BUZZ ALDRIN: My pitching arm wasn't too good, but at summer camp up in Maine I did play a fair amount of baseball. But I think it pretty much terminated at that point. I follow whoever I'm close to, and it's not an accident that I have a red jacket on that says Sabre Jet, it's a jacket of fighter pilots, but it's red and I lived in Orange County for a good while, until a few years ago, and I've been in the stadium here.

Q. Do you have a prediction for the World Series now that you have said you're from here?

BUZZ ALDRIN: I'm happy however the game turns out. I'm interested in seeing it go through as many games as possible so that as many people -- hopefully, it will get back here for Game 6 and 7.

Q. Are you disappointed that the country has backed off from the space program, where it was going, and where it is now?

BUZZ ALDRIN: Well, I think everyone who was closely involved in the pioneering efforts of the space program in the '60s had reason to believe that it would continue on in that way. Things have proved to be a bit more difficult than we thought. We made decisions following the very orderly decisions of how to get to the moon, we've made decisions after that time, that in retrospect, could have been made maybe a little differently, in a more gradual way. We could have lived up to our promises to ourselves in terms of what we've been able to get out of what we've made commitments in the space program. I think the country basically likes to see new and different things, and it welcomed the space program when it came along and when it succeeded in achieving its rather heady objective of having people go to the moon. But then they wanted to move on. We had other commitments in the nation, in Vietnam at the time, and it was a space race brought on by the conditions of the Cold War. There was a winner, and we were the winners. We moved on from there, but we accomplished many, many scientific objectives as part of the program. In my estimation, this is my opinion now, when science becomes the sole purpose or the major purpose of the space program, it's not going to be that popular with the general people. That's why I welcome the idea of, "When do we get to go in space," as I began to interpret this. A lot of youngsters are really impressed with the space program, who are now retiring as engineers, and we need to inspire them in future activities. I've written a science fiction story and I've written a space novel, and I featured in the recent space novel a very major sports figure, a tall, retired basketball player, his initials are "M.J." He flew in the shuttle. It may become a series - at least I hope it will, a TV series. But that catches the attention of the public and I think everything we're about is to try to tie together the fascination of the great American sport of baseball and tie it in to the beginnings of commercial activities in space. The space shuttle will eventually become privatized or something like that, or opened up more to the use of appropriate sponsors and appropriately advertised products. We're going to see that come, I hope not like the Indy 500 where we plaster decals over everything, but in a very orderly way. I think the responsibility of the companies involved will certainly assure that it does do that. Short answer (smiling)...

DAVID GUMP: If you want the media advisories or a copy of the CD Roms, they will be right up front.

BUZZ ALDRIN: The pitcher is Dr. Peggy Whitson, who has been writing in diaries in space, and the catcher for the first pitch is a cosmonaut, Valery Korzun, from the Gagarin Space Flight Center.

JIM McDONALD: Probably worth noting that this will be the fastest pitch ever thrown in the history of baseball as well. It will go over 17,000 miles an hour because the Space Station is actually orbiting at that speed. The baseballs, one will go to NASA. There are actually two balls, signed at the All-Star Game in July, and sent up. One will reside in Cooperstown at the Baseball Hall of Fame and the other at NASA's headquarters.

BUZZ ALDRIN: If the skies clear up this evening, at 6:54 the Space Station will go over from northwest to southeast and will reach a peak of 41 degrees at 6:59. So check your watches and it will stay visible until about 7:04. Let's hope that the clouds clear up a bit and we can see the folks who did all of this.

End of FastScripts...

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