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June 21, 2000

Nancy Lopez


DEBBIE EARECKSON: We'll start with some comments about the DuPont and what you thought of the course.

NANCY LOPEZ: I feel great to be back. I was hoping to be back at Rochester after my surgery, but just didn't really feel ready, didn't really have a chance to work on my game before that. So I decided to wait another couple weeks, and so I'm here, and I feel good. Gallbladder is doing very well. I feel a lot better now. I wasn't feeling good for months before that, I don't really know what it was, but not feeling sick anymore. I was getting stomach aches really bad in the evenings, but now I feel really good.

DEBBIE EARECKSON: Questions for Nancy?

Q. I guess, state of the game? Is there a state?

NANCY LOPEZ: Well, I've been practicing a little bit more when I've had the chance, now that I've started thinking about coming back out, and I'm hitting the ball very well. Putting is really getting better and better. Really, the last couple of years I have not putted well. Hitting the ball well now and putting better. The greens here are faster than I've ever seen them. They have always been kind of medium to slow, and that's pretty treacherous on some of these greens because there are some pretty good sloping greens. And you are certainly going to have to stay below the hole. Even in your shot-making, you're going to have to be real careful. I spun one right off the green yesterday. So makes you think a little bit more about what you are going to do. But the course is in the best shape I've seen it. It's beautiful. The rough is really nice and high, but the fairways are just beautiful. Cut really nice and short.

Q. Would 268 seem like an awfully good score?

NANCY LOPEZ: No, I think it's going to be tougher this year.

Q. Nancy, I hear your name has been sold. What will this mean, if anything, to you? Will you continue with Square Two?

NANCY LOPEZ: Square Two has the goal of really just doing -- paying more attention to women, women golfers, with golf clothes and shoes, and now with golf clubs. They are very enthusiastic about it. Arnold Palmer Golf and Nancy Lopez Golf, Cindy Davis brought it back to where it should have been, and really, for everybody, it's just really better that it be sold. Cindy worked very hard and brought NLG to where it is now and we have done very well. Golf clubs are selling well. We have golf balls now, and we have a good product. And I think that Square Two is very -- very serious about keeping things going the way they are. But I was really excited about it because I wanted to make sure that NLG would keep going. Like I said, they are just becoming more important in women's golf by selling women's products, and I think it's going to do very well.

Q. Was it a surprise to you?

NANCY LOPEZ: No. Not really. It was really the next step.

Q. A month ago I talked to Cindy about it, and she was telling me all of the things that you just repeated about sales, and she thought that you had really found a niche for your product in the marketplace. And then I get a release yesterday that says -- the name has been sold, let's put it that way.

NANCY LOPEZ: It's still doing the same thing. We are still going to be selling the product, the way it is, and, you know, Square Two, they make good golf clubs, also. And the design, I'll still be involved in all of that and what's going on. And you know, if it doesn't -- if something happens where, you know, I don't feel like they are doing what they should be doing, then I would certainly not stay with anybody, you know, because it's my -- you know, it's my decision to do whatever I want to do with NLG. But this is what we need to do because NLG and Arnold Golf are owned by one person, and it was just time for him to get out and do something else. And you know, small golf club companies are bought by larger companies most of the time. It's hard for them to survive on their own, and so that's really, you know, what our next step was. Cindy Davis did a great job to bring NLG and Arnold Palmer Golf back to the top, where they needed to be, and a bigger company now can take it even further.

Q. You've had a litany of physical problems the last few years, is it getting tougher, more difficult, to get back to where you want your game to be, and how frustrating is that, if it is?

NANCY LOPEZ: Well, it's frustrating because, you know, physically, I guess the last -- well, the last year, I had not really been able to work out. And I wanted to start working out and get in really good shape, and I did that for two or three years. After doing that, my knee starting to bother me a little bit and then I had surgery. I tore my ACL, I think when I slipped in England a couple years ago, and I think that's when things started to really fall apart, because when you don't -- when your knees start to bother you, that's hard when you're trying to play golf, swing the golf club, walk all these miles. And I had my appendix out a few years ago, and then I had my gallbladder out. I think the toughest part is getting up in the morning and feeling like you can't move, you know, your body just gets to where it gets pretty beat up after beating the ground and hitting the shots and swinging and practicing, even bending over to putt for hours. It's not as easy as it used to be. And so you wake up in the morning saying, gosh, do I want to keep doing this, because it's painful. You can't -- I want to play my best golf when I'm out there, and if I feel lousy, I can't wear a sign that day and say "I feel lousy today and I'm hurting really bad"; so maybe I'm not going to play as well. Mentally I have to really get past that. I have to get up in the mornings earlier, take a nice hot bath or shower, stretch a lot more. I have to really get myself physically ready. And in the last year I've gained weight back that I didn't want to. Weight is a killer, not good for your knees. You don't feel good and you have to really keep yourself in shape. But after not being able to work out for a year, I have a hyperthyroid so if I don't work out, my metabolism stops running and I gain weight. I hate it because it's just a vicious circle. If you are going to stay out here playing competitively, you have to stay in shape to keep working on your golf game. And I've been playing more than I have in a lot of years, practicing because, Ray has really become a golf fanatic. When we go out and play, he's getting better and better, and he's trying hard to beat me; so I have to keep working on my game because I don't want him to beat me.

Q. How does the series stand?

NANCY LOPEZ: He's only beaten me one time in 18 years. But he really makes me work hard. We work hard together. He helps me practice on a lot of little things, chipping, putting and so he's into that. So we make a fun time out of it. I would like to win a few more tournaments, but I've got to concentrate and focus on what I'm doing, even if I don't play every week, which I'm not going to. I want to play good when I play, because I know -- that's what I enjoy feeling is a good round of golf, instead of a poor round of golf.

Q. How seriously have you posed that question to yourself"? "Is it really worth it"? I mean, how seriously has this question been asked?

NANCY LOPEZ: Because I'm still hitting the ball well and so solid, it comes down to the short game when you don't practice a lot. I feel like I can still do that, but like I said, I do have to work a little bit more. Like in the mornings, get up earlier and just get myself more prepared. I can't just jump out of bed, warm up, get ready and play. It takes a lot longer than that. So do I want to do that? I think that I do. I feel that, you know, age-wise, I should still be able to do that. My dad told me I should really be peaking at 45. He always used to tell me I was going to be my strongest when I was about 40. And you see so many players that are still playing very well at that age, and so, you know, you just -- I keep feeling like if I just keep working and it's my desire to be out here, I want to play. I still want to play. I love competition and competing. It's a lot tougher leaving home when I've been home for weeks, weeks and weeks, because that part of my life is more normal, and I really, really enjoy it. And then coming out here is just very competitive, and because, you know, I'm not at the top all the time, it gets frustrating, because I was there for so long and I don't like just coming to play. I still want to have that goal that I'm going to get in there and I'm going to be in the competition and the thick of things. I may not win, but I want to be in the thick of things. I want to be right there where I'm playing well.

Q. How difficult is that now, and your feelings about the Sorenstam or Webb Sorenstam phenomena, how difficult is that making it?

NANCY LOPEZ: They are playing some great golf. They are both great players. But the thing is that if you win a tournament and they are both there, that's definitely even a better win for you, to be able to beat two of the greatest players that are playing the game. You know, you want to be there. You'd like to be able to do that.

Q. Does that take you back to when -- back to the late 70s, early 80s? You understand what Karrie and Annika are going through.

NANCY LOPEZ: Oh, yeah.

Q. Are you sensing in the locker room that the other players think that Karrie is unbeatable?

NANCY LOPEZ: I would say that -- I mean, I don't hear it, that they feel like she's unbeatable. I think that maybe, you know, some have accepted that she's going to win, you know, a lot. But I know when I was at the top of my game and winning a lot, it made players work harder, I thought. I thought they brought -- they really brought their best games out because they worked harder, they practiced more, because they didn't want one player to dominate. I had that feeling when I was coming out and I was winning a lot. It just seemed like the players got better, but I think it's just because they worked harder and they realized, you know, that they are going to have to if they wanted to win, and I think there's a lot of players out here that have the desire to do that. I don't think they really sit back and say, "Well, Karrie is going to win this week," but they know who they are going to have to beat if they are going to win. So, I think that they set their game on, you know, on that with what they have to do to accomplish that.

Q. Annika and Karrie, do you think those are the two that are focused on?

NANCY LOPEZ: I really think of Karrie more than I do of Annika. Annika is playing very well, but Karrie has been so hot for so long, that she is really the player that I think I'm going to have to beat week-in and week-out if I'm going to win a tournament. And Annika is a great player, too, but right now -- she's won a few tournaments, too, this year, but Karrie to me is the one that's just hotter. She's a little bit hotter.

Q. In the last two times that they have been in competition for a win, Annika has beaten her. Karrie certainly is -- if you look at statistics, she's certainly dominated, but at Dayton and then in France, Annika beat her.

NANCY LOPEZ: I think Annika -- I think when she comes head-to-head she might be tougher, like in a playoff. But to play 18 holes, I think Karrie is going to come out on top, for a win. If they had to play 18 holes I think Karrie would come out on top. But head-to-head with a few holes, I think Annika gets pretty tough.

Q. You talked a lot about injuries and various physical ailments and whatnot, how important is being a part of the TOUR and coming out and playing events? How important is professional golf in your life in terms of battling all of those ailments?

NANCY LOPEZ: Well, I've done it for so long, played professional golf now for 22 years, and have played golf all my life, since I was 8. And I think, you know, being a part of the TOUR, you know, I enjoy when I'm out here. I mean, I enjoy the competition and the girls and the camaraderie that you have as a family in the LPGA TOUR. Like I said, if I didn't hit the ball well and I was really, really struggling, I would probably, you know, just play once in awhile just for the fun of it then. But I still don't play for just the fun of it. I really want to come out I want to try and get my game in the type of shape that I could really get out there and maybe win a couple more tournaments. But I guess, really, I always say, well, just the fans and maybe the sponsors and all of my friends, they just really won't let go yet. They won't really let me say good-bye and go on and do something else. They still include me and want me to be there, and I enjoy that. I enjoy being a part of it, and supporting the LPGA because it's -- to me, the best tour, women's organization that there is. And golf is such a great sport, and to promote it and to make other young people come out and watch us, and golf become a part of their lives is really important to me. I think that we need to get more players out there, more young players, from the United States, because I think the Europeans are taking over a little bit, and I don't like that. I want more American players to start playing and winning, even though they are good friends, you know, I still -- they are going to root for the Europeans and we are going to root for the Americans, and I would just like to see more young players, girls and boys start playing the game of golf, because it's a great sport and you can do it for a long, long time.

Q. You mentioned that you are not going to be playing every week now. How are you going to decide which tournament you'll play?

NANCY LOPEZ: I always play the courses that I play the best and where I enjoy the cities. You know, I don't really play for the money. I never have. I just always play where I feel like I'm going to have my best game. There's some courses I don't play well; so I don't go there. But the courses you really love to play and the courses you play the best are the tournaments you really play.

Q. What about this course? Do you agree with the decision to let the rough grow through the weekend and get longer?

NANCY LOPEZ: It's tough already. Around the greens, it's really tough. There's not -- I was hitting all kind of shots out of the rough yesterday, and you have to figure out how you want to hit out of it because it's tough. But the thing is, my goal is to stay in the fairway and hit the greens. I don't want to be in that stuff, because you're going to have some trouble.

Q. Do you like your chances on a course like this?

NANCY LOPEZ: Mm-hmm. Yeah, I do. Because I hit the ball pretty straight. I don't really go too much out of the fairway, and I hit a lot of greens. I feel like I have been doing that. I think you're going to have to hit a lot of greens, because the greens are faster and they are trickier; and if you don't, you are going to take a few shots to get up-and-down. The rough is rough.

Q. You said the course is in the best shape you've seen it, is it also the toughest you've seen it in all these years?


Q. You made the comment, you joked coming in here something about, "why, why am I in the press room." Is that the ultimate compliment that we, the public, even though you are not winning with regularity, we want to talk to you we want to find out what you're thinking?

NANCY LOPEZ: Oh, sure. It's definitely a compliment. I know when they asked me to come in, I'm like, "Well, what am I going to talk about"? I remember when I was at golf tournaments, and I wasn't even, you know, in the Top-20-and the press wanted to know what I was thinking, and I would say, "Why don't they talk to the people who are second and third right now." And the person that's leading, of course, they would talk to them, but I just felt like it wasn't my place to be there. I wasn't even in contention to win the tournament. So I said, "What do they want me in there for"? But I think it's because I talk a lot and I always have something to say. (Laughs). I always have something new to talk about. But yeah, I just, you know -- I'd like to play some good golf and be in here talking to everybody.

Q. There's talk about a senior tour. Somebody had mentioned that there was going to be an event in Michigan, 43 years old, which kind of coincides with somebody -- a nice round number like 43, but do you want to help the senior tour?

NANCY LOPEZ: I would like to play some of the events. I know when we first started out with the meetings a few years ago, being a part of it and owning the part -- well, all of the players kind of bought into this little tour, but it was not a senior tour then. It was more of a -- to me, it was more of an LPGA promoting type of tour where we play with promoting sponsors on Monday, they pay the group a certain amount of money and we would all go play. Then they started talking about golf events during the LPGA season, and I said I won't do that. It was more like -- well, there are a few players that seemed like they just wanted to go ahead and do something like that, not a lot, and then they said -- I said, "I won't play in one of these events if it went against a weekend of an LPGA event." I said, "I worked too hard to promote the LPGA." They agreed. But they started working on me and talking to the commissioner; that if there was a week open where we could have an event like this and maybe start a senior type tour, I think it would be great. I think it would be great to have a senior tour. I really don't want to play in it day-in and day-out. I want to stay out here and play. My game is not going to get better unless I play with better players. I may finish 30th, but at least I know what I have to do to play better. These girls are good strong players, but I guess I just don't want to consider myself a senior yet, and I just want to stay out here as long as I can before I start playing out there. But after I leave here, I will play very few of those events. If I leave this tour, I'm leaving to go home. I'm not leaving to go play someplace else. But I think it's a great opportunity for those players that want to do that. I think it will be a lot of fun, and the competition will be fierce, too, because they still have some pretty good golf games; so it would be fun to do. I'm hoping to play one in Michigan. I'm not sure right now. I have that week to play there, if I want to, but, you know the thing is, just family, it's hard for me to go play someplace else. So it just depends on that. I told them I'm going to sign up for it, but I'm not sure if I'm going to play.

Q. You touched on the Americans and Europeans, how disappointing do you think it is for the LPGA? Juli is obviously at the top, but she's getting a little bit older, and is there any Americans you see coming through, younger?

NANCY LOPEZ: We have quite a few players that are playing well, but, you know, right now, the European players are definitely taking over and winning more consistently. You know, young players, I don't even know some of the young players anymore. I hate to say that, but you see them, and they are great little golfers, and you see the competitive spirit that they have. Sometimes it just takes some of them longer --

Q. Do you think for the tour, as well, it would be better if there was an American, a young American?

NANCY LOPEZ: Yes. Definitely.

Q. When you come to an event like this, do you ever -- a major tournament, do you look back at like, when Nicklaus won, does his surprise victory in '86, and being a legend of the women's tour, is that an inspiration when you come to a major like this?

NANCY LOPEZ: I think after Nicklaus did that, I sat back and I thought: "Golly , when I get to that age, I would like to be able to do that." It does. It inspires you. You see a player like Nicklaus do that, it's because he has the desire and he worked hard to do that. And you have to really obligate and dedicate yourself to that. You set a goal and you want to do that. I know the U.S. Open is coming up in July, and I really want to work hard on my game, get ready for that. Really work on my game and take the game there that I feel like I need to have to win. And then hopefully the mental part will just come with that. But I think when you're really ready and you're prepared, the mental part, that's the way I want to open, is just the mental, but yet you have the game but you still have to use your mind to win, and the patience. Everybody has bad holes, and you can't let a bad hole bother you at a U.S. Open, because pretty much, you know -- it's happened to me. I've played a bad hole and I just fell apart after that because I could not keep myself together because I felt disappointed and mad at myself because I had such a bad hole, but you can't do that. You know, you watch Tiger and he had a few bad holes, but he never let it shake him. He never let it bother him, and that's the way you win a U.S. Open. Everybody else is falling apart, and you are the one that has to stay together and that's how you win it.

Q. Did you watch a lot of the Open?

NANCY LOPEZ: I watched some of it, but my girls were playing tournament softball.

Q. Did you see the end where Jack was on the post looking out over the thing and he goes home in two on the 18th?

NANCY LOPEZ: No, I did not.

Q. I was wondering if that sparked thoughts about, "Well, how do I want to go out, how do I want to remove myself?" For Nicklaus, we've been saying that for how long, as far as the Open.

NANCY LOPEZ: There's so many times I sit back and I see players that were great players in their day, and you sit there and you go, "Okay, why doesn't he quit"? You're sitting there, why doesn't he quit, and you get to that point and you're going, "When should I quit?" I don't want people to be saying that about me: "Why doesn't she go home"? You don't want that. It's like you're torturing yourself. You're watching them torture themselves almost. You look at Jack and all that he's done, how can he settle for what he's settling for, what he's settling for now. It's hard for me settle for what I'm doing now. Drives me nuts.

Q. How do you feel about watching Arnold?

NANCY LOPEZ: It's tough to watch, because I'm sitting there wondering why they are still doing that. I know why they are still doing it they love it. But to stay competitive and to go -- I mean, when I start thinking about, "Well, I hope I just make the cut," yuck, I'm quitting then, for sure, because I don't worry about the cut. I just play and I want to play my best game, and my best game is going to make the cut; so I don't worry about that. I sit there and I look at him, and like I said, I just don't want that to happen to me.

Q. You understand their previous drive, what made them great.

NANCY LOPEZ: Yeah, but I think just the competition, and I think, you know, being inside the ropes and people still following him and watching him and pulling for them him. I think that that definitely keeps you out there still.

Q. Is there something missing in your game right now that you really want to focus on between now and the Open?

NANCY LOPEZ: I think the only thing really missing in my game is my health. Physically feeling that I can get out there and walk 18 holes and not -- my feet and my knees are not killing me by the time I get to the 16th hole. That's the only thing that bothers me, because my game is there and my putting is as strong as it's been in a little while. So it's just really the mental ability to get up in the morning and, you know, really get myself -- my body in shape physically and stretching and not feel sore, and hopefully, you know, play four days of golf. I think that's the toughest part is just doing that, because you get tired. If you haven't played in a little while and you're hurting, you get tired. You hate that. You hate not to feel your best when you are out there swinging a golf club.

Q. You mentioned right at the beginning that your last health problem was something with stomach aches?

NANCY LOPEZ: That was from my gallbladder. I was sick for a few months. Wasn't feeling really good, real tired. And I never really feel tired. I've never been that type of person, to say, "Boy, I'm tired." And then the last -- well, about a week before I went to the doctor, I started having real bad stomach aches, from probably like noon on, and I had to lay down and I had to stay in bed, and, of course, your kids look at you like what's wrong with you, because you're never sick, and everybody was a little concerned. That's when I went in and had some tests done and they did an ultrasound first and they saw the gallbladder then; that there was something in there. Didn't see anything else. I think women worry a lot about cancer in the abdomen area, and I was a little worried about that, that maybe something else was going on. So they did that test, and then they did a CT-scan, and everything looked real good. Just my gallbladder was loaded up, with whatever it gets full of, and they said I needed to have it taken out.

Q. So were you relieved that it wasn't anything more?

NANCY LOPEZ: Oh, yeah. I was relieved that it was that. And once they told me, I just -- I went ahead and played the tournament in -- the Chick-Fil-A. I said, "Well, I can't do that, can I wait?" The doctor said everything looks good, liver looks good, nothing is real inflamed. And then I wanted to go play in Nashville, and he said, "Well, as long as you are not feeling worse, you can go ahead and play," and so I went ahead and played. And as soon as I got home that Tuesday -- and then it started to get a little more inflamed. When they went in there I was going to start having problems.

Q. (Inaudible.)

NANCY LOPEZ: Well, I don't tell anybody. When I'm at home, I get up and just kind of fake that I feel good and I don't let anybody know that I'm hurting or anything, unless it's really physically hurting inside and something is wrong. When I get up in the morning, I just didn't feel the way I used to. Can't get up and feel like I want to run 100 miles like I used to. It takes a little bit longer to get up and move around and stuff. I guess moms are all like that. I don't think they really complain about anything. They just go on and don't have time to be sick. When they see me sick, they realize something really is wrong.

Q. So can you eat French fries now?

NANCY LOPEZ: I probably could, but I don't need to. I know during that time when my stomach was real upset, I had to start eating a lot of stuff to get through those tournaments that I wanted to play. And I didn't have stomach aches real bad, because I just ate real mild things and I didn't eat anything real greasy, not that I ate a lot of greasy stuff, but I had to really watch what I ate and it was better to eat a little bit at a time and not a bunch. And I did feel pretty good during that time.

Q. How involved were you in the sale of Nancy Lopez Golf and how concerned have you been about that transition?

NANCY LOPEZ: Pretty involved. But I think Cindy Davis, it was really her baby when she started it, and I knew that she was going to protect NLG any way that she could. And she knows these people, Square Two, and she knows that their goal is just to really cater to women. And they are going to keep the company going and, you know, will keep selling what they have. And we've had really good months this year. Women like our golf clubs. They are great golf clubs. I have a 7-wood that I just love, the irons, and a 5-wood. I never thought I would hit a 7-wood, but that goes with the age a little bit. 3-iron, I used to hit that 3-iron right down the middle, but I just can't carry it the way I used to and get it to stop. And now I've moved to a 7-wood and have all the irons in my bag, except one. I love them. I hit the ball very well with them. I think the women that are using them really like them, and we give them a lot of choice. They can choose grip sizes and they can choose the shaft they want. They have different heads. We just came out with a new set called the Ashley, named after Ashley, and it's more of a price-point club, and we've sold lots of those. But now we've come out with a golf ball, and it's really a good ball. It's measured by swing speed, and I'm going to try it, too, just to see what it does. I don't know if I'll play with it, but I've played with everything else.

Q. You and Kathy Whitworth are now under the same umbrella company. Have you talked with her about that?

NANCY LOPEZ: I haven't talked to Kathy, but she -- I've always idolized Kathy Whitworth. I think that she is a wonderful lady, and I think with both of us on board -- and I feel like they are willing to listen to everything we have to say about women's golf equipment. And, you know, I think my goal when I decided to go with Arnold Palmer NLG was women were really pretty much ignored in the golfing world, I think. Golf clubs were not really built for them. I think they have come a long way, but our priority was really to build a type of golf club for all of these really good lady golfers. We have a lot of good lady golfers. There are women that wrote me letters that said they improved their game 20 shots. I'm like, what were they playing with? 20 shots, that's a lot of shots. People were writing to me about holes-in-one; they had hit the ball so crisp. And, you know, so it was fun to get all these letters. We really had not gotten any negative letters, what some people didn't like, but a lot of positive stuff, and the ladies, just giving them that opportunity. And the big thing was in the golfing world when women go to buy a golf club, I think they felt embarrassed about -- they did not know, but we have a system called Match Places where they can pretty much can read what type golfer they are and get a club made for them. So we just tried to make it real easy for them to go in and purchase a set of golf clubs or for a husband to purchase a set for his wife. And for the big shops that have a place where you can really try the golf clubs, that's even better. But we've sold a lot this year and I think the people are really starting to catch on with NLG. And Square Two, I don't know what they are going to do, I think they are probably going to go, you know, with whatever title they use for the whole women's golf equipment they have. It won't be Square Two, it will be something else. But we'll still have NLG under that name and the other companies with women's clothes and women's shoes.

Q. The other people I've known who have had gallbladder surgery did not recover anywhere near as soon as you did. Is there something new about this surgery?

NANCY LOPEZ: They do the laparoscopic -- they didn't cut me open. I had four little holes, dots on my stomach where they went in with their tubes, and then, you know, the little camera that they do in there and look and then they suction it out. It just didn't take as long.

Q. How long did it take you to recover?

NANCY LOPEZ: I stayed in bed for about five days, where I just really had to stay off my feet. And, you know, after that, I really could have done anything.

Q. Were you done as an outpatient?

NANCY LOPEZ: No. I stayed one night , because I wanted that shot, that pain shot. "Give me that shot." (Laughs). And I knew I wouldn't get it at home. I stayed there, and after -- the next day I felt I was a little sore, but I really felt pretty good.

Q. Used to be most people would spend five days in the hospital.

NANCY LOPEZ: Oh, yeah, because they cut you open and you have a nice big incision. But this is a lot easier. I didn't feel like playing for a few weeks because I was pretty sore still, but really I was up and at 'em for about five days.

Q. How many weeks has it been?

NANCY LOPEZ: I think it's been about eight or nine. I went in Monday after Electrolux and had -- just had to go and get all my stuff ready for the hospital. I've been busy. My daughter hurt herself two weeks ago and had to have surgery on her ankle. Ray was in the hospital a few months before for his kidney stones. He was in there before -- he had to have, what do you call it, where they blast them in the tank, and so I was in, like a month later, two months later and then Erinn came in --

Q. Broken tibia?

NANCY LOPEZ: They ripped all the ligaments. I mean, ripped them all to pieces. They just didn't think it would heal with a cast; so they went in and put them all back together. Took pictures to see what it was like. We felt if we didn't do something, she would probably barely even run or walk on uneven pavement, because they thought it would just come right out again. When she fell in practice, they were scrimmaging, the swelling was about out to here on top of her foot and ankle (indicating several inches). I thought she had broken it and all the bones were up there, but it was inflammation. It inflamed just like that. How big it was, it scared me to death when I saw it.

Q. What was she playing?

NANCY LOPEZ: Basketball. She's almost 5'11, and she's going to play for our high school. We've been in the hospital a lot lately. So keeping our fingers crossed. But Ray is coaching our girl's tournament softball team, we're named Crush. We lost this week and finished second, but they are good players, really good. So it's been a lot of fun.

Q. You could play the Reds.

NANCY LOPEZ: We could probably beat the Reds. I've enjoyed my weekend, because we've had a tournament, and these girls can play. They are really, really great athletes. Watching our daughter play, Ashley, they are all so feminine and they are just so tough, and Ashley plays catcher and she looks at that girl coming at her from third and she's like, "just try it, just try and get by me" and she has that look in her face. You see a lot of competition and competitiveness in them that they probably got from Ray and I, but they are just great to watch. That's kind of where I have absorbed my time, too, and participated like they do and it's fun.

End of FastScripts….

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