The Courier-Journal from Louisville, Kentucky on October 21, 1975 · Page 20
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The Courier-Journal from Louisville, Kentucky · Page 20

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Louisville, Kentucky
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Tuesday, October 21, 1975
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B 4 THE COIRIER-JOIRNAL, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 21, 1973 ABA disbands Claws, moves to force merger with NBA From. AP and Staff Dispitches The American Basketball Association, four days away from opening its 1975-76 season, dropped one franchise yesterday and moved to force a merger of the other nine with the National Basketball Association. The Baltimore Claws, who played last season as the Memphis Sounds, won't play this year under any name. The ABA announced that the franchise was being disbanded, its players dispersed among the remaining nine teams and the schedule shuffled to reflect the change. And, in a surprise move, the ABA had seven of its teams follow earlier moves by New York and Denver and send telegrams to NBA commissioner Larry O'Brien asking to be admitted into the NBA. Both Denver and New Y'ork. acting Without ABA approval, had applied for membership in the NBA as expansion franchises on Sept. 24. The developments came as the ABA headed into its n.inth season. The league had hoped that its new commissioner, Dave DeBusschere, would be able to land a television contract or force a merger. No television package has materialized, and yesterday's move to join the NBA was admittedly designed to stir up action on a merger. , "Of course, we realize that this cannot be accomplished by our act alone because of outstanding court orders preventing any accommodation without the cooperation : and agreement of the basketball players and the approval of the courts," DeBusschere said. The telegrams sent to O'Brien said that each of the seven clubs Kentucky, Vir- ginia, St. Louis, Indiana, San Antonio, San Diego and Utah would like to join the NBA for the 1976-77 campaign. Judge Robert Carter presides over the U.S. District Court in New Y'ork and has been hearing an action by the NBA Players Association designed to eliminate all rules binding one player to one club and preventing his seeking a better deal with another team. Among Judge Carter's rulings in the case is one which prohibits any merger unless both he and the Players Association approve it. "I think we'll have to go through the court," ABA president John Y. Brown Jr. said last night, "but the judge has said, 'Why don't you people get together and work this out?' He doesn't want to go through a three-year trial." Trior to the 1974 season, representatives of both leagues and the players associations of both leagues did reach a merger agreement that also was approved by Judge Carter. However, when the plan was presented before the full NBA board of governors, the NBA owners refused to discuss it. No vote was taken. Sources close to the ABA indicated last night that the latest maneuver under taken by the league essentially is no different than the 1974 attempt at arranging a merger. Sources said the ABA owners are not trying to skirt the court. About the only difference is that any payments the ABA clubs would make to the NBA would be called franchise fees for joining the league instead of being termed indemnity payments. DeBusschere said the end of the short and disorganized life of the Baltimore Claws stemmed from the team management's failure to come up with sufficient money, reportedly $500,000, to insure its successful operation throughout the season. The Baltimore franchise was hampered' by controversy and internal bickering almost from the outset, and one of its biggest problems centered on Dan Issel. The Claws purchased Issel from Kentucky to bolster the team and the gate, but under pressure from Brown they almost immediately sent him to Denver for Dave Rob-isch. The Claws drew flak over the deal, which heavily favored Denver, and never did see Robisch, who refused to report. "A lot of people will say the reason why Baltimore folded was because I pulled Issel out," Brown said. "But as far as I am concerned, they already had failed to perform with several commitments they had made to the league." Brown added that the Baltimore investors had promised the league at the time the franchise was awarded and had promised the Colonels prior to the Issel trade that they would sign several more star-caliber players to make the team competitive. w -w- -Qr .0 ' lis lime for a conference Staff Photo by Ford Reid Shelby County aide John Gibson talks to Marcus Robinson (13) on the sidelines during last night's game against Elizabethtown High School. Shelby County was victorious 12-7. (See story on Page B 7.) Louisville Connection . . . Mooney trying to make Fenway field playable ' BOSTON The World Series probably will be played tonight. We do not have final, absolute word on that because The Great Rainmaker in the Sky did not return a long-distance phone call. His right-hand man in Fenway Park, a smiling Irishman named Joe Mooney, is confident, however. "Starting in a few hours, it's going to clear up," Mooney said about 10 minutes after Bowie Kuhn, The Great Postponer, did it again. "We're finally going to get a good day in New England," Mooney said. "The field will be ready for a night game. For an afternoon game, it'd have been tough." ' . Mooney is the Red Sox's groundskeep-er. He's 44 years old, about 5 feet 7 and 200 pounds. His hair is gray and wavy. His face is red. His nose points toward his right ear. "Catching without a mask," he said. Was he a good baseball player? ' "Good? I wouldn't say that. Tough, maybe, but not good." It would have pleased Kuhn to play K a. " ball last night. Not often does baseball get a chance to go against Monday Night Football on television. It would have been no contest a World Series sixth game against a regular-season pro football game (with some backward souls tuned in to Archie Bunker). A meeting in center field at Fenway Park at 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon ended the delicious prospect of baseball braining The Great Abrasive. At that meeting Kuhn spoke with two umpires, two general managers, two managers and Joe Mooney. ( "The commissioner asked my opinion on whether we should play or not, and I told him I didn't think so," Mooney said. Mooney's primary consideration was not the field. Though the famed tin wall in left field may soon be The Rusty Monster . . . though Fenway soon may become a branch of the New England Aquarium . . . though it's been raining daily since Friday, Mooney said a game could have been played yesterday. All wet! dave kindred Courier-Journal Sports Editor "If this was a regular-season game, we'd say to hell with it, let's go,"he said. "But this is the World Series. The caliber of ball would suffer. In the World Series, you want to see the best." Trying to get the field playable, Mooney and his crew 15 men worked yesterdayhave been ingenious,' industrious and imaginative. To no avail. To drain water standing in the outfield, Mooney ordered the grass-sprink- Game Six is called off again; viruses, colds plague Red Sox Associated Press Red Sox head groundskeeper Joe Mooney inspects the drainage in left field at Fenway Park yesterday. He's confident the field will be playable for tonight's sixth World Series game. Associated Press BOSTON Game No. 6 of the World Series almost got itself played last night. Almost, but not quite. So, yesterday, for the fourth day in a row the opposing managers talked about strategy for the sixth game, and for the third day in a row the game was put off by the kind of storm that often plagues New England in the fall for days at a time. The last time they played a game in this Series that Cincinnati leads over Boston by three games to two was last Thursday, and it will be at least tonight before they play again. Weather forecasters said today will be nice, brightening hopes that a game will be played at 8:30 p.m. EDT (NBC, Channel 3 in Louisville). The biggest development yesterday was word that a number of the Red Sox are Hunt's third try a charm as Giants stun Bills 17-14 Associated Press BUFFALO After missing two earlier attempts, George Hunt calmly stepped up and booted a 37-yard field goal with six seconds remaining in the game to carry the New York Giants to a 17-14 victory over the previously undefeated Buffalo Bills last night. Hunt's kick came after Craig Morton had passed the Giants into Buffalo territory with a 22-yard toss to Ray Rhodes. Ron Johnson, who had brought the Giants into a tie with a fourth-quarter touchdown, punched eight yards to the 20 and one more to the 19 before Hunt booted the ball between the uprights for one of the National Football League season's biggest upsets. The winning field goal came after the Bills' kicker John Leypoldt had twice failed to put Buffalo ahead. Statistics First downs Rushes-yards Passing yards Return yards Passes Punts Fumbles-lost Penalties-yards NEW YORK GIANTS BUFFALO BILLS Giants 16 . 41-169 . 214 . 20 . 15-21-1 . 3-43 6-2 3-20 Bills 18 47-171 138 17 11-19-2 4- 41 1-1 5- 30 0 7 0 10-17 7 7 0 0-14 But. Simpson, 1, run (Levpoldt kick)! Buf. Hill, 13, pass from Ferguson (Leypoldt kick); NYG Rhodes, 20, pass from Morton (Hunt kick); NYG Johnson, 13, run (Hunt kick); NYG FG, Hunt, V. Attendance 79,518. INDIVIDUAL LEADERS Rushing: New York Johnson 13-77, Dawkins 17-55. Buffalo Simpson 34-126, Braxton 11-41. Receiving: New York Rhodes 5-83, Dawkins 4-63, Gillette 2-43, Johnson 2-20. Buffalo Hill 4-51, Chandler 3-51, Braxton 2-23, Seymour 2-22. Passlnsi New York Morton 15-2M, 220 yards. BuffaloFerguson 11-19 2, 147. With 3:16 to go in the game, Leypoldt sliced a 19-yard attempt wide to the right And after cornerback Charlie Ford recovered a fumble by Rhodes, Leypoldt failed again, this time when his 50-yarder was blocked at the line by Carl Lockhart with 1:02 to go. Buffalo jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter after Bob Chandler's reception of a 17-yard Joe Ferguson pass set up a one-yard run by 0. J. Simpson. Simpson's plunge capped a nine-play, 49-yard drive. The Bills added another touchdown in the second quarter following Doug Ko-tar's fumble at the New York 26-yard line. Five plays later, Ferguson faked a handoff to Simpson, then found J. D. Hill on a 13-yard scoring pass just 2:56 into the second period. But the Giants weren't about to become victims of a rout. After taking the ball on their own nine, New York marched 91 yards in eight plays. Craig Morton capped the drive with a 20-yard scoring toss to wide receiver Ray Rhodes. Both quarterbacks passed effectively in the first half. Ferguson completed eight of 12 for 97 yards and Morton six of nine for 69. Simpson, meanwhile, was well on his way to another 100-yard plus game, carrying the ball 19 times for 66 yards in the first half. Watkins w;as New York's leading rusher with 31 yards on seven carries. New York kicker George Hunt failed twice on field goal attempts in the third period. The Giants saw marches halt at the Buffalo 23 and 33. Hunt's first attempt went wide left and the second fell short. But the Bills offense was sputtering also, as it barely could push the ball past midfield. I suffering from viruses and colds. "Even Luis Tiant is sick," said Boston right fielder Dwight Evans, who is among the suffering. "We won't use this thing as an excuse, though," Evans added. "If we get beat, we get beat. I've played sick before. Every ballplayer does. You have to play. You can't call in sick. You have to go out and play, especially in the World Series." But Boston manager Darrell Johnson said Tiant, the 34-year-old right-hander who owns both Boston victories, will pitch the sixth game against Cincinnati's Gary Nolan. The seventh game, if needed, will feature Boston's Bill Lee against the Reds' Don Gullett. Commissioner Bowie Kuhn has not decided whether the possible seventh game would be played in the afternoon or at night. The rain that forced postponements on Saturday and Sunday actually let up for a couple of hours yesterday. A fine mist was coming down when Kuhn toured the soaked Fenway Park outfield late in the afternoon. Accompanying him were umpires Nick Colosi of the National League and Art Frantz of the American; Johnny Johnson, an aide to the commissioner, and Joe Mooney, head grounds-keeper. . For a while it seemed that Kuhn might try to get the game in. The rain had subsided and the forecast for the evening was good. But the squishy condition of the outfield grass convinced him to postpone the game. Reds manager Sparky Anderson took his team to Tufts University for some more exercising, while Johnson said his players would work under the stands at Fenway Park. Evans said, "We've played in this weather all year long. It doesn't bother us. The cold? We've played in cold weather before. Luis pitches better in warm weather, but I'm sure he'll be up for it no matter what it's like." Johnson will be ready to make a last-minute substitution for Tiant. "It's not because of any cold or flu, though," Johnson said. "Luis has that back condition. It hasn't bothered him for a while, but we have to be ready. If he doesn't feel he can go when he takes his pre-game warmup, we'll have somebody else ready." Last night's rainout cancelled a television confrontation between the World Series on NBC and ABC's coverage of the National Football League game between the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills. sports on the air TELEVISION 8 p.m.-World Series, Reds-Red Sox, NBC, Channel 3. RADIO 4:25 p.m.-Keeneland race, WHAS (840). 8:15 p.m.-World Series, Reds-Red Sox, WAVE (970). ling system reversed so it would suck water off the field. His men spread five tons of an artificial compound over the outfield, trying to soak up water. They have drilled tiny holes in the ground. And it just keeps raining. "We've had over three inches," he said. Mooney raised his right eyebrow, as if to say the matter is out of his hands without cooperation from The Big Guy. They couldn't even get a helicopter into Fen way yesterday. The idea was to have the chopper's propellor blast dry up the place. "How were we going to get a helicopter in here?" Mooney said. "We've used one twice this year. But with this fog, no way. You couldn't even see the Prudential Building." That's a 50-story skyscraper sometimes visible over the right field bleachers. What they need, Mooney said, is "more wind." He's not asking for sunshine. That's too much. "This is the third weekend in October in New England," he said. "We get shadows, not sun." The field was "saturated" yesterday afternoon and Mooney said "water will come back up to the top in the dampness of the night." But the "best ground crew in baseball" will have the field ready tonight. Mooney is proud of his work. Does he, as someone said, get down on his hands and knees to inspect the grass? "Sure." Is he an agronomist? "Naw," he said. "That stuff is a bunch of bullfeathers." Well, how does he make the Fenway Park grass so beautiful? "Fertilizers." Mooney smiled grandly. He thinks the Red Sox are the best organization in baseball. First a groundskeeper with the Boston farm team in Scranton, Pa. (and later with the Louisville Colonels in 1952-55 at Parkway Field; "Louisville's one of the best towns ever"), Mooney came to work at Fenway Park five years ago. He loves his job. A television newsman turned his bright lights on Mooney in the darkness under Fenway yesterday. "How do you feel, being a star?" the newsman said, mentioning three or four reporters who'd been talking to the groundskeeper. "I'm a star?" Mooney said gruffly. He tried not to smile and almost succeeded. "I wanta be the same ol' Joe Mooney I ever was. I want nobody to know me." REBEL YELL A pleasure enjoyed only below the Mason-Dixon Line. In 1849, long before Shiloh and Chickamauga, Southerners perfected a distinctively smooth and gentle Sour Mash Bourbon, made with just a whisper of wheat. Today you can enjoy the same great, ante-bellum Bourbon made from a private recipe. Rebel Yell; a favorite of unreconstructed Southerners, is still sold only below the Mason-Dixon line. fifth $rR5 case$:A75 QUART $99 cASE$y258 REBEL YE ofoulkern ofour Qfllask Q)lraiglilftourlonQ$liishy rente ill Qfell (Distillery, jJoul.Je, 9enf$$. (Sxclusively for . '. '.Vj&'.V.v . THE DEEP SQUTH'ifi Pebel Yell Distillery Louisville, Kentucky 90 Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

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