Albuquerque Journal from Albuquerque, New Mexico on December 6, 1976 · Page 25
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Albuquerque Journal from Albuquerque, New Mexico · Page 25

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Issue Date:
Monday, December 6, 1976
Page 25
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ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL Monday, December 6, 1976 C-3 mm Murray Baseball Moguls Meet In Tribal Rite (c) 1976, The Los Angeles Times Syndicate One of baseball's interesting tribal rites the annual winter meetings take place in Los Angeles this week. They may be the last of their kind - the Last Days of Pompeii, The Last Supper. The grand old game is never going to be the same after the massive free-agent dispersal sale last month. Baseball flung $50 million to the winds in a wild orgy of free spending, and signing two dozen ballplayers, most of whom will never remind you of Babe Ruth or Ty Cobb. " The public, which will ultimately bear the cost for this cornucopia of mediocrity, stood in open-mouthed wonder as the sport made instant millionaires of journeymen pitchers, banjo-hitting infielders, .270 hitters, much-travelled second basemen, overweight third basemen, Triple-A outfielders and sore-armed catchers, popoffs and pop-outs. Never have so many paid so much for so little. Agents who can't throw, catch or hit or even recognize a fastball are getting richer than people who can. On a whim, I decided to go see Mrs. Effa Manley at her Silver Lake home to see what she thought of all this. Mrs. Manley, a delightful lady of 77 going on 39, and her husband, the late Abe Manley, started all this in a sense when major league baseball, in the person of Branch Rickey, raided the great Negro leagues she and her husband founded in 1935. Mrs. Manley has recounted most of her personal story in a paperback "Negro Baseball Before Integration" (Adams Press, Chicago) written with newsman Leon Hardwick. The Manleys and the leagues they formed put more great ballplayers in the majors than Charlie Finley, Connie Mack, the International League, American Assn., Pony League and American Legion put together. Before them, black baseball was a kind of hit-or-miss Jim Crow proposition, a barnstorm through the barnyards, costume ball with the House of David. It was a very short money proposition, half carnival, half sport. The Manleys put the game on a solid business foundation, opened pipelines to keep good players from being sucked into the cotton mills, steel mills and coal mines. By the 1940s, the Negro Leagues comprised the greatest farm system in the history of baseball. It was a virtual third major league, operating independently of the main line of baseball, which poured millions into its own minor-league system which was full of ballplayers who couldn't carry the blacks' gloves. Some moduls drooled. Others just piously signed, "Oh,f he were only white!" Bill Veeck was the first to grab. In 1941, he conceived a daring plan wherein he would buy the Philadelphia Phillies, cellar and all, and stock them with a dozen of the greatest black stars, beginning with Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson. It would have been the greatest team in baseball history. There was only an unwritten law against it (and plenty of written law in favor of it) but baseball jerked the Phils off the open market before it could happen. And Pearl Harbor put it away for good. The close call did not go unnoticed by Branch Rickey, the majordomo of the Brooklyn Dodgers that year. Branch Rickey was a penny-pinching, psalm-singing, pious old party who also drooled at the pool of untapped talent and greatness and plotted how to get it. He first proposed a new Negro league the United States League. Since the game already had two, nobody could figure out why Rickey had to have a third. Except Rickey. He knew he had to have a third so he could oav higher salaries and corral all the top black baseball talent in the country in what would be, effectively, a Rickey farm system. The "United States League" also gave him a perfect cover to contact black players ("tamper with" would be a better word in the view of Mrs. Manley) without alarming his white colleagues in front offices. (He needn't have worried. Most of them thought lily white baseball was as safe as the drinking fountains of Birmingham.) Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe all thought they were being contacted by Rickey for the "Brown Dodgers" in the new "U.S. League." When the league folded at birth, Rickey took the mask and black gloves off and began signing black players openly for the white Dodgers. Branch Rickey may be a statue in the living room to black baseball fans everywhere but don't expect Mrs. Man-ley (or any other black owners of the era) to light any candles to him. Rickey dipped into the Manleys' Newark Eagles and took Don Newcombe, a fireballing 18-year-old righthander with unlimited promise (he was later to win both Cv Youne and MVP awards) and Monte Irvin, a future Hail of Famer. These players had been found, signed and brought along by the Manleys. But Rickey paid nothing for them. In fact, when the Manleys hired an attorney in the Monte Irvin case, Rickey responded by cutting Monte loose. THAT should teach the Negroes not to shoot Santa Claus! It was blackmail, of a sort. "We were in no position to sue or block the deal or every Negro newspaper in the country would have crucified us," recalls Effa Manley. Bill Veeck got hotly in the picture, on the spoor of the Manley's- sensational centerfielder, Larry Doby, but at least he had the good grace to offer $10,000 for this $100,-000 ballplayer. (The Giants had picked up Monte Irvin, paying the Manleys $5,000 when Rickey dropped him.) These agents were really free or almost! Brooklyn became a dynasty with its black superstars. Rickey became an emancipator. He enjoyed the role. He used to say he had made a promise to himself back around the turn of the century when he was baseball coach at Ohio Wesleyan and had a superb black player who should have been in the big leagues with his colleagues but who couldn't even be in the same hotel with them. Rickey said he vowed to change that. Maybe so, but it took him 50 years to cut that guy down from the cross, although he had been a top baseball executive since the 1920s. When he did, he changed the balance of power in baseball, maybe forever. The American League never did recover and is known in the better press boxes today as "the brother-in-law league." If it weren't for Rickey, the major leagues may never have seen Robinson, Irvin, Newcombe, Gilliam, Aaron, Mays, Gibson, Brock or Clemente. But if it weren't for the Negro leagues and Abe and Effa Manley, the majors wouldn't have seen them, either. Their muscles might long since have atrophied in a steel mill, mine shaft or cotton spinner. Jim Murray, the sports columnist for the Los Angeles Tunes, is the most frequent winner of the Sports Writer of the Year A ward in history. GARY PLAYER'S GOLF CLASS: Short swing I fulfil r6-' j L sjs IT JfVl ---WiiMVTT '" -".fJ-l---:' MAVMMOO" NIWAIeitt tTD '-'0 ( l ( I I I j I 1 I f . i U,ij llil t i i i. Owners Get Basement Prices Jane Blalock Fights By JOHN LINDBLOM San Jose News SAN JOSE, Calif. - Are the misses on the Ladies Professional Golfers Assn. entitled to have a Masters? A federal judge in Augusta, Ga., said no in a ruling last week. t The issue is not an attempt by the women to break the sex barrier in the tradition-steeped, 43-year-old Augusta Masters, but to apply that same name to their own tournament in mid-spring at Hilton Head, S. C. But it is not the argument that holds fascination in this case so much as who did the arguing. Jane Blalock testified as the LPGA's only witness. The same Jane Blalock who five years ago went to court against the LPGA in a successful campaign to exonerate herself of cheating charges and to have a one-year suspension set aside. Why Janie, then? "Why not?" says Ray Volpe, the former National Hockey League director who now presides over the women's tour. "I have to be careful what I say about the case," said Volpe in New York, "but I felt like Janie should be our represent ative because she's not only a very good golfer, she's very smart. "I couldn't care less about what's in the past. She has always been fair with me and she's been someone you could look to for support. I don't think people have ever realized all those things about Jane." Blalock, who will soon finish a book about her ordeal with the LPGA entitled "The Guts to Win," said she has never had any animosity toward the organization. "Selecting me to represent them in this case was a compliment," said the 31-year-old former New England school teacher who last year moved into the top 10 all-time money winners on the LPGA tour with earnings of more than $300,000. "I think it's time to forget the things that happened. "You can look at the good side of it and it gave us a lot of press. It opened people's eyes as to how much talent there is on the women's tour. LOS ANGELES (AP) -After a month of frantic spending in the free-agent sweepstakes, major league baseball has a chance to dip into another player marketplace Monday at bargain basement prices. A host of familiar ex-major leaguers are available in the annual draft of non-roster players and each carries a $25,000 price tag, no comparison to the astronomical money bids the free agent class of 1976 attracted. An owner with an imaginative checkbook has his pick of players like Eddie Watt and Wayne Granger, once the bullpen aces of the Baltimore Orioles and Cincinnati Reds. Also on the list are Steve Kline and Fred Beene, who formed half of the four-player package that the New York Yankees gave Cleveland in the deal that brought Chris Chambliss. Watt was4-2 with a4. 05 earned run average at Hawaii and Granger was 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA at Denver. Beene was 7-9 and Kline 9-10, both with Toledo. Also available is first baseman Roger Freed, who batted .309 with 42 home runs and 102 runs batted in at Denver. Those numbers made Freed the minor league player of the year, but he's 30 years old and has flunked previous big league tests with Baltimore, Philadelphia, Cleveland and Cincinnati. That's why most clubs pass up this draft as a source of player talent. Most of the minor leaguers considered to be prospects have been protected on the 40-man major league prospects have been protected on the 40-man major league rosters. Two teams that could be Nebraska Crushes Hawaii HONOLULU (AP)-Richard Berns set a single game rushing record for Nebraska Saturday night in leading the nationally-ranked and bowl-bound Cornhuskers to an easy 68-3 victory over Hawaii. Berns, who scored on runs of five, four, one and 56 yards, broke Frank Solich's record of 204 yards rushing set in 1965 against Air Force, Berns made 25 carries for 211 yards. Nebraska, now 8-3-1 and headed for a New Years clash with Texas Tech in the Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl, scored at will. Quarterback Vince Ferra-gamo passed for two touchdowns a 43-yarder to Bobby Thomas for Nebraska's first score and a 65-yar-der to Chuck Malito. He also tallied on a 16-yard run. In the first quarter, Nebraska jumped off to a 27-0 lead. Hawaii, 3-8 at the season's close, gained 57 yards for the first half to 325 for Nebraska. Tresch Wins World Series Slalom Final ST. MORTTZ, Switzerland (AP) - Switzerland's Walter Tresch beat Sweden's Inge-mar Stenmark in the final of the men's parallel slalom in Sunday's final day of the World Series of Skiing. Stenmark missed a gate in. the first run and took 1 1.5-second penalty. Trying to make up in the second run, he fell after the halfway mark of the 26-gate course while be was slightly ahead. Young Czech rader Bohu-mir Zemin beat Italy's Gustavo Thoeni in the final for third place. Thoeni wu 1.289 second behind after the first leg and missed a gate In the , second. . N Mebmkt V 6 21 14-68 Hawaii 0 0 J 0-3 Neb - Thormi 43 pus from Ferragimo (Eveltnd kick) Neb Femgamo 16 run (kick failed) Neb - Bemt 4 run (Eveltnd kick) Neb - Bona one run (Eveland kick) Neb - Bemt S run (kick blacked) Neb Malito 65 past from Femgamo (Eveland kick) Neb - Berns 56 run (Eveland kick) Haw FG Goodman 43 Neb - Malito 50 pass from Sorley (Eve-lam) kick) Neb Craig one run (Eveland kick) Neb - Sorley 7 run (Eveland kick) Ferguson Leads In World Rodeo OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Tom Ferguson of Miami, Okla., widened his lead in the competition to become world champion all-around cowboy in the third go-round of the National Finals Rodeo here. Ferguson, who may become the first rodeo performer to earn $100,000 in a season, piled up winnings of $3,518 at the end of the third go-round. His closest challenger for the all-around title, which carries a $10,000 prize, was Sandy Kirby of Greenville, Tex., with $1,900. Four cowboys who are each entered in two events are competing for the all-around title. Whoever earns the most money in the event after 10 go-rounds end next Saturday will get the title. Ferguson won $87,909 in rodeoes this season before the finals began, but those winnings have no effect in determ-ing the world champion. In addition to the all-around cowboy, world champions will be named in seven events. The leading contenders for those championships after 'the third go-round were; Bareback bronc riding: Jack Ward, Springdale, Ark., $1,316. Steer wrestling: a tie between Tommy Puryear, Leander, Tex., and Frank Shepperson, Midwest, Wyo., at $1,900. Team roping: A tie between Leo and Reg Camarillo, Oka-dale, Calif., and Arnold Felts, Woodward, Okla., and Ray Lapan, Riverside, Calif., at $915. Saddle bronc riding: Monty Hensora, Mesquite, Tex., $1,608. Bull riding: Randy Majors, $2439. Women's barrel racing: Colette Graves, Hardtner, Kan., $926. Calf ropmTom Ferguson, Miami, Okla., $23i BLEM TIRE SALE THIS WEEK ONLY FREE INSTALLATION REGULAR BUM QTT. tlgl TYPE PRICE MICE 2 I 3-13 RnL BELTED I '48.60 I 10 15208-13 RWL RADIAL 59.60 35 16 BRT8-13WSW RADIAL 6&30 38 3 CR78-14WSW RADIAL 6340 37 2 078-15 BUC POLY &80 24 2 0R78-14 WSW RADIAL 66.10 40 8 ER78-14 WSW RADIAL 75.10 41 34 FR78-14 WSW RADIAL 78.50 46 3 FR70-14 WSW RADIAL 78.50 42 2 H78-14 WSW BELTED 5440 32 3 I&14RWL BELTED 6U3 38 23 FR78-15 WSW RADIAL 80X0 47 10 FE3-15 fTrVl BELTED 58.10 34 24. 6H73-15 WSW RADIAL 5-33 50 it emisra radial &so 50 16 378-15 HW RADIAL 85X0 50 2 673-15 BIX BELTED 43.10 23 3 L0-15O. BELTED 67X0 33 ALL PRICES PLUS F.E. TAX ON $2.04 to $3.13 THESi TIRES HAVE SUPERFICIAL BLEMISHES THAT 00 NOT AFFECT TIRE SAFETY OR PERFORMANCE. Mtalar Cfcaqa. Bankanwteanl, Amancan Emm. Oman Club, Can Blanch. local anancmo avHU umt a anown pncd at &F GxxxMi o local Snani i Emm. tBF G Goodrich Mora CompaMMty 201 L0MAS HW 243-5537 wstetheoihergiiys active are the American League expansion clubs, the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners. Both teams are in situations where even castoffs like those available in the draft, could help. Montreal drafts first, followed by Toronto. Atlanta is third, and Seattle has the fourth choice. Meanwhile, trade rumors spiced the first day of the convention. Philadelphia, which lost Dave Cash to the free-agent auction, is searching for a second baseman and has been talking to the Chicago Cubs, with Manny Trillo the target. The Phillies also would like to sip free agent Richie Hebner to play first base. The Yankees have reportedly been talking to Cleveland about outfielder George Hendrick and that could be part of a three-cornered deal. baited ara inr whitewalls SAW For size B78-14 plus $138 F.LT. 2 Fiberglass belts for strength and stability. Polyester cord body for smooth, quiet ride. Wide 78 series tread for positive handling and control. SILVERTOWN BELTED Sal Regular Sir Pnc Price F.E.T. A78-13 JM $37.60 $1.75 ' B78-14 M 40.30 1.98 C78-14 32 43.00 2.05 078-14 33 44.60 2.12 E78-14 33 46.40 2.27 F78-14 3fi 48.40 2.43 G78-14 37 49.90 2.60 H78-14 40 54.40 2.83 F78-15 38 50.60 2.54 G78-15 39 52.20 2.65 H78-15 55.10 2.87 J78-15 2 56.30 3.03 L78-1 5 4 59.20 3.14 Blackwallt 1 WU. limited time offer! All tire prices include free mounting! radial whitewall sale llVfy I For Size tHJf PlusF.E.T.of$1 4-ply snow tire sale AR78-13 .98 and retreadaWe trade-in All Sizes on Sale FOR SIZE C78-14 plusFET of $2 04 ALL SIZES ON SALE Pius 'irfast t'tot-m WhitewaMa J2 mc I -- ALBUQUERQUE PALMER REEDY B.F. GOODRICH TIRE. INC. TIRE CO. STORE 421SMMWII.L M7 FmhUi R.W. 1LonN.N. 2SS-K4I 145-1(31 2346(7 EAST CENTRAL JOHNSON'S CONOCO TIRE TIRE CENTER CAR CLINIC 1213 1 CtMril RX. 3001 Ian N4rt NX. (200 Central SX ISM MI41I1 2SMSJ2 Master Charta, lanUnwricari bwrkaa Uprm Diaart Club, Carta llaaeha, local financing availaMa. Man at tnewn af U. laaanca stores. CowpttitiYtry W8te the other guys r

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