The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 3, 1986 · Page 11
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 11

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Friday, January 3, 1986
Page 11
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Veeck, innovative baseball owner, dies The Salina Journal Friday, January 3,1986 Page 11 CHICAGO (AP) - Bill Veeck, the former owner of the Chicago White Sox who began his baseball career with $11 in his pocket and a wild sense of humor, died Thursday. He was 71. Veeck, who brought the exploding Scoreboard, midgets, clowns and ethnic nights to baseball, died at the Illinois Masonic Medical Center of a heart attack, said hospital spokeswoman Jean Benzies. The spokeswoman said Veeck had entered the hospital Monday after suffering shortness of breath. He underwent surgery in October 1984 for removal of a malignant lung tumor. Memorial services for Veeck were scheduled Saturday at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Chicago. Veeck, who began his career as a vendor with the Chicago Cubs, went on to operate the old St. Louis Browns, the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago White Sox twice. Born Feb. 9,1914 in Chicago, Veeck was the son of a baseball writer who became president of the Cubs. He roamed Wrigley Field as a youngster, running errands and working the turnstiles and concession stands. He later moved up to become an office boy and worked in every phase of the Cubs' organization during the eight years he was with the club. In 1941, he headed a syndicate that bought the Milwaukee Brewers of the American Association. He and manager Charlie Grimm put on stunts that turned the Brewers into one of the minor leagues' most successful franchises. "To be successful in baseball, you must have more than a winner," Veeck said in 1941. "You have to sell baseball to the customer other than from the field of play. Once you get the customer into your park, you have to show him you still are interested in him after he has paid to get it." Veeck, who wore a hearing aid and bifocals, titled his autobiography "Veeck, As in Wreck." He had a pegleg, the result of an injury as a Marine in World War n, and used it for an ashtray before he quit smoking because of emphysema. His standard response to "How do you feel, Bill?" was "Not too bad for The fans always came first for Bill Veeck, seen sitting with the Cubs' "Bleacher Bums" at Wrigley Field in 1984. a balding old man who can't see or hear." At age 32, Veeck headed a group that bought the slumping Indians franchise in 1946 and moved the club from old League Park to Municipal Stadium. The self-proclaimed hustler began a series of promotions which were unheard of in the major leagues. He also broke the color line in the American League in July 1947 when he sent Larry Doby, a black, to the plate as a pinch hitter. He said one of his greatest achievements — besides inventing the exploding Scoreboard — was setting the then-season attendance record of 2,262,000 at Cleveland in 1948, when the Indians won the pennant and the World Series. Veeck bought the old St. Louis Browns in 1951 and sent 3-foot-7 midget Eddie Gaedel to bat in August of that year as part of a publicity stunt in a game against the Detroit Tigers. Kosar returns to Orange Bowl as quarterback of underdog NFL roundup By The Associated Press Now that the University of Miami has blown its shot at a national championship by losing in the Sugar Bowl, one of its more illustrious alumni*returns to the Orange Bowl to begin the long trek toward a possible National Football League championship. Ber nie Kosar returns Saturday to the scene of one of his greatest triumphs — Miami's victory over Nebraska two years ago that put the Hurricanes at the pinnacle of the college game. This time he's facing Miami — the Miami Dolphins. And this time he's quarterbacking the Cleveland Browns, who managed to earn a berth in the NFL playoffs despite finishing 8-8, the poorest since the league inaugurated postseason play in 1933 (except for the strike- shortened 1982 season, when Cleveland and Detroit were admitted with 4-5 records). The game is the first of four this weekend which will determine the teams for the Jan. 12 American and National conference's championship games, the final step before the Jan. 26 Super Bowl in the Louisiana Superdome. Also Saturday, the Dallas Cowboys are at the Los Angeles Rams in an NFC divisional playoff. Sunday, both wild-card teams play their second playoff games — the NFC's New York Giants at the Chicago Bears and the AFC's New England Patriots at the Los Angeles Raiders. The Browns earned a postseason berth despite their .500 record Bernie Kosar while Denver, an 11-5 team, missed out. Cleveland had the good fortune of playing in the AFC Central Division, where an 8-8 record was sufficient to win the title. The Broncos were runners-up to the 124 Raiders in the AFC West and, by virtue of the NFL's tie-breaking formula, lost out to the Patriots and New York Jets in the wild-card derby. The Dolphins, 12-4 and champions of the AFC East, certainly aren't the Cornhuskers, any more than the Browns are the Hurricanes that Kosar quarterbacked two years ago. "When we were playing together," Jay Brophy, now a linebacker for the Dolphins, said, "we had a great offensive line and he could stand in the pocket all day. Now you see him rolling out, running for his life a lot. ' 'Bernie won a lot of big games in the Orange Bowl," Brophy said. "I sure don't want him to win another ... I'm going to try to get my hands all over him. If we let him stand back there, he'll pick us to pieces. We know we've got to get to him." Kosar became Cleveland's starting quarterback six weeks into the season when veteran Gary Danielson suffered a shoulder injury. He started eight of the final 10 games. "At times you look at him on films and clearly see that he's a rookie," Dolphins' safety Bud Brown said. "But then there are those times when you watch him set up and throw a beautiful pass, leading his man just right." The southern California sun has shone brightly on the Cowboys in their two playoff games in Los Angeles. In 1975, they beat the Rams 37-7 there for the NFC championship. Three years later, they blanked them 28-0, again for the conference title. Each team's offense is built around a strong ground game — Tony Dorsett of the Cowboys (1,307 yards and seven touchdowns) going against the Rams' Eric Dickerson (1,234 yards and 12 TDs despite missing the early part of the season due first to a holdout and then to injuries). The Giants and Bears are meeting for the first time since 1977 when, in the final game of the season, Chicago won 12-9 in overtime in snowy, slushy Giants Stadium to earn a playoff berth (Dallas beat them 37-7 in the first round). The Patriots and Raiders are playing the only "rematch," Los Angeles having defeated New England 35-20 Sept. 29, when three turnovers were converted into TDs by the Raiders. Dartmouth board upholds coach's firing HANOVER, N.H. (AP) — An advisory group at Dartmouth College has affirmed the firing of football coach Joe Yukica, but the step, announced Thursday, leaves his future still in question. More court action is expected following the development, which corrects one problem found by Superior Court Judge Walter Murphy last month when he invalidated Yukica's Nov. 29 firing by athletic director Ted Leland. Murphy, in a suit brought by Yukica to uphold his contract, ruled that Leland could not fire Yukica without backing from the 16-member council. The council is made up of faculty members, administrators, alumni and students. In a prepared statement Thursday, Alex Huppe, spokesman for the Ivy League school, said the council voted 9-1 during a closed session Saturday to approve the firing. The vote and the prepared statement announcing it did not address another claim by Yukica's lawyers, which is that his contract requires a year's notice before he can be terminated. Apparently responding to that claim, the council said its fallback position is that Yukica "be relieved of all coaching responsibilities and the title of head football coach not later than Dec. 31,1986." Though he has had a 33-21-2 league record at Dartmouth since 1978, Yukica's last two seasons have been losing ones and his teams are winless outside the league. His contract runs through June 1987. In announcing the firing in November, the school said Yukica could remain a Dartmouth employee, but not football coach. Gaedel, who wore the number one- eighth, was replaced by a pinch runner after Detroit pitcher Bob Cain walked him on four pitches. The game provided the Browns with their largest home attendance in four years. "It never entered my mind that it would be the single act with which I would become permanently identified," Veeck said later. He was forced to sell the Browns after other American League owners blocked his attempts to move the financially strapped team to Baltimore — a move they later approved for the Browns' new owners. But Veeck came back. He bought the White Sox for the first time in 1959 and they went on to win the American League pennant. They lost the World Series to the Los Angeles Dodgers. "The idea that you don't have to package your product as attractively as General Motors packages its product, and hustle your product the way General Motors hustles its product, is baseball's most pernicious enemy," Veeck said in his autobiography. "Every day was Mardi Gras and every fan was king." The Sox set a Chicago attendance record of 1,644,460 in 1960, but finished only third. The following year, Veeck sold the team because of failing health. He bought an estate in Easton, Md., where he and his second wife, Mary Frances Ackerman, a former model, raised a family. He had been divorced by his first wife. In all, he had nine children. By 1975, Veeck's health had returned and the White Sox were for sale. He put together a group and made a successful bid for the club, paying $8.5 million. Five years later, he sold the team for $20 million. "I didn't like the American League owners when I came in to the league, and I don't like them going out of it," Veeck said at the time. "I'm sure the feeling of the league owners is mutual. Or reciprocal." He went back to writing and continued on the lecture circuit where he kept audiences laughing with stories of the inept St. Louis Browns. Colts' Bickett top defensive rookie in NFL INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Linebacker Duane Bickett of the Indianapolis Colts has traded his playbook for textbooks after a season that earned him recognition as the National Football League's Defensive Rookie of the Year by The Associated Press. The 6-5, 241- pound first-round draft choice left the cold and snow of winter for Los Angeles when the season ended to work on obtaining the 12 hours of credit he needs for Bickett a degree in business accounting at the University of Southern California. "When I started (the season) that was probably the last thing on my mind," Bickett said after learning of his selection by the AP panel of voters representing the league's 28 franchises. "I had a lot of concern about just getting on the team. Getting in there, doing a good job and making a contribution was the big thing on my mind." In winning the honor, Bickett beat out defensive ends Reggie White of Philadelphia and Ray Childress of Houston. Colts coach Rod Dowhower admitted surprise over Bickett's progress. "Duane's impact is better than what I thought it would be. He has exceeded all expectations. He's consistent. He's a player I can count on," said Dowhower, who saw Bickett lead the team in sacks with six for 44 yards — including one in each of the last five games. "I did better than I felt I would coining into the season," said Bickett, who was a holdout until after the exhibition schedule began. He started all 16 games at outside linebacker and was the third-leading tackier for the 5-11 Colts, finishing with 135. "As I got more experience, I got better," Bickett said. "I think it (the holdout) meant it took a couple of games before I was ready. If you compare my last eight or so games to the first three or four, it's a joke. There's no comparison to the way I was playing." Bickett credits Dowhower and defensive coordinator George Hill with making his adjustment to the NFL easier. "I really appreciate that the coaches didn't put any pressure on me to start. They didn't get on me when I made a mistake. They explained what happened but I never felt that if I made a mistake I'd be pulled or humiliated," he said. .^fl f Fresno State not among Top 20 . FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Fresno State football coach Jim Sweeney refused to "berate" sports writers who left his Bulldogs out of the Top 20 in the final Associated Press poll Thursday, but he felt it was "pretty hard to ignore" the nation's only undefeated team. The Bulldogs had hoped for their first Top 20 finish in history after capping an 11-0-1 season with a 51-7 California Bowl blowout of previously undefeated Bowling Green, which had tied for 20th in the final regular season poll. But Fresno State, which missed a perfect season only by a 24-24 tie with Hawaii, wound up 21st in Thursday's balloting. The 85 points the team received were 41 fewer than 20th-ranked Louisiana State, which had a 9-2-1 record. "In the final regular season poll, we were recipients of zero votes," Sweeney said. But he thought the Bulldogs would gain enough recognition to be ranked from their rout of Bowling Green. "When you beat somebody 51-7 who is in the Top 20, it is pretty hard to ignore them," Sweeney said. "But I'm not going to berate the AP. We want to align ourselves with the media." Mississippi St. cage coach resigns STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Bob Boyd has resigned as head basketball coach at Mississippi State University. University President Donald Zacharias said the resignation was "not anything unexpected ...He has / been planning to make a career decision for some \ * time." -S <-• 7 Boyd's current team is 3-7 following Thursday's , _y 71-62 overtime loss to Alabama. During the 1982-83 \-\ "~ *> season, he took a 8-19 club and turned it into a 17-12 Jk squd that went 9-9 in conference play. Last year, the _^ ^ J|| Bulldogs went 13-15 overall and finished 9-9 in the „ , SEC. B °y d Boyd, 55, previously coached at Seattle University and at USC, where his powerhouse teams compiled an overall record of 216-131. He took teams to the National Invitation Tournament, the NCAA regionals, and the Commissioner's Conference tournament five times. Lohr has lead at Bahamas Classic PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) — Bob Lohr scored an eagle-2 on his way to a 64 and the first round lead Thursday in the Bahamas Classic, a new event that serves as the unofficial start to the 1986 PGA Tour. Lohr, 25, who won $93,651 as a rookie last season, holed out a 141-yard 8-iron shot from a flying lie in the rough on the llth for his deuce. His 8-under-par effort matched the course record for the 6,976 yard Paradise Island Golf Club. The tournament is an approved but unofficial event on the 11%month PGA Tour. The event offers $300,000 in total prize money with $72,000 to the winner. Rookie Davis Love III scored a pair of eagle-3s — on the first and sixth holes—and shot a 65. Mark McCumber did not make a bogey in a round of 66. Bob Tway, Ed Fiori and Scott Hoch were next at 67. Chiefs fire special teams coach KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs said Thursday they had fired Jim Vechiarella, who coached special teams and outside linebackers. Vechiarella, 48, had been with the Chiefs since 1983, when John Mackovic became head coach. Vechiarella had been an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Rams and with Charlotte of the old World Football League. He had been a college assistant at Youngstown State, Southern Illinois and Tulane. Vechiarella, who played at Youngstown State, also coached at Poland, Ohio High School and Rayen High School in Youngstown. Central cagers face McPherson Salina high school basketball swings back into gear tonight as Salina Central and McPherson tangle. The Mustang boys (24) will meet the Bullpups in .McPherson while Central's girls (3-3) will be at home tonight. Both McPherson teams are 2-1. Salina South and Sacred Heart will resume action Tuesday as the Cougars travel to Hays and the Knights play host to Beloit, respectively. League (Continued from Page 9) Minneapolis superintendent Ron Clifton isn't optimistic. "It's frustrating for us because it leaves us out in the open," Clifton said. "There's lots of pride and satisfaction associated with playing in a league. If you don't play in a league, there's lots of scheduling problems." Beloit hopes to join the North Central Kansas League. The NCKL — comprised of Abilene, Chapman, Clay Center, Concordia, Marysville and Wamego — is expected to act on Beloit's request this month. Belleville and Minneapolis already have ruled out the NCKL because of its bigger-sized schools (all 4A). Both schools have sent letters of request to the Blue Valley League. The BVL schools — Clifton-Clyde, Hanover, Linn, Riley County, Valley Heights and Washington — won't have any answers until later this month. "It surprised me," said Belleville superintendent Ray Salmon on receiving news that the CKL is now official. "We have a solid league in the NCAA. The reason we got out of the NCKL (1983) was because we were too small. We thought the NCAA would be a stable league. We're in a tough situation because we're shut off from the north by Nebraska and the Mid-Continent League is too far west. We'd have to travel farther if we went east." For Life insurance, check with State Farm. • Permanent Life. • Term Life. • Retirement, pension and group plans. • Universal Life. RAY HOWEY 1101 S.Ohio Suite C 827-9991 Like a good neighbor. Sfale Farm is there

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