The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on April 14, 1954 · Page 15
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 15

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, April 14, 1954
Page 15
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BLYTHEVTLLB (ARK.) COUHIEK NEWS WBDNE8DAY, APRIL 14, ttCM Talent Misuse Underscored Hal Jeffcoat's Trials Are a Case in Point By HARRY GRAYSON NEA Sports Editor JIBW YORK — (NEA) — Way back there, Roger Bres- natoati was a pitcher who became a catcher and could play my infield or outfield position with equal skill. But all ballplayers aren't nearly as versatile as Bresnahan or, say, the current Jackie Robinson, which is why casting is as important in baseball as it is in football. H Hal Jeffcoat makes it as a pitcher with the Cubs, the South Carolinian will further stress the misuse of baseball talent. He wasted six years as a near All-America out in center field. He batted an anemic .219 in '52, raised his average to no more than .235 last trip. Jeffcoat was cut out to be a pitcher from the start, says he has wanted to pitch for three years. The Chicago Nationals' brass should have acted long before this, but it has long been. noted for moving too late and then too frequently in the wrong direction. Jeffcoat comes from a family of pitchers. While they didn't stick around for any length of time, older brothers Charley, George and Bill crashed the majors with the Yankees, Braves and Giants, respectively. CharJey Grimm commented on Jeffcoat's tremendous arm when he came up in 1948. The youngster jnade 28 errors with Nashville in *47, practically all on throws. "He fires the ball so hard that it's scooting and skipping and the infielders can't handle it," commented Manager Grimm. JEFFCOAT WOULD FOLLOW in the footsteps of Bucky Walters and Bob Lemon. Walters kicked around as an infielder for six years before Jimmy Wilson decided he would be much more useful tearing the hands off the catcher rather than the in- f4elders. They didn't know where to put Bob Lergon for five years before the war and two afterward, until Lou Boudreau decided he was a pitcher in 1948. The result was a 20-game contribution toward Cleveland's first pennant in 28 years. tTnless he learns to smack that controlled inside pitch, Jackie Jensen may wish he had listened to Casey Stengel, who advised him to try pitching. Miscasting in baseball is not confined to pitchers. The Cardinals don't have to tell you that a great deal of their troubles would end if Eddie Stanky would only ask Stanley Musial to play first base instead of employing him in the outfield, where his one weakness is somewhat exposed—a weak arm. * * * A YEAR AGO, Leo Durocher ruined Daryl Spencer, considered the most accomplished shortstop in the minors, and the Giants by not ordering Alvin Dark to play third base and like it. Dark hasn't the strongest stoortstopping arm in the business. With the pitchers testifying that Ray Boone never would make a shortstop, the Indians went along with him for five and a half years, sloughed off three consecutive flags in the process. Traded to the Tigers, Boone broke out in a rash of home runs performing brilliantly at third base, where he belongs. Getting back to the pitchers, 90 per cent of the professional ballplayers pitched as kids, where the boy who throws hardest gets the job. When they can hit, they are placed elsewhere. When you come right down to it, most pitchers are baseball misfits because all they Can do is throw. They're the world's worst hitters. Effective pitchers are as hard to find as young men who excel in other departments. Yet managers sometimes are slow to let a fellow who can't hit a darting ball throw it. Jake LaMoifa In Comeback He's On TV Tonight As He Takes on Billy Kilgore MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AV-More than a year after a brutal beating by Danny Nardico sent him into retirement, former middleweight champion Jake LaMotta will be seen on television tonight in a comeback effort against Billy Kilgore of Miami. The Bronx Bull has been made a 3-1 favorite over the unrated Kilgore in a 10-round main event which will be telecast by the Columbia Broadcasting System. It starts at 10 p.m., EST. Nardico stopped LaMotta in Miami on New Year's Eve, 1952. The Tampa toughie knocked Jake down for the first time in his career, then beat the helpless ex-champ so badly he was unable to come out for the eighth round. "I felt sick and washed up after that," LaMotta said. "I could have kept on fighting. I turned down some good offers to fight Nardico again and to meet Bobo Olson and Randy Turpin. I didn't feel like fighting any more. "Then my weight crawled up to 195 and I felt lousy. I went back to training and got down to 168 ACROSS THE WINDOW AND INTO THE TREES—Drawing « ^ a< J ' s » h< -^ ^P '" M«s- Kathrvn GHsby's recipe for sauteed starling. Mrs. CMsby of Wellington, O shoots them through a hole in the kitchen window sill. Her dog retrieves. (fcEA) O'Neill Denies Laziness Charge By GEORGE BUGBEE NEA Special Correspondent PHILADELPHIA — (NEA) — Ordinarily as jovial and sunny as only a fat man can be, Ponderous Steve O'Neill is, at the moment, all clouded up by criticisms to the effect that his Phillies lack hustle. "Somebody is all wet," he said. "Ain't hustling? I don't know where they get that stuff.' The needle that got deepest under Steve's expansive skin, and brought the outcropping of chips to the shoulder, was one a veteran baseball author jabbed in up to the hilt. "This is one of the laziest clubs I ever saw," exclaimed this critic. "It has talent, but it's lazy. There's too much standing around. O'Neill tries to break up standing groups, but the players just won't hustle." You can really imagine how deep such a thrust would go into the hide of any manager, especially one keenly aware that his team must hustle to the limit if it is to have a chance. The Phils, third last year, haven't strengthened as much as the Dodgers and Braves. Hustle will have to take up the slack. "And we've got it," Steve retorted, sticking out all of his chins. * * * STEVE CONCEDES HE hasn't Fights Last Night LOS ANGELES—Bob Albright, 212. Los Angeles, outpointed Jake Williams, 186, Los Angeles, 10. Galvestou, Tex—Buddy Holderfield, 144, Little Rock, Ark., stopped Chato Hernandez, 145, Mexico, 5. SALT LAKE CITY—Bobby Bickle, 132, Kansas City, knocked out Al Moore, 133, Oakland, Calif., 9. and began feeling great again. "In the gym, I flattened some pretty good guys who're still fighting. That convinced me I had enough left to corne back. I'm only 32 and I think I'll do all right against the middleweights and the light heavies they've got now." LaMotta lifted the middleweight crown from Marcel Cerdan in 1949 and lost it to Sugar Ray Robinson in 1951. exactly had hi* veterans under forced draught, but denies that this proves laaineas or complacency. "What is spring training for?" he asked. "I had a lot of kids I had to see. Find out what they could do. How could I judge 'em unless I played 'em?" The veterans didn't beg off or loaf during their stints, he assured you, and they're in top shape. This went especially for Robin Roberts, who is ace of the pitching game despite an indifferent showing. The .Robin hadn't been bobbin' along with any great degree of chirpiness. "He'll be ready when the season starts," O'Neill declared, confidently. "There's nothing wrong with him, and I want to keep him that way. He got in shape like he wanted to — slow and careful. He ought to have another great year." He wouldn't be at all surprised if Robin matches or exceeds last year's 28 victories. * » • THE LUMPS HE took this spring don't m^an a thing," assured O'Neill. "I remember how Bob Feller used to be in the spring. I'm talking about when he was in his prime, too. He got his spring shel- lackings." O'Neill talked freely and admiringly of the Dodgers and Braves the teams he must beat. He was easily voluble on the Giants, whom he regarded, with the great Willie Mays back, as a prime sleeper. But he clammed up when asked for only a few words on the relative merits of Feller and Roberts. He agilely sidestepped the ques tion—changing the subject to re turn to the irritating charge abou his team's laziness. "Tain't so," he fumed, sending his charges out hustling. Was Yesterday's Win Last for Shantz? PHILADELPHIA l/fl — Bobby Shantz won a ball name yesterday but he's wondering today it' It was his last. The 28-yt'av-old southpaw had to leave the same between the Philadelphia Athletics and Boston Red Sox yesterday because of a muscle spasm in his valuable pitching arm. The Athletics were leading 5-2 as Shanty, pitched to Boston's Billy Goodman in the top ot" the sixth inning. The little lefty broke a beautiful curve ball across Goodman's letters. The crowd of 16.331 cheered. But out on the mound. Shantz was doubled, over. Dejected He motioned to the dugout and Manager Eddie Joost came running out. They conferred a few seconds and Shantz. his head bowed and the picture of dejection, slowly walked to the dressing room, where trainer Jim Tadley went to work on him. Shantz. who had his back operated on in his rookie season with the club, fractured a wrist at the helghth of his fabulous 1952 season, when he won 24 games and was selected the league's Most Valuable Palyer. and injured his LOOK! You Save Money! Old German Premium Beer 24-Can Case $ 319 So. 21st. St. New strength and stamina! 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