Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on September 17, 1982 · Page 47
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 47

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Friday, September 17, 1982
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Friday, Sept. 17, 1982 page; 4D today's complete baseball report Hi PREP COLUMN COMICS s no -6660 mmmm WEATHER psges 7-11 Call with sports news: 222-6660 Insldo this section I LJ DETROIT FREE PRESS Wilcox. , . , . . . - Sudden uprooting stunted Lemon's first Tiger season My friend Chester Earl Lemon went to a florist Thursday to wire his wife some anniversary flowers "I'm a little negligent," he said. "Two days late." I guess that pretty well sums up the sort of year my friend Chet Lemon has had. Good intentions, bad timing. We came together from Chicago last autumn; sort of a package deal. In return, Chicago got-Steve Kemp. Chicago probably got the best of it. Kemp hit guided missiles all summer and the White Sox stayed near the top of the standings. Lemon hit paper airplanes and the Tigers took a dive. Yet, I'm going to ask for some sympathy today. ' Not for myself. For my friend. " " Chet Lemon chose a terrible time to have his worst season. His last five seasons in Chicago, his batting averages were .273, .300, .318, .292, .302. He hit 161 doubles and 69 homers. He spent his entire career in one place, and he was comfortable. He played the same position for the same team and lived in the same town with the same woman. A thoughtful, sensitive person, he liked having an orderly life. Lesson in humility '"St "' A I" ..- i Chet Lemon Last fall, things began to change. A few weeks after his third child was born, he was traded to Detroit for Kemp. The old occupational hazard. He and Valerie had spent many years decorating and renovating their home in the Chicago suburb of Wheaton, to the extent that guests were asked to get rid of their smokes and take off their shoes. Now they had to move. The Lemons took a place in Troy and got ready for a new season. Chet brought the family to Florida for all of spring training. "We're a very closely knit group," he said. "I even had my wife meet me in Milwaukee last week. We don't like to be apart for too long." They have been married nine years. With school starting, Valerie took the kids and went back to the house in Wheaton, which was never sold. Chet rented an apartment in downtown Detroit. "Driving 35, 40 minutes to the ball park every night was killing me," he said. . ' .. So was what was happening at the ball park. He was used in right field, although for years he had been one of the American League's most acrobatic glove men in center. He was used as a leadoff batter, although for years he had been an extra-base hitter and an over-aggressive base runner. His batting average fell into the low .230s. He tore his rib cage, damaged ligaments in his left wrist and pulled several muscles. He also was hit with seven different pitches in the first six weeks. By the time Minnesota's Pete Redfern practically shaved his chin with one on May 14, Lemon's patience finally caved in- He charged the mound, started a brawl (one of two that night) and was ejected and fined. . Very uncharacteristic. If my friend Chet Lemon is anything, he is Christian and charitable. He also is intense and keeps to himself now and then, but he always makes time for friends and fans, and I have never seen him refuse an autograph. If only more fans wanted that autograph, as I hope they, someday will. The ones who got down on my friend Chet Lemon should understand that he wasn't responsible for Steve Kemp being traded, no more than he could snap his fingers and make his batting average rise 50 points. I hope everyone comprehends this the way Lemon himself does. "I wouldn't trade this season for anything," he said Thursday. "I think it's very important in a man or woman's life to experience something like this. All my life, I've had it relatively good. I wound up with a nice family, and nice home, and I made it to the major leagues. Even hitting .300 came fairly easily for me until now. "This season has been an education. You have to go through something like this to appreciate the quality of your life. Granted, I wouldn't want to go through it again. I doubt if Detroit fans want to, either ..." Fans too sour? He laughed. "You know me, I'm not a volatile person. But things can pile up on you after a while. You can't play this game worrying. If this little thing and that little thing are upsetting you, if you're hurting and trying to learn a new position and trying to adjust to a new home and a new town, you're not going to go out there and hit Rich Gossage or Ron Guidry. Your natural inclination is going to be to try too hard. And sometimes, when you try too hard, you fail." Only recently have things improved. Lemon's average is up to .268 with 14 home runs. What he does not have is a contract for next year. "I never did want to be a free agent," he said, "but I don't want to play under any more one-year deals where my future is still in doubt. I haven't closed my mind to staying in Detroit, not at all. I'd like to show everybody here I can play better than this. But do they want me to stay? Or does one bad season sour people on you for good?" For my friend's sake, I hope the people of Detroit won't judge the quality of a man's life after knowing him for only onear. After all, some of us have had better years. Some of us still will. 4 i igers roll up Eosox, By BRIAN BRAGG Free Press Sports Writer Milt Wilcox, one of Boston's favorite victims through the years, surprised the Red Sox with a gritty, complete-game victory Thursday night, further damaging the Bosox' fading pennant hopes, 4-2. The loss left Boston six games behind the idle division-leading Milwaukee Brewers. The Red Sox, losers of four of their last five, have 16 games remaining. Six of them are with the Brewers, and manager Ralph Houk has no intention of conceding. "I don't know how many games the other teams are going to lose," he said. "Tomorrow's another day, and we'll have to win some games." Wilcox and Boston's Mike Torrez, both right-handers, had shutouts through six innings. The Tigers broke the spell with a four-run seventh. Lou Whitaker's RBI double scored the game's first run; rookie Glenn Wilson followed with his 12th home run of the year. Only 8,253 the smallest home crowd this season were on hand for the game. WILCOX, WHO didn't allow a hit until the fifth, took a three-hitter into the ninth. The Red Sox added three more hits and their second run in the final inning. Manager Sparky Anderson went to the mound in the final inning, but he let Wilcox finish the game. "He just said, 'You know how to get this guy (Rich Gedman) out?' and I said, 'Yeah,' and he said, 'Well, go get See TIGERS WIN, Page 4D KM 0 r- I V Free Press Photo by ALAN KAMUDA Tiger shortstop Alan Trammell goes into the seventh inning Thursday night, but can't hole to backhand Jim Rice's grounder in the make the play and Rice legs out a single. baccsbdl's red-hot pennant races: AL East Jim Palmer pitches a six-hitter as Baltimore completes a five-game sweep of the Yankees, 3-1, and pulls to within one game of idle first-place Milwaukee. AL West The California Angels drop a 2-1 heartbreak-er to Toronto in 12 innings and the division-leading Royals fall to Seattle, 4-2. Kansas City leads the Angels by two games. !IL East The first-place St. Louis Cardinals and second-place Philadelphia Phillies did not play. The third-place Montreal Expos fell 2Vz games behind by losing to the New York Mets, 9-4. NL West Neither first-place Los Angeles nor second-place Atlanta played Thursday night. The Dodgers lead the Braves by 21z games. Details are on today's baseball page, 4D. Bills rebound past Vikes. 23 W jt te h) "V 1 nwi.( ' .... IHI : ... , A sure bet: This runner will make book on the marathon hree Press Pnoio tr HUGH GRANNUM Stan Connelly cruises through his graveyard course during a run in Birmingham. By TOM HENDERSON Free Press Special Writer There's nothing like training in a graveyard to get pumped up for running a marathon. Just ask Stan Connelly. But then, anything about marathons pumps Stan up. He loves running them. He loves talking about them. He even compiles books about them. Since 1979, Connelly with lots of help from the Focus:HOPE civil rights organization and the Burroughs Corp. has been the self-appointed keeper of records for the Free Press International Marathon. Burroughs supplies the data and Focus:HOPE, for whom Connelly is a longtime volunteer, publishes the books. Connelly's paper-bound books have all the facts and figures of the race last year's ran to 78 pages. But they have the soul, too, and that's not easy to represent in something that is for the most part a computer printout of times, names and places. What makes the books so interesting are Connelly's comments about the names next to all the facts and figures. For example: Jerry Tray lor only ran a 5:18 in 1980, but he went the whole way on crutches, having been born with cerebral palsy. What's more, he hitchhiked to Detroit from Columbus, Ohio, for the race. If you thought that runner looked a little like TV star Dennis Wholey last year, you were right. The host of PBS Late Night finished in 5:14:20, in a dead heat with Susan Taylor, a banker from Birmingham. The oldest male to finish in '81 was Jim Ramsey of Detroit in a time of 4:43; he beat 334 runners. What's more, he finished in a dead heat with the oldest woman, Margaret Mullen of Detroit, a 61-year-old. See STAN CONNELLY, Page 5D ay Berry's odyssey: Black 14' to Ch. 7 Political passion filled the air in the autumn of 1969. The Chicago Seven were on trial for disrupting the previous year's Democratic National Convention. Universities such as Wayne State in Detroit emptied while students marched in the streets against the Vietnam war. The assassination of Martin Luther King the year before had brought fresh anger and purpose to the American civil rights movement. Even sports, the toy department of life, became an ideological battlefield. One skirmish occurred that October In Laramie, Wyo., where 14 black members of the undefeated Wyoming football team wanted to wear black armbands in protest before and during a game with Brigham Young. They wanted to protest the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon), which operates BYU. They said the religion had racist policies (some of which have since been changed) that treated blacks as inferior. They took their case first to their coach, Lloyd Eaton, who kicked them off the team, in part because "we do not build winning teams by debate." Asked recently if he would do it again, Eaton now a scout the Green Bay Packers replied: "They were biting the hand that feeds them ... It was a very easy f7 sports on M 106 LaPinte I decision to make, and I'd make it over again." Most of the "Black 14," as they were called, have done all right. One, Willie Hysaw, is co-ordinator of sales promotion for the Pontiac Division of General Motors in Pontiac. Another, Tony McGee, plays for the Washington Redskins. And then there is Jay Berry, a defensive back who was known at Wyoming as "Jerry Berry." Berry, 31 now, was recently hired at Channel 7 (WXYZ-TV) as a sportscaster, anchoring on weekends and reporting during the week. HE CAME from a Chicago station and he's now the only black sportscaster on Detroit's three major network-affiliated stations. (Charlie Neal, formerly of Channel 2, has moved to New York). Berry recalled the other day that "I still Jiave my black armband," and he still has his memories. "Yes, I would do it again," said Berry, I " V Frw Prs Pno)o Jay Berry: "I don't feel I did anything wrong . . . You get bad raps for being in the wrong place at the wrong time." who was courted briefly by the Dallas Cowboys 10 yeariago. "I don't feel I did anything wrong. I was shocked when he See SPORTS ON THE AIR, Page 60 ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - (UPI) -Buffalo's Joe Ferguson threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jerry Butler late in the fourth quarter Thursday night, capping the Bills' rally from a 19-0 deficit and lifting them to a 23-22 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. The Bills, trailing 22-16, went 94 yards on their game-winning drive. With 2:48 left, Butler made a leaping catch of Ferguson's pass behind cornerback John Turner in the right corner of the end zone. Ferguson connected on 25 of 45 passes for 330 yards and three touchdowns. Butler was his favorite target all night, catching seven passes for 1 1 1 yards as the Bills raised their record to 2-0. Minnesota quarterback Tommy Kramer tossed two touchdown to reserve tight end Bob Bruer. Kramer s key target was wide receiver Sammy White, who caught nine passes for 142 yards. After scoring a safety late in the first quarter, Minnesota (1-1) took a 9-0 lead early in the second period as Kramer hit Bruer with a 22-yard scoring pass. Bruer caught the ball at the 10 and took it in untouched. A 24-yard punt by Buffalo's Greg Cater later in the quarter gave the Vikings the ball on the Buffalo 38. Minutes later, Kramer again found Bruer, this time with a two-yard scoring pass. See BILLS WIN, Page 20 Stan White: No strike set. . .yet By CURT SYLVESTER Free Press Sports Writer The NFL Players Association may go on strike next Tuesday or the Tuesday after that, or at any time in the next four weeks, according to Lions player rep Stan White, a member of the union's executive committee. But White denied a wire service report that, barring a settlement with NFL owners in meetings today, the players union would strike Tuesday. "I'm on the executive committee, and we haven't agreed in principle or in fact on that day," White said Thursday. "It may well turn out to be that day, but it hasn't been decided. "If it (the report of a Tuesday strike) was a leak, it's an untrue leak." THE DECISION on whether and when to strike will be made at the executive committee's meeting in New York Monday afternoon, White said. (Ed Garvey, the players union's executive director, said Thursday that if the owners "are serious this week, it's quite possible the decision will be to give them another week. If not, the platers are prepare! to eo out on Tuesday") See NFL, Page SO

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