Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on February 19, 1971 · Page 37
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 37

Detroit, Michigan
Issue Date:
Friday, February 19, 1971
Page 37
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DETROIT FREE PRESS Friday. Tel). 19. 71 l-D rrn eart Attack iller eveaJ JJ. o 9 iger Pitcher Is Out Indefinitely BY JIM HAWKINS . Free Press Sports Writer LAKELAND Veteran Tiger lefthander John Hiller has suffered a heart attack at his home In Duluth, Minn,, the Tigers revealed Thursday. The 27-year-old pitcher suffered the attack, described as a small coronary occlusion, on Jan. 11, but the ball club was not notified Of Hiller's illness until Monday. .' Hiller is no longer hospitalized, but he will be sidelined for an indefinite period and Tiger general manager Jini Campbell said that the pitcher would be placed on the disabled list at the start of the season. The delay in the Tigers learning of thejsituation developed because Hiller was unaware of the seriousness of his illness. "I was never in any great pain," Hiller said from his Duluth home. "I was surprised and shocked to find it would take this long. I'm depressed, but other than that I feel OK." , AFTER BEING notified by Hiller Monday, Campbell asked physicians at Ford Hospital in Detroit for a confirmation of the diagnosis in Duluth. Dr. Gerald Breneman and Dr. John Keyes of the cardiological staff at Ford confirmed the diagnosis Thursday and have asked for a "re-evaluation examination" about May 1 to determine Hiller's future status. Hiller said that he had experienced no trouble of this sort before. "I have no Idea why It happened, and neither do the doctors," he said. "I hadn't been doing any heavy work or running or anything. I had just gotten, up and was having a cup of coffee," he said of the mid-January incident. "I lit up a cigaret. It was strange a heaviness in my chest. It felt like the pneumonia which I had in 1966, so I put the cigaret out. "Later I had anouther cigaret and got the same feeling," Hiller continued. "So I didn't smoke the rest of the day. "I had pains again in the night nothing that floored me or anything, but I called the doctor, and when I told him the symptoms he told me to go right to emergency." HILLER SPENT seven days in the coronary care unit of Duluth's St. Luke's Hospital. "Tkey kept me under observation, but they didn't tell me anything," he said. ' In all, Hiller was hospitalized three weeks under the care of Dr. John J. Halbert. No report of the illness was made to the Tigers until Monday. Hiller has been recuperating at home for nearly three weeks. "The next step is to get an arteriogram but they say that can't be done Turn to Page 2D, Column 6 3 ' ' ' :;: v-'; : V ''1si:: 3 teiiiiii f ' John Hiller 'Surprised . . . shocked" Lollch oltS ers 0 0 0 Signs Billy Martin Has (A Million Ideas9 i; LAKELAND The "Billy Martin Era," if it may be called that, is starting to take hold in the camp of the Detroit Tigers. It starts formally at 10 o'clock Friday morning when Martin welcomes his pitchers and catchers into camp and starts trying to rriake something out of the rubble tha was he Detroit baseball team last season. Much is being made of the fact that Denny McLain isn't here this year, but even more important is the fact that Martin is. And jt's going to be entirely new deal for the Tigers. All new managers make strong impressions at the outset. That's because they are filled with their own theories of just what should be done to produce a winning team. They've had all winter to work on the expression of these theories at banquets, luncheons and press gatherings as well as sitting around thinking to themselves. Iothing has happened yet to test these theories, so they all "sounii impressive. " ' " ' ' Martin's test, as with all managers, will come when he encounters his first real problems. Then we'll see what kind of marl, we have running our ball club. Until then everything will sound almost too good to be true. Happy Days for New Manager The inevitable comparisons will be drawn between Martin and;Mayo Smith, and the previous manager will always lose. For one thing the previous manager has been fired and has usually left under some very trying circumstances. For another thing the players who are still around generally take to the new man right away and even embrace him because they have it in their minds that it was the previous manager's fault that everything went wrong the previous year. , So these early days of spring training will be good ones for Martin, both from the standpoint of his relations with the players and the press. Stories will come out of here saying what an impressive camp he is running, and how the players are responding to his style of managing. - We will have to wait, however, until the first serious confrontation between manager and player, or the first serious slump before a true evaluation car. be made of this man. The thing I've liked so far is that there is more baseball talk around the Tigers real baseball talk. It is obvious that Martin is completely wrapped up in the game and this is good because it'll j-ub off on the players. You watch him even in these early days and he'll sit down with? whoever is around, a Jim Price who is working by himself in tjie batting cage, or with a Joe Coleman and a Jim Hannan who; may be merely playing catch, and they'll talk baseball. Mayo Smith never did that. It simply wasn't his way. Mayo would talk to his coaches, but he seldom ever sat down and casually talked about the game with his players. It was always behind closed doors, in a face-to-face meeting after something had gone wrong. . lartin talks about the importance of communication, and this-is the new word in our society communication, but he apparently means what he says. He'll talk baseball at breakfast, by the poolside at the motel, in his office ... or even out fishing. J '"It's funny," he says, "but I get a million ideas when I'm out there by myself." Who Needs Hitting Coach? He does seem to have a million ideas, too. For instance, he's not going to have a hitting coach this year and this is certainly a novel idea. It's his notion that hitting coaches are more harmful than helpful. ''If a guy is going good, he doesn't need anyone to tell him . . t He'll just do things naturally, automatically," he says. "And when he's going bad, it only confuses him more to have a lot of people telling him what he't doing wrong." Martin's idea is take movies of his players when they are hitting well. "Then," he explains, "they can see for themselves when they're going bad." He also plans to work with tape recorders, putting his next day's pitcher in the stands behind home plate when the Tigers are ion the road and have him keep a running account of the game where a pitch is madj and why, and they'll analyze it after the game. This is just to keep the pitcher's mind on the game. "I'd like to do it at home, too, but our pitchers would be besieged for autographs and it. would take six ushers to keep the fans away from them." Martin even wants a whole new infield in Detroit because he doesn't like the kind of dirt they've got in Tiger Stadium. He says it's too loose. He wants a surface with more body to it. AH these ideas sound impressive now, but if Willie Horton doesn't make it back and if Bill Freehan's aching back isn't better, the ideas are not going to mean very much. The players still will determine where the Tigers will finish. At least Martin is thinking of ways to improve, and when the boss does this, the employes follow right along. If the Tigers finish fourth again, it won't be because they lie down on their jobs. Big Billy won't let that happen. BY JIM HAWKINS Free Press Sports Writer LAKELAND Time and time again last season, the Tiger pitching corps would have gladly given anything except its arms for a good jolt. Thursday less than 24 hours before the beginning of the pitchers' seg-, ment of spring training it received two. First came the startling news that Mickey Lolich, the T i g e r s' ace lefthander, had decided not to wait until April to sign his contract after all. IN FACT, he walked into general manager Jim Camp-bell's office unannounced Thursday afternoon and quickly attached his signature to a 1971 contract calling for close to $60,000. Then before the aftershock had time to take effect, word came that pitcher John Hiller had suffered a heart attack and would be lost to the Tigers til mid-season, if not the entire summer. Even Denny McLain never made that many waves in one afternoon. Well, almost never. , THE ADDITION of Lolich, along with fellow holdout Bob Reed, and the exclusion of Hiller, means that 15 hurlers will be on hand to hear manager Billy Martin's first command when spring training begins in earnest for the men of the mound Friday morning. Lerrin LaGrow, the other pitcher on the 17-man roster, is still tied up with military committments and won't report until later in the exhibition season. As late as noon Thursday, nobody in the Tiger organization expected Lolich to sign for a good long time. After all, with Denny McLain departed, he is the only pitcher on the squad who has already proven that he can win big in the major leagues. AND MICKEY seemed determined to take advantage of his newly acquired status as the Tigers' No. 1 pitcher. He was in that position this, time last year, too, you'll remember, but then it was only a temporary thing because everybody was still waiting for Dennis Dale to make his belated debut. As it was, Lolich had rather a horrible season, winning only 14 and losing 19 while his back hurt much of the time. But this year, until some other Tiger pitcher proves oth-erwise, Mickey Lolich is "King of the Hill." HE KNOWS it, and the Tigers know it. That's why his sudden signature was so surprising. Then again, maybe some people have been underestimating the Mick. Whatever his reasons for quickly coming to terms, there's no disputing the fact that No. 29 will be a welcome sight on the Marchant Stadium mound Friday morning. The loss of Hiller, who was 6-6 in 1970 including a two-hitter against Cleveland on the final day of the season, may intensify the Tigers' quest for Minnesota Twins pitcher Bill Zepp. Zepp, a native Detroiter, has said he won't play baseball in 1971 unless the Twins trade him to the Tigers. And the Tigers admit they're very interested. But the Twins asking price is believed to be either a left-handed pitcher or an outfielder and with Hiller disabled indefinitely, the Tigers may not be willing to part with another lefty. Tom Tim merman doesn't have to impress anyone - Page 2D. Berenson Is Hero As Wings Win, 5-3 BY JACK BERRY Free Press Sports Writer In St. Louis Red Berenson was known as The Red Baron as in "Curse you, Red Baron!" From the Peanuts comic strip. Berenson was some peanuts Thursday night, and when the game was over, the Minnesota North Stars cursed The Red Baron. Well, maybe that's a bit strong, but Minnesota coach Jackie Gordon acknowledged that the former St. Louis star's forechecking was critical in the second period as the Red Wings scored three times in four minutes and three seconds en route to a 5-3 victory over the North Stars. Ironically Berenson didn't get an assist on linemate Nick Libett's goal which put Detroit ahead for the first time in the game, but his checking certainly was essential. Then early in the third period he scored his first goal in five games as a Red Wing and first over all in 19 starts. That proved to be the clincher as the Wings beat Minnesota on Olympia ice for the first time since New Year's Eve 1968. , ALEX DELVECCHIO, Gordie Howe and Bill Collins scored the other Detroit goals. Howe's was his 20th, marking the 22nd straight season in which he has reached that vf V-ST A-0 XHTs&i si' - f-Vl' ? ' Ml' iVflHKV l ilk f I a HI I i H1 XV" H x n - -'M 1 ! 1 A' ill : - - - vm-i plateau. It also was his 850th goal, counting regular-season and playoff activity. Howe's goal, a power-play shot down the slot, stood up as the winner and capped the three-goal burst in the second period. Nevertheless, the checking of Berenson and linemates Libett and Tim Ecclestone stood out in the decisive period. "When Red is going and forechecking, he's tough to beat," Gordon said, "and I always liked Ecclestone. Detroit looks like a different club after all those trades . . .They've got some fine hockey players." Red Wing coach Doug Barkley, basking in the glow of a two-game winning streak, pointed to Detroit's forechecking and bodywork as the key ingredients in the Wings' snapping of Minnesota's five-game Olympia unbeaten streak (two victories this season, a victory and two ties last season).. "I thought Berenson played a helluva game, not only with his line but penalty killing and on the power play," Barkley said. "I've liked him right from the beginning." THE 31-YEAR-OLD former Ail-American from Michigan said that he still isn't "100 percent confident" in his play since coming to Detroit two weeks ago along with Ecclestone for Garry Unger and Wayne Connelly. "I'm starting to fell a little better," Berenson said. "It's helped that Doug has kept our line together and I'm getting to know the defense better." Berenson said he was "em-barrassed" by his goal, though. "It's nice to get one after going so long, but then to score one like that . . . It's embarrassing." Berenson took a cross-rink pass from Libett and slapped a low shot which seemed to hit defenseman Fred Barrett's stick and dipped under Minne- Turn to Page 4D, Column 4 FIRST PERIOD I, Minnesota. Drouin 13 (Goldsworthy, Grant) tW. 2. DE- ' TROIT, Delvecchio 14 (Webster, Hart) 13:37, Penalties Goldsworthy, Minn, (1:14); Robitaille, Det, (:4i; LeClerc, Del, (7:35); Harvey, Minn, (8:05); Hovfe, Det, (12:3); Parise, Minn, (13:18); Howe, Det, (18:41). La. bossiere It (Parise) 2:04; 4, DETROIT, iliiillMUfl" Free Pres Photo y mugh grannum SECOND PERIOD-3, Minnesota, Ksiera 11 (Paris.) 2:04; 4. DETC Collins (Miller) 13:36; 5, DETROIT. Libett 11 (Ecclestone) 15:U3; t, Detroit, Howe 20 (Robitaille, Webster) 17:39. Pen altiesBarrett. Minn, (15:57); LeClerc O'Brien, Minn, (18:20). Minn, (3:54); Dfcl, Barrett, (18:20); . THIRD PERIOD-7, DETROIT, Berenson 17 (Libett, Bergman) 3:00; , Minnesota, Rousseau 4 (Nanne, Labossiere) 9:41. No Penalties. Shots on ooals by: Minnesota 11-7-12 30; DETROIT lMl t-38. Goalies: Minnesota, Maniaso; DETROIT, Edwards. A-12,374. DeLaSalle's Bob Kus (on floor) and Redeemer's Mike Miller (34) quit fighting for the loose ball as official halts play. Tanana Jr. Saves CC From Upset BY HAL SCHRAM Free Press Sports Writer There is basketball magic in the name of Tanana. Twent y years ago Frank Tanana Sr. led St. Andrew High to a Catholic League basketball title and a couple of State championships. Thursday night he watched his son, Frank Jr., play the greatest quarter of his young life in leading Catholic Central to a 65-57 victory over Shrine in the First Division semifinals. Shrine was trying to follow Holy Redeemer in the upsetter role. Redeemer had just knocked off favored De-LaSalle, 61-57, in the first half of a doubleheader before 4,232 at U-D Memorial. SHRINE was making headway. It had fallen behind as much as seven points in the second period, then roared back and tied the game, 32-32, at halftime and 45-45 going into the final eight minutes. Now Tanana came to CC's rescue and saved its No. 4 rating among the state's Class A powers. Tanana, who had been playing great defensive basketball all night, went on a 12-point scoring binge in the first four minutes of the final period to save his team. In the first three periods he had scored only 10 points, but he caught fire just just when it appeared Shrine was ready to turn off the lights on the Shamrocks. FINE SHOOTING by Tom S w a r t z, Mickey Evans and Dan Scollin kept Shrine in the Turn to Page 2D, Column 4 THE LONG POINTED COLLAR is the focal point for the dress shirt of the 70's. Modelfit furthers its newsmaking qualities with handsome stripings: hombre stripes, multi-stripes, and wide-track stripes. And adds double-button cuffs and form-following lines. It's permanently-pressed, it comes in collar sizes 142-17, sleeve lengths 32-35, at $7. Pardon us for saying it, but if you're not in a long collared shirt by now, you're sort of out of it. Hasvlmll Fights Drugs Story on Page 2D It I YOU'VE WWjfi J ! CHANGED. 3f fyy'' ' CHANGE llxn YOUR y YJ CLOTHES. XW ' HHS STORES OPEN IHIb EVtNINto (tXObH WOODWARD NEAR STATE) SPECIAL NOTICE: OUR NORTHLAND STORE IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED. 1

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