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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan • Page 42

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Detroit, Michigan
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42
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Sports Quiz $)etroitifacrcss The Inside of Sports 4 art; 'Finally I'm Going to Put a Stop To Never- Won-20 Talk Lolich 4-D SUNDAY, AUGUST 15, 1971 A wmpri .1.., 80,000 Likely For Lions-Colts And that's one day Lolich has been looking forward to for a long, long time. The Tigers' ace lefthander talks about the magic No. 20 what it will mean to him to finally make it and what it has been like to miss so many times in this week's Sports Quit with Free Press Baseball Writer Jim Hawkins. The curse that has hung over Mickey Lolich's head almost all of his big league life is about to be lifted. Within a matter of days possibly as early as Tuesday in Chicago- Mickey will become a 20-game winner for the first time ever.

Hawkins ififlffiiP Sunday's Best: Michigan ticket manager Don Weir is predicting a crowd of for next Sunday's Lions-Colts game in Ann Arbor They asked Ken Harrelson how he comparpd baseball and golf. He replied: "Hell, every time I swing at the ball now, I hit it." Cus D'Amato, who guided Floyd Patterson to millions, -is filing for bankruptcy, declaring $30,000 in debts and only $500 in assets Bob Lanier, who caught it for being out of shape last season, looked to be in tip-top condition at the Pistons' basketball clinics around town. Four Pistons who will still have to work for a living are Jimmy Walker, Terry Dischinger, Harvey Marlatte and Terry Drlscoll. Their wives are pregnant California Angels coac Rocky Bridges has developed a new diet two jiggers of scotch to one jigger of Metrecal. He says: "So far I've lost five pounds and my driver's license." Art Whalen of the Olympia box office reports that tickets sold at the door for the Ali-Ellis fight were sold for the full price and that the ushers did not pocket the money for themselves, in response to a reader's complaint Morganna still hasn't called But then, Nancy S.

never called either. Some baseball announcers really, truly, honestly and sincerely believe they can bring people out to the ball parks with the quality of their broadcasts. One of these announcers is Harry Caray of the White Sox. More important, he has convinced his bosses of it and if the White Sox draw 750,000 at home, he gets a 10 gee bonus How come thr Giants can't afford a loan for Fran Tarkenton? They charge $2.50 for their scrimmages in training camp. '( "i 4 tf .1 But since you haven't, we can't pay you good They always say, 'we'll give you a raise, a good raise, a substantial raise, when you win 20 games.

They've said that to me every year. Well, we'll see what happens next year. Are you going to ask for a lot more money next year assuming you win maybe 23 games this season? A "I don't know. I don't have the slightest idea what I'm going to do at contract time. I'll have to wait and see what kind of year I actually do have.

I'll have to look at my wins, my complete games, my innings pitched, and put all the stuff together. Then I'll figure from there what kind of money I'm going to ask for. I hate to ever talk about money it's a touchy subject." A few weeks ago you talked about possibly winning the "Comeback of, the Year" award this season. And you definitely do have a shot at the Cy Young. Do post-season awards like that mean a lot to you? A "To a certain extent those are the only tributes an athlete can get.

I mean, you can talk about how much money he makes and all that, but when you're out of the game the only things you have to show for what you did are those plaques on the wall in your den. There's some substance to them, even if it's just a piece of bronze with your name engraved on it. I've always been the type of guy who enjoyed picking up awards here and there. To me, they mean something. Some other guys will tell you they don't mean a thing to them, but to me, they do.

That's why a couple weeks ago I was talking about the "Comeback Play-er-of-theYear" award. I mean, I lost 19 games last year and didn't have the best year of my career and now I've turned around and about to become a 20-game winner. I'd like to get something out of the year I've had because I think I've had a pretty fantastic year. And I'd like to be recognized in one way or another. I think that Vida Blue will win the Cy Young.

If they base it on who is the best pitcher in the league, then I think I'd stand a chance. But it's a little bit of a popularity contest, too. And Blue has gotten all the publicity. His name is on the lips of everybody in the United States. Nobody even knows I'm around.

When the time comes to pick the Cy Young Award they'll pick him automatically." Does this bother you I mean, all the attention that Blue has been getting while you've got next to none? A "No, he has done a 'great deal better than I have. He got off to a great start and grabbed all the publicity and he has kept it by continuing to pitch well. I've just been sneaking up behind him in wins and strikeouts. On paper, he's a great pitcher and he deserves everything he's getting. I don't feel jealous about it.

I read in the papers that the pressure is beginning to get to him and people are constantly asking him questions about everything. Nobody even bothers me and I sort of like it that way. I can concentrate on the game and get ready to pitch." How are you throwing right now? Do QUESTION What will it mean to you per-sonally, when you finally win 20 games for the first time? something I've wanted to do "ever since I've been a big league pitcher. This Is my ninth year in the big leagues and that's been my goal every year. And I've never made it.

My first year I wasn't really capable of winning 20. But every year since then I've taken a shot at it. And I've never won less than 14 games, so every year there was the possibility that I might do it. I think that's something every pitcher wants to do-when you retire you can look back and say yeah: 'I won 20 games once in the bis Will winning 20 mean more to you than those three wins in the World Series? A Yes, I'd have to say in its own way it is bigger. A World Series only lasts for a week and a half.

But when you win 20 games over a full' season and pitch 300 innings, it's like you're a proven machine. You've proven that you're durable and that you can go that long out there. It's like the difference between a guy who wins a drag race maybe he runs down the track in six seconds flat and sets a world record and the guy who wins a 500-mile race. It's a little harder to race 500 miles just like it's harder to pitch 300 innings than it is to win three games." Did winning 20 become a bigger thing with you each year you didn't make it? A "The thing that has always bugged me fs the way people over the years have always said "you've never won 20 games you've never won 20 games' like that is the sole purpose of being a starting pitcher. And if you're not a 20-game winner you're not any good.

You'd be surprised how many people seem to think that way, including our general manager. The thing is I haven't had that many years where I had a real good shot at winning 20. In 1969, when I won 19, 1 had one shot at winning my 20th and that was on the last day of the season and I was pitching with two days rest. In '64, the year I won 18, 1 had a chance at it but I would have had to win four; of the last six games I pitched. That doesn't give you much room.

A lot of people don't realize that a lot of starting pitchers never won 100 games in the big leagues. And J'm up around 130. I think I've been a real good starting pitcher one of the better ones around. Reliable strong go to the post every four days. But I've never been a 20-game winner and this is something that's always been hanging over my head.

Everybody forgets about everything else that I have done. I keep hearing that all the time, all the time. "You've never won 20, you've never won; 20. "Finally, I think, I'm going to put a stop to that." Has the fact that you've never won 20 come up in your contract talks with the Tigers? A "It's probably one of the biggest that comes up annually. They'll say: "Look you; you've got a great arm, you throw hard and you should be a 20-game winner every year.

(hoto by Fre Prts Chief Photeartohtr TONY JPINA Mickey Lolich and his classic pitching form George Blanda, Philosopher The Quote Machine: George Blanda "I don't want an agent. Guys who have agents wind up playing for the Patriots." Darrell Royal "A little perfume won't hurt, if you don't drink it." George Blanda "I love football. I'd play for nothingl But I hope Al Davis doesn't ask me to." Tommy Prothro "I've never cut a guy who was overweight. But I've had three of them drop dead." Richard Petty, one of the favorites in Sunday's Yankee 400, is over the $1 million mark as a stock car driver. You can't call that Petty cash Give me the Toledo Mud Hens' idea of pulling people into the park.

This Thursday night they're offering 14 oz. draft beer for 10c. Ted Williams has told Bob Short he intends to fill out his five-year contract as manager of the Washington Senators. Trouble Is, If Short can't pay his bills by Oct. 31, he may be out as the owner Trade talk: The Los Angeles Lakers are eyeing Baltimore's Gus Johnson in a trade for Happy Halrston and Flynn Robinson.

The deal depends on the condition of Johnson's knee. Somebody asked Eddie Robinson, the football coach at Grambling, if he has any drug problems with his athletes. "No," he said. "I went to one of those drug seminars and came back and told them if you use drugs, you lose your sex drive. You shoulda seen how big their eyes got!" No wonder the guys in white hats are good guys.

Texas Tech coach Jim Carlen put a thermometer to work and found out that white helmets are 20 degrees cooler to wear than black helmets Jersey Joe Walcott, 57, is running for sheriff in Camden, N.J. And for $64,000, who was Jersey Joe's manager in his fistic days? It was Felix Bocchicchio, and how about being able to spell it right after all these years? Jake Lamotta's boy Joey, is starting on a ring career of his own. Incidental information: Danny Abramowicz, New Orleans receiver, owns and manages a delicatessen. With a name like that, he should own a drug store? They asked Ron Johnson the difference between himself and Gale Sayers as a runner. He replied with a straight face: "Gale needs six inches running room; I need nine." you think you're pitching as well as you ever have? A "They always say a pitcher throws his best between the ages of 25 and 30.

1 mean, as far as velocity and having great stuff on the ball. After 30 you don't throw so hard anymore, but you've been pitching so long that you've become smarter out there. You know how to pitch. I never knew what they meant by that because I always could throw the ball real hard. In '69, I could throw the ball by anybody.

This year, I'm not throwing as hard as I used to, but I know how to set up hitters better. I learned a lot in one year. I became a real smart pitcher." Did the fact that Denny McLain was gone and you were finally the pitcher the Tigers were counting on having anything to do with it? A "Not really. I was the type of pitcher who only threw a fastball or a curve ball. And on the days when I didn't have a good curve ball I was in big trouble.

The hitters would just lay back and wait for my fast ball. But this year in spring training I went right to work on my slider and I concentrated on it all spring. I used it in the exhibition games and had some trouble with it. But by the last two weeks of spring training I had it down pat and it's been my No. 1 pitch all year." What about the wv the club has been playing the last couple weeks? When was the last time the Tigers played this well for this length of time? A "I suppose you'd have to go all the way back to '68, really.

Our goal was to pass Bostonthis was the thing we had on our minds. Everybody set their sights on Boston. Now we've passed them and we've just got Baltimore in front of us. They're still a good step ahead of us, but all we can do is stay hot and hope we start gaining some ground. If we don't start gaining some ground soon, the guys are going to start thinking we can't catch them.

And the whole feeling might change. We've got seven games left with them, but if anybody thinks we're going to go in and knock Baltimore off seven straight they can forget it. When two top teams go head to head, they usually best each other half the time. That's just the way it is. Somebody else is going to have to help.

Who, I don't know. I just hope somebody gets lucky against them." JKIHIilAlillllllirilllMWMM 7 EDISON'S BAYS TT DON'T COMPARE jOf Y-0 YOU'RE Ls Vour fire, T-E LCVE AFFAIR BtTTWEEN BASEBALL and the electric light may be flickering out. when night bebll came into being THE CURIOUS FANS 'CAME OUT IN DROVES ANDIPTCavilN6 BUT LEASUE FIGURES SHOW THIS LOVE AFFAIR WAY BE ON THE ROCKS! 1955 1965 THOSE, DAY PEOPLE, THE CHICAGO CJBS, THE MAJOR'S ONLY CLUB WITHOUT STADIUM LIGHTS, FINISHED RUSH IN 1970 AND FIFTH IN l9 IN N.L. ATTENDANCE DESPITE HAVING ONE OF THE SMALLEST R4WS, WRISLEY FIELD RANK? 2hi JM C)2E AMONG THE 24 MAJOR LEAGUE 04U! 20,35270850 NIGHT GAME AVERAGE DAY GAME AVERAGE UJBS7 11,129 ST. UXIIS StofiTINfe WW5 FVSU6B Lions, Vikes Both Face 9 'Not So -Biggies Bryant Finally Relents Alabama will make history of a sort by starting two black players in its opener against Southern Cal on Sept.

10. Coach Bear Bryant of the Crimson Tide is softening in some of his militant stands like on the question of hair. He said: "Well, I'm concerned about the length of a player's hair but it's no real problem. It's sort of like the single-breasted or double-breasted suit. It depends on what's in style." Rosey Grler, the SOO-pound former pro football terror, has taken up needlepoint.

"When I knit," cooes Rosey, "all my problems just float away." How about doing something nice on this Sunday and dropping a little note to Frank Leahy, the former Notre Dame coach, who is still so sick. You can write to him at Room 728, St. Vincent's Hospital, 9205 SW Barnes Road, Portland, and the fact you don't know him will please him all the more. The traveling secretary of the Atlanta Braves is Donald Davidson. Donald stands all of three feet 10.

Asked who he thought would play him in the movie version of his biography, he said: "Rock Hudson." Michigan and Michigan State hold their Press-Picture Day this coming Saturday the Wolverines in the morning and the Spartans in the afternoon. The season opens hang on Sept. 11. A Kentucky court has given errant golfers some peace of mind with a rule that a person hit by a shanked shot does not have recourse in the courts. The court ruled: "Not every Shot goes where a player intends it.

If such were the rase, every player would be perfect, and the whole pleasure of the sport would be lost." Or how about what's happening at the Fort PuPnnt golf course near Washington, D.C. They've had so many daylight holdups there, they may have to close up the course. Latest victims: three Washington policemen. Coach George Allen of the Redskins isn't asking much of his players this season, except 50 sacks of the quarterback, 24 interceptions, forcing 40 fumbles and recovering 20 of them. That, he says, should put his team into the playoffs Don Rickles on Arnold Palmer: "He is fantastic if you like to see a guy try on slacks all day.

I call him Harry Hitch. I can't figure out whether he's looking for his belt or has trouble finding pants that fit." On Jack Nicklaus: "They should tie a cord to his back and make him a cannon." The late Fred Steinmark's book, "I Play To Win," will hit the stalls on Aug. 27 Quote-Unquote: Pete Rozelle "People are interested in football, what happens on the field. They get sick of contract disputes, coaching disputes and stadium disputes." Who was the NFL's commissioner before Rozelle? Or, for that matter, who was the Commish before Bert Bell? If you said, Austin Gunsel and Elmer Layden, you go to the head of the class. Me? I'm going on vacation.

all but the But then, Schmidt made his most valid San Francisco and Dallas 19ers to be met on the road? nnint. Jack Saylor On Pro Football What's in a schedule? Predicting what will happen when 22 men agitate a bag of wind is hazardous duty at best. An injury to a Joe Namath, for instance, can throw all predictions into a cocked hat. The unfortunate sidelight to the Lion-Jet game at Tampa probably sent editors of pro football's pre-season magazines looking for a tall building from which to hurl themselves. What kind of a championship chance do you give the New York Jets without Joe Namath? No offense to Al Woodall, a promising young quarterback, but don't you think contenders like Baltimore, Kansas City, St.

Louis and San Francisco are privately rubbing their hands In anticipation of catching the Jets without Broadway Joe? "Somebody said we had an easy schedule last "year," Lion coach Joe Schmidt recalled the other day. "I'll repeat what I said then: I can't see that any football schedule is that "It depends on what happens the week prior la certain games the Injury factor and so forth" BEEN NOTED (by this humble "The most important thing is what happens prior to a given game to the team you're playing and to your own team," he said, the attitude, injuries and the like. That's what makes a schedule. On paper, you can't foresee these things." OBVIOUSLY, THE NFC'S Central Division boils down to a race between the Lions and those cussed Vikings. It calls for a comparison of Detroit's schedule with the Vikes.

In addition to their pair against Minnesota, the Lions have real toughies in KC, LA and SF, alphabetically speaking. That makes their ratio five games against the biggies and nine against well, not quite so biggie. And the Vikes? They meet the Lions twice, plus the Colts, Giants and 49ers. Fine. Their other nine games are with Green Bay (2), Chicago (2), Buffalo, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Atlanta and San Diego and that ain't exactly Murderer's Row, either.

The Vikings' "ratio" is 5-9, the same as the Lions and NOW how Important do you think that Sept. 20 Monday night opener with the Vikes is? How about the Philadelphia Eagles, whose first five regular-season games are with Cincinnati, Dallas, San Francisco, Minnesota and Oakland each and every one a division champion last year? THE KEY PHRASE is "last year." Half of the Lions' regular-season defeats last season were supplied by the Washington Redskins and the New Orleans Saints, whose combined record was 8-19-1. The Lions met the Skins after a bruising Monday night battle with the Bears and were in no physical or mental readiness to play. The game with the Saints was spotted In the schedule right between the two make-or-break games with the Minnesota Vikings and no way, but no way, could the Lions get "up" for that one. And it was lost, even if it did take that mind-blowing 63-yard field goal by Tom Dempsey at the buzzer to do it.

"I think the division we're playing in is a tough division," Schmidt intoned. "We also play Kansas City, Los Angeles and the 49ers all these are fine teams." scrivener among others) that the 1971 Lions' schedule relatively speaking, of course is not that backbreaking. The Lions meet Houston, Denver and New England, all last-place teams in their AFC divisions last year. Add Philadelphia, another cellar-dweller in 1970 and Atlanta (4-8-2), a next-to-last. Then there is Green Bay, a questionable "powerhouse" going in, which lost the great Bart Starr to boot.

Then there Is Chicago, which mustered up the power to wallop those Packers, 2-0, last week. For contrast, how about the Los Angeles Rams' November Baltimore, Detroit,.

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