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October 19, 1967 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1967-10-19

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

-I

six

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 19196 7

~Ix THE MICHIGAX DAILY THURSDAY, OCTOBER 19, 1967

Fraternity-Sorority European Fight
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FIGHT BONUS, SCHOLARSHIP:

Colleges Lose

Players

to

Pro

Ball

By ROBIN WRIGHT I
Fifty thousand dollars, a col-
lege scholarship, and the exper-
ience of playing professional base-1
ball.
OR, a scholarship to play base-
ball on the college level.1
This is the choice presented to
several boys throughout the na-
tion after high school graduation.
But why not play on the collegel
level, learn .and develop basic
skills, then go on to play pro-1
fessionally? It would seem that1
the player is in an even better
bargaining position after going,
through a collegiate training pro-
gram.-
According to Milbry (Moby)
Benedict, the University of Mich-
igan coach, college and minor;
F e Pil ne

league training programs are
similar.
The minor leagues will play up
to 120 games a season. A large
college, like Michigan, will play
about 44 games. The good player
then has a chance to play 50 to
60 games in a summer college
league.
Coach Benedict believes, "We
can teach these boys the same
kinds of skills they'd pick up in
the minor leagues. In this way
they can get their education plus
the baseball training experience.
"Of course there's the threat
of injury or a bad year, but the
exceptional ball player who is pro-
fessional material doesn't usually
encounter a really damaging
year. And the .gamble will prob-
ably be to his advantage in terms
i ndbreakers
TWO LOWER POCKETS

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complete selection of outerwear

of contract offers in the long run.
"An additional danger to the
pro ball player is that he can
only attend the fall semester of
school due to winter instructional
camp and spring training. This
means that it will take him a
minimum of eight years to earn
a degree. In this position, he also
will be eligible for the military
draft."
Several boys now at Michigan
had to make this choice. Ted Sim-[
mons and John Mayberry, both
freshmen from the Detroit area,'
were selected intthefirstround
draft after graduating from high
school last June.
Simmons, who has caught and
played the outfield, signed withI
the St. Louis Cardinals. For him,
the decision to sign was an easy
one. "I enjoy playing baseball
more than anything. I've always
wanted to be up there. My on.y
regret is that I had to give up
football for good." Before sign-
ing with a pro* team, he had
agreed to play both baseball and
football for Michigan. Now he
car t play either.
Two Big Factors
The two factors in the deci-
sion were the new ruling and his
age: The ruling stipulates that if
a boy enters college, he cannot
sign a contract with a pro team
until he is 21 or has graduated.
As he put it, "I. feel that I'll be
four years ahead of the college
player in terms of being oriented
to professional baseball. This
summer I've been in game situa-
tions and learned skills that I
didn't even know baseball had.
"I've always wanted to play at
Michigan. Although I had thought
about signing, perhaps after two
or three years, the ruling pres-
sured me into a contract earlier.
Four years is too long. Almost
anything can happen."
The situation is similar with
John Mayberry, who signed with
the Houston Astros. He %vas on
basketball tender at Michigan,
and intended to play baseball also.
He pointed out, "These are val-
uable years. I would play the
same kind of ball either way so
why shouldn't I start now? It's
to my advantage in every way.

Todts

'
l ...,/ .., .' 'r''o
GE s
i

MOBY BENEDICT
"With the summer and spring
training ball I play in the minor
leagues, I have a chance to get
up there (the major leagues)
sooner. At 26 I can be at my
peak, whereas the college man
will just be coming up from the
minor leagues."
Purpose
John then explained the pur-
pose of his education: "I'm go-
ing to school to prepare for my
future after I'm through play-
ing. I have an occupation now for
10 to 15 years, but with my de-
gree I'd like to become a general
manager or coach in the minor
leagues, so the length of time it
takes for a degree is insignifi-
cant." '
Both boys, besides large bonus-
es, were given scholarships at the
schools of their choice, plus the
option of being full-time students.
The ruling has hurt the college
coach badly. Fearing injuries, a
bad year and the four year obli-
gation, the high school graduate
moves directly into the pro ranks
rather than giving the college
sport a chance.
Tom Grieve, a sophomore from
Pittsfield, Mass., was in a dif-
ferent position. The ruling was
not yet in effect wh'en he signed
with the Washington Senators

:1'

two years ago. Although his ulti-
mate goal was to join the pro
ranks, he wanted to play college
ball first. He had turned down
contract offers until 'one week
before he was to arrive in Ann
Arbor.
Change of Heart
Tomn admitted, "My change of
heart was largely attributable to
the influence of Massachusetts
area scouts and the manager of
the summer college team I played
for. Despite the bonus, it was not
the money that made up my
mind.
"In fact, it wouldn't have made
any difference if they had offered
me a greatndeal more or less. I've
just wanted to play ball since I
was five. One night late in the
summer I just decided that if I
could do this well in the summer
college league I had a good
chance of making it on the pro
level.
"Besides, I had little chance
for noticeable improvement if I
played for the same summer
league every year. One year is
enough. There's no way to com-
pare the intensity of the ball I
played this summer.
"I have no regrets about my
decision. I'd do the same thing
if I had to do it over again. I
just realized that the sooner I
got started the better chance I'd
have of achieving my ultimate
goal - playing in the major
leagues."
Summer League
The college summer league, al-
though it supplements the school
schedule and makes for a more
experienced ball player, acts as
a teaser by bringing a boy closer
to the professional level of ball
playing. It also will bring him
closer to professional people in
the form of coaches, managers
and many scouts.
The last real fear of college
coaches was best expressed by
Benedict, "Not only are the ma-.
jor league teams drafting the pro
material, but they have started
going after the marginal ball
players.
"We're resigned to the fact that
we're going to loose a lot of the
excellent boys to national teams,
however we're also being robbed
of the boys that probably won't
be standouts on the professional
level, but want the chance to try
it out. These are the boys that
would really help our ball club.
You can't blame theMn for want-
ing to try, but this is the group
that would really benefit from a
strong college program."
Considering the advantages of
a pro contract, the ultimate de-
cision seems to be taken away
from the boy. The professionals
now even include a college edu-
cation, the last strong selling
point the schools had to offer.
Is there really any choice?
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