TUESDA'Y', AUGUST 29, 1967
THE ICUIGAN DAILY
TUESDAY, AUGUST 29, 1967 TIlE MICHIGAN DAILY
Takes Second Place
By GRAYLE HOWLETT
Executive Sports Editor
"Take Juan Marichal and Willie
Mays away from San Francisco
and where would the Giants be?"
This provocative question was
posed by Moby Benedict, coach of
the Michigan baseball team, the
1967 bridesmaids of the Big Ten
Conference. It's a question Coach
Benedict likes to ask because it
best sums up the past year's cam-
"Going into this year we looked
pretty solid," Benedict continued.
"We had the Big Ten's leading
pitcher, Bob Reed, and a pretty
fine hitter, Dick Schrer returning.
We lost them to the pros. Right
before the season started, Nick
Radakovic, another one of our
pitchers, signed. That's not to
mention that Carl CmeJrek, who
led the Big Ten in hitting as a
sophomore, would have been a
senior on this club if he hadn't
signed after his sophomore year.
We had a great team walking
around on this campus but they
couldn't play for us because they
Benedict entered the 1967 sea-
son with a young team, lean on
pitching and riddled by graduat-
ion and signings. He still guided
them to a second place conference
finish behind defending champs
Ohio State. The Wolverines actu-
ally were one up in the loss col-
umn with a 10-4 record as oppos-
ed to the Buckeyes' 13-5 Big Ten
Slate. Ohio State had to win two
from The Iowa Hawkeyes on the
final day of the season to edge out
"I guess you could say I was
pleased," Benedict commented.
"But you still wish you could have
done it. Going into the season I
was frankly quite pessimistic. I
was just hoping we'd show up for
all the games. But we took Ohio
State to the last day. I'm really
proud of this team. We knew we
had to win our last four games
against tough competition and we
did (The Wolverines won two
from Minnesota and two from
Michigan State in the last week
of the season.) It was kind of dis-
appointing having to sit back and
let Ohio-State and Iowa decide
the conference championship."
The real villian of the 1967 Big
Ten year for the Wolverines was
the weather. Michigan lost four
games to the elements with two
second division clubs. Purdue and
"It's funny," Benedict observed,
"because last year Ohio State won
the conference because they got
rained out of eight games (they
were 6-0 in 1966), but this year
we lost it because of the weather."
Michigan's fine showing was re-
markable from the standpoint
that many of the Wolverines were
playing new positions. "I don't
think any of the guys were play-
ing their regular positions," Bene-
dict laughed. We had to shift
Keith Spicer from third to the
outfield to plug the gap there. We
had to take Les Tanona from the
outfield and stick him on first, a
new position for him. Doug Nel-
son, had never caught before until
this year. They all played well
and about all I can say is that it
was the proverbial team effort."
There were some outstanding
individuals, however, that kept
Michigan in the race. One cer-
tainly was Andy Fisher, a junior
from Adrian, who led the loop
"Andy Fisher has to be the
surprise of the year," Benedict
beamed. 'Andy hit .459 in the con-
ference to lead it. Considering he
only hit .158 as a sophomore,
that's pretty good."
Geoffrey Zahn was another
bright spot in the Wolverines'
showing as he came on strong to
post and 8-1 won lost record. The
rangy junior from Toledo's De-
Vilbiss high school dropped his
first game in Arizona but came
on to win eight straight.
Also in the star class was senior
Les Tanona whose big bat was
evident in the Wolverines pen-
Zahn and Tanona garnered Most
Valuable Player laurels for the
"Don't forget the sophomores
that came along real well this
season," Benedict added. "Guys
like Glen Redmon, who held down
third base for us this season, Bud
Forsythe and Jim Hosler, both in-
fielders, stepped in and did fine
What about next year? Bene-
dict is uncertain: "In college base-
ball you just don't know. The
make-up of the team is so de-
pendent on whether the pros
want to sign the guys or not.
Right now I'm sweating out
whether Geoff Zahn will be a-
round next year. Our pitching
won't be that solid anyway and
and if we lose our ace it could
be disastrous. You can't predict
how you're going to be until the
season actually begins and you
can look at who's left."
Despite obvious displeasure at
losing a good number of boys to
the pros, Benedict takes a real-
istic look at it. "What can I tell
a boy who gets an offer of $20,000
to sign plus his education thrown
in? If that's a problem for a boy,
I wish I had a dozen like it. The
boy really has no choice. As a
college coach I'd like to keep these
boys in here, of course, but I have
to resign myself to the fact that I
have no selling point left for the
high school prospect. With the tri-
mester system at Michigan, a pro
team can guarantee a boy's edu-
cation and still have him avail-
able when the season starts be-
cause we get out early. That's
what most of the boys do now who
have signed. They complete their
academic year and then join th
minor league team, missing o
spring training but none of
"The thing is I'll never get
superstar such as a Bill Freed
because the majors will sign I
before he leaves for college."
As a final shot at the p
season Benedict chuckled: "Y
know, we though we had it w
Somebody started the rumor tl
Iowa had beaten Ohio State
their first game which would hi
made us champs. Then the 1
down came when we heard wl
really happened. It was a sha
but these boys battled well. ]
easy to think about wha mu
have been. What would you hi
if you took Marichal and M
Which is where we came in.
Giving the Coach
His Third Degree
This is the city. We were working the day watch on the morn-
ing of the 15th. It was hot and muggy. The captain is Flash
Crendon, my partner's name is Gil Bannin. I'm Monday.
We got a call at 9:05 that we better get over to athletic
offices at the State University. There was a report that the foot-
bal coach was hedging-not really saying anything to the press.
We had to investigate.
At 9:13 we were ushered into the coach's office. He was put-
ting on the carpet. He looked upset. He had just blown a two-
"Morning, coach. This is my partner Bannin. I'm Monday.
We'd like to ask you some questions."
"You got nothing on me."
"Ma'am-I mean sir?"
"I don't know anything about slush funds. That was a surprise
party the alums gave me the other night. I didn't know that they
would give me that new-."
"That's not what we're here for, coach. Give us your name
"That's easy enough. Spud Trimble. I'm the football mentor."
"I coach football, Monday. It means I'm the football coach."
"Any truth in the report that you hedge to the press? Never
really say anything?"
"Maybe. Maybe not-but let me qualify that."
"I tell the press what they want to know."
"Let's see. Are you going to have a good team this year?"
"Webster's lists ill, evil, harm, and mischief as antonyms for
'good.' I can assure you that our team is in the best of health, doesn't
have an evil thought in the collective mass, and wouldn't harm a soul.
Maybe they sometimes have a few beers down at 'The Red Coach'
but they aren't really mischievous. Fire again."
"Are you going to beat arch-rival Tech?"
"Good question. I'm glad you asked that. I can assure you that
we're going up there to play."
"What about this sophomore phenom, Quincey 'Meatball'
"Phenom! Where'd you get a word like that? Just because he
weighs 220, does the hundred in ten flat, and can boot the ball
through the uprights from 60 yards, everybody gets excited. He's
young. He might see some action."
"But he's been running at first string halfback since spring
"Just strategy. Build his confidence up. We want him ready by
his senior year."
"Coach, are you happy with the team's practice so far?"
"Happiness is state of mind. Some days I'm happy. Some days
I'm not. It depends on a lot of things: If the sun is shining, if I got
a parking place, if the practice field was cut-a lot goes into whether
a coach is happy about his team's performance."
"Care to comment on last year's, season?"
"It's all in the record books. We battled well. I was pleased on
some Saturdays and disappointed on others. But shucks, we weren't
expecting, great things and there still were some bright spots, Of
course, there were some bad spots too. I was proud of that team
because each boy gave 110 per cent. Well, not all-but there was some-
body always ready to pick up the slack. Go team!"l
OHow do you feel about the rest of the conference?"
"Gentlemen, in this league on any given Saturday any team can
beat any other. Hey, that sounds pretty good. Quote me on that."
"Want to pick a winner?"
"They'll all be tough. Any one of a dozen teams with a few
breaks could win it."
"But there are only ten teams in the conference?"
"Bannin, let Monday ask the questions."
"Come clean, coach. You haven't answered one question
"That's a lie!"
"O.K. Name one."
"I thought I did pretty well on my name."
"You've been holding out for years, Trimble. But we got
nothing on you."
"Then I'm free to go?"
"Not quite so fast."
"We're going to hold you on a 312-51."
"Going through a whole interview without mentioning, 'Win
one for Jake LaMotta."
"That's the last time I'll be interviewed by a college newspaper."
"O.K. Take him away. How about a sandwich, Gil?"
"You know, Joe, it's too bad."
"How's that, Joe. Trimble's missing that two-foot putt. I
could see the break to the left from here. He played it straight."
The names have been changed to protect the innocent--or to
hide the guilty.
r - - - -- - - 1
KS FIFTHA N
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