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March 27, 1970 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1970-03-27

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Page Eight,


_Friday, March 27) 1970

Page Eight, 'THE MICHIGAN DAILY Friday, March 27~ 1970

Aaron, Mays



immortal club

Babe Ruth, Rogers Hornsby and. Joe
Di Maggio failed to qualify for mem-
bership in baseball's most exclusive
club. Lou Gehrig, Frankie Frisch and
Ted Williams never made the grade.
All the more reason, then, for Hank
Aaron and Willie Mays to celebrate
when this year, they become the 3000-
hit club's first new members since Stan
Musial qualified in 1958 by cracking a
double off Moe DraboVsky in Wrigley
Aaron and Mays will become only the
ninth and tenth players since profes-
sional baseball began a century ago to
pass the 3000 career hit level.
The others are Ty Cobb, 4192 hits;
Musial, 3630; Tris Speaker, 3514; Cap
Anson, 3425; Honus Wagner, 3415; Ed-
die Collins, 3310; Napolean Lajoie, 3242;
and -Paul Waner, 3152.
To accomplish those totals takes more
than great hitting ability. It takes per-
severance and durability. It means es-
caping unnecessary injuries and bounc-
ing back from the unavoidable ones.
And, of course, it takes luck.;
It t a k e s 20 seasons averaging 150
safties to amass 3000 hits. The eight
players who have done it all played well.
into their forties.
Ignoring Cap Anson, who played in
the days of short seasons, the players
averaged 168 hits a year. The average
career was 21 full seasons.
Totalling 3000 hits in these days of

needs 74 and should get them by about
That two players will join the club in
the same season is not strange. In fact,
one of the oddities of baseball is that
this will be the third time that this has
Wagner and Lajoie both made it in
1914, Lajoie with his last hit of the
season. Speaker and Collins got their
3000th hits in 1925.
The difficulty in reaching 3000 hits
is emphasized by_.the number of hitters
who came just short of the mark. Be-
sides Aaron and Mays, 13 players to-
taled between 2800 and 3000 hits.
The record for futility is Sam Rice,
who came 13 short. A year in the mili-
tary service during World War I was
the difference.
Ted Williams was another wartime
casualty. Although he missed most of
five seasons in the service, he was still
only 346 short
Yet it was war, oddly enough, that
enabled Paul Waner to make his 3000th
hit. Through the 1841 season, Big Poi-
son had made 2956 hits, and his career
seemed about over.
Then because of wartime shortages of
players, he was able to become a reg-
ular again.- While playing w i t h the
Dodgers, Braves and Yankees during
the war, Waner passed the 3000 mark
Injuries stopped a number of players

short. Wee Willie Keeler, who first said,
"Hit 'em where they ain't", did so 68
times too few. two minor injuries during
his career kept him out of the club.
Hornsby, considered the greatest
right-handed hitter ever, lacked 70 hits.,
A 1930 foot injury was the cause.
George Sisler was in the middle of
his career, with a lifetime average of
.367, when an eye injury caused him to
miss the entire 1923 campaign. The in-
jury permanently affected his hitting,
and his lifetime average ended up an
anemic .340.
He finished his career 189 hits short
of 3000, a mark he surely would have
passed but for the injury.
A player who was literally stopped
short of the mark because of illness was
Gehrig. The same rare disease that,
-at the age of 36, ended his consecutive t
game streak and, as it turned out, his
life as well, stopped his number of hits
at 2721.
A case equally tragic is that of Ed De-
lahanty: You don't remember Big Ed? .
He was a slugging, outfielder around the
turn of the century whom some experts
considered the greatest hitter ever -
not excluding Ruth.
During the dead-ball era Big Ed once
hit four .home runs in a nine-inning
game. His lifetime average is .346, the
fourth, best ever. (It is third if you are
one of those who refuses to recognize
the banished Joe Jackson.)

By July 16, 1903, during Delahanty's
6th m a j o r league season, he had,
amassed 2597 career base hits. That
day, Big Ed fell off a train - some
people think he jumped - into Niagra
Had he lived he would have surely
reached 3000 hits.
Then there is the Babe. The man who
was voted last summer as the greatest
of them all never reached t h e 3000
mark. Ruth was only 127 hits away
when he retired.
Had he not spent the first three-and-
a-half years of his career as a pitcher,
he would have made them with several
hundred to spare.
All this is not to say that the play-
ers who made it were not struck by mis-
fortunes. Musial missed a year in the
service. Even Cobb was out parts of two
seasons while hurt or ill.
In fact, only Speaker and Wanes',,
never missed much playing time.
A 'few other current players seem'to
have a chance, though slim, of making
the club. Roberto Clemente, 35, has 2559
hits. Al Kaline, also 35, has 2446. Frank
Robinson, 34, could m a k e it if he
stretches his career out. He now has
2283 hits.
But is likely that none of them will
make it. The game of baseball and the
process of aging have ways of frus-
trating even the greatest players.


>hotos from "The Glory of Their Times"
TY COBB slides into third. The
great Tiger star compifed a ma-
jor. league record of 4192 hits,
562 more than his closest rival,
Stan Musial.

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Ed Delahanty
lower batting averages is especially dif-
ficult. A lifetime average of .320 seems
too much to ask of the players we see
on the field today. Yet even averaging
.320, a hitter needs 9375 at bats to make
3000 hits. Only 13 players in the history
of baseball have had that many at bats.
Because of the rarity of the act, it is
a special treat this year to witness two
players passing the magic 3000 mark.
Aaron, 36, should get his 3000th hit
early in the season. He is only 44 away.
Mays, 38, will take a little longer. He

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Read and Use DAILY Classifieds

Maravich signs pact
with Atlanta Hawks






By The Associated Press
Pistol Pete Maravich, college
basketball's. player of the year,
will play professional ball with the
Atlanta Hawks of the National.
Basketball Association, his at-
torney announced last night.
The announcement was made at
a news conference by Lester Lit-
train, one of two attorneys who
handled the negotiations . for
Maravich, a three-time All-Amer-
ican at Louisiana State University.
Terms of the contract were not
disclosed, but sources say Mara-
vich signed for about $1.9 million,
which would be the greatest
amount ever paid a college athlete
turning professional.
Maravich, had been drafted No.
1 by the Carolina Cougars of the
rival American Basketball Asso-
ciation acd in recent weeks all
speculation 'centered on Maravich
signing with the ABA team.
However, in a surprise move,
with the
"Leaves of Grass"
"Cat's Cradle"
Union Ballroom
March 28-8-1
Tables to buyor sell crafts,
Brinq your toys, your friends,
or anything you want!

the Hawks made the No. 3 choice
last Monday in the NBA draft
and selected Maravich, who aver-
aged .44.1 points per game
throughout his three-year career
at LSU.
The NBA signed two more first
round choices yesterday. The Phil-
adelphia 76ers announced the
signing of Al Henry of Wisconsin
to a multi-year National Basket-
ball Association contract.
Terms of the contract for the
21-year-old, 6-foot-9 Henry were
not disclosed, but the amount was
said to be in six figures and was
termed very satisfactory.
Henry, a Memphis, Tenn., na-
tive, played center at Wisconsin,
averaged 17 points per game, and
was second in Big Ten rebounding
with an average of 12-a game.
The Boston Celtics also an-
nounced that they have signed
Dave Cowens, their 6-foot-9 top
draft choice from Florida State,
to a three-year contract.
Cowens, who had committed
himself to the National Basketball
Association before the draft, sign-
ed for a reported $270,000. He also
was the No. 1 pick of Los Angeles
of the Americap Basketball As-
The ABA did not get completely
shut out in the day's episode of the
pro basketball bidding war. Bobby
Croft of Tennessee, first round
choice of the ABA's Dallas Chap-
parals says he will play for the
Chaps, but it will cost the Texans
more money.
The 6-foot-10 Croft, a native of
Hamilton, Ont., who captained the
University of Tennessee's basket-
ball squad last season, was drafted
by the Chapparals in the ABA's
first round of selections. However,
Croft says he wants to play for
the Kentucky Colonels in Louis-
ville, Ky.

Last spring very few people on
campus outside of the football
coaches were familiar with the
names Taylor (both Bill and
Mike), Doughty, Keller, Gram-
bau, Darden, and Murdock. Even
fewer knew what to expect from
them concerning football playing
ability. Well, by mid-November
their names and football talent
had become evident to a lot of
people outside of their coaches
and teammates.
Now that the above-mentioned
young men have earned their let-
ters and are juniors the question:
which of this year's crop . of
"rookies" will burst on the scene
in a blaze of glory and m a k e
names for themselves?, is on the
coaches' minds.
CONCERNING the sophomores,
coach Jim Young has this to say,
"It's too early to say who'll be
first team since we've only had
seven practices. At the moment
none of the sophomores are play-
ing first team but any of them
could break in."
Sandusky, O h i o seems to be
making a habit of ,producing
Michigan defensive lacks and
"Bo" Rather is their third con-
tribution to the position. Young
commented on his play this
spring, "Rather has shown excel-
lent ability to play pass defense.
He's also done some really fine
tackling." Rather may be taking
the place of graduated fellow
townsman Brian Healy and could
be -joining another fellow San-
duskyite Tom Darden in the back-
out of Ohio f r o m right under
Woody's nose who has a chance
of "breaking in" is Clint Spear-
man. At present Spearman is the
second team defensive end and


-Daily--Sara Krulwich
Gridiron rites of spring

Young feels he has excellent po-
tential for the position.
Al "Cowboy" Walker is getting
his chance at running back. In
practices so far Young rates
Walker's performance as demon-
strating fine running ability and,
"more important, he has f in e
blocking talent."
expects the sophomores to be of
greatest help are in the defensive
secondary and on the-second team
offensive line. -"Right now several
sophomores are backing up the
defensive secondary and I think
several will end up there."

hI L

Cronin offers to rehire umps;
SSouth, Africa to host Ashe?
.By The Associated Press
" BOSTON - Joe Cronin, president of the American League said
yesterday that an offer of reconciliation had been made to two um-
pires fired in 1968.
But Cronin said one of the umpires, Al Salerno, Oid not accept
what Cronin called the "generous offer" that was made to both
him and Bill Valentine.
Jack Sheehan, public relations director for the American League,
said "both had to accept together-just let it go at that."
The offer, Cronin said, included a trial period of work in the
minor leagues which "it was hoped would result in their return to the
American League."
0 JOHANNESBURG - Arthur Ashe, center of a controversy
which ended in South African's ouster from the 1970 Davis Cup com-
petition, may play in this country after all, the Afrikaans-language
daily Die Vaderland reported yesterday.
0 GREENVILLE, SC. - Joe Williams seems on the verge of
accepting the Furman University head basketball coaching job but
said he would not make a decision for a couple of days.

vt5: is
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