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April 10, 1973 - Image 9

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1973-04-10

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Tuesday, April 14, 1973

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Page Nine

TuesayAprl 10 193 TE MIHIGN DILY ageNin

Sports of The Daily

Aaron

tops

all

for

Master's

green

Baseball...
. the individual's game
By JOHN RAEBURN
SOME YEARS AGO I read an essay in Partisan Review by
William Phillips which asserted that of all sports only pro-
fessional football could legitimately claim the attention of the
thoughtful rian. Football, Phillips said, was - "the opium of the
intellectuals"; its nearly infinite variety of formations and plays
appealed to the intellectual's love of complexity, and its physical
violence provided a catharsis for all the aggressions he had stored
up in his library carrel.
I certainly don't dispute William Phillip's credentials as an
intellectual, but I think his apostrophe to professional football on
behalf of the intelligentsia is wrong-headed and idiosyncratic.
Everyone knows about the enormous following professional
football has won over the past two decades-nearly every
team in the NFL plays to capacity crowds every game of
the season, and millions who can't get tickets faithfully spend
their autumn Sunday afternoons and Monday evenings in
front of their TV sets-but I don't think there are many intel-
lectuals in this vast audience; and if some of them do watch
professional football, they do so in a casual and desultory way
that suggests their allegiance to the game is minimal.
Intellectuals in America are baseball fans, and if a sport can
be a drug, baseball is the (blessed) opium of the intellectuals.
Sporting events are communal rites, and the spectators at-
tracted to a game are an important part of the rite; they provide
not only its context but also its tone. The Harris Poll recently
announced that the people who follow baseball have collectively
an "unfortunate statistical profile," by which it means that
baseball fans are drawn from the more unprepossessing and un-
prosperous sectors of American society, namely from the very
young, the elderly, urban blue-collar workers, and Blacks. Foot-
ball, on the other hand, has its most devoted following amongI
businesesmen, doctors, lawyers, the suburban upper middle-class
-the advertising agency's America.
The crowd at a football game, in their J. Press sport jackets
and London Fog raincoats, reminds one of a Republican state
convention which has decided to recess for a little dignified fun,
postponing for the moment its deliberations on how to cut welfare
costs. They arrive in their station wagons, picnic off their auto-
mobile tailgates, fill their silver-plated flasks with Johnny Walker
or Jim Bean, and troop off to their eight or nine dollar seats.
A baseball crowd £s much less easy to characterize, but
it resembles more than anything else a Democratic caucus
from an urban-industrial state like New York or Michigan.
It is heterogeneous, open-collared, often profane, passionate,
and drinks beer; and its members, many of them from the
Other America, have only paid two or three dollars for a
seat in that breathtaking island of green edged around by the
grey waste of the city.
An intellectual, almost by definition politically liberal or
radical and anti-middle class, when he is at a baseball game is
in a medium he instinctively feels at home in and understands;
at a football game, surrounded by all those representatives of
the Chamber of Commerce and the AMA, he is hopelessly alien
and out of place.
What unifies a baseball crowd is a sense of tradition, a
collective memory which has stored up the arcana of baseball's
past, its records and stories, and which links this game with
those thousands played in the past. What was Babe Ruth's
batting average in 1927, the year hehit sixty home runs? Was
the A's "Million Dollar Infield" as good as the Dodger infield ofj
Cox, Reese, Robinson, and Hodges Who pitched a no-hitter on
Opening Day? And so on, ad infinitum.
All sports have traditions but in none of them are the
traditions as detailed or as revered as they are in baseball.
These traditions are codified in two ways, statistical ab-
stracts and legendary anecdotes. The statistics of baseball
are exact and extraordinarily descriptive-the box score is
a miniature of the game-and intellectuals love precision al-
most as much -as they love myth. These contradictory pas-
sions, so incompatable in the real world, are conjoined and
satisfied by baseball.
We know what Babe Ruth's batting average was in any given
year-as well as how many times he struck out, walked, tripled,
etc.-but we also remember (even if we only read it or were told
about it) how in the dying light of an autumn afternoon he called
his shot against Charlie Root of the Cubs in the 1932 World
Series. That memory is as much a part of the American imagi-
nation as is the image of Huck and Jim floating down the

Mississippi.
Finally, there is the game itself. Football is industrial: all
cogs and gears and relentless activity; baseball is pastoral:
leisurely, unviolent, contemplative. Confrontation in baseball is
individual, not corporate-the pitcher's control and subtlety
against the batter's reflexes, the baserunner's jump against the
catcher's arm, the shortstop's agility against the hitter's speed.
There are no real specialists in baseball, and each player
must be able to field the ball, throw it, and hit it. (The DH, alas,
will change this; it's a step toward making baseball as loath-
somely modern as a McDonald's hamburger.) The pace in base-
ball is like the development of a novel by Henry .James: for
such a long time nothing seems to be happening, then suddenly
we get a dramatically intense moment or two, and we realize
that everything which has come before has been essential in
preparing us to savor that moment.
Judged by the explosix e and frenetic tempo of football, base-
ball is slow-no question about it-but it is never boring to those
who prize individual excellence rather than group effort, and it
is never dull to those who love the subtle pleasures of leisurely
reflection.
ED. NOTE: Mr. Raeburn is a professor of English and an avid
baseball fan.
' tG: <? >) o tO<=> .r< ) > } ;,<C>o 3 <=> <> C3Q<):>

AUGUSTA, Ga. (4) - Tommy But Tommy, a softly-drawling,
Aaron, a quiet, curly-haired vet- 1h*l3low-key character, gained his
eran who once scurried from the d 41£1 Ygreatest notoriety from the un-
Augusta National Golf Club in happy events surrounding the mass
cheek-burning shame, strode proud- confusion of the 1968 Masters.
ly past the game's greatest players EP UM t Bob Goalby was in the clubhouse
with a final round 68 and annexed with a 277 total, awaiting the finish
the 37th Masters title yesterday. NIGHT EDITOR: of de Vicenzo, the Argentine vet-
His 283 total, five under par,ROE 2STEernwo aslyig itArn
destroyed forever his inaccurate ROGER ROSSITER erahis parter playing with Aaron
image as golf's perannial runner-
up and helped erase the haunting Roberto birdied the 17th hole-
memory of a slip of the pen thatIon the final hole while Aaron, well before a television gallery of mil-
cost Roberto de Vicenzo a chance behind him, was playing the 520- lions--to advance into a tie. Some-
at the Masters crown in 1968. yard, par-five 15th. ho,,s however, Aaron marked down
His victory aei rty e The 36-year-old Aaron, just a a four on the scorecard, a par.
Hisvitoy came in gritty, de-~ face in the crowd for 13 long years
termined fashion as he ignored a face in the rrw fors Roberto parred the final hole for
gallant, surging, charge by Jack 'der at that point and faced the a 65. But he signed his card-while
Nicklaus, the famed and feared subtle, multiple dangers of the a functionary tugged at his sleeve
Golden Bear who waited until this famed finishing holes. to hurry him to the television
Hemepfinidhbyghpplngeds._atelycameras-that showed a 66. Under
He replied by chipping delicately the rules of golf he was stuck with
Magic Number: 163 to about 18 inches from the cup
Back again to serve all the Ben- and tapping in the birdie putt that, the higher score and lost his chance
gal fans is the favorite Daily in the end, won it. at a playoff.

sports feature, THE MAGIC
[NUMBER BOX. Today, the de-
ceptive digit in the Bengals'
quest for glory is any combiha-
tion of Red Sox losses and De-
troit v i c t o r i e s totalling 163.
Collect the entire series and
send them to us next fall, and
lucky you will receive a pizza
of your choice and a hefty chaw
of Norm Cash's favorite chew-
ing tobacco absolutely free!!!!!
rain-delayed final round to unleash
the full power of his awe-inspiring
game.
Nicklaus, eight strokes off the
pace when the day's play started in
mild, windy weather, shouldered
his way into the ranks of the con-
tenders with a sparkling, six-under-
par 66 for a 285 total, three under.
"It was a good day, one of my
best rounds in competition, but I
gave away too much too early,"
the big Golden Bear said. "The
gallery was super."
He leaped high in the air and
brandished his putter over his head
after holing a 30-foot birdie putt
Netters
victorious
over Irish
Special To The Way
SOUTH BEND-Neither rain nor
sleet nor dark of night can stop
the Michigan netters on their ap-
pointed rounds. Forced inside yes-
terday by the inclement weather,
the Michigan tennis squad opened
its spring season with a bang,
whipping the Fightin' Irish 9-0.
"We made a great transition,"
said a jubilant tennis coach Brian
Eisner. "We looked fairly good."
In fact, with the exception of the
third singles match, the outcome
was never in doubt. In that match
freshman Eric Friedler went to
the last point of the match before
Friedler put away Irishman Rich
Slager, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6.
Slager, last year's Ohio State
singles champion, neeted Frield-
er's serve to clinch the victory for
the Wolverine ace.
Victor Amaya and Freddie de-
Jesus continued their winning ways
with easy victories over their Irish
opponents in the first and second
singles respectively. Tim Ott, Kev-
in Sennich and Dick Raverby also
triumphed.
The victory brought the Wol-
verines net record to a highly for-
midible 3-1.
EASE THE
PANIC
with
Statemnent- Pie
Study Techniques
Available in
Paperback at
U CELLAR
FOLLETTS
ULRICIH S
-

Major League Standings

American League
East

National League
East
W L Pct. GB

Boston
Baltimore
Cleveland
Detroit
Milwaukee
New York
hinnesota
Chicago,
Kansas City
California
Texas
Oakland

w
ti
0
0
West
t
"7
Q

L Pet.
() 1.000
0 3.000
1 .667
1 .500
? .000
4 .000

GB
11 f
11
1!
2
3

Pittsburgh
New York
Chicago
Montreal
Philadelphia
St. Louis
San Francisco
Houston
San Diego
Cincinnati
Atlanta
Los Angeles

3
t
0
0.
West
3
Results

0 1.000
0 ,1..000
1 .667
2 .333
2 .000
3 .000

1
2
21-
3

AP Photo
JACK NICKLAUS does not seem all that unhappy as he watches Tommy Aaron put on the Green
Jacket symbolic of the Masters' champion. Nicklaus appeared relieved at not having to wear the
fungus laden jacket that he suffered through five times previously. Aaron is getting his first experience
with the moldy old coat. Nicklaus shot a sterling final round 66 to finish tied for third place.

0
:i

1.000
1.000
.667
.333
.40
.4041

1
1
2
3
3

.750 -
.667 -
.500 1
.500 1
.250 2
.250 2

Yesterday's Results
Cleveland '', New York 1
Today's Games
Baitimore at Detroit, postponed, cold
Oakland at Chicago, postponed, cold
Boston at Milwaukee, postponed, snow
Texas (Broberg, 0-0) at Kansas City
(Splittorff, (1-0)
Minnesota (Blyleven, 1-0) at California
. (Singer, 0-0)
Only games scheduled

San Francisco 2, San Diego 1
Cincinnati 8, Atlanta 7
Houston 4, Los Angeles 1
Today's Games
New York at St. Louis, postponed, cold
Montreal (Torrez, 0-1) at Philadelphia
(Carlton, 0-1)
Chicago (Reuschel, 0-0) at Pittsburgh
(Moose, 0-0)
Cincinnati (Guilett, 0-1) at Atlanta
(Gentrs, 0-0)
Los Angeles (Downing, 0-0) at Houston
(Roberts, 0-0)
jSan Diego (Corkins, 0-0) at San Fran-
cisco (Marichal, 1-0)

> > ; ; >;;
M. E. C. H. A. presents
EL TEATRO CAMPESINO
de AZTLAN
THE CHICANO FARMWORKER THEATER"
The Chicano Struggle
U FW Union and Boycott Efforts
MUSIC-PLAYS-SATIRE-SPIRITc
L*i
Sat., April 14-hill AuditoriumQ
U of M Campus-8 P.M.
NO ADMISSION
SI

WwA NTED
Books Belonging to Washtenaw Community College
RETURN THEM NOW
DURING
FINE-FREE WEEK-April 9-13
No fines will be charged during this week.
Just bring them to the College Library
OR
Drop them in the BOOK DROP BOX-
Conveniently located on campus near
the Student Center Temp.
For further information, call 971-6300, Ext. 245

i

r

jamom .

a

0

I"

A)* A

HOPWOOD LECTURE
Robert W. orrigan
Drama critic, editor, and essayist. Founder and first
editor of THE TULANE DRAMA REVIEW. Author
of THE THEATRE IN SEARCH OF A FIX (April,
1973)

-- -1

I

'I.
A d-

.

The Changing of the Arde"

ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE HOPWOOD AWARDS FOR
WILL FOLLOW THE LECTURE

1973

WEDNESDAY, April 11-8:00 p.m.
RACKHAM LECTURE HALL

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

With a shovel. At an archaeo-
logical site. On a new EL AL Col-
lege Vacation.
There is more in Israel that's
exciting, surprising and profoundly

The New York Times re-
viewer called HAROLD
BRODKEY's new story "one
of the half dozen stories I've
ever read about love and sex
that moved me." And there's
lots more including new writ-
ing by ALLEN GINSBERG,
RALPH ELLISON, JOHN
HAWKES, MAXINE KUMIN.

moving than you can
imagine.
You'll dig sunny,
fascinating Israel.
Go to the Negev.
Scale Massada.
Explore Jerusalem.
See 4 seas. Tan at
Tiberias on the Sea of
Galilee.
Water-ski the coral

begin to
swinging,

Fraternize at an oasis on the
Dead Sea.
Poke through our Roman past
at Caesarea (Mediterranean Sea).
Beach-hop. Bible-hop. Live.
Learn. Enjoy.
You can renew yourself and
wear yourself out.
You can fly to Israel for $381)*
(from New York) and
on the way home
r we 11 give you one Eu-
ropean stop-over free.
Add $57* during June,
July and August de-

the inclpr '(

NNW/ /
n nirlinp

partures.

i

1! 1

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