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August 10, 1974 - Image 11

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Michigan Daily, 1974-08-10

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Saturday, August 10, 1974

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Page Eleven

Saturday, August 10, 1974 THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Sluggers bemoan HR
By ED SHEARER time." By contrast, the American he said. "You don't even see
AP Sports Writer Dick Allen, the unpredict- League fell only from 1,076 to balls go out in batting prac-
Major league baseball's pro- able star of the Chicago White 1,020 and some National Leag- tice any more. It's a pitcher's
duction of the one of the game's Sox and the game's home uers are of the opinion that the ball."
most dramatic hits - the run leader this year, offered junior circuit had more horse- Only four teams in the Na-
home run - has declined by the tongue-in-cheek comment hide baseballs in stock at the tional League showed an in-
nine per cent this season. that "maybe we're using a start of the year . crease in the survey conducted
Hank Aaron, the all - time livelier ball over here in the "If you hit the cowhide balls this week. Los Angeles had 30
home run king, is convinced the American League." once or twice, they go soft," more this year, the New York
conversion to cowhide baseballs He may be correct. The re- says Aaron, the A t I a n t a Mets an additional 22, St. Louis
is the reason. duction is more acute in the Braves' 40-year-old slugger who eight more and San Diego 13
Bobby Bonds of the San National League - a plunge became baseball's home run more.
Francisco Giants agrees, say- from 1,033 in 1973 to 884 this king when he smashed the The White Sox and Texas
ing, "I don't think everybody year through the same number 715th of his career April 8. Rangers showed the greatest in-
just got weak at the same of games in each season. "They're just not carrying," creases in the AL - Chicago up
by 26 and the Rangers by 19.
Baltimore had one more homer
than a year ago and California
had an increase of five.
Atlanta, playing in a park
fondly called "the launching
pad" in previous years because
of its lusty yield of long balls,
and the Giants showed the
greatest decline. The Giants,
who traded away slugger Willie
McCovey, had 52 fewer and At-
lanta 51 less.
With Willie Stargell's produc-
tion down from 32 last year to
only 18 this year, the Pitts-
/ burgh Pirates showed a plunge
of 39 home runs. Montreal had
a reduction of 30 while Detroit
AL, down from 117 to 90.
Bonds, whose 15 homers is
less than half what he had
last year, said, "Of course,
I'm having a bad year. May-
be I shouldn't say anything.
But some guys with 20 hom-
ers are among the leaders. At
this. time of the year, that's
ridiculous."
Through games of last Wed-

drop
nesday, Allen led the majors
with 29 home runs. Jimmy
Wynn of the Dodgers was the
NL leader with 26.
Aaron, Darrell Evans and
Dave Johnson set a major
league record last year when
each hit 40 or more homers,
marking the first time it had
been done by three teammates.
Through Atlanta's first 11
games in 1973, Evans had 30
homers, Aaron 28 and Johnson
25. At that point this season,
Aaron had 15, Evans 13 and
Johnson 10, a decline of 45
among them.
Evans says he believes the
ball is softer and that it has
cost him five or six home
runs, but he also acknow-
edges he's not having as
good a year in any phase of
hitting.
"But some of it is the balls,"
he said. "I've seen a couple of
balls knocked lopsided this
year. I've hit a couple that I
thought didn't have a chance to
stay in the park, but they were
caught on the warning track."
Allen says he never thinks
about home runs.
"My game is not built around
home runs," he said. "As far
as I'm concerned, there aren't
enought all-around players in
the game.
During spring training Juan
Beniquez of the Boston Red Sox
actually knocked the cover off
a ball in grounding out on the
infield. Aaron said teammate
Ralph Garr showed him a ball
recently that had a dent in it.

AP Photo
SECOND ROUND leader John Schlee grimaces at a missed putt on the fourteenth green at the
PGA championships yesterday. Schlee carted a 68 to retain the lead at the end of the day with
a five under 135.
IN PGA TOURNEY
Player chasing Schlee

CLEMMONS, N.C. (M,) - Gritty Gary Player
birdied six times in a string of seven holes
on his way to a record-matching 64 sod charged
to within two strokes of leading John Schlee in
Friday's rain-delayed second round of the PGA
National championship.
Player's six-under-par effort tied the record
for the best 18-hole score ever recorded in the
PGA and put him back in the thick of the fight
in his quest for a third major title of the year.
The muscular. little man from Johannesburg,
South Africa, already the winner of the 1974
Masters and British Open titles, put together a
two-round total of 137, three under par.
The star-gazer Schlee, who shared the first-
round lead with two others, salvaged a 67 with
a miraculous par on the final hole and slipped
into sole control with a 135.
The graying 35-year-old Schlee flew the mud-
encrusted ball over the green on his second shot
on the 18th hole, swept it out of the deep, wet,
clining rough across the green to the fringe some
22 feet from the cup - then made the putt that
left him alone in first halfway through the
last of the season's four major tests of golfing
greatness.
"SEE," grinned the pro tour's resident ama-
teur astrologist. "When your signs are right

you can do anything."
The tall, rangy Schlee finished just moments
before a heavy downpour which forced a 45-
minute suspension of play, put at least two
greens under water, filled bunkers and left
pools and puddles dotting the hilly, heavily
wooded, 6,050 Tanglewood Golf Club course.
Hubert Green, who -has won three 1971 titles
with his unorthodox putting style, was caught
in the torrents. He scurried to the clubhouse
then came back to sink a 25-foot putt that got
him home in 68 .and second place at 136, just
one shot out.
Bobby Cole, a skinny young globetrotter from
South Africa, also managed a 68 before the
rains came and was tied with Player at 137,
Defending champion Jack Nicklaus was well
positioned at 138 after another 69. He was only
three strokes back, obviously well pleased and
sensing a prime opportunity to add to his record
horde of 12 major professional titles.
"I'm delighted with a pair of 69s," he said.
"That's a very good start.
"I'm amazed anyone could shoot 135 under
these conditions.
"I may have lost a stroke or two to the leader,
but I lost a lot of other guys going the other
way, too."

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