HAVE SPORTS seasons begun to overlap so much that one man plays baseball
and hockey ... at the same time? No, it's Dave Parker of the Pirates,\who donned
a goalie's mask to protect a cheekbone fracture.
Broken bones can't
stop Pirates' Parker
PITTSBURGH (AP)-He's very big,
very good, and very earnest about
baseball, which he's now playing with
an assortment of rigged up facemasks
and a wired up cheekbone.
That's why Dave Parker, sixth
among outfielders in the National
League All-Star balloting by fans, fared
better in recent voting by general
Elevensof 12 NL general managers
took part in the poll by the St. Louis
Post-Dispatch, and Parker was deemed
the league's "Best All-Around Player."
"Basically, I think they're telling the
truth," said Parker, back in the Pit-
tsburgh Pirates' lineup after fracturing
his left cheekbone in three places less
than three weeks ago.
"THE GENERAL managers are
supposed to be the authorities, the
judges of talent," said Parker, who got
five first-place votes, followed by Cesar
Cedeno with three, George Foster with
two, and Steve Garvey with one,
At 6-ffoot-5, 230 pounds, the 27-year-
old Parker is the defending NL batting
champion. He won a Gold Glove last
season in rightfield and led all NL out-
fielders in assists.
He's also one of the fastest Pirates,
and he showed that speed June 30
when he tried to run over catcher John
Stearns of the New York Mets and
wound up with facial fractures.
Parker, who came off the disabled
list Sunday to spark the Pirates to a
doubleheader sweep of San Diego, un-
derwent surgery June 6.
AFTER SUNDAY'S action, he talked
about the surgery as if he was
discussing body work on his auto.
"They cut from the inside, pushed out
my cheek, put a lot of packing in there,
drilled two holes on each side of my eye,
pulled the cheek up with some wire, and
evidently did a very good job," he said.
Parker wasn't supposed to take bat-
thig pracceast ew , b't he tto
public park and took on the pitching
"The machines kept me sharp," he
said Sunday after his triple sparked the
Pirates to victory in the second game.
Parker started that game. He batted
the first two times wearing a hockey
goalies' facemask that he trimmed
himself and painted, gold on one side
and black on the other.
After grounding out and flying out, he
discarded the mask and went to the
plate with a conventional batting
helmet, which he wore when he hit the
"WHEN I raised my hands, my right
shoulder pushed the mask up and
moved the eye slots," he said.
"But I plan to trimit some more, and
I'll probably use it again."
When he reached third base after the
triple, he donned a special baseball bat-
ting helmet equipped with two ear
flaps, a chinstrap and a football face
"I'll probably have to wear some kind
of protection the rest of the season,"
said Parker, who must sign a new con-
tract or become a free agent after next
Trella & Co.
P.O. Box 562
The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, July 18, 1978-Page 15
THE SPORTING VIEWS
Riverfront arena .. .
. . . a sour deal?
By ALAN FANGER
We all know our share of people who are long on spirit and short on
mind. In fact, I've just added one to my list.
He's Coleman Young, Motown's chief executive, a keen politician with a
flair for the exciting ... and the expensive.
Since the day he took office more than four years ago, Young has set his
sights on building a sports arena along the riverfront. Until recently this idea
was on paper but low on the agenda due to more important matters which
faced the city.
A couple of months ago, however, Mayor Young saw his dream
materialize into reality when ground was broken for the newly named Joe
Louis Sports Arena.
The project seemed to be running smoothly until last week, when Mayor
Young and the rest of Detroit discovered they had bitten into perhaps the
juiciest lemon this side of the Louisiana Superdome. Contractors bluntly
stated that the cost of building the arena, which will host the Red Wings
when completed, was going to be higher than originally anticipated.
Costs running rampant
Actually, this should be no surprise to city officials, considering the
financial histories of the Superdome and Houston Astrodome, both of which
brewed under the inflationary fire. Perhaps it was the comparative
smallness of the structure which prompted such an optimistic outlook to
come from Young and his cronies.
In light of this development, the question of continuing the arena's con-
struction comes up. After all, an initial increase in costs is liable to be in-
creased again and again.
A glance at the alternatives is in order here. The Red Wings could move
back to Olympia, which has never been declared a disaster area, or follow the
Pistons north to Pontiac and play in the Silverdome. One can only speculate
upon the financial outcome of the latter move, although it wouldn't hurt the
Wings to play one season there and see the resultant attendance.
You don't need to be a sociologist to know that most Red Wing season
ticket holders are a tad on the wealthy side. They're selling out between $250
and $350 for one season ticket. Many, if not most of these people live in the
northern and western suburbs. Hence, a move to Pontiac wouldn't
geographically hurt these people.
Why two arenas?
What this entire matter boils down to, however, is finance. Why bite
into another lemon when the first one has left you sour? There is no guaran-
tee that the Wings will continue to draw decent crowds-many hockey fans
are fearful of setting their feet in dangerous territory. By moving to Pontiac,
the Wings could do worse than play one season there, come out in the red,
and move back into Olympia until a better proposal is on the horizon.
Detroit is the only city in which the professional hockey and basketball
teams are not housed in the same complex. And with the Pistons already
stationed in Pontiac, a riverfront arena is not a viable solution to an enor-
mous problem. After all, the Pistons departed downtownm partly because of
sagging attendance figures.
Hopefully, Mayor Young will shorten his spirit and make the sound
decision. The last thing Detroit needs is a financial lemon.
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