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June 16, 1976 - Image 11

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1976-06-16

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Wednesday, June 16, 1976


Poge Eleven

Wednesday, June 16, 1976 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Eleven

Touching all NBA considers four ABA
the bases teams for possible merger

_ _ _imtlSeg1
It's not the same *...
... at Tiger Stadium
It happened at Tiger Stadium and it made the whole evening
worthwhile. I went back eight years, a time when they still played
baseball at Michigan and Trumbull.
There was something missing when we arrived at the
stadium. The seats were fine, the weather hot and humid-
just right for baseball. But it just wasn't the same.
I sensed discontent throughout the stands. Who were these
guys in the Tigers' uniforms?
The double-play combination was Scrivener to Garcia to
Thompson. Frank MacCormack was pitching to John Wockenfuss.
The outfielders were Dan Meyer, Ron LeFlore and Rusty Staub.
Something wasn't right.
I first became unstuck in time for a brief, delicious moment,
just before game time, when it was announced that Norm Cash
was in the ballpark, broadcasting for ABC.
The crowd grabbed at this nostalgic straw and gave Cash
a long, friendly ovation. Everyone was smiling, and they
cheered as Cash threw out the first ball. He was a link with
better times, and a welcome distraction from the strangers on
the field.
It was like the happy, relaxed feeling you get when you see
a good friend in a room full of strangers. My mood perked up.
"I love Norm Cash," I said. My friends nodded their agreement
as we clapped. I wanted him to go down on the field, chomping on
his bubble gum, squinting at the pitcher like he used to, and then
send a couple of pitches into the upper deck.
I settled for a quick daydream, and then sat back to watch
the game. I tried to enjoy it, but couldn't. It was a lousy game.
My disenchantment reached its peak in the fourth inning
when these Tigers appeared to lose control of their motor
responses. The brain signals seemed to take a rest stop on the
way to the muscles.
First Meyer lunges at a line drive and it skids under his glove,
letting the hitter take second. Kansas City's John Mayberry
hounces a single to right, Staub tries to catch it with his shin and
the run scores.
After a force out, Hal McRae takes off for second and Wocken-
fss tries to cut him down by throwing the ball to the centerfielder.
It doesn't work.
The next hitter walks, putting runners at first and third. The
Royals, taking great delight in the Tigers' antics, force one more
mistake with a double steal. Wockenfuss throws to Scrivener, whose
hurried, high throw lets the runner slide home.
This was cruel and unusual punishment for a Tiger fan. Cruel,
wiyway-not really unusual.
I lost interest in the game. I began leafing through my
program, not wanting to watch what was happening on the
field too closely. But in the seventh, the crowd started yelling.
I looked up to see a familiar face and number. Mickey Stanley
is in the on-deck circle, getting ready to pinch hit.
Now I don't especially like Mickey Stanley as a ballplayer, but
he is a real Tiger, a survivor of '68-that alone is something to
cheer about. Me grounds out.
By the ninth, Detroit is down, 5-2. Many fans have already
ducked out. Staub bounces out, not running hard until he sees the
first baseman bobble the ball. But then it is too late.
Stanley gets another cheer as he comes up, and he promptly
slams one into the corner for a double. Kansas City changes
pitchers. While Alex Johnson is drawing a walk a fight breaks out
inthe bleachers. Someone, apparently a cop, slugs somebody and
iseems like half the bleacherites run to get in on the action.
Now I'm getting interested. Rodriguez lines a single to
right to load the bases and the crowd is really excited. K.C.
brings in another pitcher.-
Some drunk, college-age guy is on the field, waving a Tiger
Pennant, e is chased off the field, but the cops lose him in the
rwd. The drunk's friend bl ksthe cops' way and there ispushing,
shoving and a lot of confusion, just like old times. The bleacher
fight has moved under the stands.
Back on the field, Ben Ogivie is taking bad swings at bad
pitches and striking out. But the bases are still loaded and Ralph
Houk reaches into the past for another pinch hitter, Bill Freehan.
The stage is set. Everything is just right. There's Mickey
Stanley edging off third and Bill Freehan settling in the batter's
box. The dank has about ten cops after him, and the fans are
rying to watch everything at one.
I look up in the broadcast booth. Norm Cash is up out of
his chair, nervously bobbing up and down on the balls of his
feet and staring at the field. That's his team down there. (He
needs some gum to chew, I say to myself.)
Freehan makes everyone stand up with a long foul to left.
Be pumps another to the same spot. People are oohing and aahing
and then holding their breath as the next pitch, a curve ball,
snaps sharply over the outside corner for a called third strike.
And suddenly, unmercifully, it's 1976 again, and time to drive

By The Associated Press
H Y A N N I S, Mass. -
National Basketball Association
Commissioner Larry O'Brien
said yesterday that a four-team
plan for merger with the Amer-
ican Basketball Association
seemed to be most acceptable
to both leagues.
O'Brien, taking a break after
a long meeting with the Board
of Governors and before the
start of a session with mem-
bers of the ABA, including
Commissioner Dave DeBuss-
chere, held a news conference.
He said that before any deci-
sion could be made on accept-
ing ABA teams into his league,
a "myriad of questions have to
be answered."
PRIOR to the NBA's summer
meetings at the Cape Cod re-
sort, the NBA had been consid-
ering three plans - acceptance
of four, five or six ABA teams.
O'Brien said that while the
five and six team packages still
were alive - "I wouldn't call
anything dead" - he emphasiz-
ed that both sides currety
were focusing on the four-team
Under that proposed arrange-
ment, the teams that would join
Indiana, N.C.
sign best
frosh crop
ROANOKE, Va. - Defending
NCAA champion Indianaand At-
lantic Coast Conference perren-
nial contender North Carolina
ted the way as college basket-
ball'straditional powers grab-
bed a good share of the top
high school talent in this year's
recruiting campaign.
The annual survey by The
Roanoke Times made for The
Associated Press showed that
Indiana and North Carolina each
signed four of the top 40 high
school players.
The top 40 is a compilation
of nine scholastic All-Ameri-
ca teams, two recruiting ser-
vices, and the opinions of some
of the country's top college
It was a bonanza year for
Indiana, which graduated four
starters from its undefeated
team. The same was true for
North Carolina, which lost only
first-round draft pick Mitch
Kupchak, a member of the
United States Olympic team.
The Hoosiers got Glen Grun-
wald, a hot-shooting 6-foot-9 for-
ward from Franklin Park, Ill.
Ohio's Player of the Year, 6-5
Butch Carter from the tradition-
al basketball hotbed of Middle-
town; 6-10 Derek Holcomb, a
raw-boned center from Peoria,
Ill., and Mike Miday of Can-
ton,'Ohio, whom one coach term-
ed "a 6-7 Kent Benson."
North Carolinas' quartet of
prospective stars included its
home state best, 6-4 John Vir-
gil of Elm City; Indiana's Mr.
Basketball, guard Dave Coles-
cott; 6-10 Steve Krafcisin of
Oak Park, Ill., and 6-6 Mike
O'Koren of Jersey City, N.J.
Many of the country's other
powers also did well.
North Carolina State got
three premier play - guards
Clyde The Glide Austin ofgRich-
mond, Va., and Brian Walker
of Lebanon, Ind., plus 6-5 Char-
les Hawkeye Whitney of Hatts-
vile, Md.
Maryland, Louisville, UCLA
and Kentucky, all familiar nam-
es in college basketball, each
signed two players off the list.

the NBA for the 1976-77 season parently decided the
would be the Denver Nuggets, plan was best.
Indiana Pacers, San Antonio I N A D D I T
Spurs and the New York Nets, DeBusschere, the AB
this year's ABA champion. resented by assistar
sioner Jim Keeler, I
THAT WOULD leave out the a A

10 N to
A was rep-
it commis-
Roy Boe of
Drr sms of

ABA's other two franchises -
Kentucky and Utah.
The ABA Players Associa-
tion, headed by its counsel.
Prentiss Yancey, has been
maintaining that if only four
teams are taken into the NBA,
the older league would leave it-
self open to an immediate law-
O'Brien said that after re-
viewing the merger proposals
Monday night with his advisory
board - William Wirtz of Chi-
cago, Abe Pollin of Washington,
Mike Burke of New York and
William Alverson of Milwau-
kee - he was awed by the
number of problems facing
such situations.
pearing tired following Monday
night's long session with the ad-
visory board and yesterday's
lengthy session with the Board
of Governors - who must ap-
prove any such merger with
t4 of tivotes - said the most
optimistic development that
could result here when the
meetings end Thursday would
be "an agreement to agree."
"That would be the outer lim-
it," he added. "I don't see how
you could have a resolution
within the next two days."
O'Brien emphasizedthat the
ABA had been encouraged to
present "any and all proposals
it wants" to the NBA, but ap-

mew Xr . ngeW1USt- u
San Antonio, Carl Scheer of
Denver and Bill Eason of Indi-
The numerous problems still
to be solved include financial
matters, dispersal of players,
territorial indemnification and
schedule of payments..
Meanwhile, O'Brien an-
nounced that the league had
been enjoined from taking any
action with respect to transfer-
ring the Buffalo Braves fran-
chise out of the upper New
York State city. The action was
filed in U.S. District Court in
the western district of New
Braves' owner Paul Snyder
had annotunced Monday he had
given Irving Cowan, owner of
the Diplomat Hotel in Holly-
wood, Fla., an option to buy
100 per cent of the team's stock
and move the club to Holly-
wood where it would play its
home games in the new 15,000-
seat Sportatorium.
- University of Indiana presi-
dent John W. Ryan told football
coach Lee Corso at a banquet
that he would be Indiana's
coach as long as he had any-
thing to say about it.
Corso responded by saying:
"Dr. Ryan, I hope your con-
tract is longer than mine."

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