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October 15, 1984 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-10-15

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6

OPINION
Page 4 Monday, October 15, 1984 The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Cramer

Vol. XCV, No. 35A

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

The big catch
" LESS YOU BOYS" just doesn't
seem adequate. Maybe they
should change it to "Fuck yeah
boys ! !I" But that still might not be
appropriate since it might offend some
people, and what happened last night
was brought about as far from offensive
as you can get.
What happened was mass euphoria.
What happened was an unexpected -
at least locally unexpected - reaction
to the completely expected end to the
Tigers' magical season.
It was OK to walk up State Street in a
mob stopping traffic. Most of the
drivers were probably just driving
around honking on celebration
anyway.
It was alright to invade the libraries,
spraying beer in the hallowed halls of
the law quad and disturbing those
students who thought homework was.
more imporant than home runs. For
those who didn't join the fun, or at least
enjoy it, that was their loss. And for the
people who worried about the alcohol
stains this morning, there was a lot

Lff
rV
4-

. . 0
more emotion spilled than beer.
In Tigerland proper, some of the
"fun" was far from good and even far-
ther from clean. Torching police cars
and shooting people are no more ex-
cusable when they are associated with
a World Series party than they are in
everyday life.
But for the city of Detroit, the Tigers'
victory and accompanying celebration
was a booster shot to distract from the
more common kind of shots heard in
that crime-plagued metropolis. Cer-
tainly the partying was not as destruc-
tionless as Ann Arbor's, but it let
Detroiters look away from problems
like the Vista disposal scandal and
concentrate on the way "the boys"
disposed of all comers. It also let
people outside the city concentrate not
on the bankrupt Renaissance center,
but on Tiger stadium as the symbol of
Detroit.
Sure, it's all over but the shouting.
But it was the shouting itself that held
the real blessing all along.

I.

Mrs po~h D r 5fpf

Baseball: A hunk

of fun

.and one that got away

A LL RIGHT, Bless You Boys.
There, now that's the way. Hurrah
for the Tigers, but in our celebrating
let's not forget about our lovable mid-
western neighbors, the Chicago Cubs.
It had been the consistent opinion of
the Daily's editorial board that the
Cabs should have won the National
League pennant, because only in them
did we see a suitable opponent for the
recipients of the miracle at Michigan
and Trumbull.
But it was not to be. The Cubs had to
settle for a division title while the
Tigers took it all.
As dramatic as the Tigers' win is,
don't forget that they had one of the
best records in baseball last year. The
Cubs on the other hand finished a
characteristic fifth in the Eastern
Division last year and were a consen-
sus pick for fifth or even sixth again
this year.
The Cubs under second-year
general manager Dallas Green, un-
derwent a massive personnel turnover
to get as far as they did. They con-
tinually took chances in the trading
market. Almost a third of the way into

the season they dealt away promising
young outfielder Mel Hall for former
rookie-of-the-year Rick Sutcliffe who
at the time had a meager 4-5 record.
Sutcliffe went on to finish the season
16-1 and is a likely Cy Young Award
winner in the National League.
Gambles like the Sutcliff-Hall deal
are what baseball front office wizardry
is all about. There are more ways to
build a great team-like grooming
your own talent the way the Tigers
did-but surely none more dramatic.
But on top of the team that they are,
the Cubs had reason enough to make
the World Series by virtue of the team
they have been. The Tigers have only
waited since 1968 for a return trip to
the Series whereas the Cubs haven't
been back since 1945. Think about
it-we still thought the Russians were
our allies in 1945.
Unfortunately reason doesn't usually
affect the outcome of the game. The
game is won on the field and not from
the show of hands of any group of fans
who sit down to decide such a matter.
And besides, there are probably
some good reasons that the Padres
should have gone as well-it's just that
we can't think of any.

By Joseph Kraus
I love baseball.
I used to ask myself how I could waste my
time following a sporting event when there
were still horrible things going on in the
world. I'm convinced now, though, that there
will always be horrible things going on in the
world, and that I'd miss an awful lot if I stuck
to an idealistic position.
Over the summer, when thoughts of El
Salvador or Reagan's reelection got me down,
baseball (usually the Cubs) version was there
to make me forget it all.
THERE'S SOMETHING about a bunch of
grown men running around in pajama-like
uniforms that makes me feel younger myself.
My own little league baseball career was a seven
year wait on the bench, but when Leon
Durham strokes one over Wrigley Field's ivy-
covered walls, I start to think that maybe I
could do it too.
Also, with the veritable library-full of
myths, legends, and lore, baseball has
become timeless. My father rooted for the
same Cubs (the players had the same names
back then, but they were the same club)
growing up in the '30s and '40s and my gran-
dmother rooted for them as a recent im-
migrant in the '20s.
It would be easy then to wax melancholic
over "the good-old days" of the game, but sap-

piness doesn't mix with baseball. Memories
of the club are always vibrant. In a grab-bag
full of stories the only ones that come up are
of the triumphs, like the '68 or the '84 Tigers,
or of the near misses like the '83 White Sox or
(sigh) the '84 Cubs.
AND THAT vibrancy makes the summer
pastime live all year 'round. Swapping stories
of the '75 Red Sox with their two rookies-of-
the-decade, Fred Lynn and Jim Rice, and an
aging Carl Yasztrzmski getting his last
hurrah can make the snow seem a little less
deep.
But baseball doesn't wallow in its past.
Each season brings with it a clean slate, and
as many a cellar dwelling manager is wont to
say, "Every team's in first place on the first
day of the season."
Unlike other sports, baseball is geared for
the season more than for its post-season play.
Where football, basketball, and hockey have 4
or even more rounds in their playoff systems,
baseball has only two. The result is that
regular season games mean more.
ON TOP of the emphasis on regular season
results, baseball has more games than any
other sport. Single games may mean less
than single football games, but their
cumulative effect is greater. All of which
creates a situation in which a fan can monitor
his team through box scores and standings.

A hardcore football fan won't miss a single
game of the season, while it takes an all-out
baseball attitude nut to catch .even a third of
his season. That type of laid back attitude
makes it easy to feel a part of a team evenif
you lost touch with it once in a while.
And feeling a part of a team just starts the
whole cycle all over again.
Baseball can mean so many different
things: a summer afternoon escape; a glimn-
pse at the career that never was; legends and
stories from over the last century; and
something positive to look for in the morning
papers.
I doubt that Abner Doubleday had any
inkling of how much he would affect us today
when he came up with his modified version of
England's cricket in the first part of the
nineteenth century, but I for one would like to
thank him.
Baseball may not be perfect, but it is fun.
And we can use as much of that kind of funas
we can get.
This season the Cubs couldn't quite pullit
off. But opening day is only 165 days
away-and we'll get 'em next year.
Kraus is editor of the Daily's Weekend
magazine.

"If you went into Metropolitan
Airport on the night of October 10,
1968 to pick up your gran-
dmother, you were out of luck."
Or at least according to Daily
reporter Fred Labour in the
Friday morning lead story
following thelast Tiger World
Series Championship. The
datelint was TIGERTOWN.
APPARENTLY, the Willow
Run airport's runways, parking
lots and adjoining expressways
were "clogged with thousands of
deliriously happy (and, I am
sure, inebriated) Detroit Tiger
Fans who turned out to salute
their heroes upon a victorious
return from St. Louis."
Estimates of the crowd ranged
from that of one policeman, who
said there were "under 25,000" of
them, to 9-year-old Mike Swan
who commented that there must
have been at least "one hundred
million" participants. By official
estimates, there were 50,000 fans
on the runways greeting their
team. That is only about 5,000
less than watched the game at St.
Louis' Busch Stadium.
I was all of three years old
when the Tigers arrived in
Detroit to celebrate theirvictory.
I suppose I was a fan although
my most vivid recollection of
Tiger-mania was a wallin my
older brother's room plastered
with Al Kaline posters, pictures,
and other paraphinalia. At that
time Kaline was 32, my brother
was nine.
THE SCENE was about the
same in "Tigertown" at that time
as it was last night. In '68 there
was a rumor that the plane
carrying the Tigers would not be
able to touch down in Willow Run,
and some fans went as far as the
Toledo Airport on the hunch that
their DC-8 would be re-routed.

Reliving those
glorious days
of '68

By Peter Williams

far as the eye could see, pennan-
ts, and an untold number of
signs."
MANY of the fans wer edisap-
pointed when the rumor of the
switching airports swept through
the crowd. "Hell," said one man,
"I've given them Tigers half a
my life. The least they can do is
let me yell at 'em when they
win." And another fan, described
by LaBour as "a fat woman with
a pennant stuck to the back of her
slacks" commented, "I could of
just as well stayed hame and
taken pictures of my television
set. I'm pretty mad at those
Tigers."
But their worries were in vain
and the Tigers, in all their glory,
landed in Willow Run at ap-
proximately 9:00. Then Govenor
of Michigan George Romney,
Detroit's Mayor Jerome
Cavanaugh, and a host of other
dignitaries were on hand to give
the Tigers a pat on the back and,
BLOOM COUNTY

I'm sure, to stroke their own
political interests at the same
time.
The thought of 50,000 happily
drunk potential voters was no
doubt enough to bring out even
the most unsportsmanlike
politician.
"You have made all of
Michigan proud," Romney used
as his greeting to each individual
player as they stepped off the
ramp. Cavanaugh's remark
seemed somewhat more sincere.
"I've been excited since the ninth
inning of today's game. This is
really something for an old
baseball fan like me."
An interesting bit of nostalgia
about the reporter of this event
deserves mention. Just one year
after he wrote this article, Fred
LaBour was assigned the record
review of the Beatles' Abbey
Road album. The Daily headline,
which was just slightly smaller
than the one accompanying his

Tiger coverage, read "McCar-
tney-dead; ne evidence brought
to light." LaBour is now credited
with starting the controversy ove
r Palu McCartney's rumored
death. LaBour, who is now 36 and
lives in Nashville, Tenn., now
admits that the whole thing was a
hoax.
Bqt you can still find an oc-
casional Beatles groupie who will
claim, as the Daily printed on Oc-
tober 14, 1969, that McCartney
died in an automobile accident in
1966. Since that time, so the story
says, a Scottish orphan named
William Campbell has been
masquerading as McCartney.
LaBour has now given up jour-
nalism and turned to country
music. His band, Riders in the
Sky, are frequent guests at the
Ark.
But in October of 1968, LaBour
wrote about baseball. He was a
member of the media at an event
that is remembered today as one
of the Detroit area's most
glorious moments of mass
hysteria. A moment perhaps
equaled only by yesterday's
crowd scene in and around Tiger
Stadium (afer all, they did over-
turn and burn a Detroit police
car).
The motivations of those fans
also seemed to be very much the
same asathose of current Tiger
fans - almost too much so. As
one, -obviously teenage women
commented about Tiger catcher
Bill Freehan, "Did you see
Freehan on TV? What a bod! I
was goin' nuts!"
Williams is a Daily Arts
editor.
by Berke Breathed

OrfICEK, A5 A wRaENmme

----
&EINb hi4GG '

NOW YOV MR MI

Ii

It ITicg X1RRP~~TA7~NWYl

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