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April 13, 1988 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-04-13

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Women's Tennis
vs. Michigan State
Today, 3:00 p.m.
East Lansing


Men's Lacrosse
vs. Michigan State
Tonight, 7:30 p.m.
Tartan Turf

. ............ ......... - - - - - --------- -

The Michigan Daily

Wednesday, April 13, 1988

Page 9

Nice guy huh? Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press
sports columnist, best in the nation? Nah. Can't be.
Nice guy? Oh come on. Does Lawrence Welk disco?
Here's a guy, 29 years old, sees his picture in the pa-
per everyday, just writes his own book, gets ice-water
brought right to him by Willie Hernandez, and goes to
more countries than Voice of America.
NICE GUY? Impossible. Nose? Probably higher
than the Eiffel Tower. I'm going to let everyone know.
I'll dispel this nice guy myth.
I glare at him from the passengers side of his car.
"Ever just punch some guy out?" I ask in my best Ger-
aldo Rivera/Mike Wallace style, hoping the car would
swerve off the road.
"Oh no, no," he says. "I once wrote that punches
0 don't solve anything. I boxed in college; amateur, golden
gloves training. It's not that I don't know how to hit.
"Listen Mike," he continues, "since I can't give you a
ride home, let me give you some money for a cab."
That does it. I won't fall for this. He's trying to get
off the subject. I've seen Nixon and North do this before.
"Do you have a mean streak?" I ask.
"Yea, I do." Albom admits. "I
don't know why people think I don't.
I'm always surprised when somebody Ntch Albom w
says I'm a nice guy." new tok, The Lu
SOMEHOW, I feel this guy's a pitatickn of 90 coha
little humble. Maybe not so bad
after all. After three years at the Free Cot nmrsy
Press, people might be right when from Non until I:
they say they love Mitch Albom. Read more abon
Maybe he really is a fun loving Fia' eknA
practical joker, bar stool buddy that
he appears to be.
"You know in Animal House how they got taken to
student court?" Albom asks. He tells of the wars his ten
* buddies living in one suite fought with the pre-med nerds
across the hall while in college.
"We had food fights in there and pillow fights," Al-
bom said. "We used to put baby powder along the door
that separated our suite from their's and then we'd get
hairblowers. We'd knock and say, 'Hey, hey, hey.'
They'd come to the door and we'd hit the blowdriers. The
powder would come up. It was the stupidest thing.
"All of a sudden we get this notice that we have to
appear in court with these pre-med students who wanted
us thrown out. One guy actually gets up and says; 'This
guy Mitch, I don't know who he is, but we hear his
name yelled a lot. And he's responsible for me having a
problem not getting into med. school. One night before
a big exam he was screaming and I couldn't sleep and I
woke up and I was tired the next morning and I got a 'B'
on my test and it's his fault and I want them expelled.'
"We couldn't believe someone would actually say
something like that. They almost threw us off campus.
They gave us a 'stern warning.' We were always getting
in trouble."
SINCE GRADUATING from Brandeis University
in Boston in the late 1970's, Albom has seen his life
turn faster than bees make honey. He spent time in
Europe as a musician, but returned seven months later to
New York. There, he began to work on two master's
degrees at Columbia University, business and
journalism, in addition to beginning work on a small
weekly paper, The Queens' Tribune. After free-lancing in


Europe, he began work as a sports columnist in Florida,
before coming to the Detroit Free Press in late 1985.
Albom's youthful focus on the sports world is cen-
tered around the human element, instead of statistics,
making his appeal much broader than to just the sports
"My interest is in people first," Albom said. "I look
at the losers a lot when the games are over. Many people
are looking at the winning team or the stat sheet. I like
to see how the losing team walks off. Is there anybody
crying? Is a player just sitting there with his head in his
hands? That interests me more."
Albom touches many emotions in his writings. They
often bring about more of a story than just what hap-
pened on the playing field.
"In Detroit, the average newspaper reader turns to the
sports page and reads the column first. If you want to
make a point about right and wrong, money or no
money, all of which I've written about, where would be
better to write it?"

Continued from Page 1
Texas starting pitcher Bobby
Witt. Witt gave a hands o n
demonstration of the new balk
rule, implemented at the start of
the season, being called for four
balks - tying an American
League record.
The Bengals staked themselves
to a 4-0 lead and were able to

coast from there. Tananna left af-
ter pitching seven and one-third
innings before yielding to Mike
Henneman, who forced an inning-
ending double play, just as
Tananna did to former Tiger Steve
Kemp the inning before.
In fact, Tananna faced the min-
imum number of batter's through
four, thanks to one double play
and crafty pitching. It looked like
the Tananna of old when a lively
fastball forced opposing batters to

wonder what flew by. In the sec-
ond inning, the Redford Catholic
Central graduate struck out the
side, the last two batters with
In the first Whitaker, who
walked, was awarded home due to
Witt's first balk. Tiger MVP Alan
Trammel took second on Witt's
miscue and then scored when Matt
Nokes continued his clutch hitting
with a single up the middle.

Michigan bites Bulldogs twice

will be signig his.
we Albom, a om
.sns since jinng
ross, Sun~day April
tty Nescenfler on
and4 South forest
3 P.,
uC Ditch Alboin in
1 axzne.

THIS YEAR, for the second
year in a row, Albom won the
Associated Press' award for being the
nations top columnist. One of the
columns featured, was an article
centering around the death of a
football player who was in Detroit to
attend the wedding of his college
roommate. The player died in the
crash of Northwest flight 255. Real
problems. The human element. "I
don't look to sugarcoat anything,"

Albom says.
Sugarcoat? No.
Hitting at the heart? Yes.
After my conversation, my opinion had been swayed.
He is humble: "I didn't do anything great, I just wrote a
sports column." He was kind: he bought cookies for the
entire line waiting to have his new book, The Live Al-
bom, autographed at the Briarwood Mall. He looks to
help others in need: he once was a social worker in New
York City and currently is involved in various charity
"I try to never say no if I'm asked to donate time." He
loves crazy movies: "For some reason we always seem
to have Stripes and Caddyshack constantly running in the
However,Ihheld out for one last hope to prove my
hypothesis. There stood four ladies from the Towne
Centre Place, a senior citizen high rise in Ypsilanti.
They were waiting to have Albom sign their book. What
do they think of this guy?
"He's my favorite" said Marie Wise.
"He's honest with everything he writes," said Gladys
"He's down to earth and not on a pedestal," said
Bevulah Hamilton.
"We came all the way from Ypsilanti and we're Tigerc
fans," excitedly piped Dorthea McCall.c
Does Lawrence Welk polka? There is only one thing
Mitch Albom is - a nice guy.c
|| ,

The Michigan baseball team
needed to rest their regular pitchers
and did just that as they swept a dou-
ble header from the Ferris S tate
Bulldogs, behind strong performances
by rarely used pitchers, 5-4 and 4-3.
The Wolverines, 25-7, 7-1 in the
Big Ten, have played six games in
four days, and used John Locker and
rookie Kirt Ojala to give their start-
ing pitchers a break.
"I'm trying to rest (the regulars),"
said Michigan coach Bud Middaugh.
"Their arms are tired and as long as
they are tired I've got to give them
proper rest."
In the first game, Locker took the
mound and turned in an impressive
performance. Locker, who has only
been in two games this season,
pitched seven innings giving up three
earned runs, walking one batter, and
striking out six. His performance,
however, was not good enough to get
him the win.
The Bulldogs struck first as first
baseman John Faccio doubled in the
left field gap. Locker balked him over
to third and Faccio scored on a sacri-
fice fly.
The Wolverines roared back, but
had a lot of help from Bulldog
pitcher Mike Lechner, who walked
eight batters while throwing six,
count 'em, six wild pitches. Michi-
gan should call the Humane Society
over how many worms Lechner
killed today.
Due to a pinch hit RBI single by
Bill St. Peter, a Matt Morse RBI
double, and a lot of 59-foot curve-
balls, the Wolverines took a 4-2 lead
into the seventh inning, only to see
it fade away. Locker began to tire as
he hit a batter, gave up two hits, and
committed an error covering first
base. Before you knew it the game
was tied.
Michigan won it in extra innings
on a perfect ending to the game - an
error. With Jim Durham on second
and one out, catcher Darrin Campbell
creamed one to left centerfield which
Bulldog Bob Kochie caught on the

Dally Photo by ELLEN LEVY
Jim Durham slides into third in the last inning of yesterday's Michigan's.
5-4 victory. The cutoff throw was errant and Durham proceeded to score
the winning run.

warning track. People are still won-
dering to whom Kochie was throw-
ing as he missed the cutoff man by a
mile. Durham trotted home with the
winning run.
The story of the second game was
the rookie Ojala, who pitched
masterfully giving up two runs on
three hits in six and two thirds in-

nings. Ojala, however, began to tire
and because of the Wolverine pitch-
ing shortage, catcher Mike Gillette
pitched. Gillette gave up one run and
ended up getting the win.
The Wolverines won it on a dou-
ble by Greg McMurtry, driving in
the winning pitcher Gillette from
second base.


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