8B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - September 13, 1999
Catfish draws tears, tributes
HERTFORD, N.C. (AP) - Jim "Catfish"
Hunter probably would have despised this -
people dressed in suits making a fuss over him.
He was buried Sunday several hundred yards
from the high school field where he began a base-
ball career that would send him to the Hall of
More than 1,000 family, friends and former
major league teammates turned out for the funer-
al of the pitcher who won five World Series titles
with the Oakland Athletics and New York
The 53-year-old Hunter died Thursday, one
year after learning he had Lou Gehrig's disease.
Former teammate and Seattle manager Lou
Piniella missed his team's game in Baltimore to
attend the service at Cedarwood Cemetery. Other
former teammates in attendance included A's Joe
Rudi, Vida Blue, Gene Tenace and "Blue Moon"
Odom, and Yankees Ron Guidry and Reggie
The Yankees sent general manager Brian
Cashman and former manager and scout Gene
Michael as their representative.
"I was looking forward to spending time with
Catfish after the season. It didn't quite get to
that," said Piniella, his eyes teary. "My wife and
I and my young son are here to pay tribute to him.
He was a great guy."
A 15-year-old Hertford boy stood outside the
cemetery gate wearing a Yankees hat as the
hearse carrying Hunter's drove by. Players placed
flowers on Hunter's casket as they filed out of the
Despite being baseball's first big free agent,
Hunter always returned to this small eastern
North Carolina town to live, and eventually retire.
"It's like taking out a part of your body, like
ripping out your heart," former high school team-
mate Eddie Miller said
Bill Crawford drove about 70 miles from
Virginia Beach to stop by the cemetary nd wilk
past Hunter's marble shrine on the town's main
street, which had flowers sprawled along it's base
"I'm not much into baseball. I just know the
man and I understand he was a great guy.
Crawford vaid. I heard he was just a straight iid
honest man, and had one hellacious career as a
pitcher. I just thought I would come down to see
where he lived."
In one store, there was a baseball autographed
by Hunter that had a sticker on the outsdc of the
plastic case that read: "Ball not for sale."
The most striking floral arrangement at
Hertford Baptist Church came from Hunter's
three children and grandchild. It was a huge base-
ball arrangement with white mums and roses as
the seams of the ball.
Another arrangement at the church came from
the family of late A's owner Chalie 0. Finley, who
signed Hunter and brought him right to the
majors without a day spent in the minors.
Hunter was unconscious for several days last
month after falling and hitting his head on con-
crete steps. But he improved and was sent home
to his Perquimans County farm on Saturday. He
died in less than a week.
As the centerpiece of pitching staffs, first with
the Athletics and then with the Yankees, Hunter
wot 224 games, produced five straight 20-victo-
ry seasons, a perfect game and a Cy Young
The'Rev. Keith Vaughan eulogized Hunter as a
common man who cared deeply for others.
"He never ever acted as if he was too busy for
us. He never acted like we were a bother to him
East Coast not kind
to Michigan stickei
Gannon, Reid are lone scorers for Blue in
weekend losses to Virginia and Madison
The former Oakland A's and New York Yankees
great was laid to rest yesterday In North Carolina.
I know sometimes we probably were,"
Vaughan said. "He never ever gave into the fact
that he was famous iad we weren't. He could just
as easily slammed the door on us and told us to
go on our was. That's not the kind of man he
By Ryan C. Moloney
Daily Sports Writer
How about three out of five'?
The schedule ofNCAA field hockey
isn't allowed to change once the season
starts, but if Michigan has its way, a
matchup in the NCAA Tournament
against either Virginia or James
Madison could make their recent
weekend debacle in Charlottesville, Va.
a little less disheartening.
But that hope serves as little conso-
lation. The Wolverines lost both of
their weekend matches and were
outscored by a total of 6-2.
Friday's loss, a 3-2 overtime nailbiter
to Virginia, may have deflated the team
for Sunday's match - a 3-0 defeat at
the hands of James Madison.
In fact, Michigan had all but the shut
the door on the mighty Cavaliers --
holding a 2-1 lead until Virginia's
Jessica Coleman scored with 2:32 left
The Wolverines had led since the 13-
minute mark of the second half when
Kelli Gannon scored on a corner play
from Courtney Reid and Catherine
It was the first time the undefeated
Cavaliers had fallen behind all season.
"We played the best game we've ever
played since I've coached here," coach
Marcia Pankratz said. "In the end we
just let it slip away."
Coleman also had a hand in the win-
ning goal, this time feeding Lorraine
Vizzuso for the game-winner at the
4:28 mark of the fifteen-minute over-
"She (Coleman) is a very strong col-
lege player," Pankratz said. "She's the
type of player who can pick the team
up on her shoulders and carry them.
"We could use some of that on our
To make matters worse, Michigan
outshot Virginia by a whopping 13-6
Yesterday, the Dukes dominated
Michigan on the defensive end, limit-
ing the Wolverines to just three shots
all game. The shot total was the lowest
by a Michigan team since the 1996 sea-
James Madison's Theresa Dinallo
started the scoring at I1:02 into
contest, npping a shot past N
keeper Kati Oakes. Katrina hi
twice capitalized on penalty-corne
tack on some nisurance.
Pankratz said James Madison
trolled the physical aspect of the g
- racing to the loose balls first
knocking Michigan around when
the Wolverines tried to penetrate
"We stunk it up," she said. "It
first half we were absolutely territ
really don't know what happe
"We played them evenly in the
ond half, but this is a 70-minute g,
You can't expect to come out liki
did in the first half and expect to v
It was a weekend which, if not
else, gave rise to a question - wil
Wolverines use the losses as a r
towards steady improvement, or j
they previews for dissapointm
One factor to consider - Mich
played two top 10 teams in a spa
It may have been more surpr
had Michigan come out in the se
game with guns blazing.
A letdown performance is in
Oakes, ever the representative o
teammates, wouldn't use fatigue'
"I don't think we were emotini
or physically drained," she said. "It
just one of those things -- everyt
had a bad day and there was nothin
could do about it."
This isn't college football
Pankratz knows it.
Nobody gets to the tournamen
lining up cream puffs every week
throwing in a powerhouse or two.
If nothing else, credit Michi*
taking on such a bear of a pre-co
ence schedule in the first place.
"That's why we play such a ,t
non-conference schedule," Pan<
said. "We can learn more about
selves by playing tough competitio
It's understandable philosophy it
long-run -- and an excruciatingly
ficult one in the short term
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Rookie driver killed
MONTEREY, Calif (AP)
Rookie driver Gonzalo Rodriguez was
killed Saturday when his car smashed
into a concrete wall at about 140 mph
during practice for the Shell 300 at
Laguna Seca Raceway.
The 27-year-old Uruguayan died of
massive head and neck injuries, said
Dr. Steve Olvey, director of medical
affairs for the CART FedEx Series,
Rodriguez was pronounced dead at
10:10 PDT at Community Hospital of
the Monterey Peninsula.
He was the first driver fatality in the
CART series since Jeff Krosnoff was
killed in a crash during a race in
Toronto in July 1996.
Rodriguez was approaching the
famed Corkscrew turn on the road
course when his brakes locked and his
car hurtled off the track and through a
riael trap without losing speed.
The car struck a tire barrier and
slammed into the concrete wall behind
The open-wheel car flipped about
3 feet. flying over a wall of advertise-
ments and landing upside down on a
The practice was flagged to a stop as
safety workers removed Rodriguez
from the car. He was taken by ambu-
lance to the hospital.
A spokesman for Mercedes said
telemetry records from the car proved
the accident was not caused by a stuck
throttle as initially speculated. There
was no other immediate report on the
cause of the accident from Mercedes,
the Penske team or CART.
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