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September 20, 2001 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-09-20

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12A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 20, 2001

Ryder Cup switches to
even-numbered years

Ex-Tiger farmhand
victim of WTC attack

LIGONIER, Pa. (AP) - The Ryder
Cup will be played the last weekend in
September next year in England, then
switch permanently to even-numbered
years.
To accommodate the change, the
PGA Tour agreed to postpone by one
year the Presidents Cup - previously
scheduled for November 2002 in South
Africa - then play those matches in
odd-numbered years.
The Ryder Cup, which had been
scheduled for next week, was postponed
in the wake of the terrorist attacks on
New York and Washington.
Jim Awtrey, chief executive officer
of the PGA of America, said the switch
in cup schedules "appears to be the
most logical solution given the situation
we are dealing with."
The Ryder Cup originally was to be
played Sept. 28-30 at The Belfry in
England. The matches were postponed
Sunday because the attacks made some
players wary of travel and uneasy about
playing golf.
It will return to The Belfry on Sept.
27-29, 2002, with the same captains and
12-man teams. U.S. captain Curtis
Strange said his players would wear

clothing with 2001 logos so "we don't
forget why we're playing a year later."
The niatches between the United
States and Europe willbe played one
week after the American Express
Championship is played at Mount Juliet
in Ireland.
"I don't know of any other time that
there has been this much cooperation in
doing the right thing, " Awtrey had said
earlier this week. "Everybody wants to
make this work."
He praised golf clubs already picked
as the sites of the tournaments for sup-
porting the changes, among them Oak-
land Hills Country Club outside Detroit,
which now will get the Ryder Cup one
year later in 2004.
The PGA Tour did not set a specific
date for the President's Cup matches,
which began in 1994 between the Unit-
ed States and players from everywhere
in the world except Europe. It was to
have been played Nov. 7-10, 2002, in
South Africa.
"This new schedule provides the
most effective response to the need to
adjust our schedules in light of the
recent tragedies," PGA Tour commis-
sioner Tim Finchem said.

NEW YORK (AP) - Michael Wein-
berg was fearless on the baseball field,
tracking down fly balls and coming up
with big hits with quiet confidence.
To those who knew him, it seemed
only natural that Weinberg would some-
day become one of New York's Bravest.
And almost fitting that he died a hero.
The 34-year-old firefighter, former St.
John's outfielder and player in the
Detroit Tigers' farm system was killed
in the aftermath of terrorist attacks at the
World Trade Center.
"When I first heard about what was
going on, one of the first things I said to
my wife was, 'I hope Mike wasn't
there,"' said Joe Russo, Weinberg's
coach at St. John's from 1986-89.
Weinberg, from Maspeth, N.Y., was a
member of the New York Fire Depart-
ment, stationed at Engine 1, Ladder 24
in lower Manhattan. He was on vacation
and getting ready to tee off at Forest
Park Golf Course in Queens when he
heard that the first plane crashed into one
of the twin towers. His sister, Patricia
Gambino, was working on the 72nd
floor of. Two World Trade Center, but
escaped.
Weinberg's firefighter instincts kicked

AP PHOTO
Tiger Woods won't have the chance to celebrate another Predident's Cup until
next year, when it will be held in South Africa.

____________________________________ -4.

in, and he dropped everything so he
could get into Manhattan and help out.
Russo said Weinberg drove to his sta-
tion house before heading to the World
Trade Center with the Rev. Mychal
Judge, the fire chaplain, and Capt.
Daniel Brethel.
All three men died after they sought
cover as the towers collapsed, and Russo
said Weinberg's family believed Judge
was administering last rites to Weinberg
when they were killed.
George Goldbach, a Brooklyn native
who spent 20 years in the New York
Fire Department before becoming chief
of the West Metro Fire Protection Dis-
trict in Colorado, knew Weinberg.
"He got killed in the street," Gold-
bach said. "They found him under a
truck that had debris fall on it."
Weinberg, who was buried Monday,
always seemed to have a flair for hero-
ics.
He was the Big East Tournament's
Most Outstanding Player in 1988, when
he hit two home runs, including a three-
run game-winner against Villanova in
the semifinal game.
"He never really reached his potential
in baseball because he was injured - he
broke his right collarbone - and it
affected his throwing and swing a little,"
Russo said.
"He was originally a catcher for us,
but after he got injured, we moved him
to the outfield and he did a nice job for
us. And then, he just went berserk in the
Big East tournament that year."
Weinberg was a career .256 hitter,
with six homers and 59 RBIs in four sea-
sons at St. John's, and played two undis-
tinguished minor league seasons in the
Tigers organization. His teammates
included future major leaguers Jose
Lima, Danny Bautista and Felipe Lira.
He hit .238 with 16 RBIs in 1990 with
Niagara Falls of the New York-Penn
League and just .217 with two homers
and 11 RBIs for Fayetteville of the
South Atlantic League the following
season.
After being released midway through
the 1991 season and realizing his dream
of getting to the majors was improbable,
Weinberg opted to join the fire depart-
ment.
But he never lost his competitive
edge.
"I was told that he was always at the
fire house swinging the bat or the golf
club, and he really became a heck of a
golfer," said Russo, who first heard of
Weinberg's death from former St.
John's athletic director John Kaiser and
former player Frank Caccavale. "Mike
was a good athlete in pretty much every-
thing he did."
Mike Carey, St. John's assistant direc-
tor of media relations, said Weinberg
was described by those who knew him
as "a good guy and extremely well
liked."
"Mike was a great kid," said Russo,
who coached at St. John's from 1974-
95. "He was one of those guys who was
always smiling. You couldn't get mad at
him."
Weinberg was striking in person a
handsome and muscular man who was a
featured model in the fire department's
calendar. But his smile is what Russo
said everyone will remember most.

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