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August 05, 1981 - Image 12

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1981-08-05

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4

Sports

Page 12

Wednesday, August 5, 1981

The Michigan Daily

Fisher recalls glory days

A

Former 'M' coach
looks back at greats

until they finally gave me two. Now
they have ten."
Having made this comparison,
Fisher did the same for players during
his playing days and those currently
competing. "The one thing that I see as
being different is that we used to have
ball players who weren't as fast afoot.
"(Pitchers) would pitch with a two-
day rest, but we wanted a three-day
rest. Now they want four or five days
rest. I don't know why, we threw just as
hard as they do."
Turning his attention to the present,
Fisher commented on the recent strike.

"Earning the kind of money they're
(the players) earning, I'd have played
all day long if they asked me," he said.
"When I broke in, I got $115 a month.
The next year they gave me $150."
During the Reds' practice yesterday,
Cincinnati manager John McNamara
left his team for a few minutes to go into
the stands where he was introduced to
Fisher. He asked the former Reds'
player what his age was, to which
Fisher responded, "Well, I'm old. I was
pitching when your players' fathers
were born."

4

By RON POLLACK
Daily sports writer
At the advanced age of 93, former
Michigan baseball coach Ray Fisher
has seen quite a few years pass since
his playing days in the major leagues
and the present. Yet he recalls his
playing days, during which time he
compiled a 102-98 record and 2.38
career earned run average as a pitcher
with the New York Yankees and Cin-
cinnati Reds, as if they had occurred
only yesterday.
The memory that stands out in his
mind is that of the year 1919, when there
were charges that several members of
the Chicago White Sox "threw" the
World Series against Fisher and the
rest of the Reds' ballclub. But at the
time of the series, Fisher said he had no
inkling that any wrongdoing was going
on.
"I NEVER thought of such a thing,"
said Fisher as he watched the Cincin-
nati Reds practice in the stadium
named after him. "If I had thought such
a thing I'd be a very suspicious man.
That was the last thing on my mind."
In the series, Fisher was saddled with
a loss against no wins. The game Fisher
lost, saw him pitted against White Sox
hurler Dickie Kerr, one of the Chicago
players completely untouched by the
scandal. In the low scoring affair, the
White Sox prevailed, 3-0. Reflecting
upon the game, Fisher lamented, "I
threw a ball away. Otherwise it would
have been 1-0."
Fisher seems to enjoy talking about
his playing days, as he reeled off
numerous confrontations between him-
self and top players from his era.
" BABE RUTH - "I only pitched
against him in one game, that was
enough. He only got one hit off me, but
boy did he hit it. It went just by my ear.
He hit that baby."
" Ty Cobb - "I broke even with him.

I got him out a lot, but he hit some long
ones off me."
" Walter Johnson - (Recalling the
time he batted against Johnson), Fisher
said, "That first ball went by me so fast
I barely saw it. But then he threw me a'
slow curve and I got on second."
DURING HIS career, Fisher used a
spit ball in his repertoire of pitches.
When the spit ball was outlawed, Fisher
and other pitchers who had been using
it were allowed to continue doing so. "I
used it off and on," said Fisher, whose
Michigan teams were 661-292 en route
to 14 Big Ten titles during his 38-year
tenure. "I didn't use it in the minors,
but in the majors I turned to the spit
ball and challenged them (opposing
players) with it."
As Fisher looked at the playing field
from the third base line his thoughts
traveled back to the first time he
viewed it and noted the changes that
have been made. "I can remember the
first day I ever came here. I came
through that gate," he said pointing to
an opening behind home plate, "and
looked at the field. That was a long time
ago. It's been renovated some. It was
falling apart, but they put it together.
They put in fences. They didn't have
those when I was here. I remember one
game against Harvard that we won 1-0
when one of our players hit one that
must have rolled to where the football
players dress."
During the past college baseball
season, Fisher viewed a "couple" of
Michigan games. After viewing these
contests, Fisher had both praise for the
Wolverine squad and an explanation for
the differences between it and his
teams (1921-1958).
"I THOUGHT it (Michigan) was a
good looking ballclub," he assessed.
"They had a lot more good looking pit-
chers than I had. But they have all
those scholarships. I didn't have any

4

Turner improved,
but still critical
INDIANAPOLIS (AP)-The condition of Landon Turner improved slightly
yesterday, but not enough for Methodist Hospital doctors to conduct additional
tests on the Indiana University basketball star, hospital officials said.
Doctors say they must perform more tests before they can determine if Turner's
current paralysis will be permanent. He was seriously injured in a July 25 auto ac-
cident near Columbus, Ind.
TURNER'S CONDITION was complicated Sunday when his left lung collapsed
for a second time. It initially collapsed immediately after the accident, but doctors
were able to improve the condition.
"The tests are still on hold," a hospital spokeswoman said. "Other than for the
lung complication, he is still in critical but stable condition."
Pulmonary experts have been working on the lung problem, and spokesman
Fred Price said Monday that doctors were "very concerned because we thought
we had the problems cleared up:"
Turner, who still has his senior year at IU, was the No. 2 rebounder for the
Hoosiers as they captured the 1981 NCAA basketball championships.

I

Sports Information Photo

FORMER MICHIGAN BASEBALL coach and Cincinnati Reds hurler Ray
Fisher had a career won-lost record of 102-98 and an earned run average of
2.38. Before pitching for the Reds in 1919, Fisher played seven seasons for the
New York Yankees.

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