THE MlICHIGAN DAILY
By BUD BENJAMIN
Undercover A ction ...
EVERY PHASE of sports has its behind-the-scene strategy, and one of
the most interesting of the athletic refinements is this business of steal-
ing signals and figuring out your opponent's next move by certain "tipoffs."
Baseball is most readily associated with activities of this sort
although stories of football chicanery are as old as the hills. Only a
few months ago, a well known football scout wrote a highly interesting
piece in one of the nickel magazines telling of how he spotted several
giveawaiys. There was the yarn about the quarterback who dried his
hands before every pass that he threw, about the guard who stood
differently when he was about to charge than he did when he was
going to pull out, and similar tales of players' habits which proved
Compared to baseball stories of this sort, however, the football quibs are
actually young. From the days of Honus Wagner up to Del Baker's confes-
sion that he was playing Edgar Bergen for Hankus Greenberg on the
coaching line, there have been a constant avalanche of stories about diamond
tricks pulled by the coaches.
RE"EmBER, OLD Urban "Red" Faber of the White Sox? He was the only
spit ball pitcher that I ever saw in action, and his complex delivery
was a thing to behold. John Kieran of the New York Times tells a story
about Faber's giveaway that is a classic.
Since "Red" was a spitball pitcher, claims Kieran, he had to go
through the motion of spitting on the ball every time. Sometimes he
spit, sometimes he didn't. Well, continues Kieran, when you don't spit
what do you do? You swallow. Every time that Faber would swallow
the peak of his cap rose a trifle. So you watched the peak of his cap.
If it went up-no spitter,
The funny thing about it, concludes the writer, is that with this hor-
rible betrayal, poor "Red" only lasted some 15 years in the big time and
was rated a top-notch pitcher.
MASSED THIS dope on to baseball coach Ray Fisher and of all things,
mild mannered Ray replied:
"Baloney. I don't believe it."
Since Fisher also threw the spit ball in the majors I listened.
"Faber never spit on the ball," retorted Ray. "None of us spitball
pitchers did. We'd put our glove in front of our mouths and would either
wet our fingers with our tongue or go through the motions of doing it. Some
of the boys said that you could tell by the chords in our necks whether we
opened our mouths or not, but we never spit."
Set For First
Big Ten Game
Harmon Might Take Place;
Of Injured Rae; Sofiak
Added To Sick List
A bruised and slightly battered
band of 11 Michigan basketball play-
ers entrains at 5 p.m. today for
Champaign, Ii., where tomorrowI
night they will tackle the undefeated
Illini in the headline Big Ten opener.
Coach Bennie Oosterbaan an-
nounced last night that as yet he
was undecided whether or nit center
Jim Rae will be in shape to play,
but that he will be taken along just
The remainder of the first five who
will be in the starting lineup include
Capt. Leo Beebe, Eddie Thomas,
Charley Pink and Dan Smick. The
second team of Brogan, Sofiak, Nich-
olson, Dobson and Sukup will also
make the trip.
Harmon Makes Trip
The eleventh man to be chosen
is Tom Harmon whose play this
week has won him the job of number
one substitute. In scrimmage last
night, Harmon played, on the first
team, taking the place of the injured
Rae and if Rae doesn't star tomor-
row, Tom will probably make his,
aollegiate debut on the hardwood as
a member of the first quintet.
Even though all his players may
see action, Coach Bennie Oosterbaa's
outfit will be at far from top effi-
ciency. Jim Rae's lame back is still
giving him trouble. The old football
injury incurred in high school was
aggravated in the Toledo game last
week and has kept him out of practice'
since then. Leo Beebe's heavily-taped
ankle is bound to handicap him some-
what. Danny Smick still wears a large
bandage on his forehead as a result of
The latest semi-casualty is scrappy
Mike Sofiak who fell heavily on his
back in yesterday's scrimmage es-
caping with some fine bruises. There
is no doubt but what he will still be
stiff and sore for several days at
Will He Plag Saturday
By TOM PHARES going rather rocky during the holi-
Echoing the hectic Conference foot- I days, they are still highly considered
ball season, what promises to be the as title contenders. Wisconsin lost
most hotly contested Big Ten bas- only two games. iowa and Chicago,
ketball campaign in years will open while rated stronger. are believed toj
on five fronts tomorrow night. be short of title caliber. -
In the pre-season competition I Dcahner Again a t
Individual stars nave sparked the'
which saw the Conference represen- tree undefeated quintets. For I -
1treudfaequnesFo tati,;es record 51 victories against nos Pick Dehuer, giant center,
only 18 defeats, three teams emerged amazed Manhattan with his record
undefeated to bound into the front scoring, for Indiana, guard Ernie
ranks as title contenders. Andres who was second to Jewell
Gophers Have Record Young last year, is again a major
Both Illinois and Indiana, who lost threat, and for Minnesota Johnny
eight Big Ten games last season, bive Kundla is setting a fast pace and is
swept all before them thus far in favored to break his local scoring
1938-39 and the second place Minne-# record set last year.
sota squad has continued where they That the veteran Minnesota squad
left off last year to pile up a mark is steady under fire was proved in
of 16 straight. their two final games in the east.
Close on the heels of this trio comes They made good on 25 foul shots in 31
the 1938 champion Purdue a'grega- attempts. Their average of 47 points
tion, minus Jewell Young, and the per game was bettered only by In-
aggressive Michigan team. Both diana who averaged 49 points as they
have dropped but one contest in their won seven games with the only close
warm-up gamnes. Although Ohio one being that against Michigan
State and Northwestern found the State.
Hotly Contested Race Foreseen SAE Outs wims
As C(ouference Basketball Opens Pihi Psi 36-25;
Sigma Alpha Epsilon whipped Phi
Kappa Psi 36-25 in the semi-finals
of the fraternity dual swim tourney
at the I-M pool last night and Tri-
gon outswam Phi Delta Theta 1-0 in
tih semi-final round of the frater-
nity water polorcontest,
John MacArthur, George Trindle,
Bob Bogle, John Kinsey, Henry Tut-
tle and Al McConnell led the Sigma
Alpha Epsilon charges whale Jim Sar-
gent, Paul Strickland and Frank
Savage starred for the Phi Psi's.
Colin Weymouth led the way for
the Trigon victory in the water polo
match when he slammed the ball in-
to the Phi Delt goal after the game
had gone into one overtime period
without a score.
Sam Henderson also won an I-M
title yesterday when he defeated Ken
Gauthier 19-21, 21-18, 21-18 in the
final round of the All-campus 21
"Speaking of Faber staying in the big time with a giveaway," con-
tinued Ray, "reminds me of Rube Marquardt. When I was up with
Cincinnati, Rube was well along in years, and he had a wonderful
record behind him. Yet he still had a tipoff when there were men on base.
"If Rube was going to pitch he would take his stretch and then look
towards first base. If he were going to throw to the base to trap the run-
ner, he would stretch and look toward the plate. Pat Moran, the manager,
spotted it and tipped him off."'
DO YOII FIND much ofthis espionage in collegiate ball?
"Lots of it. You've got to watch these youngsters all the time. One
of the worst cases of giveaways that I ever saw was Burt Smith who
pitched for me last year.
"Burt refused to cover his pitching hand with his glove when he
raised it above his head. He'd keep his hand completely open as he
grasped the ball. Now watch."
Fisher wound up and held the ball above his head. "Now when Smith
was going to throw the fast one he'd hold it like this," he explained. "His
hand was facing the plate with the ball grasped between the first two
"Now watch the curve ball delivery," he continued. "The hand was
sideways with the ball facing toward first base."
"How the boys around the Conference missed that one I'll never
know," mused Ray. "I saw it, but Burt woudn't cover up."
DID THEY ever catch up to you, Coach!
"Yes," they did," he laughed. "I discovered one day that before
eachc urve I would twist the ball around in my fingers in order to grasp
the scams. I wouldn't do it before any other pitch--just the curve.
"I was holding the ball behind my back so that the batter couldn't see
it, but the third base coach could. He was tipping off the hitter each time.
So I just grabbed the ball, twisted it around to the seams, and threw a
fast one instead of a curve. That's all you have to do, you know.
"When I crossed the coach and batter up they stopped watching
me. A batter doesn't like to stand up there expecting one pitch and get
ting another. Especially if they're around the chin. Same thing with
stealing signals. If another team swipes our signals we give a switch
sign and use another set. They stop watching you then.
"I suppose it sounds dishonest, but it isn't. Just part of the game, I
figure: If a catcher can't cover his signs andsa'pitcher tips off his pitches,
why not take advantage of it? Son, compared with some of the stuff they
pull in football, it's child's play."
Wolverines Havel Chance
The Wolverines at full strength
were rated a good chance to beat
Illinois but now opinion is that it will
take plenty of fight to pull the game
out of the fire. Michigan has shown
that fight so far this year and Coach
Oosterbaan is banking on it to open
his first season as a Conference head
coach with a victory.
The team is taking hope from the
fact that the same Cornell team;
which they trimmed 42 to 27 during
the holidays all but defeated the Illini
Tuesday night, losing in the final
minute 35-34. The Big Red led the
whole game up until the final min-
ute when a field goal by Pick Dehner
and a foul shot by Bill Hapac turned
turned the tables.
The hard-pressing Illinois man-to-
man defense in the second half de-
moralized the easterners and was re-
sponsible for the final result. Cornell
got only 13 shots at the basket dur-
ing the second period.
Tight Defense Needed
It was the lack of a strong defense
against Toledo that cost Michigan
its first defeat last week but with
Captain Beebe back at his guard posi-
tion things should be different.
Following the Illinois game tomor-
row, the squad will head for Chicago
and will take on Northwestern Mon-
day night. If they get by the Illini,
the biggest hurdle is expected to be
passed since the Wildcats lost five
of their seven pre-season games. But
anything can and does happen in
The team will engage in a light
workout this afternoon at the Field
House before catching the train.
Jim Rae, whose play this season
has been one of the contributing
factors in Michigan's fine early sea-
son showing, remains a doubtful
starter due to injuries suffered dur-
ing Michigan's trip through the
Defense Positions Offer
The Greatest Confusion
Although completing their third
consecutive night of hard 90 minute
practice sessions, last night, Coach
Eddie Lowrey was still doubtful as to
how his Wolverine hockey team would
line up for Saturday's home contest
against the Port'Dover Athletic Club.
At present there is little doubt
about four of the starting players.
When the game gets under way
"Spike" James will be in the goal
while George Cooke, Al Chadwick,
and .Ev Doran will be holding down
respectively the two wing positions
and center spot.
From that point on there is general
confusion as to who will be in the de-
fense posts, and also how the second
forward wall will- take shape. Capt.
Les Hillberg and Larry Calvert have
been playing 60 minute games at
these positions in all the previous
HIlberg Can Score
Because of the scoring drive he
showed in the game against Western
Reserve Coach Lowrey would like to
place Hillberg in a forward wall. Up-
setting this plan is the fact that
there is no other man capable of tak-
ing over his important defense spot.
Fighting for positions on the second
forward line are Chuck Ross, Bert
Stodden, Jim Lovett, and Jim Tob-
ine For the past three drills Gil Sam-
uelson has been working in the back
spot with Calvert.
The Port Dover Club will bring two
strong teams to the Coliseum for'
Saturday's contest. Because of the
two week layoff over vacation all of
the Wolverine players are not yet in
top shape. This fact along with the
experienced team that the visitors
will have places Coach Lowrey's
squad once again in the underdog
Rookie Joins Red'wings
NEW YORK, Jan. 5r-(/P)-The De-
troit Red Wings of National Hockey
League bolstered their injury-riddled
ranks today by calling in Syd Keat -
ing from their Pittsburgh farm in the
International American circuit.
HICKEY-F EEMAN - TIMELY -- LEOPOLD MORSE CLOTHES
NETTLETON - HEYWOOD MATRIX - CROSBY SQUARE SHOES
ARROW -- EAGLE SHIRTS - IMPORTED WOOLEN SOX
Large Stocks - Substantial Reductions
MEN.! Here's the Sale
of the Year
GOING OUT OF BUSINESS
in Ann Arbor
BEGINNING TODAY at 9 A .M. Miltons Entire Stock
V i. 14o ( - \ - f s s i -
of high grade Suits, Topcoats, Overcoats, Formal Wear,
Odd Trousers, Raincoats and furnishings will be sold at
a great savings to you.
MAN and young man in Ann
vicinity will appreciate this great "going out of business"
sale because they know the high quality.clothes Miltons
carry and nothing but regular Miltons guaranteed stock
is in this sale. Everything must go - Stock up now
Just to remind the campus
Over 200 fabrics All garm
to pick from by handa
shetlandstweeds, ?lred to y
cheviots, and < 'JVisf action.
Every $16.50 Garment
Xtro Pant to maotch suits $3.85
34 - 50
Every $22.50 Garment
Xtra Pont to match suits $4.85
$4.50 and $5.00 Values.
$5.50 and $6.00 Values.
FOR QUICK SELLING
REDUCED- - - - - 25
is your last chance to buy your
1939 ENSIAN ... at
ALL SALES FINAL
NO CHARGE FOR ALTERATIONS
J6 Mob AWFAL AMINL
in - --- -- &--m -1
.'W w good Aok 'u