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September 20, 1956 - Image 16

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1956-09-20

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rAGE SIXTEEI T

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

THURSDAY, SEPTUNMER, 24, 19 6

PAGE SIXTEEN THE MICHIGAN DAILY THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 1956

Aussie Netters Continue

To Dominate

Tourneys

By STEVE HEILPERN
Associate Sports Edtior
Even the most optimistic of U.S.
Bennis fans are conceding that
Australia should have little diffi-
culty in retaining the Davis Cup
this year.
The Aussies, led by Lew Hoad
and Ken Rosewall, have almost
completely dominated the major
tournaments this summer; for the
United States there has been little
to cheer about - it's been a case
of veterans becoming too old, of
youngsters not being ready.
Hoad, Rosewall in Finals
Hoad and Rosewall put a ter-
rific damper on our hopes last
weekend when both entered the
final round of the USLTA tourney.
It was only the second time in his-
tory that the Americans didn't
have at least one representative in
the final round at Forest Hills.
Hoad, considered by most to be
tops in the amateur field, failed in
his bid to become tennis's second
"Grand Slam" winner when he
was upst by his fellow countryman
in a brilliantly played four-set
match. Both men have consistent-

ly outplayed the best America has
to offer, and maze up one of the
best one-two punches in years.
Tennis experts see no immediate
end to this dominance from the
Land Down Under; Hroad and
Rosewall are still in their early+
20's and not likely to turn profes-
sional for a whlie. And other Aus-
sies are being groomed for star-
dom - Neal Fraser, Ashley Coop-
er and Mal Anderson - are rising
fast.
Seixas Aging
33-yr.-old Vic Seixas has been
the big gun for the United States
but it is evident that the aging
Philadelphian is beginning to find
the grind of long tournaments a
little too taxing. Still, Seixas is
expected to carry a major share
of the load when the U. S. plays its
final Davis Cup matches.
Hamilton Richardson has re-
placed Tony Trabert as Sexias'
doubles partner, and is a solid no.
two man on the American team,
but he has not been able to whip
the Aussies with any degree of
regularity.
1i

BARRY MACKAY
. . Wolverine in limelight

Cup Captain Billy Talbert has
experimented with many young-
sters, including Barry MacKay of
Michigan, Mike Green and Sam
Giammalva. Although this trio,
backed by 18-yr.-old Ron Holm-
berg, has shown promise, Talbert's
youth system won't pay off in
dividends for a while.
MacKay Competes
MacKay, for example, competed
twice in preliminary cup matches
this summer, winning a doubles
match, losing a doubles and a
singles match.
It is ironic that Talbert, in need
of top-line players, cannot use one
the country's best players in the
ensuing Cup trials. Veteran Dick
Savitt returned briefly to the
tournament wars over the sum-
mer, and, on the basis of his fine
form, could become our best if he
wanted to be.
Savitt, however, is now a suc-
cessful businessman, and has de-
clined an invitation to join the
squad which will take on Italy at
the end of the month.
Perhaps one of the greatest lia-
bilities of amateur tennis in this
country is the lure of professional
tennis. Many great amateurs have
left the ranks to the lucrative pro-
fessional field.
Australia, except in rare cases,
does not lose its amateur talent to
the pros unless it can afford to do
so. One of the reasons for this is
that the Australians make the
benefits derived from the amateur
sport more attractive than the
Americans do.

t~wcne from the
SCDELINES
by Dick Cramer
Help For Baseball
ORGANIZED baseball must soon eliminate its vicious circle of mu-
tually related problms if it is to flourish as the leading sport of our
nation.
Hit hard by decreasing attendance in both the major and minor
leagues, baseball has failed to take decisive steps to save itself. Many
minor leagues have actually had to disband and several major league
clubs find themselves perennially in the red.
Along with this decline in fans' support has come a slowdown in
the overall development of professional ball players. Good talent has
become increasingly concentrated in the possession of a few of the
most successful major league clubs.
The inequality of talent in a minor league, if not shifted after
a year or so, causes financial failure for the less fortunate and even-
tually the entire league may fold.
ThaVs our vicious circle - poor clubs can't afford to take the
steps necessary to improve their station; their position deteriorates
and their weakened condition makes them even poorer. Add to this
the scourge of over-broadcasted major league games (keeping fans
at home) and you have a dilemma of major proportions facing base-
ball. The sport must regain lost attendance or fall into secondary
prominence in the American scene.
A partial solution can be seen from a look at the National League
this year. There are no "poor" clubs - financially or athletically --
in the Senior Circuit. Even the lowliest clubs have a wealth of talent
both in the majors and coming up through their farms in the minors.
This is in direct contrast to the American League where the
same four clubs at best - and only one at worst - continually con-
trol the league. Four also-rans - Detroit, Baltimore, Washington and
Kansas City - have occupied the second division since 1950.
To rely on wealthy individuals (Philip Wrigley, Bob Carpenter,
etc.) or foresighted general managers (Gabe Paul, Branch Rickey,
etc.), as the National League has done, is risky, however. The bottom
American Loop clubs are just at too great a disadvantage to pick
themselves up by their own bootstraps.
Enter A Plan .. .
ENTER a plan which has received increasing attention through-
out the baseball world. It is a plan that would attack not only
the basic problem of disappearing profits inthe majors and minors,
but would also curb such evils as the signing of ungraduated collegians
by big league scouts and the fantastic bonus payments given to
promising, but unproven youngsters.
Borrowed from the National Football League's college draft idea,
this plan would allow each major league club to claim a certain nurn-
ber of players to be signed to non-bonus contracts after their college
class had graduated. These players could be assigned to the minor
leagues until they could make the grade in the majors.
So that persons not going to college would not have to wait
four years to be signed, there could be provision for drafting such
men one year after graduating from high school.
Thus, no one would be encouraged to stay out of or to quit col-
lege as they are now. (Michigan has lost several of its diamondmen
to pro baseball in recent years - outfielder-pitcher Bill Thurston was
the latest to leave before graduation.)
After the major league clubs had drafted their quota, minor league
teams (in the order of descending classification - Open, AAA, AA,
A, B, C, D) would have their chances to sign up all the rest of the
available talent. The present draft within organized baseball would
continue.
Baseball needs such a shot in the arm. The very unpredictability
of professional football in the past 'few years has elevated that sport
to new heights of popularity. At the same time, baseball has dwindled
alarmingly in interest from its postwar peak in 1946-47-48.
Just as the draft has been credited with helping to preserve this
country, so may it someday be acclaimed the savior of this coun-
try's national pastime - baseball.

A

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STUDENTS OF MICHIGAN!
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