Caldwell made a deal with an Atlanta-based tour packager, World Golf Hospitality, to provide badges for clients who bought Masters packages. Word among brokers in Augusta was that Caldwell had promised to get the tour company between 70 and 100 badges at a price of $3,000 apiece, a far more substantial order than he was accustomed to handling. During the week of the tournament, however, badges were scarce and street prices ranged from $6,500 to $10,000 for a single four-day badge. A broker's axiom states: "You can always get tickets, if you're willing to pay." But to fill his order, Caldwell might have had to take a loss of $245,000 to $700,000, an exorbitant amount even for a big-time broker, which Caldwell was not. Whether the prospect of such a loss contributed to Caldwell's apparent decision to take his life is unknown.
Last Thursday night, one national broker heard that Caldwell was desperately in need of badges. "I went to World Golf's hospitality tent and asked Caldwell if I could help, because we were able to fill our orders and still get more badges," said the broker. "He said, 'No, I think I've got it under control.' It was eerie. There were at least 30 clients sitting right there without badges, and they weren't happy. But he was so calm. Almost too calm, I remember thinking, because he had to be terrified."
Tim Belcher, Tim Belcher
Kansas City Royals pitcher Tim Belcher has overcome his share of difficulties during an 11-year major league career that, through Sunday, had yielded a respectable 110 victories and a 3.80 ERA. After undergoing surgery on his right hand in 1989 and on his right shoulder in '90, Belcher, now 35, played for six teams from '91 to '96 and went a rock-bottom 7-15 with the Detroit Tigers in '94. But that's nothing compared with what Tim Belcher has weathered.
This Tim Belcher is a 22-year-old, strong-armed senior outfielder for Division II Quinnipiac College, of Hamden, Conn., who at week's end was dominating the Northeast-10 Conference with a .520 batting average, 10 home runs and 45 RBIs in 18 games. The Tim Belchers are not related, but they share the power of perseverance. In June 1993 the younger Belcher was pitching in an American Legion game in North Haven when he was struck by lightning. "I had just gotten the ball from the catcher when I heard the loudest noise I'd ever heard," he says. "I looked down, and sparks were coming off my cleats. Then I felt this huge shock through my body, and it knocked me down." Belcher had headaches for a few days but was otherwise unharmed.
In October 1994 the younger Belcher was in the Quinnipiac team bus when it flipped over on a highway. "We were sliding for a while and it got pretty scary," he says. No one was critically injured, but Belcher spent several months rehabbing a badly wrenched back. After those incidents he was hardly rattled when, in a March 18 game against Wagner this year, he ran facefirst into a post that was part of the centerfield fence. Belcher was flattened but remained conscious and went on to hit two singles in the game.
Though the two Belchers have never met, the younger collects the elder's baseball cards and always checks the box score the morning after the Kansas City veteran has pitched. One day Tim Belcher may even face Tim Belcher. The younger Belcher has attracted major league scouts with his hitting, which includes a two-grand-slam game against Bridgeport on April 8. The two slams tied a Division II record set exactly five years before by Michael Tucker of Longwood (Va.) College, who spent last season as a Royals teammate of Tim Belcher.
And the Players Can't Even Vote
After Indiana high school principals voted last year to end an 87-year-old tradition by dividing the state's open basketball tournament into four divisions based on enrollment (SI, March 17), the reaction was largely hostile. Thus, given the depth of Hoosier hoops hysteria, it would be hard to overstate the significance of a resolution passed last week by the Indiana legislature—but not impossible. When lawmakers approved a second tournament among the four divisional winners so that a single champ will still be crowned, House Speaker John Gregg announced, "The resolution has passed. The republic has been saved."
A Small Place in History
When Bob (Sugar) Cain died on April 7 at 72, the newspaper obituaries were brief. And they all began with something like this: "Bob Cain, a Detroit Tigers lefthander who pitched to a midget...." Though there were a few other notable events in Cain's six-year major league career, which he began with a strikeout of Ted Williams in 1949 and finished with a record of 37-44, he will always be known as the man who walked 3'7" St. Louis Brown Eddie Gaedel on Aug. 19, 1951.
With the St. Louis crowd going wild and his teammates stifling laughter, Cain calmly delivered four straight unintentional balls to pinch hitter Gaedel, who had been sent up holding a toy bat in the famous stunt orchestrated by Browns owner Bill Veeck. "It was one of those moments that I knew would be remembered for a long time," Cain said last year. "I wanted to handle myself properly."