Apparently, no one ever sang Welter that old executioner's song about how you can't keep a manager and fire all the players. His players didn't have contracts, and he says he could do whatever he wanted with them—especially after they fought constantly and finished with a 17-25 record. "He kind of pulled the plug on us," sighed Dubuque utility man Brent Swan.
It's debatable whether all the Pilots actually deserved to be fired—Field himself says that they were "a good bunch of guys" who "maybe were a little spoiled"—but Welter wants a new, orderly team. He plans to rebuild with players brought in through newspaper want ads. "This town has a population of 65,000," says Welter. "You need only nine to play the game."
Unlike many of today's team owners, Welter seems to have found peace of mind. "I should have done this a couple of years ago," he says.
HOLE IN ONE, TWO, THREE...
The odds were approximately 10 million to 1 against Arnold Palmer plunking his tee shot in the same hole twice in a row last week. But there was Palmer on Wednesday, calmly pulling out his five-iron and—for the second straight day—acing the 187-yard 3rd hole at the Avenel course in Potomac, Md. Both holes in one came during pro-am play at the international Chrysler Cup team tournament. No touring pro had performed the feat before, and, as far as is known, only five other Americans ever have. "I'd like to take this hole home with me," said Palmer.
Actually, individual holes in one aren't that rare. Some 43,386 were reported in 1985, and Palmer himself has made 13. Amateur Norman Manley of Long Beach, Calif., is credited with the most aces (57), with Mancil Davis (47) and Art Wall (44) the pro leaders.
By last Friday morning, a stonemason was already erecting a monument to Palmer's accomplishment at the 3rd tee at Avenel. Canada's Al Balding paused to take note of this as he teed up. Pulling out the requisite five-iron, Balding launched his drive straight at the pin. The ball plopped onto the green, trickled 15 feet forward and—you guessed it—dropped into the cup. Par for the course, you might say.
HANK GREENBERG: 1911-1986
Hank Greenberg, the former Detroit Tiger star who died last week at the age of 75, was different from most major leaguers of his era. Although he was born to immigrant parents in New York, he grew up in a 16-room house in a pleasant section of the city and spent summers at his family's beach home. When baseball scouts tried to sign him straight out of high school, his father insisted he go to college first. Greenberg attended NYU briefly but in 1930 signed with the Tigers. He turned down a Yankee offer because he knew they already had a first baseman, a guy named Gehrig.
Young Greenberg was a big and clumsy six feet four, and he was Jewish. A Jew was a rarity in baseball, and an awkward Jew named Greenberg from New York City was a ripe target for the vicious riding so common then. Greenberg coped with it. He worked to improve both his hitting and fielding by hiring peanut vendors and parking attendants to practice with him in off-hours. It paid off. In 1934 he led the Tigers to their first pennant in a quarter of a century, and a year later, when Detroit won again, he earned the first of his two American League Most Valuable Player awards. Greenberg became a prodigious slugger: In 1937 he batted in 183 runs and in 1938 hit 58 homers. He won four American League home run titles in all and carried Detroit into four World Series.