There's honor among boxing promoters after all. Bob Arum of Top Rank is
promoting the June 6 middleweight title fight between Thomas Hearns and Iran
Barkley as well as the somewhat pathetic comeback of George Foreman, who claims
to want a shot at Mike Tyson in 1989. Arum wanted Foreman to be on the
undercard June 6, but after the ex-champ, now 40, turned down five credible
opponents, including Jesse Ferguson, James Pritchard and Orlin Norris, Arum
bounced Foreman from the prelims. According to a Top Rank spokesman,
70-year-old Irving Rudd, "Bob was basically telling George, 'I'd like to
help you, but you can't get in the ring with Irving Rudd.' "
At the time of his death at the age of 94 last week, Edd Roush, the famed
centerfielder for the Cincinnati Reds and the New York Giants, was the oldest
Hall of Famer. He was also one of the most delightfully stubborn men baseball
has ever known. He held out almost every year of his playing career. "Why
should I go down there and fuss around in spring training?" Roush once
wrote. "Twist an ankle, or break a leg. I did my own spring training,
hunting quail and rabbits around Oakland City [ Ind.]." He even sat out most
of the 1922 season and all of 1930.
Roush may have
hated spring training when he was a player, but in his later years he was a
springtime fixture in the lunchroom at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fla.,
where the Pirates train. It was in that room that he suffered a fatal heart
attack on March 21.
Roush won two
batting titles and hit .323 over his 18-year career, using a ludicrously heavy
48-ounce bat. When he was just starting out with the Giants, in 1916, he was
told by manager John McGraw to get a lighter bat, and he replied, "This is
a damn fine league where the manager tells you what bat to use." McGraw
soon traded Roush to Cincinnati, where he led the Reds to a world championship
in 1919 over the so-called Black Sox.
Roush never wavered
in his belief that Cincinnati won the ' 19 Series over the White Sox fair and
square. "Sure the 1919 White Sox were good," he wrote. "But the
1919 Cincinnati Reds were better. I'll believe that till my dying day."
Bowling score got you down? Just remember that in 1981 Mike Kappa of Racine,
Wis., rolled a 2, the lowest total ever in an American Bowling
Congress-sanctioned game. Of Kappa's 20 balls, 18 found a channel.
Lem Banker, the Las
Vegas odds-maker, has come up with a few intriguing possibilities and
improbabilities for the 1988 World Series. Going off at 1,500 to 1 would be a
Nautical Series between the Mariners and Pirates; at 1,000 to 1, a Windy City
Series between the White Sox and Cubs; at 40 to 1, a BART Series between the
Athletics and Giants; at 32 to 1, a Royal Canadian Mounted Series between the
Blue Jays and Expos; and at 12 to 1, the prosaic Subway Series between the
Yankees and Mets.
The longest odds,
though, belong to a Native American Series between the Indians and Braves, who,
Banker thinks, have a 3,500-to-1 chance of meeting in the Fall Classic.