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Velella, who has admitted to New York District Attorney Frank S. Hogan that he lied to "puff" himself up when he once said publicly that he had lent Rosensohn $10,000 (the money was Salerno's, according to Rosensohn) was an evasive, forgetful and whimsical witness. But in response to the dogged and thorough examination of Commission Counsel James P. Fusscas, he did make several righteous assertions, two of which backfired devastatingly.
Velella reiterated that he had never made a loan of $10,000 to Rosensohn and denied that Charley Black was a partner in a company called All-Star Sports, a predecessor to Rosensohn Enterprises, Inc. He was unaware, however, that Rosensohn, cooperating with the district attorney, had consented to have a conversation between Velella and himself recorded on tape. The recording, which was made before a stockholders' meeting of Rosensohn Enterprises in New York's Manhattan Hotel on July 31, was played at the hearing and Velella was heard acknowledging in it that he had, indeed, lent Rosensohn $10,000 and that Charley Black was a partner in All-Star Sports.
Velella's explanation of the discrepancies between what he had just told the commission and what the tape revealed him as saying was that he was trying to "steam" Rosensohn up, that "I may have said it in a sarcastic way," that "I may have used a poor choice of English."
Ingemar Johansson, who is scheduled to visit Detroit this week, has signed with Rosensohn Enterprises ( Vincent J. Velella, two-thirds owner) to promote his rematch with Floyd Patterson. Ingemar says he has an agreement that if investigations show that anyone connected with the promotion "is illegal or a gangster he will be thrown out." We urge Ingemar to read over the transcripts of the commission hearings in the light of Begun's Law.
A stumpy man with a large No. 8 on the back of his pinstripe baseball flannels stood before a home plate microphone at Yankee Stadium last week. Behind him was clustered a semicircle of gifts just presented to him during the 55-minute ceremony marking his "Day." There were a new station wagon, certificates for trips to Italy and Bermuda and for a swimming pool, a color television set, lawn furniture, suits, hats, gladiolus bulbs, a pool table, a sewing machine, a rifle, cuff links, watches and more certificates, one for a course of dance lessons. Photographers autographed a baseball for him. The umpires, in unexpectedly genial recognition of his chronic second-guessing of them, called him "the last of the playing umpires." And Ted Williams of the Red Sox gave him fishing gear, possibly hoping for an angling partner.
Then it was No. 8's turn to say thank you, in a short little speech he had been rehearsing anxiously to teammates for days, wanting to get it just right. He took the microphone with a smile that almost became a laugh and let the words tumble out.
"Until now everything was fine," he said. "I was enjoying myself and I hope you were too. On behalf of myself and my family I want to thank each and every one of you, not just for the wonderful gifts, but for showing up. God bless you all." Applause rolled across Yankee Stadium. Lawrence Peter Berra, 34, wiped his eyes and turned his head away.
They are beating new paths