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If Peter was nervous before the game he did not show it. However, he did turn to Dr. Charles Hearn, team physician, and ask, "How many boys will be out there with me?"
THE PROFESSIONAL AMATEUR
The new owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, who paid Robert E. Short, attorney and trucking executive, $5,175,000 for them, is a highly volatile, very personable, extremely rich native of Canada and naturalized citizen of the U.S. named Jack Kent Cooke, who used to be a saxophone player. What he got was a topnotch basketball team and very little more, for the Lakers own no real estate and you could load all their worldly goods into something a little larger than a pickup truck. Six years ago they were $300,000 in debt, had to borrow their office furniture and were required to pay cash for equipment.
But a basketball team is what Cooke wanted. He is a sports nut. ("Sports are one of the main cultural activities on the face of the earth. I love them.") He is a former owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs of the International (baseball) League, one of the founders of the illfated Continental (baseball) League and he owns 25% of the Washington Redskins of the National Football League. He has applied for the National Hockey League franchise to be awarded to Los Angeles. In 1953, a year after he bought the Maple Leafs, they set an attendance record of 456,000, and The Sporting News named him "Minor League Executive of the Year." In prep school he played quarterback in football, shortstop in baseball and center in hockey. Today, at 52, he is an avid golfer.
Previous high for an NBA franchise was the $3,100,000 the Ruppert Brewing Company paid earlier this year for the Boston Celtics. But Cooke was willing to go better than $2,000,000 higher for the Lakers because, for all his involvement in professional sport, he is a true amateur at heart.
"You don't know what keen fun is until you own a club," he told a friend.
When the Chicago Cubs are at home, 14-year-old Bruce Ronnbeck and a dozen other kids may be found standing outside Wrigley Field's left-field fence. Their hobby: retrieving home-run balls hit over the fence and returning them to the hitters, who like to have them as souvenirs. For each ball recovered, the hitter is expected to give back another ball. So far Bruce has collected 31.
Bruce's system is simple. He just waits until he hears a cheer go up inside the park, then looks up to see if a ball is coming over the fence. He refuses autographed balls in return for those he has recovered, preferring that his collection be austerely unmarked.
There are those who hold that Bruce is the best outfielder the Cubs have.