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PENNANT RACE ISSUE
The night the Tigers clinched their first pennant in 23 years. Club Owner John Fetzer put his arms around Manager Mayo Smith and said, "Mayo, it was great. It was more than winning the pennant. This may save Detroit."
Fetzer was not the first to see Detroit's pennant fever as a unifying force. This summer radios blared play-by-play accounts on streets where there was gunfire the July before. The Tigers, unlike many sports teams, always draw a broad social spectrum, and this year thousands of bumper stickers saying "Sock It to 'Em Tigers" appeared—on inner-city used cars and suburban station wagons alike. Black Leftfielder Willie Horton, who grew up in Detroit and visited ghetto schools all last winter saying, "Work hard, stay out of trouble, take care of your bodies," was cheered most boisterously by the fans in the lower left-field seats ($1.50), who were mostly white. White Rightfielder Al Kaline was the favorite of those in the right-field bleachers (75�), who were mostly black.
The night of the day the Tigers won the World Series 150,000 people jammed the downtown area, traffic was stopped, confetti was nearly knee deep in places, streamers hung from the overpasses for 13 solid miles, and stores were broken into. "It was worse than the riot for us," said a sporting goods dealer. There was a rape in the heart of the celebration area. An interracial group of 99 was assembled in jail, on charges of looting, robbery, assault, auto theft and shooting guns, mostly into the air. Two young men died when they fell off cars and skulled themselves on the pavement. There were fights and brawls and cheering, and whites and blacks rode on top of the same cars together. Merchants complained, just as they had during the riot, that the police stood around and did nothing. "Our biggest problem," said Police Superintendent John F. Nichols, "was telling the looters from the honest revelers."
The Standard Club, a group of Jewish businessmen, awarded a car near the end of the season. They gave it to Gates Brown, the great black pinch hitter, who said, "God bless you." It was that kind of baseball year, except when people got overexcited, in Detroit.
COUP DE GR�CE
Last week in New York the National Tennis League and World Championship Tennis, Inc. joined arms for the first time in their year-long existences to level a blast at the United States Lawn Tennis Association. The two competing pro groups threatened to pull their players out of all open tournaments in the U.S. next year unless the USLTA agrees not to pay prize money to that dubious character known as the "registered player"—a player who can accept prize money but retain his amateur standing.
The NTL-WCT statement was the first salvo in a war that has been brewing since last spring, when open tennis, after decades of pro-am bickering, finally became a reality. The object of the war is to determine who will wind up with control of major tennis—the pros or the entrenched amateur bodies.
The pros' argument is simple: they have nearly all the world class players under contract, and they hope to sign enough of the remaining good amateurs, such as Arthur Ashe, Clark Graebner and Tom Okker, to create a viable pro circuit of their own, as pro golf has done. To them, open tennis is an intermediate means to this end.