ANOTHER PART OF THE FOREST
Here is a small, cheerful note from the racial front. At the Johnstown (Pa.) annual Christmas high school basketball tournament, the tournament's hostesses, all but one of them white, selected Ed Searcy, a black star from New York City's Power Memorial Academy, as the most popular player. And when A. D. Eisenhower High defeated Bishop McCort in the consolation round, Eisenhower's white coach, William Werkiser, had five black players on the floor most of the time, while McCort's black coach, Don Ferrell, used five white players the whole game.
Los Angeles Baptist College, a church school, has a starting forward on the basketball team named Dennis Lord. And one of the team's reserves is Claude Heavens.
The American League attendance figures for the last couple of seasons (SCORECARD, Sept. 8) have been based on the number of tickets sold for a game rather than the crowd actually in attendance. The league defends this practice partly on the grounds that when it comes time to split the gate with the visiting team it is only fair to include all tickets sold for that game. We agree, but we still question whether attendance figures can include people who are not present.
For instance, the Kansas City Royals reported a 1969 season attendance of 902,183, and this figure was duly carried in the published table for all teams in both major leagues. But at the end of the year a small item appeared in The Kansas City Star concerning the rental the Royals paid to the city for the use of Municipal Stadium. The item noted that the turnstile count at the stadium—which means the actual paid attendance—was 788,319. That was higher than any K.C. season attendance since 1959, but it was still almost 114,000—or more than three capacity crowds—fewer than the official American League figures.
Hypoing the attendance this way is a little like calling walks base hits in order to inflate batting averages.
Maybe the American League would do better in the attendance department if it took inspiration from the Christmas card sent out by the Chicago White Sox, who drew fewer than 600,000 people to spacious White Sox Stadium last season. The White Sox card showed the Star of Bethlehem shining over the stadium with the notation, "O come all ye faithful."
PLENTY OF ROOM
For that matter, do the White Sox really think they have attendance problems? Hah! A soccer game in West Berlin on a cold Sunday in December between VIB Neukd�lln and Hellas Nordwest, two teams in the top class of the amateur soccer league, drew a crowd of exactly three paying customers.
You may recall the flap in 1968 when it was disclosed that $72,000 raised in Dallas for the U.S. Olympic Fund never got to the U.S. Olympic Committee. One of the fund raisers, Mrs. Joyce Dodson Tate, a striking looking girl in her late 20s who had shown phenomenal skill in getting donations, was subsequently arrested (SI, April 15, 1968). The other day in Dallas she pleaded guilty in state court and was sentenced to two years in prison (to be served simultaneously with a five-year federal sentence in connection with the same offense).