Buffalo's proposed domed stadium (SCORECARD, June 30, 1969) was deflated last week when the Erie County legislature refused, by a vote of 10 to 9, to approve a lease that had been worked out by County Executive John Tutuska and representatives of Dome Stadium, Inc., the group that was supposed to manage the stadium when it was built. The county had already spent almost $2 million on stadium planning, and bids had been received on the various aspects of the construction job. After the legislature rejected the lease, Edward H. Cottrell, a principal partner in Dome Stadium, Inc., said he would institute a suit against Erie County for breach of an earlier agreement arranged in June 1969. "We contend that the management contract is now in effect," Cottrell declared. "We are in the process of acquiring a baseball franchise, and we still hope for a go-ahead on the dome. But in the absence of such a step we have no alternative but to institute lawsuits for breach of contract and other damages."
Poor Buffalo. Except for Dallas, it is the largest city in the country without a major league baseball team, and it has come very close to going ahead with its dome, which might turn what is a rather drab town into a center of excitement and tourist interest. But maybe they are lucky now that (an old refrain) times are hard and money is tight.
AGE CANNOT WITHER HIM
A small discussion has arisen in Chicago over Leo Durocher's age. Leo says he was 64 last Monday (July 27), but the baseball record books make him a year older than that, or 65. Rumors persist that Leo will be dropped by the Cubs at the end of the season. If he does get the ax and decides that he is indeed 65, he could begin drawing $1,945 a month from baseball's munificent pension fund. If he decides to wait until next July, when he says he will be 65, he would be giving up nine months of pension payments, or $17,505 (he could, of course, opt to take a 64-year-old's pension, which in his case would be $1,813 a month, but that would total out to almost $1,600 a year less than the full 65-year-old pension).
Either way, Chicago critics say it seems like a lot of money to give up for the sake of vanity, if vanity it is. It may be simply honesty or even modesty. After all, if the record books are right and Leo was 65 this week he joins an astonishingly select group. In all the long history of baseball only five men ( Connie Mack, Casey Stengel, Wilbert Robinson, Charlie Dressen and Burt Shot-ton) have managed a major league team past age 65. Let us therefore no longer look upon Leo as a querulous young troublemaker. He is a Grand Old Man.
People are going to court over tickets to Kansas City Chiefs games, which is apparently a byproduct of being Super Bowl champion. Truog & Nichols, Inc., an air-conditioning firm, has asked for an injunction against its former president, Sidney L. Bair Jr., charging that Bair improperly kept the rights to 15 season tickets when he left Truog-Nichols. The company argues that the football tickets had gone to Bair originally so that they could be used to create goodwill and retain customers for the company. After Bair left the firm in January 1969, tickets for the following season were mailed to him in care of the company, and, says Truog-Nichols, Bair at that time made no claim on them. But after the Super Bowl game, the company claims, Bair induced the Chiefs to send him the tickets for 1970 at his new place of business. Since Bair's name had preceded the company's name in the Chiefs' records, this was done. But Truog-Nichols complains that this prevents the company from obtaining season tickets of its own for 1970 and, presumably, future seasons. This, says Truog-Nichols, will cause the company to "suffer irreparable damage." Bair claims the tickets were always his and not Truog-Nichols'. "I simply had them transferred to my new business last spring or fall," he says. "We'll just have to wait and see what the court decides." What makes the issue even more burning is that the Chiefs' new 75,000-seat stadium will be ready in 1972, and one extra season ticket will be allotted for every two now held.
A safety survey conducted by a British car manufacturer holds that girdles are a menace to motorists. Lady motorists. "Girdles quickly become uncomfortable," says the report, "and result in squirming by the wearer behind the wheel." Garters are dangerous, too, because their pull tends to lift a woman's foot from the pedals. "To overcome this...she often pushes against the pull of her garters and consequently winds up going faster than she intends." Pantyhose, on the other hand, or foot, are fine; they have resulted in women becoming safer drivers. There was no mention of skirts—micro, mini, midi or maxi.
One of the saddest things in sport is what has happened to baseball in Japan. When a Japanese boy makes an error in a sandlot game, the others yell "Yaocho!"—which means, bluntly, "Fix!" The boy teased yells back that it's a lie and the game goes on. But in major league baseball in Japan several players have admitted that it is not a lie, that they have indeed fixed baseball games. Five players have been banned for life, and more than 20 in all, from 11 of Japan's 12 professional teams, have been linked to underworld elements. Arrests also have been made in bicycle and motorcycle racing, big betting pastimes in Japan, where gambling is the raison d'�tre for interest in most sports.