Bill Janssen, defensive tackle, volunteered to correspond with Hirotashi, who also will soon receive a packet of Big Red souvenirs.
The idea of a true World Series in baseball has been something normally thought of only in futuristic terms. Spatially, of course, such a Series would be only one jet air flight away so that the best United States teams could play those from Japan or Taiwan or whatever. Now—starting Sept. 10 at Honolulu Stadium in Hawaii—baseball will come closer to such a concept when five teams begin a 10-game, seven-day round-robin tournament to determine which is the best minor league team extant.
Champions of the Triple A Pacific Coast League, American Association and International League will go to Hawaii to play in the Kodak World Baseball Classic against the host PCL Islanders and an All-Star team composed of Latin players who participate regularly in the Caribbean winter leagues. In subsequent years the sponsors hope to include teams from Japan as well as Mexico and Europe and play the tournament in Caracas, Mexico City and Japan. This time neither Japan nor Mexico is available because the Japanese season ends later than our World Series and the Mexican season ends much too early.
Situating the games in Hawaii appears perfect because the Islanders in recent years have drawn as many as 385,000 fans a season to a park once known as "Termite Palace." The players will receive 30% of the gate receipts, and with the Islanders certain to be playing early and with attention building as the round-robin progresses, the World Baseball Classic should draw a lot of people to an area that by 1973 is going to build a $30 million, Astro-Turfed, double-deck stadium seating 50,000. The hope is to lure, or win by expansion, major league baseball and football franchises.
Last week Commissioner Bowie Kuhn said, "The Classic has the complete support of the major leagues. What is developing in baseball today is an international atmosphere, not only in Japan and Taiwan but in Europe as well. I think baseball is going to be added to the Olympic schedule very soon and I will forecast—and not too bravely at that—that this is the start of baseball's future." Amateur or professional baseball, Bowie?
It is customary for prizefighters to 1) make gentlemanly statements about their opponents or 2) deride their opponents or 3) say nothing so long as it is calculated to build up the gate.
But Jerry Quarry, the retired heavyweight contender, no longer has an interest in building up gates for anything but a rock group known as Three Dog Night, which he is publicizing. Therefore, his expressed opinions about Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali may be presumed to come from the heart:
" Frazier, in my opinion, is illiterate. He's just a stupid person. I have no respect for him, other than fighting ability. He's a very obstinate person, particularly when he's around other fighters. He continually has to impress upon you that he's the big man.