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Opening of the Catfish season
Roy Blount Jr.
March 17, 1975
Surfacing in Florida, a new Yank hooks into a fine-feathered feud
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March 17, 1975

Opening Of The Catfish Season

Surfacing in Florida, a new Yank hooks into a fine-feathered feud

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Bonds failed to explode afoot or abat Saturday, but on Sunday in Miami he doubled to right center and scored the first New York run. The Orioles' new aggressors, Ken Singleton and Lee May, acquired from Montreal and Houston in off-season trades, did not get much going on Saturday, either. But the next day Singleton at least gave evidence of what he can do to augment the Orioles' noted poise. He had a pair of singles in three at bats and scored a run. The big cuts May was taking suggested Baltimore may have the kind of power Boog Powell, who was traded to Cleveland, used to provide.

Saturday's outing was as good an evocation of the spring training spirit as one could ask for. Crisp, tight, swift-moving 2-1 ball between two good teams for seven innings, and then in the eighth the field was suddenly full of people named Hut-to and Harlow and Nordbrook and Whitfield and Dineen. These are the names you are going to be reading about in the future. Or maybe not. At any rate, they are trying to make their way into the bigs, and a near-capacity nonpartisan crowd of 6,489 egged them on as heartily as they had the stars.

In the Orioles' eighth, Timothy C. Nordbrook, a 25-year-old Baltimore native, hit a single. Then Al Bumbry banged a ball off the center-field fence that he legged into an inside-the-park home run.

The Orioles go ahead. But the Yanks come back! In their half of the eighth, Terry Whitfield—an All-America just four years ago in California at Blythe High, fulfilled a bit of his promise by stroking a double. Kerry Dineen, rather a slight-looking nonroster person aged 22, singled Whitfield to third. And when Ron ( The Bronx Blomber) Blomberg tapped back to the mound, Whitfield got caught in and then lithely escaped a rundown at third.

All hands safe. Bases loaded. "Who is that?" asked an Oriole.

"Whitfield," said another.

"Infield or outfield?" asked the first.

"Whitfield," said the second.

In the stands, the fans—wearing Little League caps and big straw hats and T shirts reading "Peace, yes—but with Christ!" and blue three-button suits and wraparound denim skirts and cutoff jeans, and in some cases virtually nothing—rose and whooped.

Infielder Fred Stanley, who was a business major at Rio Hondo Junior College, sells real estate and has in fact played in 187 major league games at one time or another, came through with a three-run triple. And Chris Chambliss singled Stanley home. When the next hitter popped out, Chambliss took off under the misapprehension that there were two outs and was doubled off first.

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