SI Vault
Edited by Robert W. Creamer
October 20, 1975
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October 20, 1975


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When North Carolina State Coach Lou Holtz saw a jogger running on the track around the football field while his team was practicing, he called the campus police and had the jogger, who turned out to be a North Carolina State math professor, ejected because, Holtz said, he might have been a spy for a rival college.

Is it no more than coincidence that all three of these irascible gentlemen were once assistants to Woody Hayes at Ohio State?


Traditionally, third base is called the hot corner, presumably because of the plethora of line drives, blistering grounders and hard-sliding base runners that seem always to be cluttering up that section of the diamond. One would appear justified in assuming that third basemen lead shaky, precarious lives, but the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company says it is not so. The insurance statisticians report that a study comparing major league baseball players with males in the general population indicates, first, that ballplayers have significantly longer life-spans and, second, that third basemen live longer than all other ballplayers. Shortstops, Met Life says sadly, have the shortest life-span, although it is still longer than that of the average fan.

The insurance statisticians also sought a relationship between batting averages and longevity. After 1901—the beginning of the so-called modern era of baseball—the differences are slight, but for those who played ball in the dark ages of the 19th century the word was clear: hit to live. Those who were .300 hitters back then had a mortality ratio 12% below the general population's, whereas clods who batted under .200 were 9% higher.

This probably means that if your grandfather was a third baseman, you'd better start showing him more respect. He may outlive you, and he probably still can outhit you.

Maybe it has slipped your mind, but everybody in Boston, including Red Sox fans, remembers that it was the Chicago Black Hawks who eliminated the Boston Bruins from the Stanley Cup playoffs last spring. Which serves to explain why Filene's, the big Boston department store, slashed the price of its toy Boston Bruins bear, which was bedecked with Bruin colors and logo. The little bears have tiny music boxes inside and a wind-up key in the back. Wind up these bears and the tune that comes out is, "Chi-cago, Chi-cago, that todd-lin' town...."


Everybody seems to be having trouble with stadiums lately. A Candlestick Park too quickly becomes obsolescent, a Superdome in New Orleans costs too much, a Rich Stadium is built in Buffalo only after bitter dispute. Now Orlando's Tangerine Bowl has the bends.

In 1972 the Orange County Civic Facilities Authority decided to expand the ancient 17,000-seat T Bowl to a more modern 51,000-seat stadium that might attract a National Football League franchise. But there was more talk than action, and Tampa, 80 miles away, landed the NFL team instead. Last year, with the stadium still unchanged, the infant World Football League put a club in Orlando. The Blazers played well but drew poorly, had front-office problems and left as abruptly as they arrived.

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