Eddie Ford, 23-year-old son of Whitey, scored the game-winning run for the Red Sox in a spring exhibition win over the Yanks, his father's alma mater. Ford, a shortstop, is slated to play this year for Boston's Triple-A farm at Pawtucket in the International League. Ken Boyer's son Dave, 21, is an infielder in the Cardinals' farm system, while Hank Sauer's son Henry John, 24, is an outfielder on a California Angel farm club. Two other promising youngsters, neither a son of a former major-leaguer, bear famous major league names. Willie Mays (Ack Ack) Aikens, California Angel prospect, will likely play for Salt Lake City this summer. Ted Williams May of Cleveland, Tenn. was drafted in January by the Chicago White Sox.
In thoroughbred racing the situation is called a walkover. All the entrants but one have failed to show up, and in order to make the race official all the "winner" has to do is walk the course and cross the finish line. The Old Town, Maine high school girls' track team found itself in a walkover recently, when neither Hamden Academy nor Bucksport High was able to field a team for the 640-yard relay during a meet in Castine. All the Old Town Indians had to do was jog around the track to pick up five easy points. But officials spotted a passing-lane violation and the Indians were disqualified. Even winning the meet, eventually, wasn't enough to save face.
In the face of predictions of impending economic doom in various sports, The Wall Street Journal points out that the presence of a major sports team has an impressive upbeat economic effect. Citing the Pittsburgh Pirates, the WSJ says that team pumped more than $21 million into the Pittsburgh metropolitan area last year. Says the Journal, "A survey shows that direct results, or the Pirates' own local spending, totaled $5.7 million. Induced effects, or spending by fans, visiting teams and supporting personnel, were $8.3 million. Indirect effects, such as spending at the wholesale level to support direct and induced retail activity, came to $7.5 million."
As an example of induced spending—that is, not at or in the ball park—the survey found that nearly 16% of those people on their way to a game stopped someplace and spent an average of $4 each. After a game 28% spent an average of $5.77 each at one stop or other.
Obviously, if attendance falls off, spending sags. Because winning teams usually draw bigger crowds than losing ones, The Wall Street Journal findings could provide inspiration for stirring locker-room speeches by managers and coaches. "Come on, guys," they could cry. "Let's go out there and win one for the economic well-being of the entire metropolitan area!"
Spring training means getting into shape, which inspires the following tribute to exercise by William Shakespeare, as told to Edward F. Murphy:
"How look I...?" Cymbeline.
"Put on some other shape." Richard III.