The John Eggers Award for Verbal Overreach, which SCORECARD inaugurates this week, is hereby given to Billy Martin, manager of the New York Yankees. Commenting last week on the tension he felt when it appeared he would be fired, Martin was quoted as saying, "Now I know how Truman felt when he dropped that bomb."
The award is named for John Eggers, the Oregon State sports information director, who several years ago described how OSU football rivals were reacting in light of the fact that the Beavers had upset a number of them the previous season. "This year," Eggers said, "our opponents have been coming after us like a bunch of Kamikaze pilots in search of the Holy Grail."
When a golfer named Ernest Primeau stepped to the 18th tee during a tournament in St. Jean, Quebec, Rodrique Lasnier was wholly unconcerned.
An automobile dealer, Lasnier was offering a new car to anyone who scored a hole in one on the 170-yard, par-3 hole, and his prize seemed safely out of reach. Primeau, not likely to be mistaken for Hubert Green, had hacked his way through the first 17 holes in 129 strokes.
But the car, parked beside the tee with the keys in the ignition, obviously was a compelling incentive, for Primeau hit a six-iron shot that landed in the cup.
A 35-year-old carpet installer who had played only about a dozen rounds of golf in his life, Primeau let someone else retrieve the ball. He jumped into the car and drove off.
After two top players were ejected from a Delaware high school baseball game for using profanity, the coach and his players (all of whom wish to remain anonymous) held a meeting.
The coach announced that Billy, a third-string rightfielder, henceforth would be the team's "Designated Curser." Whenever a member of the team felt compelled to swear, he would trot down to the end of the bench and whisper well-chosen words into Billy's ear, and then Billy, so to speak, would talk a blue streak. Thus, if the umpire was sufficiently offended, he would give the thumb to expendable Billy.