Given all the stunts used over the years to fill the stands, let's hear it for a promotion calculated to empty them. Fans on Foamer Night are limited to one beer per visit, but can return as often as they wish through the eighth inning—as long as they are willing to stand in line each time. Giants broadcaster Lon Simmons swears that when McCovey got back to the hotel after his team's 6-5 loss, he found a Houston fan waiting for him. The fellow wanted to thank him for a "wunnerful, wunnerful evening."
ONE FOR THE PURISTS
For six years efforts have been under way to reintroduce the Atlantic salmon to its once-flourishing spawning grounds in the Connecticut River. Since then, an occasional returning salmon has been caught pretty much by accident—by lads using worms or striped-bass anglers tossing plugs. Credit Robert Dwyer Jr. of Greene, R.I. with catching one with a fly rod—the way it is meant to be done. Dwyer accomplished the feat in East Haddam, Conn., on a tributary of the Connecticut called, yes, the Salmon. He is, presumably, the first fisherman in this century—perhaps ever—to catch a salmon on the fly in those waters.
The Cosmos, New York's ( New Jersey's? the universe's?) entry in the North American Soccer League, were at it again last week, drawing gratifying throngs in Vancouver and Los Angeles. This followed huge turnouts at home ( East Rutherford, N.J.) the previous two Sundays: a record U.S. soccer crowd of 62,394 one week and 57,191 the next. All this had NASL executives making Pel�-like leaps around their offices. "It shows that soccer is here," crowed Dick Berg, general manager of the Dallas Tornado. "In a few years everybody in the league will be drawing like that."
If you are of a sufficiently dyspeptic nature, you can toss a wet blanket over people like Berg. In Rochester and Chicago, NASL franchises have been drawing crowds in the 5,000-a-game range. Los Angeles is a hotbed of youth soccer, yet until the Cosmos lured a crowd of 32,165 to the L.A. Coliseum Saturday afternoon, the hometown Aztecs were admitting to an average attendance of 8,366—at that, some 3,000 higher than the official turnstile count. The Cosmos were clearly a very special attraction, featuring Pel� and the newly acquired Franz Beckenbauer. As for those two big Sundays, the club was playing in a new stadium and the weather was splendid.
You can go on and on like this. Yet the fact is that a lot of people have been turning out for Cosmos games, as they are for NASL games in Tampa, San Jose and Bloomington, Minn. The league says that overall attendance is running 30% higher than last year, and notwithstanding the discrepancy in turnstile figures in Los Angeles, there is no evidence of anybody seriously papering the house. Best of all, crowds have been enthusiastic, even boisterous, about the action on the field. They seem to care. And that is a good sign.
BACK IN ACTION
Twelve-year-old Glenn Dunaway never got to finish the Richmond (Va.) Golf Association's junior tournament last year. He played only the opening round of the three-day event, shooting 85. Next day Glenn paused beside the railroad tracks paralleling the Laurel Golf Course to watch a friend putt. He was hit by an Amtrak train traveling 60 mph.
Glenn's right leg was almost torn off at the knee. He suffered severe internal injuries and it took a five-hour operation to save his life. Released from the hospital four months later, he was just starting to get around on crutches when another tragedy befell him. This time he was sitting on a sled in a neighbor's yard when an auto skidded on ice and hit him. He suffered a broken arm and fractures in both legs, and doctors feared he would never walk again. Glenn spent nearly three months in traction, but continued to fight back. His right leg is an inch shorter than the left and he faces more surgery, but he no longer needs a cane.
The other morning Glenn, now 13, teed off in the 1977 junior tournament, this time at the Country Club of Virginia. Chauffeured in a cart by his dad (a prohibition against carts was waived for him), he went all three rounds, shooting 90, 99 and 94. "I didn't play too good," he said.