The women's softball team for the News-Journal newspapers in Wilmington, Del. is known as the Ms. Prints.
The eccentric Charlie Finley has a 16-year-old high school student serving as an "executive vice-president" of the A's. "That's what Mr. Finley calls me," says Stanley Burrell, a sophomore at McClymonds High School in Oakland. "He phones me every day." Burrell was interviewed by Loel Schrader of the Long Beach Independent Press Telegram last week, and as the youngster told it, he first attracted Finley's attention four years ago when he was "doing a wild dance" in the parking lot. Finley subsequently nicknamed Burrell "the Hammer" because, at least to Charlie O., Burrell looks like Hank Aaron.
The Hammer accompanied Finley to Anaheim for the season opener against the Angels and, according to Schrader, ran notes to Manager Bobby Winkles during the game. Later in the week, when the A's were back in Oakland, the Hammer broke off a press-box interview during the top of the fourth to take a call in Finley's private box. It was the boss phoning from Chicago, and Finley kept his veep on the phone for the rest of the game. When it was over and Oakland had won its fifth straight, the Hammer went to the locker room to speak to Winkles before resuming the interview.
Officials on the A's are loath to talk about Burrell because they fear him as the eyes and ears of Finley, but the Hammer is far from loath to praise Charlie O. "He's done nothing but good for me," says the Hammer. "There isn't anything I wouldn't do for Mr. Finley if I could do it."
St. Louis University honored Bob (Doc) Bauman, its athletic trainer for 50 years, by holding the first Bob Bauman Symposium on Sports Medicine last week. The subject was injuries to adolescents, and Dr. Lyle J. Micheli of Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital said the majority of serious injuries come from damage to the growth plates on kids' knees, ankles, shoulders and elbows. Blocking does most of the damage in football, sliding causes the injuries in baseball, and too big or too heavy a ball is the source of trouble in soccer.
Dr. Micheli recommends that soccer players under 11 use a No. 3 ball instead of the standard No. 5, and that flying blocks be barred in football and sliding in baseball until at least the age of 14. "Children's games are all games designed for adults," he said. "I think the rules could be modified for children."
Some of Micheli's other points:
Youngsters should undergo flexibility training to help avoid pulled hamstrings and torn ligaments. "Children outgrow their flexibility every six months," he noted.