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FOR BETTER, FOR WORSE
Jack McCallum
May 02, 1983
Whom teams have joined together as roommates, no man shall put asunder—but sometimes it happens
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May 02, 1983

For Better, For Worse

Whom teams have joined together as roommates, no man shall put asunder—but sometimes it happens

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•As a Minnesota Twins rookie in 1967, Rod Carew found it rather difficult rooming with Earl Battey. Battey would get, in the words of Carew, "tied up" with a woman at all kinds of strange hours. "He'd ask me to leave the room at 7 in the morning, and I'd have to go sit in the lobby," Carew reports. "All dressed up at 7 a.m. People would think I was just getting in." Worse, Battey didn't even try to fix Carew up.

•A New York Jet coach making bed checks during a road trip in 1970 walked into a rookie's room, saw him in bed and marked his name down. "I'm here, too, Coach" came a different voice from the same bed. It belonged to Wide Receiver Eddie Bell, who had been assigned with Running Back Clifford McClain to the same one-bed room. They were rookies who didn't want to make trouble and figured that was the way it was in the pros.

•Joe Moeller, who was a member of the Koufax-Drysdale Dodger pitching staff for five years, used to stand in front of a full-length mirror and practice his delivery by throwing a baseball full speed against a mattress propped up against the wall of his hotel room. One night, one of his throws hit the corner of the mattress and took a strange bounce into the lamp beside roommate Dick Tracewski's bed. It shattered the lamp and just missed Tracewski's head. Obviously Moeller should have roomed with Cousy.

•An unmarried roommate is invaluable. When George Allen was coaching the Rams, he would often call a player's wife if he saw that player with a woman—which is why Dick Bass would be seen in public with two women on his arm, one for him and one for his roommate.

•NBC Broadcaster and former Bengal Tight End Bob Trumpy remembers a game called Human Billiards that he used to play with his roommate, Center Bob Johnson. It involved one player banking a rubber ball off at least two walls to strike the other player. One night at 2 a.m. they were making such a racket that Assistant Coach Chuck Studley came to find out what was going on. After they explained the game to him, Studley hung around for another half hour, coaching them on technique.

My roomy blows in about nine and got the letter from John out of his box. He was goin' to tear it up, but I told him they was news in it....

He had kind o' crazy look in his eyes; so when he starts up to the room I follows him.

"What are you goin' to do now?" I says.

"I'm going to sell this ticket to Atlanta, " he says, "and go back to Muskegon, where I belong."

RACE AND THE ART OF ROOMING

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