H. Franklin Taylor III, a Richmond lawyer and past president of the Amateur Softball Association, testified before a Senate Commerce subcommittee two weeks ago in favor of a bill to move up the current late-April start of daylight saving time by a month or more. Taylor argued that many of the nation's 30 million softball players now have to leave work early during March and most of April to get in enough playing time before dark. As for how they manage to take time off the job, Taylor said, wryly, "Hopefully, the boss is on the golf course."
Actually, the softball crowd is serious in complaining that the current law works a hardship during late winter and early spring on those Softball leagues that don't have lighted fields. Taylor also noted that even those that do have such fields now face difficulties. "Their lights are being cut back," he explained. "With local governments strapped for funds, recreation isn't among the highest priorities." One obvious way to put a higher priority on recreation—without running up a big light bill—is to extend daylight saving time, as Taylor urged. This would also benefit people who fancy such other sports that bloom in the spring as tennis and bicycling. And, yes, it might even provide extra time on the links for golf-playing bosses.
Nell Grim, a 47-year-old housewife and school board official in Perkasie, Pa., sent in a deposit the other day to attend a baseball fantasy camp for adults of the kind described recently by Roy Blount Jr. in SI (Feb. 21). She's believed to be the first woman to sign up for such a camp. Beginning next November 13 Grim, the wife of a lawyer and mother of two teenagers, will spend a week receiving instruction from—and playing in a game against—such New York Yankee stars of the 1950s as Allie Reynolds, Vic Raschi, Enos Slaughter, Bill Skowron and Gene Woodling. She'll be joined by some 60 other campers, all 30 or over, who will pay $2,595 each to Baseball Fantasies Fulfilled, which is putting on both the November camp and an earlier one, also involving ex-Yankee stars, in June.
Why is Grim interested in such an experience? For one thing, she's a lifelong Yankee fan and relishes the idea of getting to know some of her old heroes. She also hopes to sharpen her skills, but as an infielder rather than a catcher, the position she manned—or womaned—while playing a version of the game that utilized a hard-rubber ball during her prep-school days in the '50s. And finally, she expects to acquire an insider's knowledge about something that has long puzzled her. "I've been watching third-base coaches give signals for 35 years," she says. "I want to find out how they work."
You're right, the world is going to hell in a handbasket. As evidence, we submit two distastefully similar incidents. The first involved Birmingham South Stars Coach Gene Ubriaco and several players on the Birmingham bench during the closing seconds of an 8-2 Central Hockey League loss to the Indianapolis Checkers. By way of expressing their displeasure at the officiating, Ubriaco and the players turned their backs to the ice, bent over and pointed their backsides—still betrousered—at Referee Don Koharski. The second involved Alabama anchorman Lamar Smith, who was far ahead of Auburn's Calvin Brooks in the mile relay at the Dogwood Relays in Knoxville, Tenn. when he began taunting his beaten rival by shaking his baton at him and making a great show of slowing up before the finish line. Fans booed, and Smith, the race over, dropped his shorts and, as Referee Chuck Zody recalls, "shot the moon at the crowd."
The only reason we report any of this is that it also allows us to tell what happened, somewhat more happily, after each of these incidents. As punishment for the unseemly goings-on in Indianapolis, one Birmingham player was fined $100 for "conduct unbecoming to a professional hockey player," and Ubriaco was fined $500 and put on probation. In Knoxville, 'Bama Coach John Mitchell apologized to Auburn for Smith's behavior, and another member of the Crimson Tide's relay team went to the press box to express regret to meet officials. Because of Smith's behavior, the relay team was disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct. Which suggests that there are some people who would just as soon not see mooning become a trend at sports events. Count us among them.
Forgive Joe Terranova his mixed metaphors, tortured puns and other groaners. The man's substance more than makes up for his style. Every year Terranova, a communications supervisor for Ford Motor Co. in Detroit, watches hundreds of high school game films and devours letters of recommendation from scores of coaches to produce an authoritative rundown of the colleges that did best in that year's battles for high school prospects. In the latest edition of his annual Handbook of College Football Recruiting, Terranova calls 1983 "a great year for offensive linemen and linebackers, but only an average year for talent at the other positions." And he credits these schools with the best recruiting crops for '83: