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"You'll like it," Greenberg assured him. "It's only got 100 miles on it."
"I don't want that piece of junk," barked Lemon.
Greenberg's hard line perhaps could be traced back to the contract battle he'd waged with Detroit after the 1938 season. He had 58 homers that year, but the Tigers argued that he didn't deserve the $5,000 raise he was requesting because his batting average had dropped 22 points to .315 and his RBIs had plummeted from 183 to 146. Greenberg threatened to hold out, which was about the only option a player had in 1938. And the Tigers coughed up the raise.
He and Lemon were still jawing good naturedly last week when Greenberg looked toward the playing field. On the mound was the A's Tim Stoddard, who'd just been given a $90,000 raise for going 4-3 with a 6.09 ERA.
"Bob," said Greenberg consolingly, "what we needed was a good agent."
FRUITS OF THE DOME
For nearly half a century Syracuse's mascot, the painted and befeathered Saltine Warrior (presumably named because the area was known as Salt City) tomahawked the air and whooped along the sidelines of Archbold Stadium. But in the late '70s, Onkwehon-weneha, the Native American organization on campus, protested that the mascot—invariably a Caucasian behind all that war paint—was racist and degrading. "Army had a mule, Navy had a goat, Georgia had a bulldog, and Syracuse had an Indian," said alumnus Oren Lyons, chief of the Turtle Clan on the nearby Onondaga reservation.
So in 1978 the Saltine Warrior went the way of the Indian mascots at Dartmouth and Stanford. He was supplanted by a gladiator of indeterminate origin, who lasted about as long as a Christian among the lions. Since then Syracuse hasn't had an official mascot.