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"You're so lousy you let a girl get a hit off you," the shortstop yelled to the pitcher. The pitcher yelled back. Their tempers growing as hot as the temperature, which was 101�, the two boys were soon wrestling on the ground. Intervening, the umpire promptly ejected the combatants, whose team consequently forfeited the contest to Claudia's.
The game established Claudia as a heroine and inspiration—by winning, her team reached .500 for the first time all season. The opposing players will long remember the game, too—not because they let a crummy girl get a hit off them, but because they lost the game by refusing to act like, well, gentlemen.
AND BEASTS WILL BE BEASTS
In an annual rite at the University of Georgia, the football players celebrate the end of spring practice by holding something called the Seagraves Initiation. Usually the seniors take the freshmen to nearby Seagraves farm, force them to drink warm beer until they vomit and then make them strip and wallow in the mud. In 1969 the seniors took all the initiates' clothes back to Athens, obliging the tired, sick, muddy and naked players to take a long and embarrassing walk home. That's how the Bulldogs practice character building.
This year the ceremony had a new twist. The seniors in charge stole a 400-pound sow from the university's Swine Research Center and did away with the old girl, Center Hugh Nall performing the sacrifice with his bow and arrow. Then they dressed the animal and hung her on a gate at Seagraves. On arrival, the initiates were required to kiss "Miss Piggy" on the snout.
"The seniors made us strip," said Quarterback John Lastinger, "and they stuck funnels in our mouths and made us drink warm beer till we puked. Then they threw the bottles in the lake and we had to swim after them." When the party broke up, some of the freshmen were put to work loading the pig onto a pickup truck and dumping the carcass in a parking lot outside a school residence hall. "There was a boy and girl standing close by," Lastinger said. "The pig rolled right up to her. I thought she would die."
After a campus police investigation, head coach and athletic director Vince Dooley levied penalties. Five seniors—All-SEC Defensive Back Scott Woerner, Frank Ros, Chris Welton, Nat Hudson and Nall—were required to attend summer school and work three hours a day for the university grounds crew, and the team collected $125 to pay for the price of the animal.
Fair enough. But Dooley's words were considerably more equivocal than his actions. "I don't approve of Seagraves," he said, "because of the danger of it. If you could go to a point and stop, it would be O.K. But it's a Georgia tradition, and at times nothing will come of it."
Earlier this season the New York Daily News began a daily comparison between home runs by the light-hitting 1980 Mets as a team and those amassed by Roger Maris in 1961, the year he wound up with his record 61. The News puckishly made the point that for quite a while there the Mets were running behind Maris' historic pace. But the New Yorkers have surged lately, and at week's end, after 102 games, had pulled ahead of Maris, 43 to 40. A News editor conceded that if the Mets moved too far ahead, the comparison might be quietly dropped.