- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
Brooklyn's Own Emanuel Celler, who heads the judiciary subcommittee which is trying to discover whether the business of baseball should "continue to be exempt from federal antitrust laws, finally got an opportunity last week to ask some questions which have troubled all of Brooklyn. On Wednesday, Mr. Celler welcomed a pair of Brooklynites to the witness stand. First to appear (voluntarily) was Abe Stark, president of the New York City Council, who is a small, silver-haired, natty man with a complete command of the Brooklyn vernacular.
Mr. Stark was a nervous, hesitant witness but a prepared statement he read was unequivocal. He hurled charges of "theft" and "piracy" against the folks in Los Angeles and San Francisco who have designs on the Dodgers and the Giants; at his most charitable, he said "I certainly don't call them Communists, but it's certainly not the American way." Referring to California Congressman Pat Hillings, who, naturally, has plumped for major league clubs in his native state, Stark said that "Congressman Hillings was more or less very evasive, with all due respects to him." Little Abe brought up point after point to prove that the City of New York had done about all it could to keep the Dodgers and Giants, and even told about a 5,000-car garage that the city (or at least Abe) had offered to build for the Dodgers.
The third Brooklynite to participate in the drama was Walter O'Malley, president of the Dodgers. Celler, who had asked every previous witness if he knew anything about the proposed move of the Dodgers to Los Angeles, almost rubbed his hands in anticipation as he greeted O'Malley with: " Mr. O'Malley, your long-awaited turn has come." For the next few hours Celler kept pressing O'Malley for an answer to the question that refuses to lie down: Are the Dodgers going to move? O'Malley, as adept a switch hitter as there is in baseball, first batted from the Brooklyn side of the plate—if a site is made available for him to build a stadium at Atlantic and Flatbush avenues, he'll stay. Then he took a couple of swings from the Los Angeles side—"Things are moving very rapidly and very intelligently in Los Angeles." In passing, he had some fun with Stark's 5,000-car garage, which he said would cost $20,000,000 to build, stand 15 stories high and take over four hours to either fill or empty. Finally he told Celler he would make up his mind about Los Angeles by the end of this season, and there the matter rested when the committee adjourned.
The next session is set for Wednesday, July 10, when, presumably, the committee can get down to the business of inquiring into the relationship of professional baseball, basketball, football and hockey to the federal antitrust laws.
THE LAST ROUNDUP
The Shot-Riddled Jolly Roger of the International Boxing Club ( James D. Norris, president) still flies, though it must soon come down. This week Jim Norris swung his IBC cutlass for perhaps the last time, slicing 5% off Welterweight Champion Carmen Basilio's purse demand, and announced that Basilio and Sugar Ray Robinson will fight in September for Robinson's middleweight title. The fight will be in New York, at either the Polo Grounds or Yankee Stadium. Robinson's share will be 45% of everything, as he insisted all along it would be, and Basilio's will now be 20%.
It could be the best fight the IBC ever put on, the best New York has seen in many a year. Basilio vs. Robinson promises to be a fabulous spectacle, a magnificent fight, an enormous drawing card. The IBC will at least die a graceful death.
And it is interesting to note that in dying the IBC gives acknowledgment to the stimulating effects of competition on the boxing business. The terms, 65% for the fighters, are a cut above the usual division, and Norris might not have agreed to them if he could have had a heavyweight championship fight this summer. The upstart Emil Lence spoiled that hope. Now the nation's fans will see two heavyweight title fights, both non-IBC, and a middleweight championship bout this summer, a considerable improvement over last summer.
The IBC announcement was timed for a ploy. Proclaimed within an hour of the "formal" signing of the Floyd Patterson-Hurricane Jackson fight, it took some of the hoopla out of the heavyweight championship ballyhoo. But nothing could altogether smother the impact of a flaming scarlet sweat-band tied around The Hurricane's forehead ("to keep off The Curse") or Manager Lippe Breidbart's ringing declaration that his fighter would "tear Patterson from limb to limb."