- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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DRUG CHARGES (CONT.)
?Dr. Berger's oblique reference to Roger Bannister was made not in his presentation to the American Medical Association group, but in the give-and-take of an impromptu press conference afterwards. When SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, cast in the role of go-between, read him Dr. Bannister's cable, Dr. Berger was quick to extend his hand across the sea and agree that Dr. Bannister "deserves an apology for an undeserved and unintended slight on his professional and athletic reputation."—ED.
BASEBALL: EXIT KRICHELL, WINKING
The truth is that Lou Gehrig was perhaps the most famous high school baseball player this nation has ever known. In those days there was an annual championship game between the best Chicago and New York high school teams. Gehrig was playing with the New York High School of Commerce against (I think) Lane Tech at the Cubs' ball park in Chicago. In the late innings, with the bases loaded, he hit a ball a mile over the right-field wall and won the game. Since very few big leaguers were performing that particular feat in that period, the excitement about young Gehrig was intense. I can still remember the seven-column streamer on the sports page of the Chicago Tribune, and the same thing was true in the New York papers. It was a sensation and every baseball scout and true fan in Christendom knew about it.
I also think I know why Krichell passed on the pretty story to the innocent baseball writers in later years. At that time the Yankees made a practice of picking up promising youngsters at high school age and financing them through college. It had to be done under the counter to preserve the college eligibility of the young fellows, but everybody knew about it. After two years, Gehrig wearied of the books and Columbia wearied of his academic marks. He decided to play ball professionally and full time. The Yankees couldn't admit they had signed him in high school, and Krichell propounded the Rutgers fable with a loud wink. What started as a gag became a legend. Krichell must have wondered each time he mentioned it how long he could keep it up and just how gullible sports-writers could get.
?Kyle Crichton, a former editor of Collier's and the dramatist of the current Broadway success The Happiest Millionaire is best known in his home town as the sharp first baseman of an everybody-welcome softball team that takes on all comers each Sunday in LIFE Photographer Bradley Smith's pasture.—ED.
BASEBALL: I'M WORRIED
Two simple rule changes would result in games being played in less than half the time the average game now takes.