Bring Your Own Glove
A large grin across his face, New York's Bill Shea told the world last week that the Continental League had settled on Buffalo as its eighth and final city. Organizer Shea admitted that sizable problems remain; for one, providing adequate stadiums (upward of 35,000 capacity) for each of the ball clubs; for another, "just and reasonable compensation" for any minor league franchises lost in the shuffle. But this would be handled in good time; what was important was that the Continental League had met Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick's primary requirement for membership in the majors—eight good cities and true.
Did the awarding of the Buffalo franchise mean, someone asked Shea, that the league was now ready to sign up a ballplayer if one walked through the door? "Does he have his own glove?" Shea joked. "Sure, we're ready. Any member of the league can now sign up ballplayers." Did Shea expect the cooperation of the Baseball Commissioner's office? "I always hope for the best," he said, a sudden frown extinguishing his grin.
"Understand this," Shea continued, "we've got the teams now and we'll have the ball parks by 1961. We're also ready to pay indemnities to anyone we put out of business."
What were the Continental League's plans for broadcasting and televising games? "Every club will make its own radio and TV commitments," Shea said, "but two-thirds of all the money will go to the league treasury. It will be used to help the clubs field equally skilled teams while the league is in the embryo stage." Donald Grant, representing the New York franchise, interrupted. "Bill," he said, "I think it would be wiser if we just said a substantial amount will go into the treasury. We haven't all agreed on the exact percentage yet." "Sure, Don, sure," Shea said. "We can say a substantial amount."
League President Branch Rickey turned the meeting back toward unqualified optimism. "It's quite a task getting a whole family of children all dressed up and ready to go to church," he said. "I was reminded of this while we were trying to fill the league's membership. You know you will have trouble going to church together, but you also know you will surmount the difficulties."
Rickey leaned back in his chair, took a contented puff on his cigar. "It was 60 years ago on this very date," he said, "that Ban Johnson announced his eight clubs and the American League held its first meeting. As of today, with the addition of Buffalo, we are officially launching the Continental League, and we believe our own future is even brighter."
How Not to Hire a Sprinter
American Colleges have made noteworthy progress in the subtle science of athletic subsidizing. But last week, like a dunce who had even forgotten his ABCs, South Carolina's Furman University was at the foot of the class.
Furman's bad marks stemmed from the clumsy way it tried to give away a track scholarship. The object of its affection was Dave Segal, a fairly talented British sprinter. Charles Rohe, the Furman track coach, first heard of the 22-year-old Segal last fall when, with a fistful of scholarships at his disposal, he wrote to people here and overseas, seeking leads on promising runners. His letter to a columnist for the London
skipped lightly over academic requirements and read, as it was published, like a want ad: "[The boy we want] should be about a 10.6-second man in the 100 meters or 9.8 or 9.9 in the 100-yard dash...a fine 440 or 400-meter man or low hurdler." Dave Segal, a 9.6 man in the 100-yard dash, applied. Coach Rohe wrote back he would meet Dave's plane.