BASS OF BASSES
A news story out of Birmingham last week reported the death of George W. Perry, 61, in a plane crash on a mountain near the city. The story confined itself to details of the accident, noting only that Perry, who was the proprietor of a flying service in Brunswick, Ga., had been delivering a plane to a customer when he was killed.
Unmentioned was the fact that George Washington Perry was an almost legendary name to millions of anglers all because of something he did one day more than 40 years ago. On June 2, 1932, when Perry was only 19, he went fishing on Montgomery Lake in Georgia. According to the annals of the Bass Anglers Sportsmen Society, of which he was a life member, he had no success all morning. But in the afternoon that suddenly changed. He cast a plug, a Creek Chub Wiggle Fish, toward a half-submerged dead tree. "I thought I'd hooked a log," Perry recalled not long ago. "It was heavy and cumbersome." The cumbersome log proved to be an enormous largemouth bass. Perry eventually boated it, and he and a friend took the fish into town and weighed it on a grocer's scale. He later submitted the verified weight in a regional
Field & Stream
contest and learned, to his considerable surprise, that he had a world record for largemouth bass. That record, an awesome 22 pounds 4 ounces, stood for the rest of his life. What happened to the massive fish? Well, 1932 was a Depression year. Perry and his family ate it.
LEVEL BUSINESS HEAD
When Henry Ford began mass-producing automobiles more than half a century ago, his basic idea was to sell a lot of cars for a little money: in sum, low price, big volume, plenty profit. Professional sport in this country likes the big-volume and high-profit part of Ford's philosophy, but it has long since abandoned low price—in most cases, anyway. But then we have Walter O'Malley's Los Angeles Dodgers, the best franchise in baseball and possibly in professional sport. When O'Malley moved his Dodgers from Brooklyn to California in 1958, ticket prices in the Coliseum, where the Dodgers played until their new stadium was built, ranged from 75� to $3.50. When Dodger Stadium opened in 1962 special club-level and dugout-level seats were priced at $5.50, but other tickets remained the same. This year, the Dodgers' 17th in Los Angeles and their 13th in their stadium (which, incidentally, was financed by the team, not the city), the price scale incredibly is still the same: 75� to $3.50, except for those special boxes. Other pro teams in Los Angeles have followed the national trend. The cheapest seat for Ram football has gone from $2.50 in 1960 to $4; Laker basketball, $2 to $4 in 1960, is now $4.25 to $7.50.
The explanation? "Mr. O'Malley is very happy with our attendance," says Red Patterson, a Dodger public-relations man. "When you average two million a season, you've got to believe our fans like things the way they are. We intend to hold the line on ticket prices." Henry Ford would have understood.