11. Cavaliers—They want a shooting guard, and Temple's Mark Macon is the obvious choice.
A Man of Character
Happy Chandler was the players' commissioner
A.B. (Happy) Chandler, who died last week at 92, was baseball's second commissioner and easily its most colorful. In 1945 he gave up a U.S. Senate seat from Kentucky to become commissioner after the death of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis. He took the job for both love and money; it paid $50,000 a year, a nice raise from his $10,000 Senate salary.
As a young man in the early 1920s, Chandler was a pitcher on a semipro team, the Lexington Reos, and one of his teammates was Earle Combs, who went on to become the center-fielder on the legendary New York Yankee teams of the '20s. "Earle always laughed at me," Chandler once recalled. "Said I couldn't hit." Maybe not, but Chandler would join Combs in baseball's Hall of Fame in '82.
Chandler's plaque in Cooperstown calls him "the players' commissioner," and he was. One of his most significant accomplishments was signing baseball's first TV contract on the condition that much of the revenue go to the players' pension fund.
But Chandler's greatest contribution was the role he played in breaking the color barrier. As he told the story, the owners had a secret meeting in the winter of 1947 and voted 15-1 against letting the Brooklyn Dodgers put Jackie Robinson on their roster. Soon after that, Dodger G.M. Branch Rickey traveled to Versailles, Ky., to enlist the commissioner's support. Chandler told Rickey to go ahead with his plan to call up Robinson. "I figured that someday I'd have to meet my Maker and that He'd ask me why I didn't let that boy play," Chandler once said. "I was afraid that if I told Him it was because he was black, that wouldn't be sufficient."
—WILLIAM F. REED
Grand jury: No evidence that Dan Fouts was shot
For a year and a half, two San Diego County grand juries investigated charges of corruption in the San Diego police department, including an allegation that Charger quarterback Dan Fouts was shot in 1983 and that the police covered up the incident (SCORECARD, July 30, 1990). According to a story last July in The San Diego Union, former Charger running back Chuck Muncie testified that Fouts had been shot. Fouts has denied being shot, and police have denied any wrongdoing.
Last week the grand jury issued its findings: "The weight of the evidence supports the conclusion that a Charger player was not shot and that therefore San Diego Police officers did not participate in any 'cover up' of such an incident." A new grand jury will be convened on July 1, but it is unlikely that it will reexamine Muncie's allegations.
The National throws in the towel after 16 months