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BIPARTISAN, MY LAUREL WREATH
SO LONG TO A SHRINE
Hardy's, a driving range and pitch 'n' putt golf course in North Dallas, is one of the improbable shrines of sport. It was at Hardy's in 1954 that 14-year-old Lee Trevino took a job mowing the greens, washing balls and performing other chores. And it was there that he first displayed his vaunted talents, winning bets by whipping disbelieving opponents while using a Dr Pepper bottle as a club on the par-3 course or by hitting the 100-yard sign—"Which zero do you want me to go for?"—on the driving range. After working at Hardy's on and off for a decade, Trevino went on to fry bigger fish, but he wasn't one to forget his roots. He still hung out at Hardy's when he was in town, and he remains a friend of its owner, Hardy Greenwood, with whom he is associated in a Dallas golf shop.
Now, after 35 years in business, Hardy's is no more. Apartment buildings and shopping centers have been going up in the neighborhood, and the owners of the land on which Hardy's was located recently told Greenwood they wanted to use the site for a new apartment complex. The other day Greenwood closed the doors forever and threw a farewell party, which Trevino attended. During the festivities an unwitting newcomer to Dallas phoned and expressed interest in making a golfing pilgrimage to the course Lee Trevino had put on the map. He got the news about Hardy's closing directly from Trevino, who happened to pick up the receiver. Surprised to be talking to his hero, the caller said, "Hardy's might be going out, but they're damn well going out in style."
Outfielder Dave Engle of the Toledo Mud Hens has won the International League batting championship, but it certainly wasn't easy. Going into the last of the ninth inning of a season-ending 6-1 road victory over the Pawtucket (R.I.) Red Sox, Engle had already made what turned out to be his final plate appearance of the year and trailed Pawtucket Third Baseman Wade Boggs, .3067 to .3070, in a real cliff-hanger of a race. It appeared that the only way Engle could yet win the title was if Boggs batted in the last of the ninth and made an out. If Boggs got a hit or didn't have an official at bat, he would win. There was every chance he wouldn't get to the plate because three other Red Sox players were scheduled to bat ahead of him. And even if one of them got on base, Boggs could always be removed for a pinch hitter.
Now follow closely, please. The first two Pawtucket hitters were quickly retired, and in hope of bringing Boggs to the plate, thereby keeping teammate Engle's chances alive, Toledo Pitcher Wally Sarmiento walked Pawtucket's Ray Boyer on four pitches. The Providence Journal-Bulletin's Angelo Cataldi described the pitches as being "barely within the Pawtucket city lines." Given Sarmiento's rather unsporting gambit, it was to Boggs' credit that he chose to bat instead of yielding to a pinch hitter. "I wanted to win it with a hit," he later explained. "I didn't want to pull any of that stuff." In view of that commendable impulse, Boyer was guilty of a rather misguided attempt to extend Boggs a favor when he then did everything in his power to get himself thrown out stealing, which would have ended the game. But the Mud Hens allowed Boyer to steal second, third and home virtually unchallenged as the count on Boggs went to 2-2. (It apparently never occurred to Boyer to end the game by simply running out of the base paths.) Boggs then grounded out to first base, ending both the game and the season and dropping his batting average just enough for Engle to win the title, .3067 to .3062. Given the circumstances of his victory, Engle—to his credit—was properly sheepish about the outcome. "I wouldn't mind at all if they just declared us co-winners." he said.