Monday, June 13, 2011

MLB Update (1974 edition)

Well, I've decided to revise my Sports Illustrated plan. I've jumped ahead in Sports Illustrated history, in order to more closely align my 1974 reading with the current date. So, this weekend, I read the June 17, 1974, SI because it includes coverage of baseball games through June 8, 1974.

What a riveting lede that was.

Here's where things stood as of June 8.

LA 41-16 CIN 31-22 ATL 30-25
HOUS 29-28 SF 30-29 SD 22-39

In the National League West, Dodger Steve Yeager's streak of catching wins reached 28, and the Padres' record in one-run games improved to 13-4 (9-35 otherwise).

"Swooning, the Giants were 3-4," writes Jim Kaplan on Page 40 in "THE WEEK" column. "'We are a peaceable club,' said Outfielder Garry Maddox. 'We fight other teams ... but we're real friendly in the clubhouse. We play hard for each other. I don't understand why we don't win more.' Maddox might check across the Bay."

OAK 31-24 CHI 26-24 TEX 28-27
KC 26-27 CAL 25-31 MINN 22-28

A's feuding dominates the American League West section. Kaplan writes that several players are upset over the demotion of Pat Bourque, .286-hitting veteran first baseman, and that Reggie Jackson and Billy North brawled in Detroit (injuring Ray Fosse).

Later in this week's issue, Roy Blount Jr. has a wildly entertaining cover story on Jackson, which includes some compelling detail on one of Jackson's business involvements. "When UCLA's Bill Walton was looking for a relevant pro basketball team, United Development went to him with a proposal that would have built around him a new ABA franchise with, among other things, subsidized seating for poor fans, freedom for all players to sign with other teams after a year and a woman psychological coordinator who would have set up programs on the road so that players could, says Walker, 'go to the ghettos and work with kids instead of trying to see how many broads they could chase and how much trash they could smoke.' For signing, Walton would have received such bonuses as a 10-speed bicycle, a mountain house (provided he designed and built it himself with the help of experts and boys from the homes for delinquents) and a $1 million loan (on condition that he spend 20 hours a month working with the delinquent boys).'"

Meanwhile, in the Easts, ...

PHIL 30-26 ST. L 27-26 MONT 23-24
NY 23-31 CHI 29-29 PITT 19-32

BOS 29-25 MIL 28-23 BALT 26-27
CLEV 26-27 DET 26-27 NY 27-30

Kaplan, again from Page 40: "... Mickey Lolich completed his seventh straight game. With 19 strikeouts in two games, Fat Mickey increased his lifetime total to 2,412 and moved into 10th place on the alltime list."

And now I would like to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to Murray Arnold, former Western Kentucky University men's basketball coach, whom I once described in a college-newspaper feature as "portly" without even really considering that it might hurt his feelings. Not only was it a vague, useless description, it also was insensitive and unkind. Arnold was a heck of a nice guy to me (and a heck of a successful basketball coach), and he should've had me expelled.


  1. OK, according to the June 13, 1974, Middlesboro (Ky.) Daily News, the White Sox and Orioles are sliding, and Cleveland's Gaylord Perry has opened the season with 11 consecutive victories. It's a light Thursday-night schedule around the majors tonight. Evansville's Paul Splittorff (5-6) is on the hill for home-standing Kansas City against Milwaukee.

    In other Middlesboro news of June 13, 1974:

    -- There will be a Flag Day service in the Lodge Room of the Middlesboro Hotel tomorrow evening, and everyone's welcome.

    -- Ann Landers defends her discussing VD and homosexuality to "No Fan of Yours."

    -- Will's Sweet Shop at 2818 Cumberland Ave. is now baking doughnuts fresh daily from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

    -- Bill Anderson is playing Sunday, June 16, at Tombstone Junction, a mile west of Cumberland Falls on Ky. 90. Tickets are $1 and $2 (plus tax).

    -- Local rep Arthur E. Smith was among Metropolitan Life's top salespersons among a staff of 22,000 in the United States and Canada, and he's at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, N.C., this week for a company event.

    -- "For Sale: '52 Chevrolet bus. Good tires. '62 Engine. Will make good fishing bus. $300."

    -- NBC's Thursday-night lineup: Flip Wilson at 8 Eastern, Ironside at 9 and Dean Martin at 10.

  2. 3,028 heavily derided words at Wikipedia on Tombstone Junction.

  3. I would actually nominate 1974 as one of the all-time worst years in U.S. history, but I am loving your coverage.

  4. Splitorff and the Royals won, and so did Jim Barr and the Giants, 1-0 over the Cubs. The AP roundup in the Middlesboro Daily News of June 14, 1974, says that Barr is 20-28 in three seasons since San Francisco signed the former University of Southern California star (where he was a teammate of another Giant, Dave Kingman).

    More from Middlesboro:

    -- The Winchester Big K is reportedly leading a statewide campaign to roll back Sunday-closing laws.

    -- Middlesboro's landmark Manring Theatre burned overnight. "The building was constructed around the turn of the century and has been the scene of not only movies but of stage productions that span the gamut from Vaudeville to appearances by Saturday matinee cowboy idols," News editor Walt Johnson wrote. "Among the noted entertainers who appeared at the Manring during the early days of their careers were Tom Mix and his horse, Tony, and country music stars Roy Acuff and Chet Atkins. The movie had been closed and not in operation for about three years. During its early years of operation, the movie had been the scene of long lines of movie goers waiting to purchase tickets. However, in the Sixties, interest dropped off and it experienced only brief periods of popularity. It was closed for remodeling and never reopened in late 1970."

    -- The Rosa D-I Theatre is rolling right along in Middlesboro, however. It promises "2 'R' Rated Hits!" tonight: The Virgin Witch and Man From Deep River.

    -- It turns out that Bugs Bunny has what appears to be normally a pretty cushy job at a paper-clip manufacturer that is called "Schnoogle Clip" and that is completely dependent on the functioning of one computer.