Talking Baseball

April 09, 1985|BILL RITTER

The Atlanta Braves are touting their new marketing campaign for 1985: Get Mad. The ads feature slugger Dale Murphy breaking a baseball bat in two and pitcher Terry Forster taking an apple-sized bite from a baseball.

The theme should sound familiar: The San Diego Padres urged their fans to "Get Mad With the Padres" in 1983. It worked. The next year they captured the National League pennant.

Speaking of the national pastime, the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau is pushing an interesting statistic: Nearly 54.3 million people attended conventions in U.S. cities last year, compared to 44.7 million who attended major league baseball games and 13.4 million who were spectators at National Football League games.

Gaseous Delivery

Personal Resource Systems is trying to drum up attendance for its marketing convention this summer.

Its gimmick: The firm will mail today 2,000 helium-filled balloons to consultants across the nation.

At first, the Personal Resource staff reports, the Postal Service balked at mailing the helium balloons. But research showed that regulations do not prohibit mailing the helium and postal authorities were forced to comply.

Shakeups Galore

San Diego isn't exactly a staid business town, but it's not known for upheaval either.

But casual observers wouldn't know that from events of the past 10 days.

Consider that Walker-Scott will be bought by a Los Angeles retailer and top executives have resigned at Mobot, Cipher Data, Wavetek and M/A-Com.

Dialing Mobile Phones

As expected, the state Public Utilities Commission gave PacTel Mobile Access, a Costa Mesa subsidiary of the Pacific Telesis Group, permission to operate a cellular phone system in a 940-square-mile area stretching from Carlsbad to the Mexican border. Service is expected to begin this summer.

In addition, the PUC authorized PacTel Mobile Services, another Pacific Telesis subsidiary, to sell cellular service and equipment in the San Francisco Bay Area when the new system opens later this month.

Awaiting Judgment

Thomas Gaughan of Chula Vista still can't believe he was slapped with a contempt-of-court order by a federal judge in Detroit late last month. "The judge made a mistake because he didn't believe anything I said on the stand," Gaughan said Monday.

Nonetheless, Gaughan finds himself described as an "associate" of a Detroit woman who federal regulators charge defrauded hundreds of investors out of about $3.3 million. A suit by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the State of Michigan claims that the woman, Barbara A. Skorupskas, and two of her companies raised money in a typical "Ponzi" scheme, in which new investors' deposits are used to pay off previous investors.

An article late last month in the Wall Street Journal quotes the judge as ordering Skorupskas--a situation similar to the J. David & Co. imbroglio in San Diego--to "indicate the amount and the location of alleged hidden 'off-shore' funds." If she doesn't, she will be taken into custody and jailed until she complies.

Back in Chula Vista, Gaughan rejected the government's notion that his former colleague is a crook, but he conceded that he intentionally avoided a subpoena to testify, which led to his contempt citation.

A former commodity broker, Gaughan now is awaiting sentencing on his contempt citation. In the meantime, he is "not doing anything right now; I've given up being a commodity broker and don't know what I'll do next."

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