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Morning Briefing

It Was All So Simple in Old Days

September 28, 1987

Ken Denlinger of the Washington Post noted that labor negotiations were simpler in 1930s when free spirit Johnny Blood was playing in the National Football League.

Blood, a future Hall of Famer, was lured from the Pottsville Maroons by the Green Bay Packers, with an offer of $100 a game.

As a bonus, Green Bay Coach Curly Lambeau offered Blood an extra $10 a game if he agreed to stop drinking the Tuesday before each game.

"Make it Wednesday," Blood said.

Wednesday it was.

Said Houston Chronicle columnist Al Carter in the midst of the scuffed-ball and corked-bat controversies at the Astrodome: "Where else can you go to watch major league baseball and have the Southwest Conference break out?"

Mike Ditka, interviewed by the Chicago Tribune about the strike, suggested that the paper could learn more from his father, Michael Ditka, a former official of the Transport Workers Local in Aliquippa, Pa.

"I think you should call him on the phone and talk to him," said Ditka. "That would be interesting."

So the paper did.

Said Michael Ditka: "Mike is big enough to answer for himself. What the hell's the matter with him telling people to call here. I don't need the publicity."

Add Strike: Tony Scavongelli, a bartender at the Bull and Finch Pub in Boston, said business was so slow the bartenders were drinking more than the customers.

"I was on the wagon for a while, and all I have to do now is drink," he said. "The other bartender and I are thinking of bringing a class-action suit. We're both law students."

Trivia Time: Name the winners of the four major golf tournaments this year. (Answer below.)

Trivia Trap: If somebody wants to bet that three different baseball franchises have drawn more than 3 million fans a year, don't fall for it. Along with the New York Mets, who made it Sunday, and the Dodgers, the Tokyo Giants also have drawn that many.

46 Years Ago Today: Boston's Ted Williams, assured of hitting .400 with an average of .39955, refused to sit out the final day, a doubleheader against Philadelphia. "If I'm going to be a .400 hitter, I want to have more than my toenails on the line," he said.

In the first game, he went 4 for 5 to raise his average to .404. Still refusing to rest on his laurels, he played the second game and went 2 for 3 to finish with a .406 average.

Trivia Answer: Larry Mize (Masters), Scott Simpson (U.S. Open), Nick Faldo (British Open), Larry Nelson (PGA).

Quotebook

Tim McCarver, New York Mets announcer, when rain started falling during a game: "We've had more rain delays than Noah."

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