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Over the Years Baseball Owners Developed Players' Mentality

April 11, 1991|CHRIS BAKER

A 1952 Mickey Mantle baseball card recently brought $49,500 at an auction, which was $39,000 more than Mantle earned that year.

But Mantle doesn't think he was underpaid.

"I'd never seen that much money in my life," he told Glenn Sheeley of the Atlanta Journal and Constitution. "My dad wasn't even making $5,000 (a year) working in the mines in those days."

Mantle, whose highest salary was $125,000, said: "Roger Clemens makes that in one game. When I played the players were dumb. Now the owners are."

Trivia time: When USC's Mazio Royster rushed for 1,168 yards last season, it was the 19th 1,000-yard season for a USC runner, equaling the record of what school?

Can't find the hoop: Hoops, the Washington Bullet mascot, vanished after being ejected from a recent game by referee Steve Javie for inciting a crowd at the Capital Centre.

Team officials were dumbfounded.

"We don't know what has happened to Hoops," publicist Rick Moreland said. "I've spent a good part of the weekend trying to contact him and haven't had any luck."

Fair compensation? After leading Ohio State's basketball team to the Big Ten Conference co-championship and the sweet 16, basketball Coach Randy Ayers received an $8,000 bonus.

Buckeye football Coach John Cooper received a $9,200 bonus after his team finished fifth with a 7-4-1 record that included a 23-11 loss to Air Force in the Liberty Bowl.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Cooper's $110,400 contract calls for him to receive a one-month salary bonus for coaching Ohio State to a bowl game, unless the game is played on Jan. 1, in which case he receives a two-month salary bonus.

Ayers' $93,120 contract calls for him to receive a $2,000 bonus if Ohio State wins the Big Ten title and an additional $2,000 for each NCAA game played.

Ayers said he doesn't think he's being treated unfairly.

"If I do the right things for the program, Ohio State will take care of me. I get a very generous salary. I have no problems with what I'm being paid."

The game must go on: When a torrential rainstorm hit Barcelona the night before the city was scheduled to play host to the first World League of American Football game on ABC-TV, the team owner, Josef Maria Figueras, asked to postpone the game, reasoning that soccer matches are postponed in bad weather.

Mike Lynn, WLAF commissioner, then explained that American football games aren't postponed, especially when they are scheduled to be played on network TV in the United States.

Barcelona, expected to draw poorly, drew a crowd of 20,000. Not only did the fans show up, they were enthusiastic, chanting "Ole!"

Island holiday: Fiji has declared next Monday a national holiday as a tribute to its rugby team, which won tournaments this season in Hong Kong, Scotland and Australia.

"The Hong Kong final was a spectacular victory for Fiji but was also a tremendous boost for our country's image," said Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, information minister.

It had to happen: When Rick Cerone stepped to the plate with one out in the ninth inning and the New York Mets trailing the Philadelphia Phillies, 1-0, on Tuesday, announcer Tim McCarver insisted the Mets should pinch-hit for Cerone.

But Cerone, in his first at-bat for the Mets, hit a home run to send the game into extra innings. Hubie Brooks' homer in the 10th won the game.

Trivia answer: North Carolina.

Quotebook: Kevin Hickey after being waived by the Baltimore Orioles: "I'm so upset, they might as well take a K-48 and drive it through my heart. I might as well lay down and let the bus roll over me."

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