Rizzuto And Tigers Please Quarterbacks
By Mill Marsh
Phil Rizzuto of the New York Yankees and Frank House, Earl Torgenson and Virgil Trucks of the Detroit Tigers all hit 1.000 at they batted at the speaker’s table last night at the Quarterback’s annual banquet at Barton Hills
There were other speakers including Spike Briggs, president of the Tigers; Mel Ott, broadcaster; Don Lund, Tiger scout and Jack Blott, Don Robinson, Wally Weber and Matt Patanelli of the Michigan grid coaching staff, but it was the Major League players who stole the show. Van Patrick, Tiger announcer, served as MC.
Each player was given some written questions to answer, prepared in advance.
Frank House admitted that Coach Billy Hitchcock changed his batting stance to make him a better hitter. "He opened up my stance a little and suddenly I found I was hitting better," said House.
House said that Frank Lary was the hardest Tiger pitcher to catch while Billy Hoeft was the easiest. Asked to name the opposing batters hardest to fool, House immediately named Ted Williams and George Kell. Asked to compare the American and National Leagues, Earl Torgeson, who has played in both, stated that he thought the American League had more good players this year and the National League the more outstanding players.
Torgy admitted that he was lucky landing with Detroit. "Why up in Boston where I played," said Torgenson, "nobody likes nobody. If the Lord was playing second base and hitting .750, they wouldn't even like him.”
Trucks, who is back with the Tigers again after being traded away for awhile, said that Detroit is by far the best city in baseball to play in. Trucks, who hurled two no-hitters, stated that his "biggest thrill" was being traded back to the Tigers.
Phil Rizzuto, who has been with the Yankees for 16 years and appeared in seven world series, brought down the house.
"The reason the Yanks are so good,” said Rizzuto, "is that they have always had an Italian on their team — Crosetti, DiMaggio, Lazzeri, Raschi or a Berra.
"You have to be good to play under Stengel.” he continued. "With him you get so used to winning that you hate to lose.”
Asked to compare Joe DiMaggio with Mickey Mantle. Rizzuto said: “DiMag will always be the greatest player I have ever seen In action. Mantle has the physical ability but lacks mental stability.”
Briggs disclosed that two or three groups had already deposited the necessary $250,000 with him in order to be considered as possible purchasers of the Tigers, but he failed to name the parties. He did indicate that Bill Veeck was interested but Bill hasn’t yet come up with the 250 grand.
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