NEWS AND NOTES
AL OLIVER WINCES AS RAIN FALLS AND WHY NOT?
AUGUST 21 (Milwaukee Journal) - Al Oliver winced as the rain came down in bucketfuls and so would you if you had Al Oliver's job. For Oliver of the Braves
grooms the baseball field at County Stadium
and there Wednesday night, sloshing around
infield mud and ripping up outfield grass were
Green Bay's and Pittsburgh's football bulls. It
will take a lot of doing, a lot of patching, to
restore the diamond for the Braves' return just
one week hence. The work started Thursday
morning - rolling, resodding, patching. And
there'll be grooming right up to the time the
club comes back. The job will be done, of
course, and the field will be ready, which is the
main thing. But the hazards of joint occupancy
by baseball and football in overlapping seasons
were seldom better shown...PRECEDENTS:
Actually, bearing in mind all that was involved,
the Shrine game should not have been played
Wednesday night. The Packers have as much
right to use a municipal field as the Braves, but
on a night like this there should have been
better judgment. A postponement till Thursday
was distinctly in order and exhibition football is
full of precedents. The threat of rain hung over
the humid city all day, the forecast promised
rain, and black skies built up most of the hot
afternoon. There was ample time to announce
a postponement. "Sure, we'd have been glad to
stay over an extra day," said Art Rooney who
owns the Steelers. "We've done it before." "We
were thinking of postponing it," said Herb
Mount, chairman of the Shrine Committee. "A
couple of years ago we had the same situation
but the clubs refused, so we didn't pursue it
any further." "Oh, we couldn't have possibly
postponed," said General Manager Verne
Lewellen of the Packers. "Too many out of
town people here." So the game was played
and nobody was really happy about it...MORE
THAN FIELD: There was more than the field involved in this, too. What is an exhibition for except to learn what men can do under fire? It was impossible to tell anything Wednesday night. Scooter McLean of the Pack and Buddy Parker of the Steelers know little more today than they did before the kickoff. And what do fans pay good money to see? Not this. The crowd of 17,294 suggested that in good weather the game would have drawn upward of 25,000. It was an excellent turnout considering conditions. Even in the rain, long queues lined up before the windows. The only winner was charity. One-third of the gate and all of the program revenue will go ti the Shrine's hospitals for crippled children. And wouldn't today have been a good day to play the game? Al Oliver thinks so, and so do a lot of others.
SCOOTER LOOKS AT FILMS, CAN'T TELL 'FRIEND' FROM FOE
AUGUST 22 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Scooter McLean's coming out party will have to be held all over again at Green Bay Labor Day. The Packers' debut under
the Scooter turned out to be a stuck-in-the-
muck affair as the heaviest rainstorm of the
season made the Stadium gridiron unplayable
Wednesday night. McLean returned to his St.
Norbert College retreat Thursday, still scraping
mud from his boots. He gave his 60-man squad
until midnight to forget about playing in the rain.
As far as that 3-0 defeat is concerned, it could
just have easily been a Packer victory. But it
really didn't matter. "Yes, I looked at the
pictures," McLean said, answering the first
question. "I couldn't tell one side from the other.
"No one knew who anyone was out there,"
Scooter continued. "It's too bad the game had
to be played under those conditions." McLean
was hesitant about cutting his squad. This first
preseason scrap was no proving ground. "But
we've got to get down to a more workable size,"
McLean said. "I'll have to make at least a half
dozen cuts this week." The Packers had
numerous chances to beat the Steelers.
Scooter pointed out that on a better field his
club could have easily scored. "If it had been a
good night, Tom Bettis would have scored when
he picked up that blocked punt," McLean said.
"But he had a hard time getting up off the
pitcher's mound." There were a few bright spots.
Scooter praised the play of his rookie defensive
line. He thought his All-Star boys, Dan Currie
and Ray Nitschke, did an excellent job backing
up the line. When asked why Joe Francis, the
quarterback star of the intrasquad game, didn't
play McLean answered: "It wasn't fair to let a
rookie quarterback play on a night like that. But
maybe we should have let him get a taste of
the defensive picture." End Max McGee, who
suffered a concussion in the intrasquad game,
was used very little. Scooter is not taking any chances with his veterans, and you can't blame him. Maxie had been conked on the head too often. But he's determined to not it let bother him. "You can't be gun-shy in this league," McGee said. Outside of getting a good mud bath, the squad came out without any serious injury. Mike Hudock, rookie center, reported a sore muscle in his side. While many a baseball fan wondered Thursday is the Stadium diamond would ever be restored to its well groomed self, Stadium Manager Bill Anderson said, it's not as damaged as most people think. "We could play baseball tonight," Anderson said. "The skin part of the infield dried out fast and was scraped and raked into shape. The worst part was the hips of the playing field, where the team's benches were set up. And there's a couple of spots behind second base where we'll have to re-sod." Anderson had 30 men working on the field Thursday. The crowd of 17,294 was most encouraging considering the heavy downpour. With better weather the count might have reached 30,000. It proved the Packers have a solid backing in Milwaukee. McLean must now wait until Labor Day to see what his boys can really do. They'll tackle a revamped Eagles in a 4:30 p.m.m game.
PACKERS PONDER PLAYER PROBLEM
AUGUST 22 (Green Bay) - Coach Ray (Scooter) McLean and his assistants viewed films and huddled on player cuts Friday. They must trim 17 players from the Green Bay Packers' roster in the next 10 days to conform with NFL rules. Right now, the Packers have 60 on their roster, including three men out with injuries - veteran tackle Jerry Helluin and rookies Harry Horton, an end from Wichita, and Earl Wayne Miller, a defensive back from Baylor. McLean said that he was heartened by some things he saw in the movies of the Packers' 3-0 defeat by Pittsburgh in the mud at Milwaukee Wednesday night.
AMUNDSEN DROPPED AS PACKERS CUT SIX
AUGUST 23 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers trimmed six players from their roster Saturday, including two Wisconsin men - guard Norm Amundsen, former University of Wisconsin star, and Willie Berzinski, halfback from La Crosse State. Amundsen made the team last year. Berzinski, former little All-American, was picked up as a free agent after playing with the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles. Others released Saturday included Doug Maison, quarterback from Hillside (Mich.) College; Ernie Cook, Toledo end; Joe Reese, Arkansas Tech end, and Esker Harris, UCLA linebacker. Maison was the Packers' seventh draft choice last winter; Cook, their 13th; Reese, 17th, and Harris, 25th. The Green Bay roster now includes 54 players. Coach Ray (Scooter) McLean must trim 11 more players by September 2. He may wait until after the exhibition game with the Philadelphia Eagles here Labor Day before making his final cut. The player limit for the league season, which opens here September 28 against the Chicago Bears, is 35.
KRAMER TO TEST KNEE WITH BAYS
AUGUST 24 (Green Bay) - Ron Kramer, the Packers' second leading pass receiver in his rookie year last season, will report to Coach Scooter McLean's camp Sunday to try out his knee. Kramer, who was the Packers' No. 1 draft choice, broke his leg December 8 against the Rams in Los Angeles and it was later discovered that ligaments were torn, too. The former Michigan All-American has been recuperating at Chicago after undergoing surgery last winter. It has been because of the knee that Kramer did not report to camp.
JOHNSON IS CUT BY GREEN BAY
AUGUST 26 (Green Bay) - Halfback Joe Johnson, a four year veteran of the NFL, was cut loose Tuesday by the Green Bay Packers. Johnson, former Boston College star, was drafted in 1953 and started playing with the Packers in 1954. Green Bay now has 54 players in camp, including Ron Kramer, who started workouts Sunday. The Packers must be down to 43 players by September 1 and 35 players by the time the season opens September 28.