Mondays With Murray: He Could Have Had More Than Garden of Roses

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5, 1989, SPORTS

Copyright 1989/THE TIMES MIRROR COMPANY

JIM MURRAY

He Could Have Had More Than Garden of Roses

For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: “It might have been!” — JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER

  I was reminded anew of the poet’s lament the other day. I was interviewing this fellow for whom it all went a-glimmering years ago.

  You remember that scene in “On the Waterfront,” where Marlon Brando takes his brother’s hand reproachfully off his arm, looks at him with these big sad eyes and says “I coulda been a contendah! I coulda been somebody!”

  Well, that’s kind of what it was like. Sad. Heart-rending.

  Years ago, this fellow — I will call him George, although I think his nickname was Slick back in those days — was the silkiest-fielding first baseman you ever saw. He could go to mondaysmurray2his right, he could go to his left. You couldn’t throw the ball over him or under him. He had a gun for an arm. He wore the latest thing in equipment, a George McQuinn-model mitt called the Claw.

  He played for Yale but the scouts came around by the score. They hadn’t seen anything this slick around the bag since Hal Chase, Joe Judge, Joe Kuhel. His own idol was Lou Gehrig.

   He had missed a couple of years as a fighter pilot in the Second World War but that only meant he was more mature, steadier, more reliable, not given to anxiety. He could have been great.

 Around first base, he was a combination of Frank Merriwell and Dink Stover. Flawless, graceful, sure-handed. He was left-handed, which is what a first baseman should be.

  At the bat, for some unaccountable reason, he hit right. Maybe it was ideological.

  Whatever it was, he couldn’t hit the curveball.

  Well, look. That can be learned, right? Not everybody rolls out of bed with the ability to hit .350. Not everybody is Ty Cobb. George batted .264 his senior year and helped Yale get to the College World Series, no less.

 Everyone figured a few seasons at Binghamton and Newark and it would be Yankee-Stadium-here-we-come! I mean, the good life. Old Dependable. The new Iron Horse.

  Well, we all know how those things work out. Wife, child. You need a job. You put the dreams on hold.

   Then they want you to go into the family business. Well, in this case, the family business was politics. George’s father was a U.S. Senator. Duty called.

  There was no time to iron out the kinks in the swing, spend the hours in the batting cage, go for the brass ring. It was the salt mines for him. He never got to wear the Yankee pinstripes; he wore the three-piece kind. With the old school tie.

  It was speeches on the hustings, handshakes from the backs of trains, smoke-filled rooms, a stint in the oil business. He had to put away the old uni, hang up the George McQuinn glove, put the old lineup cards in a trunk. Just another guy who never made it to the bigs.

  Oh, he’s not starving, or hanging around bars, telling guys how he went 4-for-5 off Hubbell or took Allie Reynolds downtown.

  He lives in this big white house on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. He has a chauffeur. He has his own airplane. In fact, he has his own air force.

  But, he makes — what? $200,000 a year? Something like that. You think Don Mattingly would play for that? Will Clark makes that in a month.

  In case the guys he used to rob of hits down the line or make the 3-6-3 double play have lost track of him, he has done all right. I mean, it’s not like being the All-Star first baseman or having a locker in Yankee Stadium or your own bubble-gum card but George found work all right.

  He’s the President of the United States.

  Now, that’s an OK job for a guy who was the president of the debating club, or the campus wheeler-dealer. But, George Herbert Walker Bush could have been somebody. He could have been in a lineup with Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra, Billy Martin.

  Casey Stengel could have been yelling at him: “Hey, Bush! Is that a name or a description? Don’t the Yales throw curveballs?”

  Life could have been a blast.

  You know, when the President of the United States calls, you drop everything and go. I mean, you never know. He may need you. It’s well known that I know exactly what to do about Noriega, the Middle East, the balance of trade. I could handle the Soviets in my sleep.

  I know he’d want to keep my visit a secret. So I slept at the J.W. Marriott instead of the Lincoln bedroom. No use letting Sam Donaldson get wind of it.

  I like it that people don’t know that I’m an expert on international relations.

  They even did a good job of pretending not to know who I was at the White House’s northwest gate, as usual. It was roped off when I got there. The president of Egypt was just leaving.

  There were about 10 of us sportswriter-sportscaster types on hand. I was pretty sure I was the only one who knew what to do about Angola, though.

  With Presidents, you try the oblique approach, though. I cleared my throat. “Mr. President, what did you bat at Yale?” I didn’t want to rush things. Plenty of time to get into Lebanon.

  Well, when I tell you the next 40 minutes were spent in discussing baseball, you have to know our President is a master of camouflage — don’t forget, he used to be head of the CIA — or, and here is the conclusion I came to, he still thinks wistfully of what might have been. He’d rather be running the World Series than the world.

  There have been lots of football players in the White House — Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford. Even a tennis player, Woodrow Wilson, a rail-splitting champion, Abe Lincoln, and a horseback rider-boxer, Teddy Roosevelt. But, there has never been a baseball player.

  It suddenly occurred to me, the President enjoyed the sensation of being asked by a lot of guys with notebooks things like, “What kind of a pitch did you hit?” “Why didn’t you swing at that fastball?”

  He was just like a guy sitting in front of his locker with a beer meeting the sporting press after a game in which he’d just gone 4-for-4— or popped up Ball 4 to lose the game.

  So if you’re stuck in a 9-to-5 job you hate, if you have to run the family business when you would rather run the Dodgers, take heart. George Bush, who was one of the best there ever was at digging out low throws and taking the cutoff to throw the guy out at the plate, spends all day talking to people who never even heard of Lou Gehrig.

  Nicaragua never came up. When someone wanted to know if the government should step into baseball expansion, the President gave the idea short shrift. There are a lot of things wrong with the country, but the Chicago Cubs ain’t one of them, seemed to be his notion.

  And the prisoner of Pennsylvania Avenue was hustled off to talk about the bustout in East Germany. You had the feeling he’d rather stay and talk about the 1953 Yankees. After all, if it weren’t for a lousy break here and there, he could have been one of them. He could have been a star.

Reprinted with the permission of the Los Angeles Times

Jim Murray Memorial Foundation, P.O. Box 60753, Pasadena, CA 91116

Mondays With Murray: In This Corner, With the Pen, is the New Guy

On Feb. 12, 1961, the Los Angeles Times introduced its readers to the new guy — James (Jim) Patrick Murray. He wasn’t a call-up from the minor leagues. He had been honing his craft at places like the Los Angeles Examiner, Time and Life magazines and Sports Illustrated for many years. Jim was very familiar with L.A.; he had covered Hollywood for Time and Life.

For the next 37 years, sports fans from Los Angeles and beyond would form a long-lasting relationship with Jim. Some loved him, some hated him . . . but they all read him.

It all started on that Sunday in February 1961 with today’s column — In This Corner, With The Pen, is the New Guy. If Helen of Troy was the “face that launched a thousand ships” these were the words that launched a million laughs, smiles, frowns, tears and scowls.

ENJOY!

-——

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 1961, SPORTS

Copyright 1961/THE TIMES MIRROR COMPANY

JIM MURRAY

In This Corner, With the Pen, is the New Guy

  I have been urged by my friends — all of whom mean well — to begin writing in this space without introducing myself, as if I have been standing here all the while only you haven’t noticed. But I don’t think I’ll do that. I think I’ll start off by telling you a little about myself and what I believe in. That way, we can start to fight right away.

  First off, I am against the bunt in baseball — unless they start bunting against the ball John McCraw batted against. The last time the bunt won a game, Frank Chance was a rookie.

  I think the eight-point touchdown has had it. It’s added nothing to the game unless, of course, you count the extra bookkeeping.

  I’m glad the Rams traded Billy Wade. I won’t say Billy was clumsy, but on the way back mondaysmurray2from the line of scrimmage with the ball he bumped into more people than a New York pickpocket. I have seen blockers make ball carriers look bad. Wade was the only ball carrier I ever saw make the blockers look bad. Those poor guys were getting cross-eyed trying to look for him out of both corners of their eyes. They never knew which way he went.

  The play usually ended up with some mastodon of a defensive end holding Billy upside down by the heels and shaking him. Like a father with a kid who’s just swallowed a quarter. Billy gave up more ground, faster, than Mussolini at the end of the war. The Chicago Bears better put his shoes on backward or he’ll dance right out of that little ballpark of theirs. I expect him to be the only quarterback ever tackled for a loss in the seats.

  I think Jim Brosnan is the best writer in baseball. I think Cincinnati would be gladder if he were the best pitcher.

  I know what’s wrong with Eisenhower’s golf swing but I’ll be cussed if I can figure out what to do with that spasm of mine. (Ike lifts his left leg; I think I leave my feet altogether.).

  I’d like once more (if Jimmy Cannon will pardon me) to see Elroy Hirsch and Tommy Fears going out on a pass pattern and looking back for a Waterfield pass. Throw in Jimmy David on defense and I’ll pay double. David was the only guy I ever saw who could maim a guy while pretending to help him up.

  I hope Steve Bilko has lost weight. The last time I saw him in the Coliseum, the front of him got to the batter’s box full seconds before the rest of him. If he were batting left-handed, part of him would be halfway to first base before the pitch came in. Even then, the umpire could beat him down there.

  I don’t think anyone should be surprised at the disappointing showing of our Olympians in the ’60 Games. There is an old adage, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” So our boys did. The coaches didn’t like it, but the girls did.

  I think almost every pitcher in the big leagues has a good spitball but I prefer to see Lew Burdette load one up for the batter in a tight situation and then make believe he’s only wiping his chin. The only way you can be sure the ball is wet is if the ump calls for it and Lew rolls it to him.

  I think the Washington Huskies football players were more enterprising than a bunch of Dead-End Kids in an empty candy store. But I still think the guys who are beating Minnesota over the head for claiming (correctly) that it had an edge in the second half in the Rose Bowl are the same guys who would be crying “Washington was robbed” if the roles were reversed in that game.

  I have been held up to you as somewhat of a joke athletically, but I want you to know I had one superlative as a college freshman baseball player. I was the most nervous right fielder our team ever had. Our coach, Ralph Erickson, had only four fingers on his right hand and the prevailing theory was he had the regulation five until he saw us and started biting his nails. I caught a fly once and got so carried away I almost decapitated our first baseman on the throw-in. As I remember the first baseman, it wouldn’t have affected his play much. He didn’t use his head a great deal.

  I won’t say the kids today are softies but I’d like to see them learn to play Little League with the ball I had to play with. This was a “dime rocket,” the cover of which came off after the first solid hit and it had to be wrapped in thick friction tape. I’d like to see Duke Snider throw it out of the Coliseum. In fact, I’d like to see him hit it past the pitcher’s mound on the fly. I have bowled with lighter balls.

  I was gratified by the reaction to the announcement Jim Murray was to write a sports column, an immediate and interested “Who??!” Mel Durslag did throw a bouquet, though. I’ll read the card as soon as I take the brick out.

  I came to Los Angeles in 1944 (the smog and I hit town together and neither one of us has been run out, despite the best efforts of public-spirited citizens) and my biggest sports disappointment was the 1955 Swaps-Nashua race, which I helped arrange. I have never believed Bill Shoemaker was property tied on his mount that day when they sprang the barrier. But I will ask Bill — and believe what he says because his next lie will be his first.

  I really don’t understand why the Angels haven’t signed up Bob Kelley to do their broadcasts. He’s the only guy in town who can prevent Vin Scully from throwing a shutout.

  I hope Bill Hartack, the jockey, continues to take himself off sore horses. I know it irks the stewards but I’d rather have them sore than the horses — especially if I’m betting on the race because if there’s one sore horse in the field, I’m usually on him, handicapping it all the way.

  I couldn’t tell from that letter of Billy Wade’s whether Don Paul wanted Waterfield’s job or just wanted him to eat in his restaurant.

  Every sportswriter is expected to make a prediction and because I would like to leave the game ahead, I will predict the Angels will not win the pennant — this year, anyway. On the other hand, the way they have been messing around with baseball, they just might change the game to loball. Then, the Angels would be a threat. Just my luck.

Reprinted with the permission of the Los Angeles Times

Jim Murray Memorial Foundation, P.O. Box 60753, Pasadena, CA 91116

———

What is the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation? 

  The Jim Murray Memorial Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, established in 1999 to perpetuate the Jim Murray legacy, and his love for and dedication to his extraordinary career in journalism. Since 1999, JMMF has granted 104 $5,000 scholarships to outstanding journalism students. Success of the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation’s efforts depends heavily on the contributions from generous individuals, organizations, corporations, and volunteers who align themselves with the mission and values of the JMMF.

Like us on Facebook, and visit the JMMF website, www.jimmurrayfoundation.org.

——

A dozen years ago, Linda McCoy-Murray compiled a book of Jim Murray’s columns on female athletes (1961-1998). While the book is idle waiting for an interested publisher, the JMMF thinks this is an appropriate year to get the book on the shelves, i.e., Jim Murray’s 100th birthday, 1919-2019.  

Our mission is to empower women of all ages to succeed and prosper — in and out of sports — while entertaining the reader with Jim Murray’s wit and hyperbole.  An excellent teaching tool for Women’s Studies.

Proceeds from book sales will benefit the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization providing sports journalism scholarships at universities across the country.

Mondays With Murray: Frustrations of Past Count for Something

The NFL has just completed its 100th season. The NFL and Jim Murray were the same age — Jim would have been 100 in December. In honor of Andy Reid’s first Super Bowl victory and the 100th season of the NFL, we bring you a column Jim wrote on Dec. 27, 1988, in which he writes about another head coach who spent 22 years chasing a ring, only to never get it . . . Chuck Knox. Knox passed away on May 12, 2018, at the age of 86.

——

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 27, 1988, SPORTS

Copyright 1988/THE TIMES MIRROR COMPANY

JIM MURRAY

Frustrations of Past Count for Something

  It has no doubt come to your attention that the people most of us consider the eminent historians of our day — the poets of the press box, the knights of the keyboard, the sporting press — have come to the conclusion that the current crop of National Football League playoff teams constitutes an unworthy cast. They are prepared to dispense a flop mondaysmurray2production, devoid of stars, weak in drama. It won’t play Broadway and needs a complete second-act rewrite.

  I mean, we no longer have the Lombardi Packers, the Halas Monsters of the Midway, the Baugh Redskins, the Jim Brown Browns, the Unitas Colts. What we get are a lot of earnest young athletes flawed by the league policy of pulling everyone down to the lowest common denominator, parity.

  Parity is like satire, which in the words of one eminent showman, is what closes on Saturday nights.

 But, it is the notion here that parity on the playing field is not what’s wrong with today’s tournaments. It’s the coaching that ain’t what it used to be.

  Consider not the offensive and defensive platoons on the field or the special teams, consider the leadership on the sidelines.

  Check the AFC. When the final five took their positions at the end of the regular season, these were the five head men on the sidelines: Jerry Glanville of the Houston Oilers, Marty Schottenheimer of the Cleveland Browns, Sam Wyche of the Cincinnati Bengals and Marv Levy of the Buffalo Bills.

  See any Vince Lombardis in there? Where are the Tom Landrys, Don Shulas? Where are the likes of Papa Halas, Weeb Ewbank, Bud Grant, George Allen, Hank Stram? Where’s the big-game experience here?

  You will notice I left out the name of the other AFC coach in the shootout, Chuck Knox. That’s because Chuck Knox is a throwback coach. He belongs in the context of the names of great mentors of football’s past.

  The gamblers say his team doesn’t belong in this postseason crapshoot. I’m not so sure. In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. In the kingdom of the halt, the man who can ride rules.

  Chuck Knox may be the only one in the AFC eliminations with legitimate big-game experience. Knox has been there, as they say. He could be the one on horseback here.

  Chuck Knox is probably the best-coach-who-never-went-to-the-Super-Bowl. And, there’s the rub.

  Chuck Knox is to the Super Bowl what Sam Snead was to a U.S. Open, or Ernie Banks to a World Series. He deserved one, he never got one.

  When Chuck Knox came to the Rams for his first head coaching job, 15 years ago, the league thought it had the new Rockne. His first season was 12-2 (the team had been 6-7-1 the year before). His teams were smart, hard-hitting, resourceful, they didn’t beat themselves. They lost the two games by a total of three points. They were eliminated by the more experienced Staubach-Landry Cowboys in the playoffs, but they chalked that up to a learning process. There’d be plenty of Super Bowls to come.

  Except, there weren’t. The next season, the Rams won the division again (they won it every year Knox coached them) and won the first playoff game (beating the Redskins, 19-10).

  Then came the championship game against the Vikings in frigid Minnesota. Late in the game, with the score Minnesota 14, Rams 10, the Rams had the ball on the Viking 6-inch line. That’s as in a half-a-foot.

  The Vikings’ Alan Page jumped offside to beat the snap. That’s smart football when you can only lose three inches in penalty (half the distance to the goal line).

  Only, the umpire rules that the Rams’ interior lineman, Tom Mack, had moved first.

  The penalty was catastrophic. The Rams were moved back out of line-plunge distance and had to try a pass. It was intercepted. Bye-bye Super Bowl. Minnesota goes.

  To this day, Chuck Knox and Tom Mack insist the Rams lineman never moved. They have the film to prove it. “He never even breathed,” Knox was to say.

  Two years later, the Rams are in Minnesota again. Temperature: 11 degrees at game time.

  The Rams rip through Minnesota as if the Vikings weren’t there. They again have the ball inside the Viking 1. On fourth down, they inexplicably go for a field goal. Minnesota blocks it and defensive back Bobby Bryant scoops it up and runs 99 yards for a touchdown. There goes that Super Bowl.

  The next season, the Rams get a break. The playoff game against Minnesota is not only at home but Minnesota’s quarterback, Fran Tarkenton, is hurt.

  Except, the day-after-Christmas, the worst rainstorm of the year hits. The field is a quagmire. The Rams’ runners perish in it like woolly mammoths in a tar pit.

  Will Chuck Knox ever win a Super Bowl? Will he ever even get to one?

  Whatever fates control the Super Bowl, they have it in for Chuck Knox. Three of the five years he coached the Rams, they played for the Super Bowl. Three of the five, they lost.

  It would give anyone a complex. In sports, it gives rise to that kiss of death — he-can’t-win-the-big-ones.

  Maybe one of those other coaches in this year’s tournament will win it because, like a guy taking up golf, they don’t know how tough it is, yet.

  Chuck Knox knows how tough it is. The gamblers don’t like his chances. Maybe, the gods don’t, either.

  Chuck Knox can be pardoned by going into the playoffs like a guy waiting for a shoe to drop, or listening for a noise in the attic. On the other hand, none of the AFC coaches he has to face to get to Miami reminds you of Pop Warner.

  If a game can be won on the sidelines, he should be the one to do it. All the real coaching experience is in the other conference. He won’t have to face Bill Walsh, Jerry Burns, Mike Ditka or Buddy Ryan till super Sunday. And if he gets there, he’ll finally be in a position where he won’t have to go through life explaining to strangers in bars, “Tom Mack never moved.”

-——

Reprinted with the permission of the Los Angeles Times

Jim Murray Memorial Foundation, P.O. Box 60753, Pasadena, CA 91116

———

What is the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation? 

  The Jim Murray Memorial Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, established in 1999 to perpetuate the Jim Murray legacy, and his love for and dedication to his extraordinary career in journalism. Since 1999, JMMF has granted 104 $5,000 scholarships to outstanding journalism students. Success of the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation’s efforts depends heavily on the contributions from generous individuals, organizations, corporations, and volunteers who align themselves with the mission and values of the JMMF.

Like us on Facebook, and visit the JMMF website, www.jimmurrayfoundation.org.

——

A dozen years ago, Linda McCoy-Murray compiled a book of Jim Murray’s columns on female athletes (1961-1998). While the book is idle waiting for an interested publisher, the JMMF thinks this is an appropriate year to get the book on the shelves, i.e., Jim Murray’s 100th birthday, 1919-2019.  

Our mission is to empower women of all ages to succeed and prosper — in and out of sports — while entertaining the reader with Jim Murray’s wit and hyperbole.  An excellent teaching tool for Women’s Studies.

Proceeds from book sales will benefit the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization providing sports journalism scholarships at universities across the country.

Mondays With Murray: No College, but Bryant is Still a Student

DECEMBER 12, 1996, SPORTS

Copyright 1996/THE TIMES MIRROR COMPANY

JIM MURRAY

No College, but Bryant Is Still a Student

  Pro football and pro basketball have it made. Let me ask you: How’d you like to run a business in which your product is delivered to you fully milled and refined at no cost to you, fully promoted with a market for it already created, again at no cost to you?

  That’s what those sports businesses have. They have an assembly line fully functional, stamping out their finished product after going out and finding and shipping the raw material themselves.

  The nation’s colleges provide this service to them free of charge. The pros are in debt to mondaysmurray2every college coach who ever scouted out a prospect, every alumnus who ever bought a car or wrote a secret check for the halfback who could run the 40 in 4.3, every sportswriter who ever dreamed up “Galloping Ghost” or “Four Horsemen” or “Dream Team” or “Fab Five” to describe his property and give it further marketability.

  General Motors should be so lucky. The pros (and the agents) cash in on all this largess. The colleges do too, to some extent. But they use the revenues to fund programs that foster gender equity, not yachts or offshore bank accounts.

  Baseball never got in on this good thing. Baseball founded a network of training sites at its own expense called the “minor leagues” or the “bushes,” where they found the talent themselves and set it off for burnishing and education paid for not by colleges and universities but by the teams themselves. They refined their own product. Baseball hated to see its prospects go to college because it felt the youngster would be wasting four years. He would not grow in art and skill. College ball was not considered quality-enough competition.

  Once in a while a pitcher from Harvard (Charlie Devens) or Yale (Johnny Broaca) would show up in a big league uniform, but they were a long way from Cooperstown. (Devens’ lifetime record was 5-3 — and he pitched for the Ruth Yankees!)

  The colleges were the minor leagues for the other sports. (Some say not so because only a fraction of the collegians made it to the pros — but only a fraction of baseball minor leaguers made it to the big leagues, too).

  What brings this to hand is the fact the Lakers currently have a young player who is, in effect, jumping the queue. Kobe Bryant is bypassing four years in college and going directly to the NBA.

  It is an audacious experiment, but one that has been tried. Darryl Dawkins, who called himself “Chocolate Thunder,” went directly from high school to the NBA. Shawn Kemp, the current NBA’s Mr. Everything, didn’t play college basketball. Moses Malone made the transition from high school successfully (27,409 total points, 16,212 rebounds).

  It is do-able — but difficult. Only 26 players have tried it in the long history of the league. Kevin Garnett did it for Minnesota last season — and racked up an impressive 2,293 minutes.

  Kobe Bryant is an extraordinarily skilled young player who might be frittering away his talent playing for dear old Siwash. Jerry West, who should know, says he is on of the best rookies he ever saw anywhere — and Jerry has seen a few.

  The problem with the young (at 18 years 2 months, Kobe is the second-youngest to play in the NBA) is not only giving them basketball, it’s giving them the money. The last time an 18-year-old got millions like that, his father was the king of France.

  As someone said, you go to college to learn how to make millions. If you get them anyway, what’s the point? You figure your whole life is going to be spent at the free-throw line.

  The next problem is a familiar one — ego. The id. How do you take an 18-year-old who broke all of Wilt Chamberlain’s scoring records in Philadelphia high schools, who was USA Today’s national player of the year, and keep him on the bench in important games or just let him pick up what Chick Hearn calls “garbage” points? After all, 18 is a time when you know it all, isn’t it?

  The Lakers are betting Kobe Bryant is more than just a good role player. They see his name in lights, his uniform in the rafters.

  Kobe probably does too. But he is the son of an NBA basketball player, Joe (Jelly Bean) Bryant, who played for the Philadelphia 76ers, Clippers and Houston Rockets as well as in the European leagues. He even speaks fluent Italian.

  He was also a sports columnist in high school, so he has a feel for historic pace. Still, all his life till now, he has been given the ball. How will he react to not having it? Can he move without it?

  I went down to the locker room the other night, after a game in which he had not played, to see how his non-role was sitting with the once-and-future star. Would a future generation be able to understand a game in which a healthy Kobe Bryant was kept on the bench all night? Would he, himself? When would he begin throwing the furniture, bad-mouthing the coach, demanding to be traded?

  Kobe Bryant smiled, turned off the tough questions with polite disclaimers and was gracious and unscowling. No, he didn’t object to sitting out the game; no, he didn’t think he had made a mistake skipping college. “The NBA was a challenge,” he said. “I like a challenge. I was ready for a challenge.”

  He has racked up 170 minutes on the floor to date (Shaquille O’Neal and Eddie Jones have more than 800). He still plays a bit of the helter-skelter playground game. But when he becomes a star, he may change the whole complexion of the game. Maybe some day there will be a note in the brochure that only 26 players in the league ever went to college.

-——

Reprinted with the permission of the Los Angeles Times

Jim Murray Memorial Foundation, P.O. Box 60753, Pasadena, CA 91116

———

What is the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation? 

  The Jim Murray Memorial Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, established in 1999 to perpetuate the Jim Murray legacy, and his love for and dedication to his extraordinary career in journalism. Since 1999, JMMF has granted 104 $5,000 scholarships to outstanding journalism students. Success of the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation’s efforts depends heavily on the contributions from generous individuals, organizations, corporations, and volunteers who align themselves with the mission and values of the JMMF.

Like us on Facebook, and visit the JMMF website, www.jimmurrayfoundation.org.

——

A dozen years ago, Linda McCoy-Murray compiled a book of Jim Murray’s columns on female athletes (1961-1998). While the book is idle waiting for an interested publisher, the JMMF thinks this is an appropriate year to get the book on the shelves, i.e., Jim Murray’s 100th birthday, 1919-2019.  

Our mission is to empower women of all ages to succeed and prosper — in and out of sports — while entertaining the reader with Jim Murray’s wit and hyperbole.  An excellent teaching tool for Women’s Studies.

Proceeds from book sales will benefit the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization providing sports journalism scholarships at universities across the country.

Mondays With Murray: Football’s Super Chief

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 1971, SPORTS

Copyright 1971/THE TIMES MIRROR COMPANY

JIM MURRAY

Football’s Super Chief

 PHOENIX — Everywhere you look down here at the Astrojet tournament, there is an athletic immortal. Hall of Fame baseball player? Well, there’s Joe DiMaggio and Jackie Robinson. Brooks Robinson, Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra are also here.

  In football, Leroy Kelly, John Unitas, and Deacon Jones are around.

  And, then, of course, there’s Ed Podolak.

  Most autograph seekers look first to see if he’s carrying a broom. Or a set of somebody’s mondaysmurray2golf sticks. Ed Podolak is not exactly a household word in sports. “Exactly what is it you do, Mr. Podolak?” is often heard at the better cocktail parties.

  Not even when he says he’s with the Kansas City Chiefs do the celebrity-seekers’ eyes light up. You can see them groping to remember whether he’s the assistant backfield coach, the trainer — or maybe he just drives Lamar Hunt around.

  Now, Mike Garrett is a bonafide Sport Magazine cover type. A Heisman Trophy winner, an All-American, “Can-I-have-your-autograph, Mr. Garrett?” type. Ed Podolak was always a “Who’s-that-with-Mike Garrett?” type. Even the wives might ask after a phone call “Do we know an Ed Podolak?”

  Ed Podolak was a quarterback at Iowa in his college days. Quarterbacks at Iowa usually become defensive backs in Canada — or car salesmen at Sioux City. If there’s one thing that distinguishes Iowa quarterbacks, it’s the fact that they can’t throw or run or block. Usually, they’re just kind of complicated waiters. They order up the ball and then they hand it to somebody. They’re great for the Big Ten but the NFL draft usually goes right by them on the way to Grambling or Penn State or even VMI.

  So, when the Kansas City Chiefs wasted a high draft choice on Ed Podolak, the league thought coach Hank Stram saw something in the picture that might indicate Ed Podolak would make a nice messenger to run in plays.

  When he made him a running back, the league went into shock. Here was a team which already had Mike Garrett, Robert Holmes and two or three other guys who could do the hundred in 10-flat carrying an anvil.

  Podolak was not even big — barely 200 pounds. He was not fast. In a good restaurant, his customers might walk out. As a quarterback, he never put anybody in mind of Sammy Baugh.

  Kansas City has always had one of the most sophisticated offensive teams in the league. But what they saw in the films of Ed Podolak indicated to their scouts, “Doesn’t go down when hit,” or “Could gain on the German Army.”

  Ed Podolak was injured his first year with the Chiefs. Usually, when Big Ten quarterbacks get injured in the NFL, they put them in a taxi and tell ’em to cruise the stadium for the next 10 years or so. But the Chiefs kept Ed Podolak around.

  They put Ed on the “special” teams. In the NFL, “special” means “ho-hum.” These guys who make up the bomb squads who run back kicks, do goal line stands, or field-goal blocking. The gut work, in other words. The fireplace cleans, the chimney sweeps of football.

  But Ed Podolak began to run the football past people. He was as hard to find as a collar button.

  This past year, Ed Podolak was so good, after a few games, the Chiefs dealt Mike Garrett off for a kind word to the San Diego Chargers. The press was shocked. The defensive linemen around the league weren’t.

  Ed Podolak gained 750 yards running out of Hank Stram’s I-formation and variations thereof. That would be a lot of ground for a 230-pound, 9.5 sprinter. It’s 100 more than Leroy Kelly, for example, rolled up. It put Podolak neck-and-neck with the league leaders and it put the Chiefs within a first down of the Super Bowl.

  And it put Ed Podolak in this tournament down here with most of the registered super-athletes of our time. It changed him from “Who is Ed Podolak?” to “Where is Ed Podolak?” And for 100 scouts, the refrain went from “Why did they draft him?” to “Why didn’t we draft him?”

-——

Reprinted with the permission of the Los Angeles Times

Jim Murray Memorial Foundation, P.O. Box 60753, Pasadena, CA 91116

———

What is the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation? 

  The Jim Murray Memorial Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, established in 1999 to perpetuate the Jim Murray legacy, and his love for and dedication to his extraordinary career in journalism. Since 1999, JMMF has granted 104 $5,000 scholarships to outstanding journalism students. Success of the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation’s efforts depends heavily on the contributions from generous individuals, organizations, corporations, and volunteers who align themselves with the mission and values of the JMMF.

Like us on Facebook, and visit the JMMF website, www.jimmurrayfoundation.org.

——

A dozen years ago, Linda McCoy-Murray compiled a book of Jim Murray’s columns on female athletes (1961-1998). While the book is idle waiting for an interested publisher, the JMMF thinks this is an appropriate year to get the book on the shelves, i.e., Jim Murray’s 100th birthday, 1919-2019.  

Our mission is to empower women of all ages to succeed and prosper — in and out of sports — while entertaining the reader with Jim Murray’s wit and hyperbole.  An excellent teaching tool for Women’s Studies.

Proceeds from book sales will benefit the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization providing sports journalism scholarships at universities across the country.

Mondays With Murray: He Does Everything Else Right

  It used to be known simply as the Bob Hope. Now the Desert Classic is sponsored by American Express, and it runs from Thursday through Sunday at PGA West in La Quinta CA.

  Today, we take you back to 1992 when Jim Murray took to his Sunday column to write about Phil Mickelson, the lefty from San Diego.

  ENJOY!

——-

SUNDAY, JANUARY 12, 1992, SPORTS

Copyright 1992/THE TIMES MIRROR COMPANY

JIM MURRAY

He Does Everything Else Right

 CARLSBAD — You can tell right away what Phil Mickelson is doing wrong over the golf ball. He’ll never get anywhere that way.

 He’s standing on the wrong side of it. He’s got it all mixed up. Someone should have straightened him out.

 Look! What’s the first thing they tell you on the lesson tee? Keep your left arm straight, right?

 Phil Mickelson’s is as loose as a wet noodle. You have to figure he’s hopeless.

 I can hear Jack Nicklaus telling me now, Lesson 2: “Put your weight on your right side going back, shift to your left side coming down.”

 Mickelson’s got it absolutely in reverse.

 You know, you listen to golf aficionados in the better locker rooms and, for a couple of mondaysmurray2years, they’ve been telling you Phil Mickelson is the next great player. John Daly is the wild card. He’s either going to make a 2 — or an 11. But Mickelson is the full house. He’ll make a 2 — or a 3.

 His credentials are impressive. He won consecutive NCAA championships.

Only two other guys have done that. He won the U.S. Amateur. That’s a major. He won the NCAA and the Amateur the same year. Only one other has done that — fellow named Jack Nicklaus.

 Then Mickelson won a pro tournament as an amateur. In the modern era, only Gene Littler, Doug Sanders and Scott Verplank have brought this off.

  So, you can see why golf has been telling you this is the New Nicklaus, the Next Palmer, the messiah, the throwback to the monarchy years.

 Then I went to see this pretender to the throne down here at the Infiniti Tournament of Champions at La Costa Spa and Resort.

 I was shocked. This guy plays the game backward.

       You’re amazed they let him get this far this way. He is — come closer — a left-hander!

 He’s the only left-hander who has ever won the U.S. Amateur. But the only other left-hander who has won a major is New Zealander Bob Charles, who grabbed the 1963 British Open in a playoff.

 Golf is tough enough without playing it backward.

 Now, I don’t know about you, but my teachers used to whack me across the knuckles if I wrote or ate with my left hand. It’s been considered bad luck or bad form since time immemorial.

 It’s nonsensical, I admit, but remember the word sinister comes from the Latin word for left-handed. (The word dexterous comes from the Latin word for right-handed — dexter — which gives you an idea what the ancients thought of southpaws: They were cursed.)

 It is the notion of your correspondent that fully 50 percent of the world population is left-handed. Some have been bullied out of it, others have bowed to custom.

 But golf has been as inhospitable to left-handers as a medieval soothsayer. It all but outlaws them, excommunicates them. Would you believe Ben Hogan, no less, was left-handed?

 You couldn’t get left-handed clubs hardly anywhere then, and particularly not if you were dirt-poor and caddying in Texas. Ben had to change over. Golf had no accommodation for left-handers. Change or get a job on a truck.

 Baseball has always been receptive to lefties. The bats were ambidextrous — there’s that word again — and the grand old game was replete with Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, Ted Williams — all great left-handers. Left-handed pitchers, more often than not, threw harder than righties. Tennis was slow to get on the bandwagon, but left-handers from McEnroe to Martina have sprung up all over the ad courts.

 So, you might say Phil Mickelson is an advance party for a rash of left-handed players and the toast of the Left-handers of America.

 Except, Phil Mickelson isn’t a left-hander!

 It’s a perfectly astonishing story. The only thing Phil Mickelson does left-handed is play golf. Otherwise, he’s as orthodox as a bishop. He eats, writes, scratches and dials phones with his right hand.

 It all happened when he was either 1-1/2 or 2 years old. His father was demonstrating the proper way to swing a golf club, and it was as if his young son were standing in front of a mirror. He did exactly what he saw his father do, swing the club from left to right.

 By the time his father realized what he had done, it was too late. His son had gotten comfortable over the ball swinging in reverse.

 It’s interesting that circumstances forced a natural left-hander such as

Hogan to strike the ball right-handed — and he became almost the premier striker of the ball in history. Accident turned Mickelson into a left-hander — and he bids fair to become one of the premier strikers of the ball of his generation.

 Whatever the genesis, Mickelson’s success is sure to set off a boom in lefty golf. There must be some golfing Cobbs, Stan the Mans, even Babe Ruths out there waiting to hit the ball naturally from the port side.

 Mickelson departs from the stereotype in another particular.

Left-handers, as a class, are supposed to be so flaky you could put bananas and cream on them.

 To be sure, Phil passed up the $180,000 he won for taking the Tucson Open last year. For remaining amateur, he couldn’t collect. But his reasons are as sound as a banker’s. He wants to stay in college. He wants a career to fall back on when the putts stop dropping. He figures that without competitive golf in college, his attitude — and his aptitude — will atrophy. To play college golf, he needs to remain amateur. To play pro golf, he would have to leave college.

 Bobby Jones remained amateur all his life. Jack Nicklaus, believe it or not, seriously considered it.

 But that was back when a U.S. Open victory paid $3,500 or $5,000, and the total purse money for the year was like $820,000. Now it’s $48 million.

 Mickelson will turn pro. He won’t say when for the record.

 But he’ll never turn right-handed. He’ll continue shifting his weight to the right at address with the Vees pointing to his right shoulder.

 He sees no reason he should have changed, no reason he can’t be a major success. There’s only one other left-hander on tour right now, Russ

Cochran, but if Mickelson starts adorning magazine covers, it should be like the spring breakup on the Yukon.

 Mickelson sees no problem with being left-handed. Doglegs go both ways on golf courses. Putts don’t care which side the golfer stands on.

 With a U.S. Amateur under his belt, Mickelson joins an august list on the tour — Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gene Littler, Lanny Wadkins, Mark

O’Meara, Craig Stadler. Mickelson doesn’t worry about which side of the ball he stands on at address. He worries about which side he’s standing on after he hits it. He would like to be directly behind it. He usually is. He has a chance not only to be the greatest left-hander in history, but one of the greatest players in history. And the game sees nothing sinister in that.

-——

Reprinted with the permission of the Los Angeles Times

Jim Murray Memorial Foundation, P.O. Box 60753, Pasadena, CA 91116

———

What is the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation? 

  The Jim Murray Memorial Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, established in 1999 to perpetuate the Jim Murray legacy, and his love for and dedication to his extraordinary career in journalism. Since 1999, JMMF has granted 104 $5,000 scholarships to outstanding journalism students. Success of the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation’s efforts depends heavily on the contributions from generous individuals, organizations, corporations, and volunteers who align themselves with the mission and values of the JMMF.

Like us on Facebook, and visit the JMMF website, www.jimmurrayfoundation.org.

——

A dozen years ago, Linda McCoy-Murray compiled a book of Jim Murray’s columns on female athletes (1961-1998). While the book is idle waiting for an interested publisher, the JMMF thinks this is an appropriate year to get the book on the shelves, i.e., Jim Murray’s 100th birthday, 1919-2019.  

Our mission is to empower women of all ages to succeed and prosper — in and out of sports — while entertaining the reader with Jim Murray’s wit and hyperbole.  An excellent teaching tool for Women’s Studies.

Proceeds from book sales will benefit the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization providing sports journalism scholarships at universities across the country.

Mondays With Murray: Two for the Price of One

  Today, we take you back to a time in the NFL when seeing a female reporter in the locker room was not quite as commonplace as it is today,  and it caused a big problem for the then-owner of the New England Patriots.

  Because of the importance of this subject matter, we offer two columns. The first from June of 1990 and the second from October 1996.

  ENJOY!

——

OCTOBER 9, 1990 SPORTS

Copyright 1990/THE TIMES MIRROR COMPANY

JIM MURRAY

Taking the Wraps Off Stupidity

  I guess I have to address the Lisa Olson-locker room sexual harassment issue. Everyone else has.

  The party line, we journalists’ stance, is: How dare these scumbag athletes harass this sportswriter in the dressing room just because she’s a female? OK, I’ll buy that. I’m a mondaysmurray2journalist. I’m on her side.

  And sexual harassment of any kind is unconscionable whether it takes place at the office water cooler or Central Park. It’s ugly, dangerous. It’s criminal. Do it in Central Park and you go to jail. Do it in the New England Patriots’ locker room and the owner profanely defends you.

  OK, to sum up, here is my view:

  1) Lisa Olson, as an accredited journalist, had every right to be in the football locker room. As a woman and a citizen, she had every right to be free from sexual harassment by a gang of allegedly naked bullies. Anywhere.

  2) Harassment of journalists by athletes in locker rooms is not new and predates women in the locker room by about a century. It went on before women went in locker rooms. It’ll go on after.

  Item: Sam Wyche, Cincinnati coach, was fined $30,000 for denying a female reporter access to his locker room. Jim McMahon never even got a reprimand from the league for blowing his nose in the direction of a reporter in another locker room in San Diego.

  Like most sportswriters, I have been abused, vilified, threatened and ignored in locker rooms, even thrown out of one once by a ballplayer who didn’t like something I wrote. It’s one of the hazards of the business. If you put out oil-well fires, you expect to get burned. You deal with athletes who have just lost a ballgame — or a World Series — you expect to get abused.

  When the harassment takes on sexual overtones, it becomes ugly, although there were jeers along those lines even in the all-male days.

  I am old-fashioned enough to have been shocked when the first women appeared in locker rooms. And, frankly, if I were an athlete, I would not want a chorus of strange women watching me take a shower. I do not look good in a shower. I don’t work out often enough and I prefer to meet women in a tuxedo if possible.

  However, having said that, I must admit that I have never seen a female reporter behave in anything but a highly professional manner in a locker room. I have never heard one tell a leering, off-color joke about it afterward. I have heard plenty from male reporters.

  The interesting point about equal access is that most of the time male reporters are not permitted to enter women’s locker rooms, so female reporters have to be barred (from women’s locker rooms), too. In other words, if men can’t go in, neither can women.

  So, tennis and golf and volleyball and track dressing rooms are generally off-limits to all reporters, and the cognizant associations require their athletes to consent to a news conference immediately after the competition in a neutral site where dress is not optional.

  It’s come to this anyway in major athletic events. A Super Bowl. With upward of 1,500 sportswriters on hand, the league has had to resort to the postgame tactic of bringing the star performers to a mass interview staging area where they stand on platforms to field questions from the media. The World Series has had to do that, too, although in both cases the locker rooms are also open.

  The rub is, in this day of super-saturation of an event by television, print reporters have to come up with another dimension to the story, other than who-won-and-how. To do this, they need the one-on-one, locker-side interview.

  It wasn’t always this way. Back in the old, pre-TV days, plenty of beat reporters never bothered with the locker room. Jim Brosnan, who pitched for several seasons in the old Coast League, was at my house and I idly mentioned a writer who had covered the team for years. “You know so-and-so?” I asked Brosnan. He shook his head. “But you must have seen him in the locker room in all those years?” “Never,” said Brosnan. “He never came in.”

  You can’t do that today.

  The Constitution guarantees equal rights for all. There are laws to protect women from sexual harassment. These are facts that should have been known by the owner of the New England Patriots.

  To me, the reactions of the owner are as reprehensible as those of his players. Victor Kiam, as an owner, should know how important the media is to his sport. You don’t expect rookie players to realize that they’re getting $2 million a year to bounce a ball upcourt or fall on a fumble because of the millions of words of free publicity given to their sport. Owners should know it. Owners should also know the Constitution. Football players sleep through classes. Guys who own electric-razor companies presumably don’t. Kiam’s insensitive remarks smacked of those guys who cheered a rape in a Massachusetts bar.

  Equal access has been court-ordered by a federal judge (and a woman at that), Victor, and you and your team better get used to it.

The social scientists tell us we are trending toward a unisex society anyway. Well, the hell with that. On that, I’m on the side of the French, Vive la difference!

  But the relationship between athlete and journalist in a locker room is, too often, an adversarial one. There are mature adult athletes who recognize the value to their profession of publicity. Then there are those who refuse to talk to the media at all. Their privilege.

  Then there are the cretins who profanely and obscenely knock you out of their space. It’s probably good news for everybody that they have been called to account, and Lisa Olson may have taken a big step toward promoting civility to all in the locker room. If you still have confidence in the system, that is.

  As Lincoln said, “To give any man (or woman) freedom is to give it to yourself. To deny any man freedom is to deny it for yourself.

—————

JUNE 30, 1996 SPORTS

Copyright 1996/THE TIMES MIRROR COMPANY

JIM MURRAY

As Owner, He Wasn’t the Victor

  Well, don’t talk to Victor Kiam unless you want to be disenchanted. He owned the Remington electric razor company and a few other lucrative and thriving businesses when the ownership of the New England Patriots pro football team was up for grabs. The Sullivan family, which had owned it since inception, came on hard times — mostly through sponsoring a Michael Jackson concert tour.

  Victor Kiam bought the Patriots. He thought it would be a nice hobby, might get his picture in Sports Illustrated. Movie stars promoting their pictures might be coming through and would like to see the Patriots play the Cowboys on a Sunday. They’d ring him up.

  Then came the day when Kiam, so to speak, found himself on the Bears’ five-yard line. Standing there with the ball and no one open and a 350-pound lineman with a bad temper trying to get at him.

  Pro football can be a very dangerous game. I mean, how’d you like to find yourself on the Chicago Bears’ five-yard line, third and goal, with a minute to play and the Bears four points ahead?

  Or would you prefer to be fading back to pass with a guy they call the Refrigerator bearing down on you?

  But if the game is tough on the field, it’s supposed to be a piece of cake in the front office. You know. You sit in your luxury box and entertain a dozen of your best corporate friends. You get the best tables at restaurants. Secretaries of state try to get on your jet to go to the Super Bowl, maybe even the vice-president.

  It’s the good life, right? The American Dream, owner’s division.

  It looked like the good life. Money as far as the eye could see. The product was expensive, but depreciation was generous and compared to making razors, a glamorous way to make a living.

  It all happened because of the league’s press rule. The one that said female sportswriters had the same access to men’s locker rooms after the game that men had. This was somehow thought to be because men had an unfair advantage in being able to get to the athletes before they had time to cool down, collect their thoughts. It’s a highly dubious proposition, but political correctness doesn’t always depend on reason.

  What happened next was a now-infamous confrontation between Lisa Olson of the Boston Herald and tight end Zeke Mowatt of the Patriots. Kiam was about to be tackled for a big loss.

  In a postgame session in the locker room, Mowatt made what is, by all standards, a disgusting gesture toward Olson. She was outraged and she said so loudly and publicly.

  Well, it became a cause celebre. Some athletes fled into the night recognizing the affair for the ticking package it was. Some sided with Olson, others sided with Mowatt.

  Journalism rallied around Olson. After all, freedom of the press was at stake here.

  Soon, Kiam got drawn in. Not surprisingly, he sided with his player. He found himself quoted as calling the reporter “a classic bitch.” His denials — “I don’t use those words!” — were too late.

  Lawyers came from everywhere. So did women’s groups. Depositions flew around like leaves in a high wind. Kiam’s public image was a shambles. Some of Olson’s depositions seemed to leave questions.

  In this one, it seemed, everybody would be a loser. The league levied fines, but there is some question as to whether they were ever collected. Olsen eventually took a newspaper job in Australia.

  Meanwhile, back at the counting house, Kiam was like a guy in a bunker. Women’s groups called for a boycott of his razors and other products. Since he also owned Lady Remington jewelry company, this was not funny.

  Lawyers’ fees were crippling. So was public obloquy. The more Kiam protested Olson’s version of events, the more he emerged as a villain.

  Kiam had always been an impetuous entrepreneur. After his wife had given him a Remington razor one Christmas, he liked it so much he bought the company. He did its TV commercials himself.

  He didn’t always fare so well. He tells of mistakes he made. He had a chance to buy a product featuring a fabric that adhered to itself re-usably without zippers or tracks but he turned it down. It became known as Velcro. He also sold 1,000 shares in a computer chip company called Intel. He sold for $23,500. If he held, those shares would be worth $5 million today.

  But he leaped at the chance to buy the Patriots. “I lost $30 million,” he ruefully confessed the other day. He tried twice to move the franchise, he says. He was turned down. He is currently suing the league because at least one of the owners who blocked him has since moved himself.

  He finally had to sell the Patriots. He also had to sell part of his Remington holdings to make up for losses. The guy with the ball on the Bears’ five-yard-line had it easy by comparison.

  Kiam, back to entrepreneurship, was in town with his newest product, EarPlanes, a device to banish ear discomfort on airline landings and takeoffs. He has kicked football.

  In the musical ‘Annie Get Your Gun’, there is a lugubrious character playing the part of Sitting Bull whose constant complaint and refrain to those around him is the advice “No put money in show business!”

Victor Kiam wishes he had been listening.

-——

Reprinted with the permission of the Los Angeles Times

Jim Murray Memorial Foundation, P.O. Box 60753, Pasadena, CA 91116

———

What is the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation? 

  The Jim Murray Memorial Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, established in 1999 to perpetuate the Jim Murray legacy, and his love for and dedication to his extraordinary career in journalism. Since 1999, JMMF has granted 104 $5,000 scholarships to outstanding journalism students. Success of the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation’s efforts depends heavily on the contributions from generous individuals, organizations, corporations, and volunteers who align themselves with the mission and values of the JMMF.

Like us on Facebook, and visit the JMMF website, www.jimmurrayfoundation.org.

——

A dozen years ago, Linda McCoy-Murray compiled a book of Jim Murray’s columns on female athletes (1961-1998). While the book is idle waiting for an interested publisher, the JMMF thinks this is an appropriate year to get the book on the shelves, i.e., Jim Murray’s 100th birthday, 1919-2019.  

Our mission is to empower women of all ages to succeed and prosper — in and out of sports — while entertaining the reader with Jim Murray’s wit and hyperbole.  An excellent teaching tool for Women’s Studies.

Proceeds from book sales will benefit the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization providing sports journalism scholarships at universities across the country.