History of the A's

 
 

A Warning to the Boys (Unheeded)

 

SPORT DONE BROWN

by CLAYTON BROWNE

The St. Catharines Standard

Saturday November 27, 1948 

Someone is always taking the joy out of life, in some shape or form and in this case, it is taking the folding lettuce out of the individual pockets. Having a decided Garden City focus, this corner will try to explain matters for our lacrosse-minded citizenry and backers of senior Athletics. Reference is to yesterday’s edict from O. L. A. solons that suspension faced any individuals playing with the new U. S. A. outlaw indoor boxla loop being drummed into being this winter, also coaches and referees.

It all goes back to 1932 – 6 era across the border, when the wise Yankee promoters saw gold on the walls and did what the O. L. A. calls “exploiting” Canadian stars. Playing to packed arenas and armories in the States, at fancy prices to patrons and running as high as $3.50 a seat, the promoters richly lined their pockets and it surely was a lush season for the wily box lacrosse operators.

They took not only the cream off the top, as well as insisting only on the star players of Ontario, but they raked in the milk-body of the gates and through voluble excuses of high overhead, they got the Canadian boys to accept as little as the ridiculous sum of 50 cents a game for their box labor. Nor was it easy going, for they wanted action and lots of blood spilt.

Foxy promotion colored the games past rainbow hues, with all the fanfare possible and when a player was cut down and the gore streaming widely, they’d rush out two white-garbed nurses, in caps, red crosses a foot high on their starched unies, with a doctor or so and two running orderlies to tote a stretcher and lug the Canadian boy (or his Indian rival) to the arena hospital. Verily, the American fans ate it up, so that a gate of $5,000 net was the night’s take. The boys got their orders when and what to score, just to make it close. Then they’d book the same teams right back again in a spite-fest, for more lettuce to the operators.

After the west coast fiasco later, when Hollywood imported B. C. and Ontario players, the O. L. A. – C. L. A. stepped into the scene and inserted a clause in player certificates which exists today, specifying six months suspension for individuals who jumped the border and maybe aided in ruining summer lacrosse in our country. They put the spike in the coast loop and it blew higher than a kite.

Now the gold bug has bitten the Rochester promoters again and they tried talking turkey with the O. L. A. when the 1948 O. L. A. finals and Mann Cup tests where on. The O. L. A. – C. L. A. recently insisted on Canadian teams such as Athletics, Mimico, Tigers and Crescents being paid lump sums which ran as high as $500 a game. But that took too much off the top so the racketeers cut that down to $300 for this season.

Athletics officials are said to have given permission to four A’s to play for Rochester Iroquois, providing the Athletics (as a club) got four games there during the winter. But the O. L. A. refused that. The proposed U. S. loop is said to consist of Rochester, Geneva, Hornell, Buffalo and Falls, N. Y., but where in heck the last named city can play is a quiz, unless it be on this side of the river in the Falls, Ont. arena.

Knowing what it cost the current lessees to put that in shape for dance bands, it is hardly possible they would wire-screen the place for patron safety from flying rubber. They do cater to pro grapplers, but no one throws a 250-pounder all the way from the ring to the scenery. However, the O. L. A. cannot be condemned heavily for protecting its own entrants at the hands of alleged profiteers.

Rumor says that certain senior Athletics, who hate to pass up the 30 bucks per game offered them by the Iroquois club that seeks their illustrious services, are for taking the chance. ‘Tis assumed they love the national game so much they’d play it every day and night. Experience proves you cannot burn candles on both ends, but that is their own personal affair.

There is just one tiny fly in the boxla ointment. The O. L. A. is affiliated with the Ontario Sports Federation and six months suspension by the boxla solons means the same suspension from all organized sport in Ontario. That controls practically everything from chess to bull fighting and cockroach racing. So it may be just too bad for the take-a-chance boys to be cut off from hockey, baseball, softball, etc.


SPORT DONE BROWN

by CLAYTON BROWNE

The St. Catharines Standard

Wednesday December 8, 1948

If the advice is worth a skimpy nickel, may we suggest to two boxla officials here that the O. L. A. is neither bluffing nor fooling in this U. S. trend to play, if one wishes to call it that? In fact it is pretty darn certain that someone is going to know it the hard way on Dec. 18th. That is when the box moguls meet in Toronto to debate the issue, the session being postponed till then.

Maybe the boys who hop the fence figure it was a case of stall the caucus because the O. L. A. had nothing to work on. Don’t let that fool you a holy minute. It was postponed to let them get the evidence and since the errant ones have been warned privately to “cut it out,” the jingle-jangle is stronger than the appeal.

This is fair notice, you foolish fellows. The O. L. A. is not kidding one speck. It will be suspension and they’re sorry about it as well. They know what’s going on and who’s who and what’s what and proof is they say the 1949 season may be poor lacrosse. The reason? There won’t be a lot of fellows playing it since they’ll be box banned, and from all other affiliated sports as well. Don’t say next April, why didn’t you tell us these things?

Surely the two aforesaid club officials have enough authority to imprint the consequences on the erring players who might be said to be cutting off their noses to spite their faces. Sure they’re in the Gravy Bowl at the moment, but like the well-worn vest, the stains show a long time and by the time they wipe that blemish off could be they have outlived their usefulness to both Athletics and the summer national game. What more do you want us to say, except naming the boys?

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