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RAY SWANSON | Keystoner 'I think I'll pick up my bat and ball and head for home'



Published: Sun, September 8, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Well, the stench has subsided a little but the residue will linger for some time.

The Major League Baseball strike has been averted and it's "Play Ball" once again, but all is not well.

Baseball fans have had it, strike or no strike, and it's about time. They have been through the wringer. Not only are game-day prices out in orbit, but now the fans have to worry from day to day if there's going to be a game.

I think I'll pick up my bat and ball and head for home.

Hats off to the newspaper, I believe it was somewhere in Texas, which refused to print anything about Major League Baseball for the week before the strike deadline. Maybe that should have been the consensus across these United States.

I was driving to Butler last week when I tuned into KDKA and caught a sports show that featured Pirates first baseman Kevin Young. He's a Pirate player rep and he apparently believed that the strike was going to be averted as did most others who knew what was going on.

Young is a well-versed young man and a credit to the game. He put it this way: "Just leave the money out, don't think about it," he explained.

But continuing on, he did return to the money thing. "Think about it as being a big pie, and when you have a big pie, the others [players] want a bigger piece, too."

Maybe it's a little like that Yogi Berra commercial. Yogi, in talking about an insurance company says, "They even give you cash which is like real money."

Well spoken, Yogi.

At any rate, the strike has been averted for the time being, and we will have a World Series. However, a lot of damage has been done. The wounds will not heal quickly.

Bowers to Browns

Nobody said West Middlesex High School and Grove City College football standout R. J. Bowers didn't have the right moves.

Formerly a running back with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bowers was claimed on waivers by the Cleveland Browns on Aug. 28, and played in Cleveland's clash with Carolina two days later.

Now that's fast. He hardly had time to take off his Steeler shoulder pads before being picked up by the Browns.

And against Carolina, as a member of the Browns' special teams, Bowers came downfield on the kickoff team and stripped a Carolina returner of the football, which paved the way for another Browns' score.

Everyone in this area thought Bowers had found a home with the Steelers, but as it turned out Pittsburgh had too many backs and someone had to go.

Bowers, however, was not hampered by the move. He found a new home with the Browns, and he plans to make the best of it. He's still only about 70 some miles from home, and that's a big thing with R.J.

At Grove City College, Bowers amassed some awesome statistics. He is college football's all-time leading rusher with 7,353 yards and 91 touchdowns in an All-American career with the Wolverines.

At this stage, it's apparent Bowers fits in remarkably well with Coach Butch Davis' plans for the future. That's why he was claimed so very fast.

It's official

The 20 Westminster College sports teams are now eligible for Division III national playoffs and conference championships. The school received official notice of active NCAA Division III membership for 2002-03.

The notifications concludes a three-year re-classification from NCAA Div. II to Div. III for Westminster athletes.

As part of the active membership, the college is now eligible for the national playoffs for all sports during the upcoming academic year, as well as for conference titles and individual awards in the Presidents' Athletic Conference.




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