Atlanta was outmatched by Yankees

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 4, 1999

I guess it could be said of the Atlanta Braves that they again pulled an el-foldo. But I like the Braves, so I’ll simply admit that they were overmatched in both the 1996 and 1999 World Series.

Actually, I’ve always been a Yankee fan. Always. By the same token it would not have bothered me in the least had the Braves won. They’re &uot;neighbors,&uot; and followed closely by most of the fellas I talk baseball with.

You know how being a fan is, though. I started liking the Yankees almost before I learned to read. Talkin’ late 30’s and the 40’s now – in the days of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and other Yankee greats. If I couldn’t find a nickel to buy a Natchez Democrat, I would locate someone else’s to check out the Yankees.

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Anyway, the 1998 and 1999 Yankees swept the Padres and Braves, respectively, in World Series competition.

Yankee pitching great Roger Clemens might have looked in the face like he had St. Vitus’ dance or something, but maybe it was just his way of &uot;getting up.&uot; Whatever, he fired only &uot;aspirins&uot; at Atlanta hitters, who were anything but. New York’s &uot;clean-up man&uot; was on the mound.

n &uot;Wait’ll next year,&uot; I’ve always heard. Okay by me, but like I said 40 years ago when Billy Cannon beat Ole Miss with an 89-yard punt return for a touchdown, &uot;I don’t live or die with any of them anymore.&uot;

COLLEGE&160;FOOTBALL is simply my cup, and I’m not alone. Simon-pure athletes make for memorable rivalries. Like exciting Ole Miss-LSU matchups through the years. Their games may lose a little luster now and then, but never glitter. LSU brothers Booty (Josh and Abram) shone, anyway, for instance, in Ole Miss’ 42-23 victory last Saturday night in Tiger Stadium. Typical LSU-Ole Miss game. Almost.

Can a pretty good Ole Miss team tame a young but resurgent Arkansas? In Oxford, I believe it can happen. In an upset, I like the Rebels to win 31-20 over the Razorbacks that blasted Auburn 45-13 last Saturday. LSU probably will lose to Alabama say 45-13.

I like unbeaten Mississippi State to outscore Kentucky 41-13. USM has to go to Memphis, but the (USM) team that made Alabama look really good last week should nip the Tigers who crushed Tulane. How about 38-31, Eagles.

n DAN&160;PHIPPS died a few days ago. He was a friend, and I immediately thought of his family. Then I remembered that he was a scatback on Natchez High’s 1937 football team. And that I had written about coach W. B. Fowler’s ’37 Rebs back in 1985.

Bruce Kuenhle, now a retired Natchez surgeon, was the Rebel tailback in ’37, who could absolutely fire out with a football! Fast Dan complemented him well. You know, of course, that I’m talkin’ single wing play, the norm for 1937.

Mandeville Phipps was not related to Dan, but he could also rip-off 10-15 yards from his running back position with quickness and heft. Ed Bonham, angular, bony, quick and strong, was the Rebels’ outstanding quarterback. Ed did the passing, running now and then.

Other NHS starters in ’37 included Ernest Mallory and Donald Covington, ends; Orlando Johnson and Morris Hyman, tackles; Clarence Eyrich and Harry Dawes, guards; and center Duane Forman with Butch Smith also playing some at that position.

The Rebels whipped Liberty soundly in their opener. They later lost to Waterproof and Vicksburg, and tied the late Billy Priester’s Ferriday Bulldogs.

There’s a funny story about almost the entire Natchez High team and coach Fowler &uot;scouting&uot; Waterproof before the game, but I won’t repeat it now.

But when old friends are lost, memorable things are always recalled.