Emil Bernard, of the New York group reported Friday by The Washington Post as seeking to buy the San Francisco Giants and move them here, says he has cut a deal to purchase 50 per cent of the baseball club's stock.
Hitch: That's the stock held by Bud Herseth of Phoenix, Ariz. - and Bob Lurie, who owns the other 50 per cent, says Herseth "can't sell without coming to me first."
Lurie corralled Herseth just in time to help him buy the National League team and save it from being moved to Toronto in 1976. Now, says Lurie, whether the Oakland A's of the American League stay put or not, he is not about to let the club be sold and moved to D.C. "With the A's (tentatively) sold to Denver," Lurie proclaimed, "we're finally in a position to do something in the Bay area . . . I'm here to stay."
Herseth was reported out of the country and out of reach yesterday.
Lurie says investor Bernard told him a year ago "he had purchased the A's and was going to move them . . . Mr. Bernard seems to surface every once in a while."
Richard Tinkham, Indianapolis attorney handling arrangements for the Bernard group, said, "We're 70 per cent home in this deal." He indicated a Jan. 4 meeting has been set up with the D.C. Armory Board to arrange rights to play in RFK Stadium.
The ad hoc congressional committee to return baseball to Washington took note of the situation with a statement, and letter to commissioner Bowie Kuhn, affirming it "would be good sense for major league baseball to solve problem of having two financially trou bled franchises in the San Francisco Bay area by moving one of these frachises to the Nations Capital." And, Reps. B. F. Sisk, Frank Horton, Mendel J. Davis and Christopher J. Dodd added, "it would be far preferable to bring a National League franchise . . ."
Tinkham went them one better: "We know many owners would just as soon have no teams in the Bay area. I don't know how you (Bay area) people would feel about it, losing two teams, but emotion is one thing and hard fact another. The hard fact is that a Washington situation is much better for the National League" . . .
Postseason honor time in the NFL: Named to coach the NFC in the Pro Bowl on Monday night, Jan. 23, in Tampa: Chuck Knox AFC: Ted Marchibroda. (It's automatic, decided in June that the jobs would go to the coaching staffs of division champions eliminated in the conference playoffs) . . . Sporting News players of the year: NFC, Walter Payton. AFC, Craig Morton . . . Pro Football Hall of Fame's awards for rookie of the year: NFC, Tony Dorsett. AFC, A.J. Duhe, Miami defensive end. Sporting News rookie picks: ditto, Dorsett-Duhe . . . And did we ever tell you the last time Red Miller was a head coach before leading the 1977 Dencer Broncos to glory? It was 1951, at Astoria (Ill.) High School . . . Carl Garrett, the Oakland running back, has some good kickoff returns to set the Raiders up in good business position against the Colts last week and keep them en route to a return engagement in the Super Bowl. But Carla Garrett was sidetracked en route to making it a family affair. Only the third girl in the national Punt, Pass and Kick contest to make it to area finals, Carl's 10-year-old daughter, a Santa Fe, N.M., sixth-grader, was edged by a boy in the competition at halftime of Chargers-browns in San Diego. Carla has to settle for being the star pitcher on her first-place Litte League team while conqueror John Colborne of Poway, Calif., punts-passes-kicks at the Super Bowl . . .
Union College's hockey team quit yesterday, 20 strong, in the wake of coach Ned Harkness' resignation last week. Team captain Jack Rankin cited loyalty to Harkness, who recruited the players, and "the political environment on the Union campus." That environment featured wide-spread bitterness on the liberal-arts, academic-oriented campus over Harkness' efforts to create a big-time athletic industry. The new development meant athletic director Richard Sakala had to notify Wilfrid Laurier, York and Guelph universities of Canada not to come for the Union holiday tournament scheduled Thursday and Friday . . .
The Cleveland Browns, busy naming Sam Rutigliano head coach, denied a report they were interested in acquiring offensive guard John Hicks, onetime Outland Trophy winner at Ohio State, from the N.Y. Giants. The rumor had running back Mike Pruitt - not Greg, of course - moving to the Meadowlands. Fourth-year pro Hicks was beched the final four games this season, and Giant operations director Andy Robustelli said: "I think John deserves some of what's happening to him. He did not take care of himself . . . He has to get on an offseason program, rededicate himself to mental and physical toughness." The Giants first benched Hicks at Cincinnati - he'd gotten 50 or so tickets for friends and relatives, and never played . . .
You can't call Dwight Stones, the high jumper who used to hold the world record, a dog. Stones had a contest with one Ahsley Whippet recently in Los Angeles. Both tried to jump over a 7-foot-high bar; easy pickins' for 7-7 leaper Stones but his rival failed, in 10 tries, despite a reputation for soaring as high as nine feet. A chagrined spokesman for the event was reduced to explaining, "The dog is used to jumping up for something but he's not used to jumping over a bar."
Ashley Whippet won his reputation leaping to catcha flying Frisbee in his mouth.