Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Marty Adler, Brooklyn Dodgers Curator

Marty Adler, Curator of the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Legacy, Dies at 76

  • SAVE
  • E-MAIL
Thirty years after Jackie Robinson broke the modern major league color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers, his legacy was honored in classrooms only a home run shot or so away from the housing development where Ebbets Field once stood.
Steve Berman/The New York Times
Marty Adler founded the Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Fame.
Keep up with the latest news on The Times's baseball blog.

Major League Baseball



Marty Adler, the assistant principal atJackie Robinson Intermediate School 320, bordering what had been the Dodgers’ third-base stands, organized projects in which the predominantly minority student body learned of Robinson’s baseball exploits and his pioneering role in the civil rights struggle.
That anniversary tribute in 1977 inspired Mr. Adler to keep memories of the Dodgers alive in Brooklyn long after their departure for Los Angeles and the demolition of Ebbets Field.
When he died of a stroke on Tuesday in Bethpage, N.Y., at 76, Mr. Adler was remembered as the founder of the Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Fame. It never had a permanent home — it was essentially a personal journey down his baseball memory lane — but it enabled him to share his passion for the Dodgers with his fellow Brooklynites.
Mr. Adler saluted the heroes of his youth by bringing them back to Brooklyn for annual induction ceremonies at Grand Army Plaza. He donated memorabilia to theBrooklyn Historical Society and the Brooklyn baseball gallery at the minor league ballpark in Coney Island where the Brooklyn Cyclones, a Mets farm team, play.
“I’m reliving my childhood,” Mr. Adler once said.
“The Dodgers lived in the neighborhood,” he recalled. “Their kids went to the schools. Their wives shopped in the shopping places. They were an integral fabric of the pattern of the whole community, and we loved the guys.
“You could walk down the street and put a radio on — a black person or a white person. ‘How’re the Bums doing?’ It was one common denominator that tied everybody up together.”
Martin Norman Adler was born in Brooklyn on July 11, 1937, and grew up in the Borough Park neighborhood. He received a bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College and a master’s in education from St. John’s University.
When Jackie Robinson died in 1972, Mr. Adler campaigned to have his school, then known as Crown Heights Intermediate School 320, named for him.
“The parents wanted it to be named after somebody in the civil rights movement,” Mr. Adler told The New York Times on the 50th anniversary of Robinson’s debut with the Dodgers, “but I reminded them Jackie walked with Dr. Martin Luther King. Jackie gave impetus to all the other movements that developed in the 1960s.”
And so the school bore Robinson’s name and graced its lobby with an oil painting of him.
Mr. Adler gave annual talks over the school’s public-address system about Robinson, saying, as he recalled it, “This is what took place here, this is American history.”
In the late 1970s, Mr. Adler began sending letters to former Brooklyn Dodger players explaining his idea for a memorial to the team, and as word of his mission got around, memorabilia began to flow in. His early collection, stored in his school custodian’s office, included seats from Ebbets Field, which was torn down in 1960, two years after the Dodgers departed for Los Angeles; a uniform worn by Casey Stengel when he managed the Dodgers in the 1930s; and jars of Ebbets Field soil used as landfill at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn.
In June 1984, Mr. Adler helped create a Dodgers exhibit at the central Brooklyn Public Library on Grand Army Plaza and held his first Hall of Fame induction ceremony outside the building.
His first three inductees were figures from the 1950s teams that came to be known as the Boys of Summer: pitcher Carl Erskine, right fielder Carl Furillo and first baseman Gil Hodges, who died in 1972 while managing the Mets and was represented by his widow, Joan. None of the three have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Mr. Adler remained assistant principal at the Jackie Robinson school until his retirement in 1992, and he continued his induction ceremonies for a few years after that. Tommy Lasorda, who pitched in a total of eight games for Brooklyn in the 1954 and 1955 seasons before bleeding Dodger blue as their longtime manager in Los Angeles, was inducted into Mr. Adler’s Hall of Fame in August 2009 in a special ceremony at the Cyclones’ ballpark celebrating his 60 years in the Dodgers’ organization.
Mr. Adler, whose death was announced by his family, lived in Plainview on Long Island. He is survived by his wife, Linda; his sons, Eric and Jeff; his brothers, Richard and Stephen; and two grandchildren.
Although he rallied Brooklynites of a certain age around their heroes of years past, Mr. Adler left one goal unaccomplished: he was never able to help propel Hodges to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He sent bumper stickers to the 5,000 subscribers to his quarterly newsletter in 1999 that read, “Cooperstown Needs Gil Hodges.” He organized a letter-writing campaign to the Hall of Fame’s committee on veterans calling for Hodges’s admission.
“It’s total disappointment for the Brooklyn Dodgers community,” he said at the time, “but we’re never going to give up. We’re from Brooklyn.”

Bert Lance, Carter Adviser

Bert Lance, Carter Adviser, Dies at 82

  • SAVE
  • E-MAIL

Bert Lance, a small-town Georgia banker who became pre-eminent adviser and tennis-playing confidant to Jimmy Carter but was forced to resign after eight months as director of the Office of Management and Budget because of accusations that he had personally traded on his ties with the president, died on Thursday in Georgia. He was 82.
Charles Harrity/Associated Press
Bert Lance spent only eight months as Jimmy Carter’s director of the Office of Management and Budget before resigning.

His death was confirmed in a statement from Mr. Carter, who called him “one of the most competent and dedicated public servants I have ever known.”
Mr. Lance died at home near Calhoun, Ga., Thursday evening, said the Gordon County deputy coroner, Heath Derryberry. The cause was not immediately known, Mr. Derryberry said, but Mr. Lance had been in failing health and was receiving hospice care.
Cleared of wrongdoing in 1980 after a highly publicized 12-week bank fraud trial in Atlanta, Mr. Lance resumed his business career in Georgia, insisting that he held no animosity toward the government officials and journalists who had pursued him.
Though friends said he longed for redemption, Mr. Lance, who often prayed with Mr. Carter, declared that “bitterness breeds destruction.”
Mr. Lance’s troubles during his brief Washington tenure were a blow to the new administration, which took office in 1977 after campaigning as an antidote to the Watergate era culminating in the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon. His departure meant the loss of an important bridge to the business community and a voice counseling restraint of the populist tendencies elsewhere in the administration.
Later, Mr. Lance was indicted and subsequently cleared in the financial scandal involving the shuttered Bank of Credit and Commerce International, for which he served as a consultant after selling his controlling interest in the National Bank of Georgia to an Arab business associate of the B.C.C.I. president.
Nor did he abandon political life. He became chairman of the Georgia Democratic Party in 1982 and chairman of the 1984 presidential campaign of Walter F. Mondale after Mr. Mondale was reportedly talked out of making him the vice-presidential nominee, turning instead to Representative Geraldine A. Ferraro. In 1988, Mr. Lance served as a top adviser to his friend the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who sought the party’s presidential nomination.
An affable 6-foot-5-inch bear of a man with heavy-lidded dark eyes, Mr. Lance, whom Mr. Carter said was like a brother to him, was once described as “a guy with the charm of an old song-and-dance man and the irrepressible guile of a safecracker.”
He was also something of a phrase maker, widely associated with an expression that has persisted in American culture: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
At the budget office, Mr. Lance, the first person chosen by the president-elect for a cabinet-level post, advocated a device called zero-based budgeting, in which each budget item has to be freshly justified each year before it is approved rather than subjected only to financial adjustment. Although Mr. Lance succeeded in rolling back some spending proposals, the device failed to catch on and the goal of balancing the budget by the end of the Carter presidency went unachieved.
Thomas Bertram Lance was born June 3, 1931, in Gainesville, Ga. His father, Thomas Jackson Lance, was president of Young Harris College, a small Methodist institution in northeast Georgia. Young Mr. Lance attended Emory University and the University of Georgia, but under financial pressure to support his wife, the former LaBelle David, whom he had married in 1950 at age 19, and their newborn son, he dropped out shortly before he would have graduated.
He took a job as a $90-a-month teller at the Calhoun First National Bank, which had been founded by his wife’s grandfather. He and some associates bought control of the bank in 1958 and five years later Mr. Lance had risen to chief executive.
The bank, with acquisitions and easy financing that lured some carpet manufacturers to Calhoun from nearby Dalton, grew rapidly, and Mr. Lance became acquainted with Mr. Carter at a regional planning meeting.
After one unsuccessful run for governor, for which Mr. Lance generated business support, Mr. Carter was elected in 1970 and named Mr. Lance director of the state’s crony-ridden and inefficient highway department.
Mr. Lance set about reorganizing it, and within six years, the department had tripled the volume of contracts it let, with a staff that had shrunk by 26 percent.
When Mr. Carter’s term neared its constitutional end, Mr. Lance failed in a bid to succeed him, finishing third in the primary race despite the benefit of bank loans that, while not illegal, had saddled him with the nickname “Loophole Lance.”
Then, with two associates, Mr. Lance acquired control of the National Bank of Georgia, where as president he applied his folksy touch by mingling with ordinary customers and appearing in bank commercials.
The bank thrived, but ultimately his millions of dollars’ worth of shares in it contributed to his political undoing when the stock — placed in a trust on his appointment in Mr. Carter’s administration — tumbled. Mr. Lance persuaded the president to ask the Senate committee that had confirmed him to extend the period during which Mr. Lance had agreed to sell the stock.
Close scrutiny soon led to other charges that while a bank stockholder he had lobbied against a Congressional measure to require loan priority for local communities and allegations that he used his position to obtain a sweetheart loan from the First National Bank of Chicago by placing some of the Georgia bank’s money in an account paying no interest. Another issue was his use of a corporate plane to attend University of Georgia football games.
Mr. Lance denied the allegations and appeared to have survived grilling by the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, which granted his plea for more time to sell his stock, and a detailed investigation by the comptroller of the currency, which concluded that he had done nothing illegal.
But after this apparent exoneration and a vote of confidence by Mr. Carter — he stated in a news conference that he was proud of his budget director — critics seized on specific items that the comptroller considered unsound, like poorly secured loans to bank officers and their relatives.
The committee sought to investigate these and other charges, including Mr. Carter’s use of a bank plane years earlier and Mr. Lance’s role in preventing the Justice Department from investigating whether the Calhoun bank had helped finance Mr. Lance’s 1974 campaign for governor.
Once again Mr. Lance appeared before the committee, accusing members of denying him due process and leading some to think he might survive.
But the political heat was overwhelming, and Mr. Lance resigned and returned to Georgia. Two years later, he was indicted on conspiracy charges and a dozen counts of banking irregularity in the B.C.C.I. affair, none of which resulted in a conviction.
When the Calhoun bank balked at paying some of his legal expenses, Mr. Lance began and won a fierce proxy fight, installed two sons as directors and re-emerged as an influential Georgia banker.
In 1986, the government removed him as the bank’s chairman and director, permanently barred him from associating with any banking institution, and levied a $50,000 civil penalty as part of a settlement of charges of check-kiting and illegal use of Calhoun bank funds in 1983 and 1984.
The 1991 closing by regulators of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, reputed to have been involved in arms trafficking, money laundering, bribery and terrorism, produced more embarrassment for Mr. Lance, this time over charges of accepting huge undocumented fees for consulting services. Mr. Lance, declaring he had had no contact with the bank for more than 10 years, said that at no time had he done anything improper for it.
In later years, he spent increasing amounts of time at his 500-acre hilltop estate near Calhoun called Lancelot, where he cultivated his beloved rose garden and consulted for trucking and carpet companies and informally for Democrats. One side of his large home was built to resemble the White House, the other George Washington’s Mount Vernon.
Survivors include his wife. Information on other survivors was not available Thursday night.
Despite his checkered career, Mr. Lance retained the affection of many. In 2000, nearly 30 years after Mr. Carter appointed him director of the state highway department and two decades after leaving Washington in disgrace, Mr. Lance drew a large crowd of dignitaries and other fellow Georgians to the unveiling of a sign on Interstate 75 in Resaca, Ga., declaring a stretch of it Bert Lance Highway.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Dean Meminger, Knicks Guard

Dean Meminger, Who Helped Knicks to a Title, Dies at 65

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Save
  • E-mail
  • Share
  • Print
  • Reprints

Dean Meminger, a speedy guard and tenacious defender who honed his basketball style in Harlem playgrounds and went on to play for the Knicks’ 1973 N.B.A. title team, was pronounced dead on Friday in a hotel room in Upper Manhattan. He was 65.
John Sotomayor/The New York Times
Dean Meminger scoring for the Knicks in a game in 1973.
The police said that staff members at the Casablanca Hotel, on West 145th Street, discovered Meminger unconscious in his room and that emergency medical personnel pronounced him dead. The cause was under investigation, but the police said there were no signs of trauma.
Meminger had long battled an addiction to cocaine and had acknowledged using drugs as far back as his N.B.A. days, when he was among a glamorous cast of Knicks in the franchise’s glory years. In 2009, he was critically injured in a four-alarm fire in his room in a building in the Bronx.
“They call him Dean the Dream, and he is all of that and more,” Coach Lou Carnesecca said after his St. John’s team was beaten by the Marquette squad led by Meminger in the final of the 1970 National Invitation Tournament at Madison Square Garden. Carnesecca had followed Meminger since he was recruited by Rice High School of Manhattan out of a grammar school basketball tournament.
Al McGuire, Meminger’s coach at Marquette, once said he was “quicker than 11:15 Mass at a seaside resort.”
Meminger, the Knicks’ first-round pick in the 1971 N.B.A. draft, joined a brilliant backcourt led by Walt Frazier, Dick Barnett and Earl Monroe. At 6 feet 1 inch and 175 pounds, he may have seemed overmatched, and he was often a backup. But he was a whirlwind dribbling upcourt, a superb defensive player and a clever ball handler with fine court sense.
His most memorable moments came in Game 7 of the 1973 Eastern Conference finals, when he replaced Monroe in the second quarter, frustrated the hot-shooting Boston Celtics guard Jo Jo White and scored 13 points. After knocking the Celtics out of the playoffs, the Knicks beat the Los Angeles Lakers for the title.
“Dean went out and shut Jo Jo down, and we won that game,” said Phil Jackson, the former Knicks forward and Bulls and Lakers coach. “It was a signature performance in our history.”
Meminger joined other members of the 1973 Knicks team for a ceremony at the Garden on April 5. “There was no one prouder than Dean to be back on the court with his teammates,” Glen Grunwald, the Knicks’ general manager, said in a statement.
A native of Walterboro, S.C., Meminger came to Harlem with his family as a seventh-grader, then starred at Rice and became a dazzling figure at West 135th Street playground games.
“By the time I was 18, I was considered a ballplayer by the other dudes in the park,” he once said. “They were 23, 27, 35 years old, but I could participate. It’s very rugged out here. It’s more physical than the N.B.A.”
Meminger became an all-American guard at Marquette, averaging 18.8 points for three seasons, and was named the most valuable player of the 1970 N.I.T. After three seasons with the Knicks, he played for two with the Atlanta Hawks, then returned to the Knicks in the 1976-77 season. He had a career average of 6.1 points a game.
Meminger coached the New York Stars to the Women’s Professional Basketball League championship in 1980. Two years later he was named coach of the Albany Patroons of the Continental Basketball Association, but Jackson replaced him in midseason.
He was long plagued by drugs. In an interview with The New York Times in 2003, when he was coaching at Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y., Meminger said his cocaine use had escalated after he left the N.B.A. He said he had received treatment for addiction but had several relapses, even while working as a drug counselor. But he said he had been drug free since June 2001.
“Once I left basketball I used to medicate that pain, ache, emptiness — at least that was my perception,” he said. “I isolated my family, alienated my kids.”
He told of fathering children with his high school and college sweethearts and said he had not helped raise his son, Dean Jr., a reporter for the cable television station NY1, or his daughter, Maisha Meminger, who received a graduate degree in social work.
“If I wanted to say somebody was my son, Dean is my son,” he said. “Understands what values are, a loyal, family guy. I don’t know where he learned it from.”
An Appraisal

Dean Meminger: The Dream Who Was a Delight to Coach

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Save
  • E-mail
  • Share
  • Print
  • Reprints

What Willis Reed liked to call “Dean’s game” was remarkable not only because the Knicks handed the Celtics their first Game 7 playoff defeat on their home floor. It was also because the great Earl Monroe never got off the bench after Dean Meminger replaced him at the start of the second quarter.
On that date, April 29, 1973, Monroe took a seat and never so much as frowned while watching Meminger ignite the Knicks in a 94-78 victory that pushed them into the N.B.A. finals. Soon after, they won their second and last league title, in five games over the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Dean was my friend,” Monroe said, recalling his so-called benching a couple of years ago. “I was happy for him.”
Meminger was more than Monroe’s friend. He was the teammate Monroe first connected with when he joined the Knicks in 1971 from the enemy Baltimore Bullets.
Meminger, a first-round draft pick from Marquette, noticed Monroe’s uncertainty about where on the Knicks bench to sit before his first game at Madison Square Garden. He made eye contact and gestured for Monroe to sit next to him. The friendship lasted more than 40 years — until Meminger’s troubled life ended Friday when he was found dead at 65 in a New York hotel room.
Meminger’s struggles with drugs and related hardships began during a six-year career N.B.A. career that ended in 1977. A product of Rice High School in Harlem, he was only 6 feet tall, and his long arms and legs made his upper torso look too small for the rest of his body. There was also nothing very artistic about his jump shot, and he often dribbled the ball too high.
But Dean the Dream, as he was known, was a coach’s delight, a defense-minded hustler with impeccable timing and the uncanny ability to maneuver himself into space between much larger men in the paint.
Knicks Coach Red Holzman inserted him into Game 7 to harass the Celtics’ scoring guard, Jo Jo White. With John Havlicek playing with a dislocated right shoulder, Holzman figured that the Celtics would try to maximize White’s jump shooting with perimeter screens. Meminger, he knew, was better at moving laterally than Monroe.
But Meminger did more than limit White to 21 points (10-for-21 shooting from the floor). He was everywhere as the Knicks took control in the second and third quarters, finishing with 13 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists.
“At that point, even I said, ‘What the heck is this?’ ” Meminger told me in an interview, referring to Holzman’s leaving him in.
Beyond friendship, Monroe’s comfort with Holzman’s decision spoke to a larger generational issue. These days, a superstar’s benching would be developing news as it was happening — with television close-ups, a buzz on Twitter and a multitude of commiserating or angry texts waiting for the player in the locker room on his smartphone.
Newspaper reports on the Knicks’ victory highlighted Meminger’s role but took no issue with Monroe’s sitting out the last three quarters.
In my interview with Meminger, he laughingly recalled that he and Monroe had “hung out all night before that game,” which was played on a Sunday afternoon. “But,” he added, “I won’t give you the gory details.”
Monroe acknowledged that he had done his share of partying with Meminger. “But then you grow up,” he said.
Meminger, sadly, could manage only spells of sobriety after his years as a player. Monroe remained loyal, however. He was godfather to Meminger’s daughter and attended her wedding in 2009. He and his wife, Marita, were never far away when Meminger reached out.
But Monroe has had his own mounting health problems in recent years. Forty years have passed since “Dean’s game.” Meminger and Monroe celebrated it with the others in April at the Garden, one last time.

Dean Peter Meminger (May 13, 1948 – August 23, 2013) was an American basketball player and coach.

Early life and playing career[edit source | editbeta]

Meminger was born in Walterboro, South Carolina, and starred at Rice High School in New York City.[1]
He attended Marquette University, where he played for coach Al McGuire. He helped Marquette win the 1970 National Invitational Tournament. Marquette's 1970 team was ranked 8th in the country at the time and was invited to the NCAA tournament, which it turned down, for a better NIT bid. The NCAA was so incensed by Marquette, it instituted a rule which forced an NCAA Division I team to accept an NCAA bid over an NIT bid. A subsequent antitrust case brought by the NIT against the NCAA over this issue was later settled out of court. Meminger was also the MVP of the 1970 National Invitation Tournament, in which Marquette defeated St. John's 65-53 in the title game. Meminger was drafted in the first round (number 16 overall) of the 1971 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks, with whom he played from 1971 to 1974 and 1976-1977.[2] Meminger played for the Atlanta Hawks from 1974 to 1976.[3]

Coaching career[edit source | editbeta]

Meminger was head coach of the New York Stars in the Women's Professional Basketball League (abbreviated WBL), which played three seasons from the fall of 1978 to the spring of 1981.[4][5]Meminger, with rookie trainer Rick Capistran at his side, guided the Stars to the league championship during the 1979-80 season and was named the league's coach of the year. The team's great success, however, was not enough to save the Stars, which lost so much money the team folded without being able to repeat as champions.[4] Meminger was coaxed to head west, leaving Capistran behind, when he signed up to coach the San Francisco Pioneers in what would be the league's final season.
Among the players Meminger coached to a championship were twins Faye and Kaye Young, fresh out of North Carolina State University. Kaye was married to former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher.[6] Kaye Cowher died of skin cancer at age 54 on July 23, 2010.
In 1982 Meminger was hired to coach the Albany Patroons in the Continental Basketball Association. He was dismissed for his combative style with his players and replaced by his former Knicks teammate and friend Phil Jackson. Meminger convinced Jackson to let him try out for the team but he was unable to resurrect his career on the court.[4]
Meminger coached the USBL's Long Island Knights in 1987, and in later years, spent some time coaching at Manhattanville College in New York.[7]

Personal[edit source | editbeta]

Meminger's son goes by the same name and is a news reporter and anchor for NY1 News.[8]

Fire incident[edit source | editbeta]

On November 22, 2009, Meminger was rescued from a fire in the Bronx, NYC. Suffering from smoke inhalation, he was admitted to the burn unit of Jacobi Medical Center.[9] Meminger recovered and would remain active in local basketball events. He and trainer Rick Capistran reconnected after 30 years when Capistran tracked his old coach down after reading about Meminger's brush with death in the '09 fire.

Death[edit source | editbeta]

Meminger was found dead at the Casablanca Hotel in Harlem on August 23, 2013.[10]