Angles in the Outfield

Fame is not the name of the game in controversy over ASU baseball field

"I think Winkles Field is fine," Gallagher says. "I think there ought to be something named for Jim, too, for what he did."

Like what?

"What's left? A pavilion. A clubhouse. I have no idea."

Naming the baseball field after Winkles also needed approval from the Packard family, which donated several hundred thousand dollars in the early 1970s to build Packard Stadium. Guthrie Packard Jr. is emphatic that Brock supporters are striking out by requesting the field be named after both coaches.

"It's a classless action. It takes away from the program," Packard says. "Nothing will be accomplished by stirring it up."

Former Sun Devil All-American Michael Colbern says he's talked to more than 40 former ASU players who later became major league players. They believe that Winkles and Brock should at least share equal billing, and some think the field should be named only after Brock.

Anthony C. Manahan, a former Brock player, is one of those who says the field should be named after Brock.

"Had myself and other players known of the donation by Mr. Hancock and Hancock Homes, we would have not only come forward earlier but would have easily raised as much or more money in protest, and to show our support for a different name (Brock Field comes to mind)," Manahan wrote in a February 20 letter to ASU president Lattie Coor.

Colbern is less strident, seeking to find a compromise.

"I think we have a simple solution to this problem," Colbern states in a letter to Coor that included a dozen quotes from other ASU former players and prominent college baseball coaches supporting Brock. "Just add Brock's [name] next to Winkles."

That solution appears very unlikely at this late date. Coor formally approved naming the field after Winkles on February 26. And Winkles doesn't appear to be ready to accept equal billing.

Reached at his home in La Quinta, California, Monday evening, Winkles laughed when told that Patsy Brock says she would have asked that the field be called Winkles-Brock if ASU was seeking to name the field solely after her late husband.

Pressed on whether he would support adding Brock's name to his, Winkles balked, and gave an odd statement that doesn't appear to recognize that Brock died nearly six years ago.

"I'm just going to go over there Saturday and have a good time," Winkles says. "I want to see my ex-players and the fans and come home Monday. I don't have anything against Jim Brock or Patsy Brock. They can do what they want to, or feel what they want to. That's their privilege. They live in America."

One person who won't be at the field dedication ceremony at Packard Stadium Saturday is Patsy Brock.

"I don't think I will ever walk through those gates again," she says.

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