We were glad to be part of the 8th annual Sports Award affair by American Friends of Hebrew U. Baseball great Lee MacPhail, who has floated over the sports scene for over 40 years. What we found particularly laudable was that no-one of the least hosts, Howard Cosell, spoke of Russia or its pulling out of the Olympics along with the string of satellite lands that did the same.
Each one here just ignored the boycott, instead of weeping or offering recipes for this crowd. The annual dinner was conceived and developed by AFHU to commemorate the 11 Israelis who were senselessly slain at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Each year, Cosell, who was assigned to the tragedy in Munich, recalls that act of infamy. Without attempting to veil his emotion, he denounces the action. At the same time, each year, he repeats the resurgence of his Jewish faith, of the pride in his roots and of the more profound feelings that then surfaced and remained as strong as ever “being a Jew.”
Cosell’s love towards Israel, he notes, takes on a peculiar glory because AFHu has established the “Howard Cosell Center of Physical Education at the Hebrew U.” Sonny Werblin, head of Madison Square Garden, is the National Chairman and Bowie Kuhn, former Commissioner of Baseball, is the Deputy Chairman of the Cosell Centre. The dinner is always a fabulous, colorfully decorated event… Team pennants stained all around the room, real Yankee and Mets caps atop miniature baseball bats blazoned by guests of honor (MacPhail-Louisville Slugger).
Sanford Weill, President of the American Express Company, chaired the affair. Robert S. Savin, Westchester County business exec, heads the AFHU National Sports Committee. Beamon, an Olympic Champion, admitted to his guests that before his winning event in the history of sports,’ I ate a bagel and a lox breakfast, and they did wonders for me…’ Howard Cosell “kvelled” his arm around Beamon with smiles shining forth like he said: “Never allow them to downgrade bagels and lox. It’s an ethnic meal to be proud of!
“Another famous international sports and dignitaries present in honor of the memory of Munich 11 Israeli athletes were former New York governor Hugh L. Carey, Donald Trump, Immobiliary tycoon and owner of the General Football Team, ex-Mayor John Lindsay of New York City. Also: Howard Samuels, Israel Bond Chair of New York City and former Off Track of Betting Czar; AUie Sherman; Joe Walton; José Torres; Angel Cordero; Robert J. Corny; Frank Gifford; Nat Holman; Mrs. Elston Howard; and GoHe Howe, among others. “Honoree Lee MacPhail is regarded as one of the prime movers and shapers of major league baseball for the past 40 years,’ said Robert Low, who gave the AFHU lecture to MacPhail.”