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February 27, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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February 27, 2014

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..... ;; A-4 - Mason County Journal - Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 KOMEN COMMENT Believe the unbelievable 't was unbelievable. A match that could never be made. But .it happened. It was Aug. 22, 1957, and the setting was a box- ing ring on the pitcher's mound in Sick's Seattle Stadium. The unbelievable was happening. The world's professional heavy- weight champion, Floyd Patterson, was about to fight the world's ama- teur heavyweight cham- pion, Pete Rademacher. It had never been done before or since. Rademacher, a star football player and colle- giate champion boxer at Washington State College, boxed his way as an amateur to the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia. It was at the height of Cold War tensions between the So- viet Union and the United States. Rademacher had earned his way to the Olympics via a 79-fight amateur career. It was dramati- cally inevitable that he and the Russian champion, Lev Moukh- ine, would face each other for the Olympic heavyweight title. The U.S. vs. the U.S.S.R. It was over quickly. Radem- acher caught the Russian in the opening seconds with a couple of hard body shots that put him on the ropes. Then with several dev- astating right hands to the head the Russian began crumpling to the canvas, out on his feet. The ref- eree stopped the bout, immediately raised Rademacher's right hand, and the stage was set for high dra- ma in a ring at Sick's Stadium. Rademacher, a born self- promoter, challenged Patterson to a title fight. The boxing world scoffed, and Patterson dismissed such a bout as beyond the realm of reality. But Rademacher persisted in his campaign for the fight of the century, a match of the amateur champion against the professional champion. He kept at it, challenging Pat- terson on every occasion. And he captured attention simply by the boldness of his challenge. Others took up his cause, and Rademach- er's backers included some wealthy patrons who knew that money talks. The campaign for the ama- teur vs. professional championship fight began to take hold. Cus D'Amato, Patterson's man- ager, finally took notice of all the clamor Rademacher was causing. Probably thinking Rademacher and his partisans would go away, By JOHN KOMEN + Mason County 11i /o urn00 USPS 492-800 D'Amato said put up or shut up -- they would agree to the title fight for a quarter of a million dol- lars. One of Rademacher's backers didn't hesitate. It took $250,000 in cash to get Patterson in the ring. "For what they offered me, I couldn't refuse," said the heavyweight champ. And the fight was on. Rademacher easily won the first round. And to the amazement of the boxing world, he knocked down Patterson in the second round. He had bettered Patterson for two rounds. It looked as if the amateur boxing champion might be on his way to winning the heavyweight championship of the world in his very first profes- sional fight. Reality set in when the bell rang for the third round. Pat- terson put Rademacher on the canvas once in the third. In the fifth round, the professional dom- inated the amateur, Patterson downing Rademacher four times. It was over in the sixth with two more knockdowns, the last one with referee Tommy Loughran tolling 10 over the Olympic champion. Patterson collected his quarter of a million dollars. Rademacher never made a cent, putting his all into challenging for the cham- pionship. He never again came close to a title fight. He fought as a professional 24 times, winning 17 with victories over such name boxers as George Chuvalo and Bobo Olson, and losing to other big names like Zora Folley and Archie Moore. But for Rademacher and box- ing fans, the big moment came on a hot summer night in Seattle 56 years ago in the ring on that pitcher's mound in Sick's Stadium. A campaign poster of the event says it all: "Floyd Patterson, World's Heavyweight Champion VS. Pete Rademacher, World's Amateur Heavyweight Champion" We'll never see the like again. John Komen, who lives on Mason Lake, was for 40 years a re- porter and editor, TV anchorman, national TV network correspon- dent, producer, columnist, edito- rial writer and commentator. His column, Komen Comment, appears each week in the Mason County Journal. Journal making changes Av s I approach my seven-month anni- ersary as publish- er of the Mason County Journal, I want to highlight some of the changes we have made to your community newspaper, and will make in the near future. You might have noticed a few of these changes in re- cent months. Starting with this issue, we've made a few more. It's all part of our continu- ing effort to bring you the best quality newspapers we can. I'm particularly proud of our One of a Kind series of personality profiles. This ongoing series will showcase the unlimited di- versity of interesting peo- By TOM HYDE ple in our community. It's our way of celebrating the strength and individuality of Mason County. It also highlights those people who, while they might rarely make headlines, are so important to the fabric of our community. In this is- sue, we have also made a few minor but sig- nificant design changes. With newer and bolder headline fonts, more use of summa- ry boxes, and a generally cleaner and more modern layout, we are increasing readability. We always strive to package our sto- ries in the most accessible form. Good design makes the complex easier to un- derstand. I am also pleased to an- nounce we are expanding the newsroom with the addition of another gen- eral assignment reporter. This will help us provide a wider range of coverage and more in-depth story- telling. Great reporting takes time. In a world increasingly served a cynical fast food diet of tabloid fare, reality television and news in 140 characters or less, I sin- cerely believe that quality, integrity and depth mat- ter -- maybe more than ever. Whether writing features on local people or news series on important topics, our reporters will be able to take the extra time necessary to dig into the issues that affect all of us in the Mason County community. see CHANGES, page A-5 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR City should rethink check'policy' Editor, the Journal My stepfather, Earl Thornton, who is 80, paid his utility bill and then was told his check wasn't in the envelope so he went down and paid his bill in person. He then put a stop payment on the first check he sent as he didn't know where it was. A week later he received a dis- connect notice saying he not only didn't pay his bill but owed $35 for a returned check fee. It seems that the check was in the en- velope after all and they ran it through without informing Earl that they did so. We managed to straighten out the bill situation but the city still charged him $35 for the returned check even though it was their mistake and have refused to take it offhis bill citing that this is the city "policy." Is this the way that our city treats its citizens (especially its senior citi- zens) -- putting policy before people? If so our city government ought to be ashamed of themselves and change the policy that when the city is at fault it doesn't make its people pay for it. Kanaychowa Layman Shelton see LETTERS, page A-5 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Mason County Journal, Re. Box 430, Shelton, WA 98584. Published weekly by the Mason County Journal at 227 West Cota Street, Shelton, Washington Mailing address: Re. Box 430, Shelton, WA 98584 Telephone (360) 426-4412.www.masoncounty.com Periodicals postage paid at Shelton, Washington Mason County Journal is a member of Washington Newspaper Publishers' Association. SUBSCRIPTION RATES: $37 per year for Mason County addresses, $51 per year in state of Washington but outside Mason County, $61 per ........................ year out of state. Owned and published by She#on-Mason County Joumal, Inc. Tom Hyde, publisher Newsroom: Adam Rudnick, editor Natalie Johnson, reporter Gordon Weeks, reporter Emily Hanson, sports reporter Kirk Ericson, proofreader Advertising: Dave Pierik, Sr. Acct. Executive Kathy Brooks, ad representative Lloyd Mullen, ad representative Front office: Donna Kinnaird, bookkeeper Rene6 Chaplin, circulation Composing room: William Adams, graphics Linda Frizzell, graphics All editorial, advertising and legal deadlines are 5 p.m. Monday prior to publication. To submit a letter to the editor, email adam@masoncounty.com. ! 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