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MLB: Controversy over Piersall's "Special Privileges" in Senators' Camp

Mar. 5, 1962 - Gene Woodling, Washington’s leading hitter and the American League player representative, charged today that Jimmy Piersall (pictured with a batting tee he is promoting), the Senators’ highest-salaried player, was receiving special privileges from the club. “Who does that guy think he is — Joe DiMaggio?” asked Woodling. “I don’t like this prima donna treatment he’s getting. It isn’t fair to the other players. They’re human, too.” Woodling said other players on the team had complained that Piersall had asked for special privileges, such as rooming by himself, bed boards, and demanding meal money in lieu of eating at the hotel restaurant with the other players. Piersall was stunned by Woodling’s charges. “I never asked for special privileges and I never will,” he said. “I was given a special room because a psychiatrist advised that I have one. I don’t like noise. I am an early riser. I don’t understand why Woodling is teeing off on me. I have always liked him. I admire him very much.” Ed Doherty, general manager of the Senators, denied Woodling’s charges. He acknowledged that Piersall roomed alone, but only because “he’s high-strung and would benefit by privacy.” “Sure, Jimmy asked for bed boards. What’s so bad about that? He has a bad back and the boards make him more comfortable. I ask for them myself at every hotel. As for Jimmy asking for meal money, the first night he was here he was not satisfied with the food, and he asked for money to eat out. I told him it couldn’t be done. The only players we permit to eat out at the club’s expense are married men living off the base. They are permitted $12 a day for meals. Jimmy didn’t argue. Matter of fact, he likes the food at the hotel now.”

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