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S A I N T S   &   B I R T H D A Y   P A G E

April 4, 1997

Saint Of The Day:

A. Bartlett Giamatti

A. Bartlett Giamatti moved from the presidency of Yale University to take on one of the most high-profile jobs in America, president of the National League, and then he became commissioner of all baseball.
Organized baseball invented the job of commissioner back in 1919, when certain key players on the Chicago White Sox consorted with gamblers to throw the World Series. Once that story was out, the public cried out for a czar with almost unlimited dictatorial powers to deal most severely with anything that would sully the honesty of "the national past time" in a simpler age when baseball was a symbol of the American way. Baseball answered that call with Kenesaw Mountain Landis, a stern federal judge who had dared fine Standard Oil jillions of dollars for exercising its roughshod power in ways contrary to the public interest. Landis became baseball's czar, and he made more money than Babe Ruth, which, in a country that worshipped the dollar, was itself symbolic. The sporting public wasn't at all sure whether Giamatti could be a commissioner like Landis. He was a classical scholar and a dazzling writer and the youngest Yale president in history. But could he be tough on crime? He proved he could, in 1989, a week before his untimely death at the age of 51, by kicking Pete Rose out of baseball. Rose was a hustling superstar who set a major league record for the most hits ever in a single career. But he bet on baseball. And, thanks to Bart Giamatti, he would never play in the major leagues again.

MODEL: Giamatti's refreshingly candid devotion to the principle that there is such a thing as right and wrong. Suspending Rose for life was not a popular move. "What's a little bet?" some sports columnists wanted to know. "Plenty," said Giamatti, who was a fine student of human nature, "because little bets have a way of turning into big ones."

Your Birthday Today:

April 4
Day of First Steps

Innovative, Energetic, Driven

Impulsive, Volatile, Rebellious

Ball's in your court. If you were born on April 4, most people shy away from your peculiarities, but you take the first action and fight for what you want. Unfortunately, you may not know what you want until later in life, so you have to hang in there. Ruled by the number 4 and the planet Uranus, you can be rebellious and reactive.

Follow through. You must not only initiate projects but finish them as well. Your success depends on it. Don't get involved in every new project that comes along, or you may find yourself completing few of them to your satisfaction.

Steamroller. You can be stubbornly determined in your projects, and those that oppose you should think twice, even friends and family. Your saving grace is that you can be heading in the wrong direction, realize your mistake, change course and continue on with vigor.

Top dog. You seek not just acceptance but top rank in your field. It's not the applause you're after, just a prominent position where you can get things done your way. You'd make a fine executive and function well with others, but may choose to use your leadership abilities in your family of social group. Those that work for you find it very taxing but satisfying, since you make project objectives clear and are a fair evaluator. You may, however, grow impatient if you have to repeat yourself.

Some advice: Take some time to think things through. Snuff out explosive, impulsive urges before they get out of hand. Don't lay out all your cards at the beginning of the game. Be a little mysterious and keep a few secrets for later.

Also born on this day: Marguerite Duras (French novelist) Muddy Waters (blues legend) Maya Angelou (poet, writer) Arthur Murray (dance instructor) Anthony Perkins (actor) Elmer Bernstein (film composer) Hugh Maskela (South African trumpeter, singer) JoAnn Carner (golfer) Robert Downey, Jr. (actor) Anthony Tudor (dancer) Gil Hodges (managed "Miracle Mets" to World Series victory) Chloris Leachman (actress) Emmett Williams (poet)