OPENING DAY FOR AMATEURS AND PROS
In Washington D.C. a noted sore-shouldered right-hander drew back his arm and fired the ball from his box seat; in Detroit a bow-tied governor squatted behind home plate to receive the first pitch; in Atlanta a bosomy actress displayed her baseball form, and in Chicago a 66-year-old mechanic did the honors as opening days for the 1955 baseball season sprouted around the U.S., Cuba and Canada. When all the amateurs famous and unknown alike had finished their appointed tasks it was the umpires' turn to step up to home plate and shout the game's most venerable cliché: "Play ball!" And then in the best of traditions came the time for "hurlers to toe the slab," and "hitters to swing the ash." With the ball actually in play, several professional performers immediately served notice that from opening day to October they themselves intend to produce the headlines of the sports pages. Among those who stood out were massive Ted Kluszewski of Cincinnati whose 49 home runs last season led both leagues; Ralph Kiner, purchased by the Cleveland Indians this winter from the Chicago Cubs; and Robin Roberts, the Philadelphia Phillies' iron-armed pitcher.
President Eisenhower concentrates on his pitching form as he throws out the first ball in Washington.
Governor G. Mennen Williams of Michigan uses a catcher's mitt while waiting for the first pitch at Detroit.
April 24, 1955
Ted Kluszewski, Cincinnati first baseman, accepts congratulations of teammates Ray Jablonski and Gus Bell after hitting home run on opening day.
Ralph Kiner deal begins to pay off immediately for the Cleveland Indians as Kiner hits a home run for the Indians in first game against Chicago White Sox. The Indians beat White Sox 5-1 in game.
Governor Frank Lausche, Ohio, tosses ball at Cincinnati.
Film star Terry Moore's feet are wiped off after she threw the first ball barefoot at Atlanta.
Mechanic Jacob Walter, 66, hurls ball for Chicago Cubs, who picked him as average fan.
Robin Roberts of Philadelphia Phillies follows through on pitch in game against New York Giants. Roberts allowed no hits for 8‚Öì innings, won 4-2.
V.P.'S FISH STORY
Richard M. Nixon's rapid rise from grocery clerk to Vice President of the United States left little time for play. Nixon did manage to find time in his packed schedule of governmental chores to get in some golf. But despite this enthusiastic excursion into the world of sport, in certain Washington quarters there still remained much shaking of heads and furrowing of brows as it was noted that the man only a heartbeat away from the Presidency did not know a Parmachene Belle from a backlash and seemingly cared less. Not since Calvin Coolidge supposedly donned white gloves and used hooks baited with worms by Secret Service men had there been a comparable crisis.
But last week Dick Nixon journeyed to the Florida Everglades on a fishing expedition which included SI Correspondent James Shepley. On his first attempt at the skilled sport of spin-casting the Vice President threw out enough line for a bird's nest capable of housing a family of eagles. A companion cut away 50 yards of line and coached the novice. Gradually Nixon's technique improved, his enthusiasm soared. Suddenly he snagged his line high in a mangrove. Struggling to get it loose, he jumped up on the skiff's seat and yanked. The skiff obeyed Newton's third law of motion and, like a skilled tumbler, Nixon did a neat back somersault over the gunwale. When he came up he grabbed the side of the boat, awkwardly climbed aboard (center). Damply returning to the sport his conversion appeared certain. But as the party headed home the guide attempted a 180° turn. There was a sickening lurch, and Nixon, Journalist Shepley and guide found themselves in the Everglades mud. Aboard again, the Vice President of the United States finally found a proper parliamentary comment: "This certainly was an interesting experience."
Mangrove-Snagged Lure draws fisherman Nixon's attention. (Right) overboard, Vice President pulls and tugs to get aboard the skiff and finally manages to get a leg over the gunwale and haul himself aboard in a most unfishermanlike manner.
Second mishap puts everybody in the water. Nixon (center) learned from first experience proper way to get back but asks, "Do you think there's any use getting in?"
Admiring catch in type of shirt often favored by Harry Truman, Nixon holds up two large snook. The Vice President failed to catch any fish himself but other members of the Everglades party were more successful, bringing in half a dozen snook.
TENNIS GREATS STAND FOR NET PORTRAIT
The cast of characters for the Pride of Cleveland World Professional Tennis Championships (known with mock brevity as the POCWPTC) included 15 tennis stars who have highlighted U.S. amateur and professional tennis over a 20-year span. Lining up beside a net for a rare and nostalgic mass portrait of tennis power were 14 players including six U.S. singles champions, three Wimbledon winners and five U.S. professional champions. In chronological tennis order the most veteran figure is British-born Fred Perry (far right), who was USLTA singles winner in 1933, '34 and '36, currently a professional at Boca Raton, Fla. Don Budge, USLTA winner in 1937-38, is manager of Manhattan's Town Tennis Club and partner in the Budge-Wood Service, Inc. (launderers). Bobby Riggs, USLTA champion in 1939 and '41, is the professional at Miami Beach's Roney Plaza Hotel. Pauline Betz Addie, USLTA women's champion in 1942, '43, '44 and '46, is now a housewife with three children. Frank Parker, USLTA titleholder in 1944-45, now works for a container company. Richard (Pancho) Gonzales, USLTA champion in 1948-49, is a free-lance professional who has toured with Jack Kramer's troupe and who won the recent POCWPTC. Kramer, USLTA champion in 1946-47, played in the POCWPTC but missed the picture. Others in the photograph are Magda and Vini Rurac, Rumanian-born husband and wife professionals at Palm Springs, Calif.; Frank Kovacs, Carl Earn and Johnny Faunce, California professionals; Martin Buxby, Florida professional; Al Doyle, New York City professional; Francisco (Pancho) Segura, Ecuadorian-born who was also part of the Jack Kramer group, was runner-up to Gonzales.
PAULINE BETZ ADDIE