The old gentleman got up from his seat and walked slowly along the pipe-railed aisle toward the exit ramp. As he passed each section of seats that sloped high above him, its occupants rose in unison and applauded softly, thus sending a series of rippling waves of warmth after him. Occasionally he raised his hand and turned his face upward, revealing a cherubic smile that played around the eyes and mouth. This demonstration was at least as warming to the audience as it was to the old gentleman, for the audience on this day was wildly partisan and the old ears hadn't heard such heartwarming unanimity in their 80-odd years. The place was Ebbets Field, Brooklyn. The time was the third game of the World Series. The old gentleman was Herbert Hoover, a distinguished fellow fan.
In 17th century Italy lived a philosopher named Tommaso Campanella who offered wisdom, love and power as the highest virtues. It is lamentable no one has succeeded in connecting him genealogically with the Dodger catcher, for Roy, at least in spirit, agrees wholeheartedly with what old Tommaso had to say.
On wisdom (after Billy Martin tried to steal home in the opening game of the World Series): "It's just not smart to try to run home when the catcher is sitting there with the ball, waitin' for you. You're just naturally gonna be out every time."
October 9, 1955
On love (after Martin was tagged hard in the throat and the little Yankee fireball had done a little elbow-swinging in return): "What did I say to him later? I didn't say nothin'. I never get in arguments. None of you ever heard me say anything bad to anybody on another ball club. I just like to get along."
On power (after Campanella had been told Martin was threatening to run over him if the two ever met on the base paths again): "That little squirt run over me? Ha! He's not big enough to run over anybody."
THE YOUNG REBEL
It is doubtful that the Messrs. Stengel and Alston were more conscious of responsibility than, a 13-year-old, 85-pound eighth-grader from Denver named Ardon Barry Hirschfeld who attended his first World Series this year. Barry is the grandson of A. B. Hirschfeld, 67, the Denver fan who saw his first Series in 1919 and has seen 33 others since (SI, Oct. 11, 1954). The elder A. B. brought the boy along with him this year to start him on a string of his own and he hopes it will beat his own record.
"I'll do my best," said Barry at a New York hotel between games. "But I'm going to do it my own way. I'm an American League fan."
The elder Hirschfeld, a rabid National Leaguer who predicted the Giant sweep last year, coughed in embarrassment. "The boy is very young," he said apologetically, "but very sports-minded, I must say. Plays football and baseball in school and he's a fine golfer. What did you have the other day, Barry—a 90, wasn't it?"
"A 95," said Barry. "And I'll always be a Yankee fan."
GOLF & THE HEART
The fact that President Eisenhower, who will be 65 years old this month, played 27 holes of golf on Denver's mile-high Cherry Hills course the afternoon before he suffered his heart attack raised a question in the mind of many an American: Did that much golf at that altitude and at that age cause the attack? (Actually, the exertion involved in the 27 holes was less than most people imagine since the President drove over the course in a motorized cart.)
In any case, Dr. Paul Dudley White, the heart specialist who flew from Boston to treat the President, thinks that the golf and the altitude were not the precipitating causes. "We see attacks come frequently at sea level," Dr. White said, "and in people who never play golf. My own feeling is that golf has often been wrongly blamed, that those who play golf and have an attack at the age of 65 might have had an attack at 45 if they hadn't played golf."
All right! You've got the word from the tower; let's take the runway. Blast off, get your wheels under you, get on up to Mach 1 and, when you make contact, throw in those afterburners! And watch out for bogeys in the flight pattern."
Red alert? Scramble? Unidentified bombers on the radar screen? Negative. Football practice.
This Saturday the new U.S. Air Force Academy begins its first intercollegiate football season against an otherwise undistinguished freshman team from the University of Denver (proving it is still wise, even in this jet and rocket age of aviation, to learn to taxi before you try to fly). No one knows exactly what to expect from the future flyboys except that they should undoubtedly be green. Otherwise, proper security measures have been taken and no enemy spy, even by slipping in to watch a practice session and listen to the coaches give instruction, is going to find out much about tactical plans. The only thing an opposing scout might discover will be nothing new: even on a football field the Air Force just doesn't talk like anyone else.
As part of the academy plan to give its cadets a language all their own, almost everything they are told is couched in jet-pilot lingo. For men like Athletic Director Colonel Bob Whitlow, a three-letter man at West Point before flying 521 combat hours over Europe, and his staff, composed chiefly of veteran Air Force officers like Major Frank Merritt, Captain Cyril Doleac and Captain Julius (Mush) Battista, it's easy. Herewith some of their football vocabulary, supersonic style:
Word from the tower—instructions from the coach.
Take the runway—line up in position.
Get your wheels under you—stay on your feet.
Mach 1—move at full speed.
Throw in afterburners—turn on a little something extra.
Bogey in the flight pattern—opposing back loose in the secondary.
Shoot him down—tackle him.
Look for the wild blue—get your head up, look where you're going.
Flameout—missed tackle or block.
Hot start—offsides or man in motion.
Put down your flaps—slow down.
Sonic boom—good hard tackle.
Assuming, of course, the Denver frosh do not unveil a supersensitive fire control system which might knock too many out of the lead formation or throw up a surprisingly strong defense in depth, the Air Force's new Falcons confidently expect to return to base without losses and report at debriefing:
"Mission completed. Initial strike success."
Mrs. Emma Gatewood of Gallipolis, Ohio, the 67-year-old great-grandmother (SI, Aug. 15) who elected to hike the entire 2,050 miles of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, reached her goal, the summit of mile-high Mt. Katahdin in wild and rugged northeastern Maine. At the top she sang a verse from America the Beautiful, signed the register in a wind that nearly blew her off the summit and said: "I did it. I said I'd do it and I've done it." After 146 days, her dream of being the first woman ever to walk the Appalachian Trail was realized, not without hardships that were overcome only with tremendous courage, ingenuity and will power.
During her trip Grandma Gatewood inched her way over great ledges of shelf rock made slick with sleet, waded across hip-high, 30-foot-wide mountain streams swollen with the rains of Hurricane Diane, whacked with her cane at dense underbrush, pushed her denim sack through holes in the rock formations and then crawled through those holes on her hands and knees. She measured distances between stepping-stones in a swift-moving stream with her cane because she "couldn't see so good" with broken glasses. All this to put "one foot in front of the other and just get there any way I could." She slept "anywhere I could lay my bones down," in people's houses when they didn't slam the door in her face, in porch swings, on porch floors, under picnic tables when it rained and on top of them when it was a clear night. She spent many nights in broken-down lean-tos, abandoned fishermen's camps and often just on a pile of leaves.
Fortunately Grandma is not afraid of being alone in the woods or of the animals in the forest. She says, "Most people get scared when they come up against an animal and right away think they have to make a fight out of it. Animals won't attack you unless you corner them. Fiddlesticks, I never even saw a bear—I made so much racket crashing and thumping through the woods."
Out on the trail, without seeing a soul for days at a time and with no recourse to the "corner store," Grandma met problems of the woods with pioneer ingenuity. Badly in need of an arch support, she picked up the discarded rubber heel from a man's shoe and taped it to the bottom of her instep. Her hair snarled and, with no opportunity to buy a comb, she poked around a campsite, found a plastic picnic fork, broke off the handle, and the five tines made a workable comb. On bitter cold nights she heated large flat stones and lay on them to keep from freezing.
Asked why she undertook the trip, Grandma answered, "Because I wanted to,"—and because of the alluring things she had read about the Appalachian Trail. The reality was a disillusionment. The trail is actually not so much a single trail as a succession of links—largely designed by local hiking groups who want stiff and stimulating courses for Sunday bursts of exercise. The result is often a succession of obstacle courses not unsuited to Army basic training. Moreover, local groups are responsible for maintenance of most trails and campsite facilities; some have fallen into scandalous neglect. But let Grandma tell it:
"I read about this trail three years ago in a magazine and the article told about the beautiful trail, how well marked it was, that it was cleared out and that there were shelters at the end of a good day's hike. I thought it would be a nice lark. It wasn't. There were terrible blow downs, burnt-over areas that were never re-marked, gravel and sand washouts, weeds and brush to your neck, and most of the shelters were blown down, burned down or so filthy I chose to sleep out of doors. This is no trail. This is a nightmare. For some fool reason they always lead you right up over the biggest rock to the top of the biggest mountain they can find. I've seen every fire station between here and Georgia. Why, an Indian would die laughing his head off if he saw those trails. I would never have started this trip if I had known how tough it was, but I couldn't and I wouldn't quit."
Once before, Grandma had been forced to quit. In the summer of 1954 she started the trail in Maine but after a few days she broke her glasses, got lost and ran out of food. When authorities caught up with her and persuaded her to go home, the populace breathed a sigh of relief. Grandma went to California to work at a practical nursing job. She walked up and down three flights of stairs in answer to every patient's call in addition to walking 30 blocks a day to get in trim. She saved her money out of her $25-a-week job. In May she flew down to Georgia without telling anyone, including her family, of her plans.
This time at the finish nobody joked about Grandma, and everybody within a 100-mile radius of Mt. Katahdin was pulling for her. The telephone wires hummed with daily reports of her progress and when the single-strand, tree-strung telephone wire fell down, a bush pilot flew into camps to check up on her. The game warden strapped a heavy boat on top of his car, drove ten miles over a rough washboard road and took her across a river where the bridge had washed out, thus saved her an extra 10-mile detour. But the ultimate tribute, perhaps, came from a born-and-reared Maine woodsman who said, "Got to hand it to her. Takes guts, pioneer guts."
TWO SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a beehive of experiment, gave up intercollegiate football in the year 1901 after a fairly brief period of trial and error. University of Notre Dame began to play serious football about the same time MIT gave up, and since then has learned at least as much about pass formations as MIT has learned about electrons. All this time, however, there has been a community of sports philosophy between the two schools, very likely unrecognized by either: each has developed intramural sports to the fullest. It remained for a couple of academic gifts to call attention to a similarity between two schools which, at first sight, could scarcely be more different.
David du Pont, who would have been a senior at MIT this fall had he not been killed in a sports car accident last month, left $1,000,000 to his college for "the improvement of its athletic facilities." James Gerity Jr., a Michigan industrialist who attended the University of Toledo but is on Notre Dame's College of Commerce advisory council, gave Notre Dame $5,000 to encourage student participation in bridge and golf.
Richard Balch, MIT director of athletics and onetime Union College football coach, batted down rumors that the million-dollar bequest meant MIT would go back to intercollegiate football. He is more interested in such "carry-over sports" as tennis, golf, swimming, sailing—the kind a man can continue for the rest of his life. Some such thought crossed Gerity's mind last February while cruising off Miami Beach with Ed (Moose) Krause, Notre Dame's director of athletics.
"As life goes on," says 51-year-old Gerity, "there are only three things you can do in sports—golf, bridge and swimming." Incomplete, perhaps, but it sums up the idea. He and Moose talked, he says, "about all the boys who are not fitted for athletics who ought to find some means of recreation. And we talked about the help it can be in the business world to know how to play bridge and golf. I made this donation just to get the ball rolling. It isn't much. Maybe other people will chip in."
The ball is off to a nice smooth roll. Bridge expert Charles Goren attended the Notre Dame-SMU game as Gerity's guest and next day lectured on bridge to some 450 students and guests. He spent the afternoon playing with students. Oswald Jacoby, whose son John is a Notre Dame freshman, has been helping out, too.
The golf segment of the Gerity program will get under way next spring. Notre Dame has an 18-hole course on campus and, in fact, competes on an intercollegiate basis in both golf and bridge. But Gerity's gift is not aimed at stepping up intercollegiate competition. He wants to reach the students who would not ordinarily play. The expectation is that in a school with 15 residence halls, all supporting their own athletic teams and clubs, an earnest drive to whip up enthusiasm for intramural golf and bridge could develop into something really fierce.
MILWAUKEE'S WORLD SERIES
It was the eighth inning of the opening game of the series and the little left-hander looked toward the plate, wound up and threw. The big man at the plate swung hard, and the ball sailed off over the fence for a home run.
Whitey Ford of the Yankees pitching to Duke Snider of the Dodgers before 65,000 in Yankee Stadium? No, Sadao Kawai of the Kanebo All-Stars pitching to Jim Ryan of the Saskatoon Gems before 8,000 in Milwaukee's County Stadium. It was the first Global World Series of semipro baseball and to most of the eight competing teams every bit as important as any professional World Series in history.
Teams from Hawaii, Colombia, Spain, Puerto Rico, Japan, Canada and Mexico descended upon Milwaukee, the best baseball town in the world, to have fun, promote international good will and, almost incidentally, decide in a week-long double elimination tournament who has the best nonprofessional baseball team in the world. The baseball wasn't expected to be as good as that in New York and wasn't, but some of the sidelights turned out to be even better.
The Japanese were met at the airport by Japanese-American girls who later made up a special cheering section. The Hawaiians were greeted with hula dances and leis; in return they offered kisses, some of which accidentally strayed over to a pair of nice elderly ladies waiting to board another plane nearby. The Colombians, shivering in Milwaukee's chill 70° air (the temperature was over 90° when they left home), carried gifts of Colombian beer to present to beer-conscious Milwaukee but couldn't find out what to do with it when their interpreter became indisposed and had to be whisked off to bed.
After almost two days of parades, beauty contests, sightseeing tours, banquets and speeches by such high-ranking foreign dignitaries as the ambassadors of Colombia and Japan, the chargé d'affaires of Spain, a senator from Puerto Rico and famed Duke Kahanamoku, official greeter and sheriff of Honolulu, the teams finally got around to what they had come for—playing baseball.
At the end of a week, the tournament wound up as expected: the U.S. champions, the Boeing Bombers of Wichita, Kans., won the Global Championship but failed to prove that the American national game is still a continental monopoly. Plucky little Hawaii, beaten earlier in the tournament, forced the series into an extra day by upsetting the Bombers 8-6 and then carried the title game to 11 innings before losing 7-4.
The Hawaiians were good losers, but their attitude was as uncompromising as any ever adopted in Brooklyn or Milwaukee: wait till next year.
He strikes out all
The opposing team
By treating the ball
With vanishing cream.
—IRWIN L. STEIN
CURRENT WEEK & WHAT'S AHEAD
World Series players' shares this year will average about 25% less than last year's record high: $11,147.90 for the Giants, $6,712.50 for the Indians. The reason lies in Ebbets Field's seating capacity, 32,111, which reduced the take for both teams.
Army's backfield, supposedly weak, showed strength against Penn State in a 35-6 rout, with Don Holleder, converted from end to quarterback, calling plays and performing expertly on four touchdown drives; Captain Pat Uebel playing well and variously at right half, left half and fullback as needed.
Navy's line, small but hard-charging, smoothed the road to a 26-0 win over South Carolina. George Welsh, wizard quarterback, and Ron Beagle, All-America end, teamed to complete four out of five passes in the first half. Forecast: Wonderful Army-Navy game next November 26 at Philadelphia.
Ronnie Knox was out with an injured clavicle but UCLA seemed not to miss him in a 55-0 trouncing of Washington State, the Cougars' worst loss in 33 years. The Knox injury, incurred in the Maryland game, is minor and he should be in against Oregon State.
Donald Campbell's Bluebird, in which he set a world water speed record of 202 mph in England, was loaded on a plane for flight to Lake Mead, Nevada and an attempt to outdo the record Oct. 16. Cost of chartered transportation: about $20,000.
The Belmont Futurity this week may produce the champion 2-year-old of 1955 (Nashua won it last year) but such summer stars as Swoon's Son, Needles and Bold Bazooka won't be in it. The favorite may be Career Boy but a lot of attention will be on the bay filly Doubledogdare, even though no filly has won the Futurity since First Flight in 1946.