Ever since he began taking wheel chair excursions to a sun deck at Denver's Fitzsimons Army Hospital, President Eisenhower has been good-humoredly badgering his doctors for a vital piece of intelligence—the date on which he can expect to get his fresh air with a golf club in his hands. Last week the medical men gave him a solid commitment. When Ike gets back to his farmhouse at Gettysburg shortly before Thanksgiving he will have permission to putt on a practice green which the USGA and Washington friends are installing for him. "I'm going," the President said, "to become a very keen short-game artist."
Ike reaped other rewards during the week for the coolness and self-discipline with which he has made his fight against coronary thrombosis. He was allowed to begin walking at will in his room, and his diet was increased from 1,600 to 1,800 calories. Meanwhile the public got visual reassurance of the President's recovery—a smiling Page One photograph of Ike sitting in the sun outside his hospital suite, wearing red pajamas with an embroidered legend, "Much better, thanks," over his heart (see page 26). He was tanned and jaunty; in the words of one cameraman, "clear and bright as a button." Since these good tidings were well reported, and thus available even to horse players, it would seem shortsighted to conclude without touching on a corollary phenomenon which occurred some 2,000 miles east of the President's suite. Bettors allowed a 4-year-old named Fighting Ike to go off at 28 to 1 in the third race at Jamaica on Friday afternoon—a horrible mistake. Fighting Ike won, naturally, and paid $57.50.
WOODWARD'S LAST ACT
November 7, 1955
The death of William Woodward Jr. (see Mileposts), master of Belair Stud and owner of Nashua, brings to a tragic end the promising career of one of America's most popular and constructive young sportsmen.
Yet, obscured and overshadowed by the black headlines, was an act in which young Bill Woodward participated just a few days ago—one which reflects the same sort of enthusiasm for Thoroughbred racing that Woodward demonstrated in 1953, when, on the death of his father, he took over the management of one of turfdom's greatest stables. In his last act in behalf of U.S. racing, Woodward joined with a group of fellow sportsmen to buy Tulyar, the 6-year-old prize stallion of the Irish National Stud, from the Irish government.
Tulyar, once owned by the Aga Khan, represents foreign breeding—with its accent on stamina rather than sprint speed—at its best. When the Irish Stud paid the Aga Khan a record $700,000 for him in 1953 there was a furor in the Dail. One member moaned: "The people cry for milk, and the government gives them a horse." The purchase never quite ceased to be a political football, and recently the Irish let it be known that Tulyar was for sale. The American syndicate that bought him for $672,000 last week was headed by A. B. (Bull) Hancock of Kentucky's Claiborne Farm and included beside Bill Woodward such familiar racing names as Ogden Phipps, John Hertz and Harry Guggenheim.
The move that brings Tulyar to the U.S. is the latest and most dramatic example of the determined effort to strengthen Thoroughbred blood lines here. Among Tulyar's distinguished fellow immigrants in recent years have been Nasrullah, sire of Nashua, and Khaled, sire of Swaps. When the sale of Tulyar was announced the cries from across the Atlantic were loud and critical. Said Marcus Marsh, his former trainer: "It seems that America is buying all our good classic strains.... If it continues America will become No. 1 in the breeding industry."
Young Bill Woodward was doing his best—as his father had done before him—to make America No. 1 in the breeding industry. Two days before his death he gave SI his answer to overseas critics who complain that U.S. capital is destroying the British bloodstock industry. "Horse racing is big business and a big gamble," he said. "If we're in the business we want to be best at it." With typical Woodward enthusiasm he added: "I'm looking forward to the day when some Tulyars run in the Belair silks."
ON TO AUSTRALIA
More than 1,000 people worked their way into a ballroom in New York City to break bread and listen to speakers at the Olympic Dinner of the City of New York Committee for the 1956 Olympic Games. The purpose of the dinner: fund raising for the U.S. Olympic Committee. The need: well over $1,000,000 to clothe, feed, house and transport several hundred healthy young American men and women to Italy this January (for the Winter Games) and to Australia just a year from now for traditional main events.
Mayor Robert Wagner proudly announced that the New York Committee had accepted as its quota the sum of $375,000, almost a third of the total amount to be raised by the National Committee. This drew cheers, but perhaps the best cheers of all were for Sir Percy Spender, the Australian ambassador to the United States. Speaking in Manhattan, an island once sold to newcomers for $24, Sir Percy allowed himself to hope that the fund drive would not be too over subscribed, for fear "you'll buy our place when you get there." Between bursts of laughter and applause he also made several points: Australia is by nature and custom a friendly country and is (contrary to opinion heard in some corners of the globe) looking forward eagerly to the Olympics; he does not believe (again contrary to some voiced opinion) that the Olympics are by nature belligerent and "have a divisive characteristic"; and he believes that the associations developed at the Olympiads do much more to "advance the course of international understanding than many of the international conferences that I have to attend."
The thousand diners went home filled, it is hoped, with the spirit of friendliness so evident in Percy Spender, as well as with a firm desire to rally round the Olympic Fund Drive.
In the early weeks of the 1908 season the New York Highlanders began a nose dive which landed them flat in the American League cellar at the end of June. At which point the manager, who wasn't used to losing, quit. "I'm leaving baseball," Clark Calvin Griffith announced in disgust, "to go live on a ranch in the West."
In later years, after he had learned to lose gracefully, Clark Griffith could grin and explain why he returned: "I just changed my mind," he would say. "And I ain't sorry."
He had no reason to be sorry. When death came to him last week, he had spent 68 of his 86 years in the game of baseball—and baseball was richer for it.
Clark Griffith was a smart, tough, black-haired kid of 21 when he came up to the big league in 1891, a product of the Missouri badlands. As a boy he had saddled horses for Jesse James, killed a wildcat with a club and learned about the new game of baseball from soldiers returning from the Civil War. When he finally battled his way up through minor league teams in woolly western boom towns, he was ready.
Pitching with his head—and a soft variety of stuff which made him look like an early ancestor of Eddie Lopat or Preacher Roe—he built a record which looked more like that of Robin Roberts. In five of seven years with Cap Anson's Chicago Colts he won 20 or more games, pitching against men with names like Napoleon Lajoie and Willie Keeler. He earned the title of The Old Fox at the age of 25—and pitched himself into the Hall of Fame.
If Clark Griffith hadn't made it one way, he would have another. When Ban Johnson broke away from the National League in 1901, he named Griff his chief recruiter—and in later years Griff said he got every player he went after except a stubborn Dutchman named Honus Wagner. Once he borrowed $500 from Philadelphia Owner Tom Shibe—and a few minutes later slipped it to Philadelphia's best pitcher, Ed McFarland, to jump over to the American League.
Griffith managed Charles Comiskey's White Stockings to the pennant in the first year of the new league (personally pitching 24 victories) and was tapped by Johnson two seasons later to lead the Highlanders when it was decided the American League needed a team in New York to compete against John McGraw and his Giants.
He went to Washington to manage in 1912—and mortgaged his ranch and shelled out his life savings to buy a 10% interest in the club for $27,000. It was possible to do that in baseball in those days—but only Griffith, of all the early star players, did it.
So he went down through the years to become one of baseball's most colorful, controversial and beloved figures. He was a friend of more presidents than any man in baseball ("I've known them all since Teddy Roosevelt"); a great supporter of night baseball (after first being opposed); the man who opened up the big leagues to players from Latin America; advocate-in-chief of the game through two world wars.
It was a full life and there wasn't too much he missed. That "one more pennant" he wanted so badly, perhaps.
Or that he failed to live to the age which would match his reputed lifetime batting average—120.
But mostly they remembered something he said last spring while watching a bunch of kids play baseball down at Winter Garden, Florida. It was surely something which told Clark Griffith's story better than the millions of words which the nation's newspapers carried about him last week.
"If you had started playing ball as I did when I was 7 and you still love it at 85," he said, "you'll understand what it has meant to me."
LONG, HARD ROW
When Julius Helfand poked an exploratory finger into the dark doings of the International Boxing Guild and its New York affiliate last spring he set the finger down firmly on a drop of quicksilver. Boxing managers displayed a shifty elusiveness worthy of their finest boxers. In June a succession of them, Guild members all, refused flatly to testify before Helfand's boxing commission. He suspended their licenses. But three of them—Cus D'Amato, Bobby Melnick and Bobby Nelson—relented over the summer and testified recently. Their testimony (SI, Oct. 31) added up to almost total ignorance of Guild affairs.
The commission chairman restored the licenses of the three managers, partly because they had complied with the letter of his requirement that they testify, partly because he did not wish their boxers to suffer. But an additional reason might apply: despite D'Amato's title of acting president, all three are small fry in Guild affairs, which are dominated by Honest Bill Daly, Treasurer of the International Guild and manager of Vince Martinez.
As to Daly, quicksilver shone all around him, too (see page 46). He was suspended for refusal to testify last May. His license expired September 30 and he did not apply for renewal. Until he does apply Helfand is just about powerless to force Daly's testimony.
Under the pressure to find and keep first-class football players, Coach Woody Hayes of Ohio State has been making well-intended gifts and loans to some of his men out of the $4,000 or so he earns from his TV appearances (SI, Oct. 24). Coach Hayes has made no secret of these gestures, but the Ohio State Faculty Council has now decided to investigate. The practice appears, indeed, to be contrary to the rules of both the Big Ten and the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Insofar as the Council focuses on this one matter it will be investigating only a symptom. The underlying problem, not limited to Ohio State, is the pressure on coaches to win.
The early American Indian had a slick and quiet method of hunting ducks—he simply put a duckskin (with feathers attached) on his head like a bathing cap, slid silently into the waters of a pond on which a flock of mallards were feeding, swam into their midst, grabbed the nearest by its legs and yanked it under the surface. The white man, with his blunderbuss and blind, kept drier, but he had to get the duck to come close enough to be shot, and has lured—or tried to lure—his feathered targets into range with decoys and duck calls ever since. Some hunting outfitters, as a matter of fact, offer both in one package—a decoy with a reed caller in its neck and 50 feet of hollow tubing which can be laid under water to a blind. Simply squeeze a bulb and—"Quack!"
Getting ducks in range, however, is not quite as simple as this might make it seem—ducks make all sorts of sounds: a low chuckle when feeding, a long, slow quacking sound when contented, a squack of alarm when danger threatens, and the sounds are hard to imitate. Nobody knows this better than a 65-year-old retired Army colonel named Roger Hilsman, who now lives in San Francisco. "I've been hunting ducks since I was 14," he says, "and I can tell you 90% of duck callers run the ducks away. I've seen a good caller take ducks from a poor caller right over the blind." How can a poor caller get ducks? Why, just let Colonel Hilsman do it for him electronically.
The Colonel was a prisoner of the Japanese in the Philippines for three years during World War II and spent a good deal of that time thinking about ducks. Two years ago, as a result, he began manufacturing a 14-pound phonograph unit capable of being lugged into a duck blind and 45-rpm Vinylite records of sprig and mallard calls. The phonograph sells for $84.50 and the records—which Philco also plans to distribute with a new light battery-powered portable of its own—for $2.50. So far Hilsman has sold 100 machines and 500 records. Next year he hopes to get out a new six-pound transistor-equipped portable similar to the Philco machine but equipped with tape and a simple push button to start it—duck hunters get so excited that they have a terrible time setting a needle on a record. He is bullish about the future.
"These calls," he says, "were made by the best callers in California—Cliff Iverson on the sprig and William Crawford on the mallard. And a duck hunter is the craziest baboon in the world. continued on next page If it costs $85 to have the duck on his lap he'll spend it in a minute."
EL RHUBARBO GRANDE
The Dodger victory in the World Series has had repercussions far beyond the limits of Brooklyn and the adjoining United States, but nowhere has it created quite the rhubarb or raised such grave moral and political issues as in the South American village of Arenal, which lies on the hot plains of Departmento Cordoba in Colombia.
Dodger fans all, the young men of Arenal were so inflamed by the Brooklyn triumph that they had to work off steam by playing ball themselves. Lacking a field, they took over the village plaza, and soon, with the rest of the populace cheering them on, it was for all the world like Brooklyn.
Now the local comisario (there are whispers in the village that he was heard to speak well of the Yankees before the seventh game) was gravely upset by all this. He ordered the plaza cleared and the ballplayers locked up in the church overnight. This done, he sat down and wrote out a proclamation: "From this day on it is strictly forbidden to play baseball in the public square of this village since this game conflicts with morality and the good customs and is also noisy. . . . Those who infringe the dispositions of this decree will be bound to the stake for two days in the full sun."
Promptly, the outraged fans took the case over the comisario's head to the higher authorities in the departmental capital of Monteria. Just as promptly came a special order authorizing the youth of Arenal to play all the baseball they wanted in the plaza.
The comisario appealed the decision, again on moral grounds. "It is intolerable," he declared, "that the baseball boys wear shorts and leave their legs naked in full view of the girls of Arenal, who must be shocked by the display."
It will take time for the appeal to come up in court and meanwhile there is baseball every day in the plaza, with the senoritas cheering on their barelegged heroes with cries of "Jonron!"—which is to say, "Home run!" Which is also to say, "Nuts to El Comisario!"
Continued from last week, here is the latest chapter in the mad, sad tale of Violate Huskings, as told by pioneering Professor Chace:
Wan moaning, servile wicks letter, Violate worse inner fodder's vestibule guarding darn honor hens an niece, pecking bogs an warms offer vestibules. Soddenly shay nudist annulled badger lore, home pimple cold "Carnal" Gat-retch, combing entity guarding. (Gat-retch worsen rallier carnal—hay worse jester retch oiled stork-barker hoed madder mullion dullards soiling storks an barns, an hoe lift inner palatal an luxuriant mention nut fur firmer Huskings' form.)
"Gut moaning, Carnal Gat-retch, set Violate respectively. "Europe oily disk moaning."
"Doily board cashes a warm!" resplendent Gat-retch wetter wicket charcoal. "Arming oily board—an yore jester putty ladle warm."
"Arm shore yore jest jerking, Carnal," setter gull, wetter mortised blotch. "Warts mar, arm nutty warm—arm Violate Huskings."
"Nutty warm?" aster carnal. "Den watcher during darn honor hens an niece inner mutton dart? 0 water sham, water sham, debt search putty ladle wide hens shut bay oil cupboard wet mutton dart! Comb hair, Violate! Lessee doze putty ladle hens! Arm garner trait doze hens mar respectively."
"Jest warts yore porpoise, Carnal?" aster gull. "Jest watcher incinerating?"
"Conjure gas mar porpoise, doling?" whiskered dole stork-barker. "Conjure gas wart arm incinerating? Wail, arm nutty garner baiter rounder borsch. Heresy hull think inner nuptial—arm garner gat merit, an yore garner bay Messes Gat-retch. Yore garner heifer palatal an luxuriant mention an storks an barns any cobble off cattle hacks, an yule bay warring Manx an udder gorges closing, an damning an perils an udder jowls...."
"Kip yore Manx and damnings an perils an udder retches, Carnal! Are dun wampum! Are dun wander merry nor bawdy sceptor manor luff—an debts Hairy Parkings!"
"Hairy Parkings!" crumpled Gat-retch, wetter snare honors phase. "Watcher wander merry debt end-bustle fur? Hairy's jester bomb!"
Trampling wet indication, Violate stupid darn, pecked upper bag hen-furl off dart and flunk disk dart rat inner oiled stork-barker's phase.
"Gat otter mar fodder's vestibule guarding!" crater gull. "An dun comb beck!"
"Hoecake, hoecake," murdered Gat-retch, "bought lessen hair, gull, yore garner heifer changer mine! Arm garner torque baseness wet yore fodder. Arm garner muck yore fodder servile ladle prepositions. An arm garner bay yore horsebarn!"
Fleshed wet anchor, an crumpling tomb self, Gat-retch win beck tutor Huskings' horse toe torque tutor stenchy oiled mouser.
(Necks weak: fine alley.)
Our fullback is a powerhouse;
In one way it's a pity;
They beg the lad for kilowatts
To help light up the city.
CURRENT WEEK & WHAT'S AHEAD
The week's football made it look like Michigan and UCLA in the Rose Bowl, Maryland and Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl. And with All-America End Don Holleder proving he really is a quarterback, as Red Blaik has said all along, another good game is shaping up on the horizon: Army vs. Navy, November 26 in Philadelphia's Municipal Stadium.
Horse Racing got a prominent addition to its cast of characters in the $282,000 Garden State: a picture-running 2-year-old named Prince John who beat 11 other top colts at the New Jersey track. Trainer Walter Kelley of Elmendorf Stable said Prince John will race in Florida this winter. "After that, we might start thinking of the Kentucky Derby."
Baseball began to look forward to a busy winter after the first major postseason deal. The Chicago White Sox, still looking for a power hitter, got one in Larry Doby. The Indians, in an attempt to plug defensive weaknesses, received two outstanding fielders in return, Chico Carrasquel and Jim Busby. As usual, both teams were happy.
Wes Santee bounced back into the headlines on a point of finance. His suspension by the Missouri Valley AAU for accepting "excessive expense money" in California track meets last spring can be appealed but certainly poses a threat to America's premier miler's hopes of competing in the 1956 Olympics.
Lew Hoad, able to return a strong "no" to Jack Kramer's original offer of $45,000 to turn pro, wavered briefly when the ante was hiked to $56,250, then stood firm. Best bet: after another try at Wimbledon, Forest Hills and the 1956 Davis Cup defense, Hoad will be ready to listen again—if the offer goes to $75,000.