Marquis de Portago, intrepid Spanish sportsman who added bobsledding to his repertory in time to snatch fourth place in Winter Olympics, slithered down St. Moritz's icy 870-meter Cresta run in 28.8 aboard flimsy skeleton sled to lower Jack Crammond's 25-year-old record by two-tenths of second (Dec. 31).
Harold Connolly, Olympic hammer throw gold medal winner and world record holder, added another mark, swinging ball and triangle prodigious 66 feet 8½ inches to better world standard for 35-pound weight at Medford, Mass. (Dec. 31).
Sam Griffith of Miami pushed his 266-cubic-inch hydroplane Pussy Cat to bolt-loosening 61.758 mph average in first 60 minutes of Orange Bowl Regatta nine-hour endurance marathon at Miami for international powerboat record before dropping out of race after 18 laps (Dec. 31).
January 14, 1957
Michigan State's Don Nichols, Paul Reinke, Roger Harmon and Don Patterson barreled through 200-yard medley relay in 1:44.4 in meet against Michigan at Ann Arbor to break Iowa State's mark by four-tenths of second (Jan. 5).
Charles Chevalier, 54, sturdy Heaton Moor Golf Club pro who has made career of holing out tee shots, did it for 25th time on 138-yard fourth hole at home course in Lancashire, surpassing own world record. Greying Chevalier attributed skill to "good luck and good judgment," admitted: "I was very bucked at reaching my official quarter century" (Jan. 2).
College football season came to crunching end with annual flock of bowl games (see page 43). Iowa scored early and often to defeat Oregon State 35-19 in Rose Bowl; TCU was unable to check Syracuse's powerful Jimmy Brown but used Chuck Curtis' passing wizardry for 28-27 victory in Cotton Bowl; underdog Baylor took advantage of last-quarter fumble to upset Tennessee 13-7 in Sugar Bowl; Colorado blew 20-point half-time lead but recovered in time to beat Clemson 27-21 in Orange Bowl; George Washington outpowered Texas Western 13-0 in Sun Bowl; West Texas held off Mississippi Southern 20-13 in Tangerine Bowl; Prairie View outscored Texas Southern 27-6 in Prairie View Bowl; South turned loose Miami's Don Bosseler for 178 yards and two touchdowns to defeat North 21-7 in pro showcase Senior Bowl at Mobile. In Honolulu's Hula Bowl, Norm Van Brocklin of Los Angeles Rams completed 19 of 20 passes good for 281 yards and five touchdowns to give pro all-stars 52-21 victory over collegians.
Lloyd Jordan, who left comfortable Amherst after 18 years to come to Harvard in 1950, was latest coaching casualty. Reason: "poor teaching." Most likely successor: Backfield Coach Harold (Josh) Williams. But other coaches were more fortunate: Bill Meek, who led University of Houston out of woods in two years, signed 10-year contract to do same for SMU; Terry Brennan, given one more chance by Notre Dame, was "re-engaged for next year."
Kansas, 92-79 winner over Missouri in Big Seven debut, and idle North Carolina were nation's only unbeaten major teams after holiday tournament spree but biggest news came from West Coast where UCLA and Washington were reinstated by PCC, became threats for title (see page 49).
Boston, safely perched at top of NBA Eastern Division, increased lead over Philadelphia to four games but may have to get along without injured big men Arnie Risen, Jack Nichols and Dick Hemric for a while. In West, Rochester and Fort Wayne continued basket-for-basket struggle but Royals still held ½-game edge.
Gene Fullmer, mauling young (25) apprentice welder from West Jordan, Utah, shook off blows which might have damaged less durable fighter, tirelessly charged and punched away at aging (36) but occasionally skillful Sugar Ray Robinson for 15 rounds in New York's Madison Square Garden to win middleweight crown. Squatty Fullmer took big town adulation in modest stride, headed back to celebrating West Jordan neighbors and job in copper mine, while Sugar Ray (who was quickly dropped to No. 3 behind Charlie Humez and Joey Giardello in NBA rankings for January), hanging on to every former champion's dubious hope for better luck next time out, looked ahead to return bout and chance to win title for fourth time (see page 8).
Gaspar (Indian) Ortega, free-punching Mexican welterweight who twice running upset ex-Champion Tony DeMarco, made biggest advance in NBA monthly rankings, soaring to No. 2 and gaining pat on back as December's Boxer of Month. NBA also sounded warning to reluctant Featherweight Champion Sandy Saddler, who last defended Jan. 18, 1956: put title on line or it may be vacated. One commendable omission: California's tarnished Golden Boy, Art Aragon, under suspension in Texas and investigation in home state for trying to fix fight with Dick Goldstein, was dropped from welterweight rankings.
Jackie Robinson, never one to sidestep a problem, looked his future square in eye, decided that, at 38, he had "to think of the security of my family," formally announced his retirement from baseball less than month after Brooklyn Dodgers traded him to New York Giants (see page 20).
Hashim Khan, balding 42-year-old Pakistani, scooted around court with unbounded energy, outstroked his 29-year-old cousin Roshan Khan 12-15, 15-5, 15-3, 15-9 to defend U.S. Open title at Cedarhurst, L.I.
Detroit and Boston continued to play hopscotch with NHL lead but at week's end it was Red Wings, with help of able goal tending by Glenn Hall, who held first place by single point over hot-handed Montreal (which won three, tied one), while Bruins slipped to third.
Ted Kroll, veteran Fort Lauderdale, Fla. pro, became PGA's latest "Mr. Moneybags," earning record-breaking $72,835 in 1956. Vardon Trophy went to Cary Middlecoff, who averaged 70.35 strokes for 66 rounds.
HONORED—England's Stanley Matthews, magic-footed soccer star, and Donald Campbell, daring speedboat racer, named Commanders of the Order of the British Empire; Australia's Shirley (Marvel Mum) Strickland, Olympic 80-meter-hurdles champion, and Peter Thomson, three-time British Open winner, named Members of the Order of the British Empire; by Queen Elizabeth II, in London.
DIED—Al Espinosa, 64, pro golfer, often runner-up (to Leo Diegel in 1928 PGA; Bobby Jones in 1929 U.S. Open) but rarely winner in big tournaments, three-time Ryder Cupper; of cancer, at Oakland, Calif.
DIED—Paul Hoy Helms, 67, energetic millionaire baker-sportsman who satisfied unfulfilled yearning to be sports hero by helping others, founder of Helms Athletic Foundation and Helms Hall, world's only privately owned sports museum; of cancer, at Palm Springs, Calif.