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MEET YOUNG MR. ANTHONY

April 15, 1957
April 15, 1957

Table of Contents
April 15, 1957

Doug Ford And The Masters
Events & Discoveries
Scouting Reports
American League
  • Seven times in the past eight years the Yankees have won the pennant; in '56 they could have started to print their World Series tickets in July. Yet Casey Stengel now comes up with a ball club he says is better than any of the others. Unless you are a Yankee fan, it looks like a long season ahead

  • The Indians have been in a second-place rut for five of the past six years. Although most major league cities would happily settle for much less, in Cleveland the frustration of always being the runner-up has come to a head. A new manager has been added, but once again it looks like second best

  • For five straight years the Sox have finished third. Now they have a new manager and some promising rookies but all else is the same: with one hand they must claw their way up toward the Yankees and Indians, with the other hold off the Tigers and Red Sox from below. That's asking too much of two hands

  • The Boston Red Sox are New England's pride and despair. Annually hope rises that this year the Sox will finally unseat those top-dog New York Yankees, and annually there is frustration. But, even so, hope rides high again on such as Ted Williams, Jim Piersail, Tom Brewer and a dozen bright young men

  • This is the team they said last winter might shake up the Yankees—but that was last winter and now no one is quite so sure. The Tigers are good, only there aren't enough of them; where Casey Stengel experiments to find out which player is best, Jack Tighe must experiment to find a player good enough

  • The Baltimore Orioles have improved steadily in their three seasons in the American League. There has been a continuous flow of ballplayers, coming and going, as Manager Paul Richards has tried to field a winning club. This year the team has a more permanent look, but there is still a lot to be done

  • The Senators finished seventh a year ago which, on the record, may have been an even greater miracle than the pennant triumphs of the 1914 Braves and the 1951 Giants. They had the worst fielding in the league and by far the worst pitching. Only a couple of big sluggers saved them from the bottom

  • This will be Kansas City's third season in the major leagues. The first year was one grand party: a lively, eager team fought for victories all year long. But last season was quite different: the team was listless, as well as bad, and finished a dull, dreary last. Kansas City fans expect something a good deal better in 1957

National League
  • The old, old Dodgers have been the class team of the National League for a decade. Cracks have appeared in their armor, but it is fondly hoped in Brooklyn (and Los Angeles) that bright young players will fill such gaps. In the most unlikely event that they do there'll be yet another Yankee-Dodger World Series

  • Now it is next year. With a superb pitching staff built around the great trio of Spahn, Burdette and Buhl, and boasting some of the league's best ballplayers in Aaron, Mathews, Adcock and Logan, the Braves are prepared to make a strong bid for the pennant they missed by the narrowest of margins last September

  • The personable, colorful, lively Redlegs are the most popular ball club in the National League. Last season strong hitting, brilliant fielding, shrewd managing and an astute front office combined to lift them to third place after 11 dismal years buried in the second division. Now they have their eyes on the pennant

  • Improved by trades and boasting one of the most impressive starting lineups in the league, the Cardinals are hungry for a pennant. Yet the bench is weak, their pitching can hardly equal the Dodgers or Braves, and the Redlegs have more power. It may be a long, tough climb from fourth place first

  • It's seven years now since the youthful Philadelphia "Whiz Kids" stole the National League pennant. They have grown old in the interval, and none too gracefully at that. A slowly dwindling band of truly topflight players has heretofore saved the club from utter disgrace, but who knows if they can do it again

  • The Giants looked better toward the end of 1956, moving from the cellar to sixth in the last five weeks of the season. Then the armed forces took regulars Jackie Brandt and Bill White, and regular Catcher Bill Sarni had a heart attack during spring training. Yet despite all the team still shows plenty of spirit

  • Last year the Pirates spent nine glorious and dizzy days atop the National League. This, however, was in June, and at season's end they were seventh. They may not spend even one day in first place in '57, but the Pirates are a young ball club on the way up and they aren't going to finish seventh either

  • After 10 years of bitter frustration in the depths of the second division, Owner Phil Wrigley swept the club clean during the winter and reorganized from front office down. Despite this broom treatment of last year's cellar team, the Cubs' tenure in the bleak second division is assured for another year

Sport In Art
Fame Is For Winners
Figuring It Out
Fisherman's Calendar
Acknowledgments
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back

MEET YOUNG MR. ANTHONY

His smashing victory in Detroit brought a sense of order to the light heavyweight division—and a promise of excitement to come

Tony Anthony is a 22-year-old, cigar-colored prizefighter of admirable, almost final skills who last week, in a few stunning moments, brought both present order and promise to the dolorous light heavyweight division. Until that time Anthony was comparatively unknown, lightly regarded. Indeed, a betting man who once innocently speculated on Anthony was filled with rue when he first saw him—tall, sedate, even ascetic—in his corner. "Oh, he's an intellectual," he moaned. "All night long, I'm stuck with intellectuals." A brief show of Anthony's lovely talents, however, finished his remorse and established an identity. "You know," the bettor told a companion, "Anthony ain't no intellectual. He's an artist."

This is an article from the April 15, 1957 issue Original Layout

The artistry of Tony Anthony, like the mystic light which burns beneath the bushel basket, remained all but hidden until last week, when, before 8,651 at the Detroit Olympia and millions on television, the basket was lifted.

Anthony was there to fight Chuck Spieser in a 12-round elimination bout to determine a proper challenger for Champion Archie Moore. Because Spieser, 27 and partially bald, was a home-town boy and had a reputation as a punishing and durable fellow, and because Anthony carried the stigma of a glass jaw, Spieser was a 13-5 favorite.

From the opening bell, Anthony's artistry was overwhelmingly evident, the odds a fanciful joke. He moved lightly and positively, whether coming in or backing off, and pushed a jab in Spieser's face, kept it there until the face was red and puffed, thoroughly frustrating any intentions Spieser had of mounting an offensive. The major part of the second round was of much the same cut—Spieser gamely, fitfully charging the imperturbable Anthony, but bewildered, off balance and displaying hardly enough speed to catch a bear in a phone booth. Some four seconds before the end of the round Anthony suckered Spieser into a left jab and crossed over with his right. Spieser went down. He would surely have been counted out but for the grace of the bell. A second had to push him off the stool for the third round. He fought with vigor once he got his bearings, but the end was inevitable. He eventually stepped into a startling combination and was counted out as Anthony marched to a neutral corner.

"I was so soo-prized," said Spieser later, holding ice on his eyes. "He's just a whole lot more fighter than everyone figured he was."

So he was, this tall (6 feet 1 inch), 173-pounder from Harlem who wears four-button Ivy League sport jackets and knife-crease flannels and plays a passable hot trumpet; a little debonair, a little self-possessed as he drank orange juice at a postfight party in Paradise Valley, Detroit's Negro district. Life there and then was "crazy, man, crazy"; he talked of buying a sport car but "not one I can get killed in, man," and the young lady he sweet-talked on the phone he complimented by calling "grandmother."

Anthony first gained his measure of repute and confidence in 1952, when he won, under his rightful name Ernest, the National AAU 156-pound title. He was an alternate on the Olympic team along with Spieser that year, a team which, of course, boasted Heavyweight Champion Floyd Patterson. He turned pro after the Games and has won 30 of 34 fights, 23 by knockouts. His four losses, however, have also been by knockout, all when he was fighting, as his camp puts it, "as a weakened middleweight." Anthony further clarifies what well may be a fussy prejudice about his chin. "I've been knocked out once in my life," he says. "Bobby Boyd caught me right on the button. That could have happened to anybody. Three of those fights were stopped because I had cut eyes. I was winning every one, and I could have kept going."

Anthony will certainly keep going, but where and when? First is a June 7 date with Archie Moore, also in Detroit, but there has been speculation that it may take place later and in another city. Moore was flying the dark Atlantic to Germany for several tune-up bouts and some rigorous reducing while Anthony was knocking out Spieser, and missed the few minutes of enlightenment. He will certainly have to show more speed and craft than he did against Patterson last November if he has hopes of retaining his title. If Anthony does get by the Old Artificer, however, the light heavyweight class—that doldrums in which float those who never grew enough to make a living as heavyweights—may have little charm or profit for him. Like so many before him, he may then try the move up. In that remote place and time waits his old Olympic buddy, Floyd Patterson. Patterson, training now at his favorite watering place, Greenwood Lake, N.Y., did not watch the fight on television. But his manager and surrogate, Cus D'Amato, had this to say: "If he had seen him, he'd have to say, 'There's a pretty good fellow, wouldn't you say?' "

Anthony wisely would not comment on what he could do to Patterson in the ring if they ever met, but he said he was not afraid of him. "I just grew up," he said. "Maybe I had growing pains, but I feel a lot stronger. I'm a man now. I took Spieser's best punch and he didn't take mine. That's all I needed."

PHOTOANTHONY, 22, COULD WELL BE FLOYD PATTERSON'S REAL TESTPHOTOANTHONY AVOIDS Chuck Spieser's lunging right cross in one of few moments in which he had to call on defensive guile.TWO PHOTOSANTHONY ATTACKS, hooking Spieser high on the head before (below) he puts him down and out at 2:12 of the third round.