West Coast Relays at Fresno (May 11) produced bumper crop of record breakers once flame-throwing weed burners dried out track saturated by early-day rains. USC's Max Truex (see above) set pace with new U.S. marks for three miles and 5,000 meters; Southern California Striders Club's Mike Larrabee, Ralph Butler, Lang Stanley and Jerome Walters, who outlegged California's Don Bowden in unofficial 4:01.5 last-leg mile, hurried through distance medley relay in 9:42.2 for American record: Abilene Christian's mercury-footed Bobby Morrow, who also beat California's Leamon King and Fresno State's Mike Agostini in 9.4 hundred and anchored 880-yard relay team to victory in 1:24.4, picked up rhythm from Teammates Waymond Griggs, Bill Woodhouse and Jim Segrest, carried quartet to 39.9 clocking for 440-yard relay to equal world mark set by Texas last month.
Jim Brewer, rangy N. Phoenix U.S. pole vaulter who has already cleared 14 feet 9½ inches (unrecognized because less than four schools were in competition), continued his assault on U.S. record, soaring 14 feet 6½ inches to push standard up one more inch in Arizona State Meet at Tucson (May 11).
Russia also poked nose into record-breaking act, claiming world marks for Olympic Champion Leonid Spirin, who heeled and toed 15-kilometer walk in 1:05:45.8 (May 8); female Sprinter Polina Lazareva, who scampered 400 meters in 55.2 (May 10).
May 19, 1957
Sergeant First Class Antonio Miranda, eagle-eyed Fort Knox (Ky.) sharpshooter, had his M-1 rifle focused dead on target, clicked off 33 bull's-eyes while posting score of 246-33 out of 250 for new world record in Second Army commander's small arms championships at Ford Meade, Md. (May 11).
Cincinnati, getting kind of pitching contenders dream about and inspired hitting from former Dodger Don Hoak, put down Brooklyn 9-2, 7-6, Cubs 5-4, 7-5, 7-1, to stretch winning streak to 12, shared National League lead with Milwaukee, which had 3-4 week against Brooklyn, Philadelphia and St. Louis. Bumbling Dodgers lost four in row to Redlegs and New York before Johnny Podres' left-handed magic beat Giants 5-0, halted slide with champions 2½ games out of first place.
Chicago, given downward push by Boston's Ted Williams, who hit four homers, three in one game (see below), bounced back to blank Red Sox 2-0, beat Detroit 6-4, 5-4 to hold ½ game American League edge over New York Yankees, who finally found patsy in Baltimore, took two straight 6-4, 4-3 (on two home runs by Andy Carey, one by Mickey Mantle) after dropping three to Cleveland and Orioles. Indians, shocked by unfortunate injury to Herb Score (see page 26), put together smallish four-game string before Kansas City ended it with 9-2 victory. Washington changed managers in middle of losing streak, ran it to 10 before Right-hander Camilo Pascual drew smile from Cookie with 8-5 win over Detroit.
Cornell's veteran senior oarsmen, beaten only by Yale last year in Olympic trial, picked up stroke neatly from broad-backed Phil Gravink, vengefully powered over flat, mirrorlike Cayuga Lake two-mile course in record 9:58.2 to edge Elis by boat length, Princeton by 3½, in Carnegie Cup regatta at Ithaca, N.Y. (see page 70). Next goal for Big Red: Eastern sprint championship on Princeton's Lake Carnegie, May 18.
Bob Brady, quick-handed 34-year-old San Francisco policeman who last won title in 1951, split first two games with younger (24) Defending Champion Jimmy Jacobs 21-18, 12-21, dropped behind 19-12 in deciding game before running off nine straight points to lock up national AAU four-wall championship at San Francisco.
California leapers and spikers made wholesale invasion of Memphis, romped off with four of five U.S. team championships. Top prize went to Hollywood YMCA Stars, who outhustled Stockton YMCA 15-10, 15-7 for open title. Other champions: Santa Monica Mariners, women's division; Hollywood Comets, men's masters; Florida State U., colleges; Los Alamitos NAS, Armed Forces.
Gaspar Ortega, free-swinging Mexican welterweight, down from low blow in second, caught slick Isaac Logart often enough to suit officials, was awarded split decision in 12-round elimination at Syracuse.
Garnet (Sugar) Hart, classy Philadelphia welterweight who sports Elvis-Presley-type sideburns but neither rocks nor rolls, threw everything but ring posts at turtlelike. Al Wilson, hammered out 10-round decision in New York.
IBC, watching things go from bad to worse while awaiting decision on fate, had most distressing week. Cus D'Amato, who guided Floyd Patterson to heavyweight title and has been feuding with Jim Norris almost ever since, threw down major gauntlet: "The IBC is a detriment to boxing. I do not intend to let Patterson box for the IBC." Other shafts directed toward Norris' shaky but still sprawling empire: Sugar Ray Robinson decided he had "mental block" toward July fight with Carmen Basilio, would prefer to wait until September; bloated Light. Heavyweight Champion Archie Moore, in Germany for exhibition bouts, insisted he never signed "a valid contract with IBC to fight Tony Anthony on June 7," indicated it would take $100,000 to get him to defend title; France's cherub-faced Cherif Hamia turned down bid to meet Hogan (Kid) Bassey for featherweight title and there were signs that the fight might wind up in Paris.
California State Athletic Commission found Los Angeles Promoter Cal Eaton, onetime employer of banned Matchmaker Babe McCoy, guilty on six counts of violating boxing regulations, placed him on probation for two years.
Harpy Hill Farm's Kingmaker, off and running out of gate, gave ground briefly to Pylades in backstretch but responded directly to Bobby Ussery's urging to breeze to new track record of 1:48 1/5 for mile and furlong (old record: 1:48 4/5 by Bold Ruler) while winning $56,900 Grey Lag Handicap at Jamaica.
King Hairan, frisky Florida-bred 3-year-old, inherited Willie Hartack when Barbizon declared, showed his appreciation by scooting home first by half length in $30,150 Delaware Valley Stakes at Garden State.
Find, Alfred G. Vanderbilt's durable 7-year-old son of Discovery, came back to races after five-month vacation, held off Llangollen's fast-closing Social Climber and Porterhouse in stretch to win $28,400 Hollywood Premier Handicap on opening day at Hollywood Park.
Willie Shoemaker, set down for 15 days by Churchill Downs stewards "for gross carelessness in misjudging the point of finish" while aboard Gallant Man in Derby, got moral boost (but little chance for reinstatement) from Jockeys' Guild (Eddie Arcaro, president), who protested: "When the riders see a jockey severely penalized for telling the truth they can well wonder if it is worthwhile to be so straightforward." But Shoemaker accepted fate philosophically: "I guess if they thought I was wrong, they figured they should set me down."
Piero Taruffi, fiftyish "old fox" of Italian auto racing, pushed his Ferrari at average 94.78 mph over treacherous 1,000-mile run from Brescia to Rome and back again, whizzed across finish line after 10:27.47 to win tragedy-filled Mille Miglia which cost lives of three drivers, 10 spectators.
Glenn (Fireball) Roberts, lead-footed Daytona Beach driver, took over lead when nine-car pileup on 29th lap forced out Curtis Turner and Marvin Panch, zoomed his 1957 Ford at average 107.94 mph, fastest ever for any American stock car, to win NASCAR "Rebel 300" for stock convertibles at Darlington, S.C.
TRACK AND FIELD
Texas, taking its cue from hustling Relaymen Hollis Gainey, Booby Whilden Wally Wilson, Eddie Southern, who sprinted 440 in 40 flat, and Brooks Patrick, who teamed up with Gainey, Whilden and Southern in 3:11.8 mile relay, ran hog-wild at Austin, piling up biggest point total ever (114 5/6) to win Southwest Conference title. Other champions in busy college weekend: Maryland in Atlantic Coast Conference at Chapel Hill, N.C.; William and Mary in Southern Conference at Williamsburg, Va.; Oklahoma A&M in Missouri Valley Conference at Tulsa.
Jimmy Demaret, colorful veteran who has toned down flashy dress and beefed up his game, put together crisp iron shots and hot putter for 67 on last round, added up four-day card to 276 to walk off with Arlington Hotel Open and $2,800 at Hot Springs, Ark.
HONORED—Gordie Howe, 29, brilliant Detroit right winger, five-time National Hockey League scoring champion, this year's leader with 89 points, second (to Montreal's rocketing Maurice Richard) highest scorer in league history with 749 points; named winner (for third time) of Hart Trophy and $1,000 prize as NHL's most valuable player for 1956-57; at Montreal.
DIED—Don Alfonso Cabeza de Vaca y Leighton, 17th Marquis de Portago, 28, dashing Spanish millionaire sportsman, intrepid racing driver, Olympic bobsledder; and passenger Edmund (Gunnar) Nelson, 40, when De Portago's Ferrari blew tire, flipped and hurtled into crowd during Mille Miglia, at Guidizzolo, Italy (see page 12).
DIED—Len Eshmont, 39, Fordham scatback star in days (1938-39-40) when Rams were grid power under Jim Crowley, later pro star with San Francisco 49ers, backfield coach at Navy and Virginia, of liver ailment, at Charlottesville, Va.