THE RESTORATION BEGINS
This is the end of an era. It is eight years since any heavyweight champion has defended his title for any other promoter than the International Boxing Club (James D. Norris, president). It is 20 years since any independent promoter put on a heavyweight championship—the Chicago fight in which Joe Louis won the title from Jim Braddock.
Now comes Emil Lence, 5 feet 4 in height but suddenly greater in stature than the towering Norris. Lence has signed Heavyweight Champion Floyd Patterson to make the first defense of his title against Tommy (Hurricane) Jackson at the New York Giants' Polo Grounds during the week of July 29.
It would seem, indeed, that dynastic power is at an end in boxing. That power began with Tex Rickard, was seized by Mike Jacobs and was bought by Norris. Will Lence become another tyrant?
June 2, 1957
It doesn't seem likely. Cus D'Amato, manager of Patterson, has made the new design (see page 64.). He is already dickering with another renascent promoter, Jack Hurley, for Patterson's second defense. He is ready to dicker with anyone who meets the new standard: a willingness to compete.
In his first weeks as a radio and TV broadcaster for the Yankees, Phil Rizzuto has made almost as many errors as he did during a full season at shortstop. But he also manages to give his listeners much more real baseball than his more practiced contemporaries, and he never buries his mistakes under avalanches of tired explanations, as they do. Rizzuto corrects himself with a sincerity as spontaneous and direct as one of his old pegs to first.
During the first Yankee game of the season, Mickey Mantle hit a ball toward left field.
"There goes a long drive to deep left field," screamed Rizzuto, his voice rising in anticipation of a home run. On the television screen, the Washington left fielder gathered in the ball many feet short of the fence.
"Gee," blurted Rizzuto, "I've got to learn to judge them better from up here in the booth."
In a recent game with Detroit, Mantle was again batting. Joe Collins was on first.
"Mantle bunts to the left of the mound and he'll beat it out for a hit," Rizzuto yelled with certainty. On the screen, Detroit Pitcher Paul Foytack fielded the ball and, with no chance to get the speedy Mantle, threw to second just in time to force the slow-moving Collins, thus depriving Mantle of a hit.
"There I go again," apologized Rizzuto. "Me and my big mouth."
Rizzuto is still a rookie. In time he'll acquire polish. His voice will lose its boyish eagerness and assume a practiced resonance. He'll make fewer mistakes. When that day comes, he won't be as much fun to listen to.
THE COLONEL RETIRES
When the Colonel walked up to the registration desk at the Hotel Statler in New York, the room clerk shook his head and said he was sorry but he couldn't accommodate him. Then the Colonel gave him a look, and the room clerk found himself saying maybe he could fix him up after all.
Just before the Colonel arrived at the studio to appear on Wendy Barrie's television program, Miss Barrie said she wanted a chair kept between her and the Colonel at all times. Then the Colonel walked in and gave her that look, and before Miss Barrie quite knew what she was doing she threw her arms around the Colonel and kissed him.
If it has now been inferred that the Colonel is no ordinary person, that is only part of it. He is no person at all. He is Ch. Rock Falls Colonel, a strong, handsome English setter, the greatest show-winning sporting dog of all times, and he traveled to New York from his home in Richmond, Virginia to participate in ceremonies formalizing his retirement as an active campaigner.
These ceremonies were scheduled to follow a box lunch of the English Setters Association of America which had been announced for 12 noon at the Morris & Essex show at Madison, New Jersey. What with one thing and another (including the judging of 62 Gordon and English setters), the guests were not handed their lunch boxes until 4:10 p.m. People complained about the delay, but the Colonel did not. He slept most of the time but was glad to get up when his master and mistress, Mr. and Mrs. William T. Holt, brought somebody around to meet him.
The Colonel charmed all comers and it was easy to see how he had captivated the room clerk and Miss Barrie and the judges who, over the years, had declared him Best of Breed 173 times, Best of Group 162 times and Best in Show 101 times. When he was brought out into the ring to pose for the photographers with the silver tray inscribed with his great record, his talents were all the more evident, and when his grandson, Phantom Brook's Whirlwind, a puppy class winner, was brought out to pose with him, the Colonel steadied the lurching, loose-jointed youngster instantly with a special look apparently reserved for members of the family.
The Holts attribute the Colonel's phenomenal success as a show dog to the fact that he has been, from his puppy days, a household pet. He has always had his own adult-sized single bed in the Holts' bedroom. He has known no professional handlers, and when he went into a ring, it was with the master he knew so well. This, said the Holts, accounted for his air of total relaxation that showed him to the best possible advantage.
"He has the sweetest disposition," said Mr. Holt, a lean, bronzed man in his 50s, "of any dog I've ever known." Mrs. Holt nodded and elaborated a bit. "What he is," she said, "is a perfect gentleman."
What will the Colonel do now that he has retired at age 9? Why, the Holts agreed, he will probably devote a little more time to one of his principal interests: chasing a Richmond neighbor's cats.
UPDATING JIM BROWN
Chances are, unless you live around Syracuse, N.Y., you haven't heard much about the All-America halfback Jim Brown since he scored 21 points in the Cotton Bowl last New Year's Day, but an athlete like Jim doesn't just kick off his cleats and sit around waiting for Commencement. Moreover, at Syracuse, where the versatile big Negro athlete is regarded as a latter-day Jim Thorpe, virtually every division of the athletic department had plans for him.
Track Coach Bob Grieve wanted Brown for track and field—because two years ago, under Grieve's tutelage, he was good enough to take fifth in the National AAU decathlon championships. Baseball Coach Ted Kleinhans wanted Brown for his pitching staff—Big Jim threw two no-hitters in high school. And Lacrosse Coach Roy Simmons wanted Brown back as a midfielder. Brown took lacrosse.
The team was strong this year, the schedule weak. In the first six games Brown was used with sporting restraint, yet he scored 22 goals. Syracuse won the next three games also, and Brown chipped in 20 more goals. This brought Syracuse to its wind-up game with Army the other day. A victory would give the Orange its first undefeated lacrosse season since 1924. And a big day for Jim Brown would give him the major-college scoring title: he needed only two more goals to win it.
Well, a few days before the game, Track Coach Bob Grieve appealed to his old decathlon pupil. The track team had had a disappointing season and Colgate was coming to town. Would Brown throw the javelin against Colgate in the early afternoon, before the lacrosse game started? Brown said he sure would and, before he was through, agreed to compete in the discus and high jump as well.
So, while lacrosse buffs stewed over such a waste of energy, Brown fulfilled his promise to Grieve. By 2:10 p.m. he had won the high jump, by 2:45 the discus, and at 3:05—as his lacrosse mates were suiting up—Big Jim placed second in the javelin. Syracuse won the meet by the margin of Brown's 13 points.
By 3:15 Brown had tugged off his track gear and switched to his lacrosse suit. In the game that followed he stood in for nearly every face-off, and gathered in the ball 13 times out of 17. Army double-teamed him, sometimes triple-teamed him, so he seldom got a good shot. His personal score for the day was one goal and three assists. But Syracuse won 8-6, and so achieved its unbeaten season. Brown settled for a tie (43 goals) for the nation's scoring title.
This week as class marshal (and 10-letter man—football, track, lacrosse, basketball), Jim Brown will lead his fellow seniors into the stadium at Syracuse for commencement exercises. Then he will start thinking about his next assignment, playing professional football for the Cleveland Browns. Everybody knows that a first-year man can't expect to cut much of a swath with a pro football team. But don't say that in Syracuse.
The British have a new outdoor sport. Loosely called "saucer sighting," it is the big brother of bird watching, which it transcends in potential excitement as much as prospecting for uranium transcends bug hunting.
Among true addicts, who now number tens of thousands, the slang term "saucer" or "flying saucer" is replaced by the new word "UFO," short for Unidentified Flying Object. Experts call themselves "ufologists" and their studies "ufology."
Reported appearances over Britain—as over the U.S.—of mysterious aerial forms, extraterrestrial in speed and maneuverability, have been denied, belittled or explained away by highest official sources. But you can't discourage spirited British sportsmen as the Pentagon discourages us supine Americans. Over there, it appears, too many witnesses have testified too explicitly for Whitehall to bury the subject in ridicule. Besides, stalwart among the believers stands Lord Dowding, the man who, as Air Chief Marshal, fought and won the Battle of Britain.
Last year the British ufologists formed an International UFO Observer Corps and called on all honest men to come to the aid of their party. Now they have published a sighting manual, with report forms returnable to the Flying Saucer Review (No. 1 Doughty St., London), as guidance for motorists, picnickers, dedicated sky watchers or ordinary stay-at-homes. To enhance his chance of sighting something about a zillion times as breathtaking as a water ouzel or a nightjar—and doing something useful about it—the methodical Briton is now advised to proceed as follows:
Carry a compass at all times—a cheap one will do. Binoculars, too, when you can. Also sunglasses, and a transparent pocket ruler to be held at arm's length when measuring diameters and distances.
To estimate height, note cloud formations carefully.
Time is of the essence—the date's exact hour and minute, and elapsed times of transit or other maneuver.
When you are indoors, if your TV flutters, go out and look around. UFOs make no sound but they affect electronic tubes as conventional aircraft do, often more so.
Watch birds and animals for reactions in clear weather like those they exhibit before thunderstorms.
Watch contrails of high-flying known aircraft. UFOs often appear near these.
A half hour before sunrise and after sunset, things high in the sky reflect the sub-horizon sun. Watch then.
Places that UFOs visit often include these: high-tension systems, airfields (used and disused), military installations, geologic fault lines, nuclear power plants and laboratories. Watch near these.
"Witnesses besides yourself," the outline thoughtfully concludes, "are of paramount importance."
Spanish bullfights are as delicately put together as Swiss watches, and when one thing gets out of adjustment, everything else does too. Recently the Spanish government ordered the padding on the picadors' horses cut from 80 kilograms to 15—and everything about the bullfight was affected, from the gate receipts to the number of ears awarded by the judges.
The picador's job is to mount an old and expendable nag and ride out with a steel-pointed spear which he jabs several times into the bull's neck muscle. The bull, with his power to gore and toss thus reduced, is then taken over and worked by the matador.
On a well-padded horse the picador is safe and can jab away until the bull is thoroughly workable. But on one with little padding, or none, the picador is likely to find himself on his own two feet, with a gored and dying horse on one side and a charging bull on the other. Faced with this possibility he can't work nearly as well and is able to do far less toward weakening the bull for the kill. Some matadors dislike this; they prefer to have the picador deliver up to them half-debilitated bulls rather than furiously aroused ones. Others meet the new challenge with a courage which forces the ecstatic judges to award more than the usual number of ears and tails.
After a few days of using the thinner padding in Madrid, bullfight managers wailed last week that the rule would ruin their business: the sight of eviscerated horses would drive the tourists away forever. Besides, even old plugs cost money and the 10-day festival of San Isidro had seen 12 of them gored, killed and dragged away. The weight limit on padding was raised in mid-festival to 25 kilograms, and cynics predicted that it would eventually climb back to 60.
In view of the fact that the government had ordered padding put on the picadors' horses in the first place (in 1928) why had it backtracked now? Well, the feeling has been growing in Spain the last few years that, what with purging and starving animals to make them weak, shaving horns to make them hypersensitive and dulling them to make them harmless, the bullfight was being rigged just a little too strongly against the bull.
MATTER OF TRADITION
Every boy in New Zealand has an ambition to be an All Black when he grows up. The Blacks, the country's touring international Rugby side, are acknowledged world champions at Rugby football since they beat the Springboks of South Africa last year. When mothers want to encourage small boys to eat their porridge and spinach they do so by telling them that is the way to grow up big and tough and be an All Black.
Last week New Zealand faces fell. The big and tough All Blacks are touring Australia, and the staggering news which filtered back to New Zealand was that the All Blacks had almost bought out the stock of an Aussie shop selling women's nylon panties.
They wanted them, if possible, without frills and, for tradition's sake, in pure black. The reported reason was that on the hard Australian grounds the New Zealanders were getting painful grass burns when tackled. They had tried foam rubber protection under their shorts but the arrangements, whatever they were, hadn't worked. The move to nylon underlinings had been made with the greatest reluctance.
New Zealand had only one consolation: playing their first match in the new equipment, the All Blacks beat the Aussies 33-6.
DR. ROMMEL'S DIAGNOSIS
As a native, and solid, citizen of Baltimore, the American League umpire Eddie Rommel is as well known there as any banker or auto dealer, and as often the subject of a lunchtime story. In the one now current in Baltimore a baseball fan inquires of Eddie why he threw Manager Paul Richards out of a ball game.
Rommel: Richards wasn't feeling well.
Fan: Oh, come on now. Was that reason enough to throw him out of the ball park?
Rommel: It certainly was. He said he was sick of my decisions.
Pitching is a funny trade,
Almost beyond belief;
Sometimes one makes a lot of dough
By being on relief.
CURRENT WEEK & WHAT'S AHEAD
•Shock of the Week
In a week in which the Yankees lost a two-game series to the White Sox—with Mickey Mantle and Billy Martin making horrible bobbles afield—a Page One banner in the New York World-Telegram and Sun made it seem that anyone could beat the champs: FORMOSA MOBS BEAT YANKS. Then Yankee fans relaxed—it was only bad news from the Far East.
Iron Liege, the Kentucky Derby winner who lost his chance at the Triple Crown when Bold Ruler beat him in the Preakness, cheered even his heretofore skeptical jockey, Willie Hartack, with a record-breaking performance in the $62,400 Jersey Stakes at Garden State. Said Hartack, who will ride him in the Belmont June 15: "He's a real runner."
•South vs. North
Alumni of UCLA, Southern Cal and the University of California are boiling like ante-bellum Southerners at the refusal of the PCC majority (a Northern crowd) to ease last year's penalty bans. Secession talk is now near the Sumter stage.
•Yankees Come Home
The USLTA is cracking down: top American tennis players have been told to head for home after Wimbledon closes in early July to help brighten U.S. summer events—instead of lingering for the remaining European tournaments.