June 24, 1957
June 24, 1957

Table of Contents
June 24, 1957

Baseball X-Ray
  • The posh pageant that is the Henley Royal Regatta holds first place in the hearts of rowing regulars the world over

  • With only one big race left on the American college rowing calendar, the two best U.S. crews are heading for the Henley Regatta to settle a rivalry that has raged all season

Events & Discoveries
The Wonderfull World Of Sport
Phenomenal Philadelphia
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over




This is an article from the June 24, 1957 issue Original Layout

The U.S. seemedto have curiously mixed emotions about the transatlantic voyage of MayflowerII. A great many people, including thousands in Plymouth, Mass., spoke of it alittle bitterly as a publicity stunt (which, indeed, in its way it was) but inthe end seemed irresistibly moved to cheers. In this day of jet air travelthere was something enormously dramatic and somehow reassuring in the fact thatmen had spent 53 highly uncomfortable and, at times, dangerous days in a tinywooden vessel on the Atlantic and had finally made a landfall.

A hard southwestwind was blowing at dawn on the day Mayflower was due at Provincetown. Theharbor was rough, and sand flew along the dunes. Dimly, through thewind-whipped haze the waiting crowds finally saw something which looked, as oneman said, "like a bunch of seagoing jack-straws"—Mayflower's masts andrigging. She was in tow, furled sails being secured by tiny men up on heryards. The strange high-pooped hull, glowing with dark brown, yellow and bluein the mist, bucked and, at times, almost buried its bowsprit in the big seas.The big crowd on the beaches stared at the spectacle silently—entranced andmoved.

Mayflower'smaster, Australian-born Alan John Villiers, lent a more practical andmatter-of-fact tone to the proceedings after he came ashore, ceremoniallygarbed in 17th century costume. The vessel, he said wryly, was not the worst hehad ever handled—wartime LCTs, he noted, "steered like streetcars," butshe was almost as bad. Also, she was an awful thing on which to live. Thegreatest hardships, he said, were wetness and motion. "What kind ofmotion?" he was asked. He replied: " 'Orrible." He spoke about theawkward little ship, nevertheless, with vast affection.

Mayflower'smasts, at times, had "waved about like a bunch of fishing rods," butthey had done their duty. So had the spritsail. Villiers admitted that he hadordered a jib cut to replace it just in case, but that the replacement hadnever been taken out of the sail locker. "Those old medieval chaps knewwhat they were about. The spritsail works beautifully." The whole ship, hethought, was "most interesting," but she had "awful imperfections.Particularly the drag. When we spoke the Queen Elizabeth she was leaving lesswake than we."

Would he like todo it again?

"I wouldnot," he answered, "want to make a habit of it."

Listening to bitsof the adventure, looking at the tiny vessel close up, watching her whiskeryEnglishmen gulping fresh milk and eating steaks ashore, it was impossible notto conclude that for captain and crew the voyage of Mayflower II had been asporting gesture of a high order.


There was a timethis spring when it seemed Calumet Farm might have as many as three doughtycolts running in last Saturday's Belmont Stakes. But Gen. Duke picked up abruise, and then there were two. Iron Liege won the Kentucky Derby, but he toogot a bruise. Then there was only Barbizon—but Barbizon came in far back acouple of times, and then there were no Calumets at all going in the Belmont.Such a succession of bad racing luck would dishearten a lesser man, but asTrainer Jimmy Jones shipped the majority of his string off to Chicago for theArlington Park season the other day Mr. Jimmy gave every impression ofsoundness and vigor.

Q. Had he read anewspaper column criticizing him for overtraining Gen. Duke? (He had not, but,with grunts and snorts, he let it be read to him.)

A. That's a lotof nonsense. What does this mean about Gen. Duke? That I overtrained Gen. Duke?He was injured by a stone. I ain't training stones, I'm training horses. Rightnow Gen. Duke is in as good shape as any horse in the country, training-wise.I'm going to let that injury heal, and it's almost done that already. In amonth he'll be back to the races, and then they better look out. All the bestof the 3-year-olds will be standin' still and my horse will look like he'srunning downhill.

Q. Is it possiblethat you have overraced Iron Liege?

A. It is possiblethe same as it is possible that it's going to rain lemonade. No, Iron Liege hasnot been overraced. He won in Jersey, remember that. He has splint trouble.Many horses do. I could have raced Iron Liege today and he would beat thesehorses. But I want to rest him and let nature do its job.

Q. Why did youhave Ovie Scurlock announced as Iron Liege's rider for the Jersey Stakes andhave Hartack on Barbizon?

A. For threereasons, two of which I will tell you about. The first is that a trainer mustbe allowed certain tricks and, like a baseball manager that changes hispitchers at the last minute, it sometimes fools the opposition. The second isthat Willie was feeling a little wheezy and I thought he might get sick. Thatwould leave me without a jock. But Willie rode him anyway.

Q. Would theother reason be that at that time you thought Barbizon was coming up to a bigrace?

A. It might havebeen that—and right now that stuff falling on my head is lemonade.

Q. What races areyou pointing Gen. Duke for?

A. The ArlingtonClassic (July 13), and I hope he can make it.

Q. IronLiege?

A. Same race, andhe will be up for that. He's a good horse to train.

Q. Do you callIron Liege "Mike" as many in the stable do?

A. I call IronLiege Iron Liege. If I had a horse named Mike, I'd call him Mike.

Q. Judging fromwhat you have said, I take it that you do not agree with the criticism of yourtraining.

A. Nope, I've got$790,000 in the kicker and by the time the year is over I'll have a lot more.And, brother, look out in the fall for my 2-year-olds.

With that, JimmyJones set out for Chicago and its racing season. Chicago racing fans can neversay they have not been warned.


Searchingbig-city gyms for a good young heavyweight is something like shopping for alion at the city pound—in both cases the chance of winding up with a dog arecurrently very high. This still leaves a lot of unexplored territory, however,and last week a new and promising figure leaped into the thin line ofcontenders for the heavyweight championship. One Roy Harris, 23, a huskyschoolteacher from Cut and Shoot (pop. 193), Texas, went down to Houston and—tothe surprise and delight of 10,000 fellow Texans—handily licked third-rankedWillie Pastrano of New Orleans.

Schoolteachersare not ordinarily good brawlers. Neither are college men—and Harris hasattended not one but three colleges: Tarleton State, Texas A&M and SamHouston State. But very few college men have been produced by Cut and Shooteither—and therein lies the difference. Harris was a fighter first and astudent by afterthought. Cut and Shoot, which consists of three beer joints, adance hall, a sawmill and three houses, lies in the midst of a tough andprimitive area known as The Big Thicket and was named for all the cuttin' andshootin' which has gone on there in a century of Saturday nights. Roy Harrisand his two fighting brothers grew up in a log cabin (some distance from whatmight be described as the metropolitan area of Cut and Shoot) with a boxingring in the clearing.

His father,heavy-handed Henry Harris, taught all the boys to fight almost before theylearned to walk. Roy was fighting in smokers when he was 13 and "whippinggrown men" when he was 15. He had 83 amateur fights (losing 10), and hasfought 21 times in two years as a professional—beating, among others, CharlieNorkus and Bob Baker. He is a quiet, dark-haired fellow who now weighs 190pounds; he is awkward, savage and smart in the ring and despite his relativeinexperience he seemed to be outthinking as well as outpunching Pastrano in theHouston upset last week. He slipped Pastrano's jab and used his right. Hefeinted with the right and threw left hooks. When Pastrano tried coming in,head down, he used an uppercut. "Harris," said New Orleans PromoterAllen Lacombe gloomily afterward, "made Pastrano look like a bananacarrier."

Back in Cut andShoot, after the fight, Harris planned to go on with his $229-a-month jobteaching the fourth grade. (Robert Thomas, one of his pupils, had predicted:"If he punches Pastrano as hard as he whupped me, there won't be nothing toit.") Roy, who lives with his wife in a neat white cottage adjoining hisfamily's land, also continued to startle Cut and Shoot by 1) driving a blackCadillac, and 2) wearing Bermuda shorts. But the Harris family proper wasunaffected—it still resides in the sprawling log house with a galvanized-ironroof, imperfect windows, unclosable doors and fight posters on the walls. Anine-foot alligator still lives in the pond out beyond the sweet gum trees.

"That gatormust be getting hungry," said Roy's mother reflectively last week, as sherocked in her rope-bottomed chair. "Hasn't eaten a dog in about a week asfar as we know."


Desire iseverything in football, and a coach can hardly say no to a star halfback whowants to take some equipment home for the summer; when the University ofVirginia's big, line-busting Jim Bakhtiar wondered if the school could ship him1 football, 1 needle valve, 1 uniform, 1 helmet, 1 kickoff tee and 1extra-point tee, Head Coach Ben Martin said, "Sure, Jimbo. It's as good asthere right now." This, it turned out, was not quite true. Bakhtiar—fullname: James Abol Hassen Bakhtiar—lives in Abadan, Iran, and Abadan is a longway from Charlottesville, Va. Assistant Coach Ralph Hendrix (whom Martincunningly appointed his delegate in the matter) found this out almostimmediately.

It took a halfday of telephoning just to find out how you best send a parcel to Abadan (airexpress), and after that he had to stuff the gear into a worthy parcel. Thesechores accomplished, he delegated Handyman Fielding Updike to carry on fromthere. Updike departed with package. He soon returned. "Can't besealed," he said. "Customs inspection." Hendrix spent the eveningin moody thought and the next day solved the problem—he tied bowknots in thetwine around the parcel and sent Updike on his way again. Coach Martin waslooking out the window when Updike returned and began a play-by-play: "He'sslamming the door. He's hitching up his pants and talking to himself. He looksmad. He's brought it back again!"

Updike alsobrought a list of what was needed to send a football uniform to Iran: acommercial invoice in quadruplicate, a customs declaration in quadruplicate, aninsurance form in quadruplicate, a consular fee of $4.18 and a fee of $8.38 forlegalizing general power of attorney and designating an agent in Iran."Whatta they want a commercial invoice for?" cried Martin. "We'renot selling the damned uniform." Hollered Updike: "Don't holler at me,holler at them!" Martin hollered by telephone for a half hour but gotnowhere. Then he called in his assistants. "What," one of them asked,"is a commercial invoice form in quadruplicate?" Martin sighed."How the hell should I know? Just find one."

At this point thecoach believed that he saw light at the end of his tunnel. He seized thetelephone again and called the Iranian embassy in Washington. Did the embassyknow of Jim Bakhtiar and his great work in international relations? The embassydid indeed. Encouraged, Martin tried to delegate the job again. It didn't work.The polite voice at the embassy simply assured him that he would have notrouble at all, and that anything Bakhtiar Khan wanted shipped to Iran was O.K.with Iran. Then the phone went dead.

By the next dayMartin and his men had a commercial invoice. By the day after that they had itand all the other forms filled out (Describe commodities in sufficient detailto permit verification of the Schedule B.... Any person violating...ExportControl subject to a fine of not more than $10,000....), thenwere ready, in fact, to try shipping the box again. Martin by now, however, wasbecoming sensitive to the enemy at the express office. "Bring me a duffelbag," he cried. It was delivered. Quickly he stuffed it with the footballgear. He seized his pen and wrote boldly: "Personal Effects of JamesBakhtiar" in quadruplicate on every piece of paper in the thick heap he hadaccumulated. It worked. Railway Express accepted the bag with almost horrifyingmatter-of-factness. Two days later, Seaboard & Western Airlines sent him awire assuring him that the "personal effects" were on their wayoverseas.

Only then didMartin have time to mull, in fascination, the project he was furthering.Bakhtiar, once back in Islam, proposes to suit up and kick field goals overgoal posts which his father—a wealthy doctor and Persian nobleman—has agreed toset up in a public park. What will the citizenry of Abadan, Iran think of that?Martin broke off to ask himself another question. What might not happen to themind and body of his sure-bet All-America if the boy tried to ship the uniformback to the U.S. at summer's end? He leaped to his feet and sought his halfbackout. "Look, Jimbo," he said gently. "If you have any trouble—anytrouble at all—just leave that uniform in Abadan and forget it. If the worstcomes to the worst, next fall we'll play you in your tribal robes."


A responsiblefacsimile of the Indianapolis "500" race track stands outside Monza,Italy. One reason it was built there was to provide a place where top Americandrivers in Indianapolis cars could race against top European drivers in GrandPrix cars, and so settle many a year of argument over which group is superior.Ten Americans and their cars are headed for Italy, and the Monza "500"is set for June 29. Yet it may not, after all, do much to settle the oldquestion.

For many of theEuropean drivers recently organized themselves into a union—and, having doneso, voted to boycott the Monza race. Why? "Because," said Juan ManuelFangio, the world champion Grand Prix driver and the man who suggested theunion in the first place, "one cannot participate in a race knowing inadvance that he will never win it or even finish in a good position." GrandPrix cars, he stressed, are used in road racing—that is, on odd-shaped courseswith varied turns. Their drivers must be able to turn both left and right,brake sharply, accelerate quickly and make use of the gears. Indianapolis cars,on the other hand, are tailored to go around an oval track. They have only oneuseful forward speed, their springs are jacked to favor a left-hand turn (forthe turns at Indianapolis) and they are built to withstand sustained highspeeds and the extra stresses that centrifugal force imposes at the bankedcurves. The Monza "500" would therefore, said Fangio, be a matter ofmatching Indianapolis cars specially built for oval racing against Grand Prixcars which were not—and there was no question who would win.

His argumentseemed pretty well borne out by the recent accomplishment of the Americandriver Pat O'Connor in an American car: O'Connor went around the Monza track in55 seconds, clipping four seconds off the record.

Still, there willbe European entries at Monza—some Jaguars, some Ferraris and perhaps a fewothers. But the outcome seems fairly certain, and likewise the postracecomments. The Americans will probably be able to say, "Of course we won—andthey were afraid to race against us." The Europeans can say, "Naturallythey won—but not against our best drivers." Yet neither view will quitereflect the facts.

The presentsituation is not, however, a permanent stalemate. Some of the European driversare already suggesting that their automakers build a few cars in which they cantake the curves and straightaways of Monza on equal terms with theAmericans.


After deepthought, the Buddhist monks of Mt. Koya, whose templed mountaintop south ofOsaka has long been a shrine for Japanese-pilgrims, have now carved out abaseball diamond and ordered bats, balls and uniforms for themselves.

"The priestlyduty has always made it imperative for us to understand what is uppermost inthe secular mind," explained one of Mt. Koya's elders.

"Baseball isuppermost."


He stole thebases with aplomb,
His daring was a sight;
And yet he never did steal home
Till very late at night.


•Wait Till 1958
At Toledo, after he had dropped out of the National Open with an ailing back,Ben Hogan was approached by a white-haired gentleman who told him: "I cameall the way from Connecticut to see you play." Hogan's face showed sincereconcern. "I'm certainly sorry," he said. "If you want to take thelong trip to Tulsa, I hope you'll come to see me play in the Open nextyear."

•Apology Requested
The National Collegiate Track Coaches Association joined the list of others(see page 62) deploring Dr. Herbert Berger's AMA speech attributing trackrecords to the use of amphetamines by athletes. "Contrary to fact" and"unfair reflection" on athletes and coaches, they said, and asked Dr.Berger to apologize.

•Semiprofessionalism Postponed
Dave Sime has postponed his plans to play semipro baseball in South Dakota—atleast until after he competes in the National AAU track championships thisweek. Quite right, too, said Dan Ferris of the AAU. This means that collegeathletes who do play semipro ball may risk suspension as amateurs.

•Imperial Accolade for Wrestling
Emperor Hirohito's latest poem, after watching Sumo wrestling, a sport he haslong enjoyed: "What a pleasure it is to watch Sumo, clapping my handstogether with the crowd of spectators, at the arena which I had not visited forso long!"