Tee-off at theSummit?
This is an article from the June 9, 1958 issue
Transatlanticcables last week were abuzz with reports that Britain's Prime Minister HaroldMacmillan was off to Scotland on a secret, high-priority mission. Its object:some intense practice on the links to fit the chief executive of Great Britainto take on his U.S. counterpart when the two meet in Washington later thismonth.
Scots expertspromptly rushed to the defense of their Prime Minister with the claim that hisgame was already three to five strokes better than that of the AmericanPresident. "Mr. Macmillan's swing and style are very good andorthodox," said one Highland pro. "His driving is a shade better thanhis putting and he's steadier with his woods than his irons. He's not very goodin the bunkers either, but he has more fine shots than bad ones. He's got thatreal old Scots swing."
In the U.S. apatriot who knows both golf and international conflict—Frank Pace Jr., formerSecretary of the Army and now president of the International GolfAssociation—announced himself ready to provide a suitable trophy for the winnerof whatever tournament play at the summit might be arranged.
Unfortunately,the prospect of an international sporting event that might have proved secondonly to the forthcoming America's Cup races in patriotically partisan interestwent up in the smoke of diplomatic duty when official spokesmen at Whitehalland the White House announced that, what with conferences, official trips andwhat not, there would probably be no time for golf during the Prime Minister'sU.S. visit. But the fact remained that Harold Macmillan had indeed spent apleasant day or two in Scotland playing golf.
Unlike that ofIke, whose occasional well-earned tours on the golf course are the object ofconstant comment by a captious and caustic American press, Macmillan's golfgoes virtually unnoticed in Britain's papers. The four rounds he played withhis genial wife, Lady Dorothy, last week at Perthshire's mountain-ringedGlen-eagles marked the second time he has been able to play in a year, and onlytwo London papers even bothered to note them. Even the Macmillans'fellow-golfers paid little attention. "You see," said the club pro,"they were too busy playing themselves to notice the PrimeMinister."
Accompanied byonly a single secretary and one discreetly self-effacing security officer, theBritish pair covered the 6,577-yard course four times in an average two and ahalf hours with no more formal arrangements than a quick phone call to makesure a good caddie was available. On the first round the Prime Minister beatLady Dorothy by nine strokes with an 86. During the next three rounds he shotan 83, an 81 and a figure which his caddie tactfully described—after someMacmillan moments in a sandtrap—as "around 87."
The final match,though not at all likely to put the fear of British conquest into Ike, wasmarked by one splendid moment of triumph when the Prime Minister sent a long,sweet ball winging down the fairway at the difficult 421-yard ninth hole."Not a bad drive," said 64-year-old Harold Macmillan, "for an oldman bordering on 70."
How beautiful arethy feet with shoes, O prince's daughter, sang wise (and susceptible) old KingSolomon some time ago. If the Russian fans at Leningrad last July did not singthe same thing or something like it when Russian high jumpers eight timestopped the marks of the best jumpers in the U.S., they should have, for all theSoviet jumpers, including Champion Yuri Stepanov (who leaped a record 7 feet 1‚⅛inches), were wearing specially built-up shoes whose inch-thick sponge-rubbersoles sent them off the ground like springboards.
While theRussians cheered this great victory, the cautious International AmateurAthletic Federation was pulling its collective chin and pondering the Russianfootwear.
Last week, as aresult of a worldwide telegraphic poll of its officers, the IAAF reached thebelated conclusion that the newfangled shoes are unfair. The decisioneffectively barred built-up shoes from the upcoming U.S.-Russian meet in Moscownext month and left the world's high-jump record securely in the possession ofAmerican Charley Dumas (7 feet one-half inch) but it did not succeed in settingthe sporting world's fears at rest concerning Russian technological advances.In London, in particular, last week there were dark rumors abroad that Russiaalready is experimenting with an osmium hammer.
What's an osmiumhammer? Well, osmium is a rare and expensive metal of the platinum group, whosespecific gravity is nearly three times that of iron. A regulation 16-poundhammer made of osmium would therefore be scarcely larger than a golf ball and,due to decreased wind resistance and greater density, would fly away todistances up to 20 feet beyond that of an iron hammer. Its chief drawback(particularly for capitalist athletes): the raw material for a good osmiumhammer before fabrication would run to approximately $15,475.70.
Even though theycould probably afford it, official Russian sources last week hotly denied thatthey were thinking of putting any osmium hammers into orbit. Britain's leadinghammer coach dismissed the whole idea as "nonsense." Still, manyBritons felt the same about the built-up track shoes before they saw them.Perhaps the firmest comfort for Western competitors regarding Russia's taste inhammers lies in a contemplation of those they have already tossed into space.Sputniks, if we remember rightly, are on the large side.
Host with theMost
The shy goodmanners of the Japanese were severely tested by last week's Asian Games. As thehosts to athletes from 19 countries, they wanted everybody to go home happy;yet the Japanese athletes kept giving the guests a hard time by winning thedragon's share of gold medals for themselves.
In swimming anddiving, Japan won 25 of the 26 events; in boxing, six out of 10. The othercountries got their chance in track and field, but Japan picked up additionalpoints all over the lot—in volleyball, in table tennis, in something called the2,000-meter tandem bicycle scratch race. When all the points were in, Japan hadwon 1,040 of them. The Philippines held a modest second place with 355½.
Though many AsianGames records were broken, few performances were up to world standards. Themost notable exceptions were in swimming, where 19-year-old, 150-pound TsuyoshiYamanaka broke the listed world record in the 400-meter freestyle with a timeof 4:23.9. In the 800-meter relay, Yamanaka swam his 200 meters in 2.03.6, wellunder the listed world record of 2:05.2. This newest of top-rank Japaneseswimmers got an early start; his mother was a professional diver for seashells. He trains on "plenty of beef, seven to eight big bowls of rice ateach meal and five miles of swimming a day."
From NationalistChina came a new decathlon performer, a 25-year-old 6-footer named YangChuankuang. In his first five events Yang scored 4,068 points and seemed wellwithin range of Rafer Johnson's listed world-record total of 7,985. Hisperformances dropped off in the second five events, however, and he wound upwith 7,101 points—and the consolation of having won two seconds and a third inother events as well. As a civilian employee in the Nationalist Army, Yang isgiven plenty of time to train. This outsize (176 pounds) young Chinese was ledto the decathlon, oddly enough, by the American game of baseball. Said hiscoach: "When we discovered that in addition to being fast on his feet hehad tremendous throwing power, developed through pitching baseball, we decidedto turn him into a decathlon man."
Following Yang'sAsian Games achievements, his government announced that he will be sent to theUnited States soon for three months of special training.
Winding up lastSunday afternoon, the third Asian Games went into the record books in a dozenEastern languages, not as a final conquest but as an important milepost. Inathletics, as in many other tricky and complex fields, the people of Asia aredrawing near to the accomplishments of the West. And Tokyo, having sped itsparting guests, can now turn briskly to the effort of winning for 1964 thecrown jewel of all athletic events: the Olympic Games themselves.
Whether the melancholy diagnosis in the case of Golfer Jack MacKinnon, a clubpro in West Vancouver, B.C., furnishes clues to the ailments of any fellowgolfers or not, we can't help setting it down here. For a dozen years MacKinnonhas had a wretched time of it out on the course, from April to September, withimplacable attacks of hay fever. After more than 600 tests his doctors have nowestablished his trouble: he has an allergy to grass.
A mechanicalengineer named Mitchell R. Fink, playing in a company softball game in Denver,stepped up to the plate, spread his legs and cocked his bat. At that moment hismanager chose to remind him, in the age-old phrase, to "hold the label upon that bat, Fink. You'll break it if you don't." For some reason thisenraged Mr. Fink and a riot almost resulted.
Game over, theangry Fink retired to the library, did some research and emerged with thefollowing exhaustive findings:
"Empiricaltests show conclusively that the total energy (inch-pounds) that is necessaryto rupture a simply supported uniform square section of any tree wood isgreater when the impact load is applied perpendicular to the plane of the grainthan when the impact load is applied parallel to the plane of thegrain."
That's just fine,Fink old boy. Nice going. But just remember one thing. Better hold the label upon that bat. You'll break it if you don't.
In moments ofimpatience with the often inconclusive arguments of great men, the late greatHearstling Arthur Brisbane often dismissed an entire debate with the curtsummary: "A gorilla could have licked 'em both."
Whether thiseditorial pronouncement lurked in the mind of a certain carnival pitchmanworking Kannapolis, N.C. the other day cannot readily be determined. It wasevident, however, that he had the equipment to put it to the test: a scrappyyoung gorilla about four feet tall who tipped the scales at a trim 175 pounds.All he needed was some game human disputants to complete the show, and these hesought by issuing a challenge to one and all offering $6 apiece to any twocontenders who could pull the gorilla off the bars of his cage, plus a $60bonus for pinning his shoulders to the floor and $1 for every minute theystayed in the cage.
The response wasinstant. Without even waiting to work up a grudge, two stalwart and amiableyoung Catawba College football players gathered together a cheering section offellow students in Salisbury and headed for Kannapolis to give it the collegetry. Eager to join battle, the football men were a little disappointed whenthey first saw their opponent. "I had always thought of gorillas asbig," said John McGrath, a 230-pound tackle and a onetime marine.
As Butch, thegorilla, well muzzled and with fingernails clipped, hung on the bars sizing upthe competition, the boys were handed a set of rules to read and two helmets towear. "The rules were plain enough," said Pat Carlisle, a 200-poundguard. "We were allowed to do almost anything except maybe slug him rightin the face. We felt we had a good chance."
A time clock wasset, 430 pounds of determined human flesh advanced against 175 pounds ofgorilla, and the battle was joined. For a moment Butch made not a move. Then asthe footballers rushed him, he exploded into action. "He was speedy,boy," sighed John from underneath a layer of bandages sometime later,"and, brother, how he could have moved in a scrimmage line. He was allarms." After five minutes of hopeless effort on the part of the boys topull their whirling adversary off his bars, the bell rang and the bout wasover. "I realized then for the first time," said Pat, "that I wasbleeding."
Despite threestitches that now decorate the end of his nose, Pat Carlisle has no regretsabout being bested by a gorilla. His only worry is over whether the scrap mayhave given him a reputation for bad temper. "Some folks," he says,"look at me now like, well, as if I take on gorillas all the time. Butshucks, it was just this once."
The biggest grabbag in the world, probably, is the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.Rummaging through its 8,600,000 square miles and its 205,000,000 people, youcan find a little of everything. The newest discovery, reported in Moscow justthe other day, is a brilliant young chess player whose age is even moreastonishing than his skill: he is just 5 years old.
The boy's name isErnest Kim, and he lives in Tashkent, a big town in Central Asia, not far fromSamarkand. Tashkent has textile mills, wide boulevards, which carry mostly foottraffic, and lots of earthquakes. Its people like to drink tea and play chess,and its adult chess players are proud that their town has produced a prodigy.At the same time they are a little chastened by the fact that young Ernestachieved his status by beating them. The lowest rank among chess experts in theSoviet Union is third category, and Ernest reached it just six months after helearned to play. Now, according to news stories from Moscow, he defeats adultsin both the third and second categories with little trouble.
Though Ernest hasnever been to Moscow, he is already known there. Mikhail Botvinnik, the worldchess champion, has examined the boy's game and pronounced his talent to beauthentic. Botvinnik also offered his advice on the care and training of Kim:send him to school, develop his body and forbid him to play chess for at leastthree years. Then, when he is a well-brought-up young man of 8 he may beallowed to re-enter the world he seems destined to conquer.
Profiles inCourage (Cont.)
Patrolman BillAnderson, a large, amiable Seattle cop, received a letter the other day fromthe Puget Sound Baseball Umpires Association. The letter commended PatrolmanAnderson (a part-time semi-pro umpire) for having established a "record forfortitude and endurance" within its organization.
At 3:30 oneafternoon last week Patrolman Anderson arrived on time to umpire a game betweentwo Seattle high schools, Garfield and Cleveland. Final score: Garfield 19,Cleveland 1. At 6:25, Patrolman Anderson jumped in his car, raced to ahamburger stand for nourishment and arrived at Sick's Seattle Stadium to umpirea double-header between Seattle University and Washington. Score of first game:Seattle 7, Washington 5. Score of second game: Seattle 19, Washington 5.
To the vastrelief of Patrolman-Umpire Anderson, the Washington coach conceded defeat inthe second game at the end of four and one-half innings. The time? 11:21p.m.
PatrolmanAnderson's box score for the day: three games in eight hours. He presided overthe scoring of 56 runs and 45 hits, the commission of 26 errors. He chilledseven beefs and sent the plaintiffs peaceably back to their benches.
He was tired. Hewas beat. His feet screamed. Nonetheless, Patrolman Anderson shed his umpiringgear, climbed into his police uniform and straightway headed for the PublicSafety Building.
He reported forwork on the graveyard shift at 12:59 a.m. Patrolman Anderson works in theComplaints Department.
A Catch to It
He's weak on thetoss
But good at the get,
For he plays lacrosse
With a butterfly net.
They Said It
Pete Bryan, father of Jimmy Bryan, winner of theIndianapolis "500": "Now I hope he'll retire.... I'm not asuperstitious man, but I've noticed that Indianapolis winners ever since 1911have had a record of running into trouble when they keep on racing."
Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons, bemoaning the 135-pound weightassigned to Bold Ruler in the Carter Handicap (Bold Ruler nonetheless won):"Sometimes I can tell what goes through the minds of normals, but I havenever been able to figure what goes through the minds of handicappers."
Archie Moore, 41 and pressing 45, seeking a titlefight, explaining his fourth 10-round fight in five weeks: "Sparringpartners are expensive. Training is hard work. This way I get my workouts andthey pay me."
John Murphy, Red Sox farm director, on the intensifiedsearch for high school and college baseball talent: "It's got so the scoutsare scouting the scouts."