It would bepremature to speak with certainty, but it seems to us either that baseball'sbad tempers are enjoying a recession or that its cool collectedness is having arecovery. A look last week at the Umpire Bounce Averages (an index that is oursexclusively) showed both National and American League thumbers off the pace.Last year, you may recall, National League umpire teams bounced players at thefairly feverish rate of 2.20 fellows a week. So far this season they arerunning at a slightly decelerated 1.75. In the American League, traditionallyevenly disposed officials have carved down last year's 1.50 dismissals a weekto a well-moderated .83.
Even individualstatistics show mellowing. The National League's terrible-tempered Dascolis(who alone last year bounced almost as many as the whole American League) arecoasting along at a temperate .67 a week. Their final average last year was1.29. The award for Most Marked Improvement must be accorded the AmericanLeague's Paparellas: .63 bounces a week last year, .17 this year.
What is thereason for it all? There are theories and theories. Maybe National Leagueumpires, embarrassed by our '57 report, spent the winter searching their soulsfor evidence of churlishness. Maybe the weather is better this year. In anyevent, an explanation is easy to spot in the American League. With the Yankeesleading by 11 games, who's excited?
July 13, 1958
Never Say Dry
"Boatingenthusiasts remain enthusiastic in the face of almost any annoyance—sunburn,engine trouble, lakes full of reckless drivers, or flat tires on theirtrailers; and the toughest breed of boat lovers in the country is inAlbuquerque, N. Mex. Over the Fourth of July weekend, they faced the ultimateinconvenience: disappearing water.
Gathered on theshore of their shrunken Lake Jemez, many of them watched a lone boatmanstruggle across a quarter of a mile of mud to place his single-seat hydroplaneon the tiny pond that remained and ride it around in sad little circles."Some men," said one observer, "go down with their ships. That poorguy went down with his lake."
The good old dayswere just a few weeks ago when Lake Jemez was a glittering sheet of meltedsnow: five miles long, a mile wide and 87 feet deep. On weekends there had beenas many as 150 boats—kayaks, rubber rafts, motorboats, cabin cruisers up to 24feet long and sailboats of various classes. One Sunday 15,000 people appearedon the lake shores, many of them just to marvel at so much water.
For Lake Jemezdid not exist at all until this spring, and it may not return for years. Big asit was, it was hardly more substantial than a mirage. It was created by anextra-heavy snowfall last winter in the mountains north of Albuquerque. Whenthe snow melted, the U.S. Army's Corps of Engineers caught it behind a dam onthe little Jemez River. What had been mostly a dry canyon was suddenly a coldand shimmering lake, right in the middle of a land whose annual rainfallaverages 8.68 inches. Albuquerque's boating boom was on.
From the verybeginning, though, the bust was in sight. By an ironic provision of theinterstate water agreements, most of the water in Lake Jemez belonged to theneighboring and omnibibulous state of Texas. Weeks ago the engineers pulled theplug in Albuquerque's lake and started it draining off down the Rio Grande. ButAlbuquerque, as one boatman put it, "had got intoxicated with all thatwater." With the lake draining out from under their very keels, the localboatmen formed the Albuquerque Boating Club. Its purpose was not to organizeregattas but to find ways of keeping Lake Jemez in New Mexico if it should everreappear.
And what aboutall those boats? Well, their owners believe in never say dry. With something ofthe spirit that won the West in the first place, they got out their road mapsand started looking for water. Santa Cruz Lake, they found, is 90 miles north.Bluewater Lake is 100 miles west. Conchas Reservoir, 166 miles east; andElephant Butte is 152 miles south. So now when the boatmen of Albuquerque hitchon their trailers and load up their families, they also make sure they haveplenty of gas.
When Brazil wonthe world's soccer championship—and incidentally played the finest soccer everseen—the only calm Brazilians remaining after the victory were the players. Onhand to see to it that they maintained the proper professional poise ofchampions was a thoughtful psychologist, Professor Jo√£o Carvalhais, who hasbecome, since their magnificent triumph, a sensation with world soccer fanshimself.
It was ProfessorCarvalhais' job to impress on his emotional charges "that they do not haveto become as excited as they might want to be." He interviewed all playersthe day before each match to determine if they were emotionally fit to kick,pass, block and go through the gymnastics and fierce facial expressions thatare a part of soccer. In these talks he got down to cases: every man's personalproblems in relation to the upcoming game. Then a few minutes before the gamestarted he delivered a combination pep and tranquilizer speech to the wholeeleven. Left Fullback Nilton Santos said: "We learned from him how to enterthe field smiling."
Obviously, itworked. While the Argentine team at Stockholm was mobbed by beautiful blondeSwedish juvenile delinquents, and the manager of the Mexican team had to movehis athletes to the top floor of the hotel to keep girls from climbing in thewindows, the psychologically disciplined Brazilians lived in dedicatedsobriety. They were in constant radio-telephone communication with Brazil forinspirational exchanges with wives and families.
Says ProfessorCarvalhais, 41, who used to conduct psychological tests for the Brazilianbranch of that farflung U.S. advertising enterprise, J. Walter Thompson: "Istumbled on a really great difficulty.... Direct approach to any one player wasliable to raise the suspicion that something must be wrong." He had to waituntil players came to him, saying, "If one of them is not fit to start, Ican only warn the captain."
Europeanobservers freely gave Professor Carvalhais credit for the transformation of theBrazilian team. "Those fellows are different now," said an Englishexpert. "They are playing controlled, certain football.... More power toProfessor What's-His-Name." In Brazil enthusiasts went further. They saidProfessor Carvalhais had given the whole nation a psychological treatment."Unless an attacking forward actually punches me in the face," saidGoalkeeper Gilmar calmly, "I no longer get irritated." And as theBrazilian victory celebrations launched the greatest carnival in history, withmillions parading in the street, shooting firecrackers and greeting thereturning heroes with an 18-mile parade of singing, dancing and beating drums,the Diario de Noticias editorialized: "Professor Carvalhais put over thegreatest possible achievement of his profession: he achieved a mass treatment,a cure of 61 million people, all rid of complexes by the sensationaltherapeutics of joy."
Casualties of theRio celebration, despite the Carvalhais therapy: 104 injured, three dead ofheart attacks, two slain in debate.
Piglet (upondiscovering some strange tracks): Oh, Pooh, do you think it's a-a-a Woozle?
Winnie-the-Pooh: It may be.... You never can tell with paw marks.
What the shysinuosity of the Loch Ness monster is to Scotland the hairy manifestation knownas the Abominable Snowman is to Nepal. When the Nepalese aren't spinning prayerwheels they're encountering snowmen, which they call yetis, or wild men. MostNepalese are certain of the snowman's existence; Tenzing Norgay, for instance,says, "It is as substantial as the summit of Everest." SkepticalNepalese keep their doubts to themselves; as good patriots, why should theyhumbug what has become not only a source of income but about the only thingguaranteed to keep Nepal in the newspapers?
The Loch Nessmonster is confined to Loch Ness but the Abominable Snowman seems to be goinginternational. Last month a hunter claimed in a Saigon newspaper that he hadspotted snowmen in the steaming, snowless jungles of Cambodia. He resolutelyswore that he had seen a 9-foot beast with prominent jaws, jutting canine teethand gorilla gait ambling docilely with a 7-foot female and a 5-foot infant intow. And last December there were reports from Kenya about odd footprints highon the snowy slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro which were quite definitely not ErnestHemingway's.
But most of theaccounts still come from Nepal. Not long ago, a dispatch raised the intriguingquestion of whether you would want your sister to marry an Abominable Snowman.A Nepalese Sherpa in Katmandu for a pilgrimage said his sister was carried offfrom her village by a snowman when she was 6 and lived with him for five years.Unfortunately she had no camera. But the Nepalese government, with businesslikematter-of-factness, has set the license fees alone for yeti-hunting expeditionsas high as $750 and forbids the shooting of yetis "except inself-defense."
This year's yetihunt, financed by Texas Oilman Tom Slick, marched into the mountains in Januaryand returned the other day with no snowman but plenty of "new leads."And one of its Sherpas, Dava Temba, reported he had actually spotted a snowman."I was on night duty on the upper Doodhkosi River Valley," said Temba."At about midnight a local Sherpa rushed to inform me of the presence of ayeti below the river. I rushed down with a torchlight to examine thecorrectness of his information. Reaching the river bed I found a strange,humanlike, naked creature about 5 feet high, covered all over with long hairand with a face like a human being; he was searching for fish or frogs. To lookmore carefully I focused my torchlight on the creature who started movingtoward me on his two feet just as a human. His head was conical, and his faceresembled a monkey. He had no tail. I rushed back to inform the expeditionleader. By the time we reached the spot the yeti was gone."
Even as the Slickexpedition folded tents came fresh news from the mountain fastness of Mustang,hard by the Tibetan border. Thakali Subha, an official representative of theRaja of Mustang, turned up in Katmandu with photographs of a strange animalbelieved to be an Abominable Snowman. Subha told the story that last March anumber of yaks were reported missing, and the Raja ordered a search followingreports that an unknown animal was running along on two legs carrying away ayak. Mustang's riflemen went off in hot pursuit. "I was at the head of theparty," related Subha. "After following footprints resembling those ofa human being for a mile we came near a narrow pass at about 14,000 feet. Therethe animal was cornered with its prey. We tried to kill it by throwing downboulders. Twenty riflemen pumped bullets into it when it tried to escape. Itsheight was about 4 feet 6 inches and its footprints on the snow about 10 incheslong. It had long hairs all over its body quite different from abear's."
A zoologist inKatmandu took a look at the pelt under a microscope. Soft and ash-colored, hesaid, with the feel and appearance of wool. "Quite unlike the commonHimalayan bear."
Any kind of aman? Not even the Nepalese seem to be claiming that. But yeti hunterseverywhere felt it was the most stirring evidence yet. With Everest conquered,mountain climbers tired of just climbing mountains can be trusted to broadenthe search for the yeti. Why? Because they believe, like the Everest men, thatit is there.
It is, indeed, asingular era which can produce two heavyweight challengers in succession whoare college graduates. The first, of course, was Pete Rademacher, who had thefurther distinctions of never having engaged in a professional fight and being,primarily, the vice-president of a concern known as Youth Unlimited. The secondis to be Roy Harris, who has the further distinctions of having taught thefourth and fifth grades in the Stephen F. Austin elementary school, of residingin Cut and Shoot, Texas (or near there) and of having several pet alligatorsresiding in his front yard.
Harris is a youngman of forthright and independent opinion; he turned down athleticscholarships, for instance, to work his way through college (Sam Houston State)as a roughneck in the oilfields, because, as he says, "when they give you ascholarship, they kind of expect you to do what they tell you, and I didn'twant to be obligated."
The other dayHarris lounged in a rocker on the front porch of his father's house giving hisforthright, independent opinions on the subjects he feels most stronglyabout—education and fighting. "I believe," he said, "if thechildren got a good break in grammar school they wouldn't have as much troublein higher grades. I think that's where the teacher has fallen down. They don'tteach any morals. They just completely omit the American way of life. Childrendon't even know what kind of government we have.
"I try toteach that more than anything. I encourage them all to have their parents voteand to have ideas of their own, not to follow along with everything everybodysays but to know what they're doing before they get into it and to learn to beleaders themselves, to learn to have people do what they want to do once in awhile instead of all the time doing what the other fellow wants."
He reached downto pet a couple of hounds which dozed beside him and changed the subject."I don't like to fight," he said. "It scares me to fight and, if Ihave to fight, the easiest way I can win, that's the way I'm going to win. If Iget a cannon or a baseball bat or whatever to fight with, that's what I'm goingto fight with—the most dangerous thing I can get. But I'm not going to fightanybody, other than boxing, unless I have to."
Roy Harris thenhitched up his Bermuda shorts and swung purposefully off through the sweet gumand pine toward the ring, where a sparring partner was waiting for him. He hadan appointment with Floyd Patterson in a month or so.
Floyd S. Rood,the golf pro at the St. Mary Golf and Country Club in Morgan City, La., droveup to New Orleans the other day, taking with him a gun case which contained agolf club. It was a putter, and a rather special one: Rood had paid a jewelerto make its head of gold, embed a one-carat diamond in it and engrave upon itthe words: Presented to Dwight David Eisenhower. For some time Rood has beentrying—unsuccessfully—to obtain a White House appointment so that he canpresent his club to the President. (Less ornate versions of it are incommercial production.)
In New Orleans,he stopped in a cocktail lounge, drew his glittering putter from the gun caseand showed it off to admiring friends and strangers. Once or twice he left thetable. Then, when he moved on to another cocktail lounge and brought it outagain, he discovered that the one-carat diamond had been pried loose from theclubhead and was missing. "Whoever took it," said Rood withunderstandable satisfaction, "cut himself while digging it out. There wasblood all over the blade."
But if the club'shead was bloody, Rood's head was unbowed. He will have another diamond mountedin his golden putter, he says, and keep on trying to give it to thePresident.
The yachtsmanflew the cocktail flag
Till far into the night.
The crew remained quite sober, but
The ship was really tight.
They Said It
Cleveland Williams, Tampa heavyweight, on why hedecided to forgo a scheduled match in Wales with Welshman Dick Richardsondespite four doctors' certification that he was fit: "I've got a messagefrom beyond. I'm not well enough to fight."
California horseplayer, a onetime Silky Sullivan fan,after seeing the colt run close to the leaders at Hollywood Park last week,then come on to win his first race since March: "Them other horses couldn'trun fast enough for him to fall behind."
Calvin Griffith, president of the Washington Senators,who once promised to keep the club in Washington "as long as I live,"in an amendment: "As long as we make a living."