SEVEN FACES OF TONY ROCCA
This is an article from the Dec. 1, 1958 issue
Antonino Rocca, professional wrestler (and one of the highest paid athletes of our time: $150,000 last year), is a man who has parlayed face and feet into one of the fattest bankrolls in the history of sport. The face, as may be seen on these pages, is a superb instrument for communication of the complex emotions (fear, pain, surprise) that beset wrestlers, and the feet when banged into the head of an upright opponent produce the Rocca "drop-kick" that moves the wrestling crowd to frenzy. At last count Rocca was drawing more fans than an average Ivy League football game (20,000 are customary at Madison Square Garden), and the bankroll was never bigger. In this attempt to explain himself and his sport (he feels both are somewhat misunderstood) Rocca emerges as a man of considerable wit and pith. He begins (left) by summarizing the famous Garden bout last winter when an opponent actually drew blood and sent Rocca fans storming into the ring.
ON THE FAMOUS FRACAS AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
"The guy, damn it, hit me and made me mad, so I smashed his head into the post."
ON WRESTLING FANS
"They come to forget the wife at home or the fight with the girl friend, and express themselves by yelling to forget the troubles of the week."
ON HIS POPULARITY
"It's the style. I never keep still in the ring. Rhythm is the base of life. I have rhythm when I wrestle, a new symphony of movement."
ON BOXERS AS WRESTLERS
"They think it's easy, and they try it for a week and collapse. We get a hell of a thumping-around three days a week, ride on planes and trains the other four. A wrestler, gentlemen, is a tough specimen."
ON AMATEUR VS. PRO WRESTLERS
"Hoad was good, Gonzales crashed him to pieces."
ON THE HONESTY OF THE SPORT
"You shouldn't condemn individuals. You've got different wrestlers."
ON THE GOOD LIFE
"A new suit, a fine bed, a sip of cognac when it's cold."
LOOK WHO'S FISHING
Men didn't stand a chance last week at Florida's Sailfish Center in Palm Beach Shores. There were women everywhere—on the docks, in the boats and on the seas. They had gathered from all over the country to prove that, when it comes to billfishing, gentlemen beware! The occasion was the fourth annual sailfish tournament of the International Women's Fishing Association. Braving rough water and skittish weather, the ladies caught and released 22 sailfish during the two-day event. Top honors went to Mrs. Bev Smith of West Palm Beach for a total catch of four sails. Back on the docks, a cheering section of hopeful husbands, barred from the activities, waited for their wives' return and wondered if it had not indeed become a woman's world.
Relaxed Angler Mrs. LaMont Albertson of West Palm Beach, one of the tournament officials, fishes from the committee boat Eugenie VIII, owned by Lou Marron.
Hopeful Husband Hayne Ellis Jr. of Fort Lauderdale gives wife a kiss for good luck.
Experienced fisherwoman Jeannette Cross, Greenwich, Conn., readies tackle.
Excited at start of tournament, Mrs. William L. Fitts III of Vero Beach waits for her boat.
Triumphant after each catching a sailfish, Rose Stearns and Helen Webb carry gear home.
Dejected Mrs. Prank M. Yeager (left) shows catch to Mrs. Albertson.
Embroiled Mrs. E. Hampton Bryson of Miami (above) struggles to reel in a sailfish which had ensnarled itself in another line and had to be disqualified.