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TAN JOE HOK TAKES DETROIT

April 13, 1959
April 13, 1959

Table of Contents
April 13, 1959

Ask Him Anything
Wondrous Wall
Florida Derby
Wonderful World Of Sport
They Call It Baseball
  • HERE, beginning with a few ideas on what one can expect in 1959, Sports Illustrated presents its fifth annual preview of the major league season, with pictures in both color and black and white, scouting reports, schedules, statistics and features

The Umpire
Scouting Reports
  • Even in an inflationary economy there is no safer and better return on your money than the 40¢ profit you get in the fall from the dollar you bet in the spring that the Yankees will win the pennant. New York will win again in 1959

  • The White Sox feel that this is the year the Yankees can be beaten. If such a feat is possible, this is the team that can do it, if only someone would start hitting home runs. The rest of the pennant-winning ingredients are all there

  • Let the small letter i represent the American League. The Yankees, of course, are the dot, so the best the Boston Red Sox can hope for is a place near the top of the stem. Much depends on whether life truly begins at 40 for Ted Williams

  • Colavito, Minoso, Piersall, Power and Martin are about as colorful a crew as you will find in baseball. The team as a whole isn't nearly as good as the perpetual second-place finishers of a few years ago, but it's going to be more fun to watch

  • Every spring the Tigers promise much, but when summer rolls around they deliver little. This year they are keeping quiet, hoping that this team of many stars can finally do what everyone feels it should do—contend for the pennant

  • The Orioles' outstanding pitching and good defense should guarantee a fight for any opponent. Last season they finished sixth, but a good sixth, just three games out of the first division. To finish in fourth place, then, is their goal for 1959

  • The fury of mass trading is just about over, and the Athletics are a lot closer to that glorious day when they will be able to boast 25 major leaguers on the roster. Nevertheless, a .500 season for Kansas City is still a remote possibility

  • The road to the American League cellar is paved with the good intentions of the Washington Senators. Baseball magnates feel it needs a major league club in the national capital, but Cal Griffith provides only the palest imitation of one

  • An original statistical report

  • The Braves are not too blasé to appreciate those fat World Series checks every fall. With a well-rounded band of seasoned players and the richest pitching resources in the league, Milwaukee will not be easily beaten. But it can be

  • The Pirates will be a stimulating team to watch this summer as they throw strong pitching, superior defense, sharp hitting and fast legs onto the field. They'll be nearly everyone's sentimental favorite and might just win it all

  • Talented young players with great arms, blazing speed, sure instincts in the field and powerful bats in their hands are the trademark of the 1959 Giants. Sophisticated San Franciscans are in for excitement if the pitching holds up

  • The great power teams of 1956 and '57 are gone, but so is the bad pitching that wrecked them. Changed also is last year's squad, which was unbalanced in the opposite sense. Now the Reds plan to field a ball club with a smoother blend

  • Bad days have fallen upon the St. Louis Cardinals, and the bright promise of two years ago has been faithless. The effects on the club of uncertain, divided direction and erratic trading policies are now being felt. Busch has a loser here

  • Heavy trading during the past two seasons and a thorough search of the farm system produced last year a hard-hitting lineup that gave the Cubs the best team they've had in a long time. There is, however, still lots of work to be done

  • Walter O'Malley made all the money he expected to last year. Now it's time for the Dodgers to start playing ball. This is too good a team to be fooling around down in the second division. It should be a more pleasant season for Los Angeles

  • The good old days for the Phillies were in 1950, when Manager Eddie Sawyer led the club to its first pennant in 35 years. Those days are gone, and the Phillies are back in eighth place. Once again it's Sawyer's job to take them on and up

Boxing
Horse Racing
Motor Sports
Food
Dogs
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back

TAN JOE HOK TAKES DETROIT

Triumphing over aches and ills, an Indonesian youngster becomes U.S. badminton champion

To most Americans badminton is a pleasant summertime activity suitable for the backyard or summer camp and certainly not to be conducted so vigorously as to exclude time-outs for a good swallow of highball or a munch off a barbecued hamburger. Good Doctor Gallup, not long back, came up with a finding which held that some 7 million Americans take an occasional turn at the sport, and the American Badminton Association estimates that a half million new sets are sold every year. All this, though, amounts to a healthy yet casual form of recreation in the U.S. and only the suggestion of competitive attitude.

This is an article from the April 13, 1959 issue Original Layout

In Grosse Pointe, Mich. last week many a backyard highball-and-ham-burger badminton player saw the other (competitive) side of the game as the sixth annual Open Amateur Championships of the American Badminton Association were held in the local high school's handsome gymnasium. The most accomplished and successful of the 170 entrants were five brown young men from the Far East who know very little of highballs and hamburgers. Their acquaintanceship with the sport is marked by daily miles of roadwork, hours of batting a shuttlecock against a stone wall in the interest of improving backhand, and the ritual of setting-up exercises and skipping rope. Their reward for such dedication is the realization that competitive badminton now belongs to the Far East where it started in the first place.

The Asian group, now on a world circuit tour, arrived in Detroit last Tuesday after triumphs in Britain and Canada, and they were immediately dubbed the "Achin' Asians." Tan Joe Hok, the 21-year-old whiz from Bandung, Indonesia, complained of a Scottish cold, a stuffed-up nose and postnasal drip. Thailand's Chareon Wattanasin cupped his hand over his jaw and moaned toothache. Lim Say Hup and Teh Kew San, the doubles experts from Malaya, showed themselves limp with fatigue, and the visitors expressed the common opinion that they were in no shape to begin play. The following day there was more talk of calamity.

"What's wrong with Tan Joe Hok?" an anxious host-official asked.

"He's got intestinal flu or something," a Grosse Pointer offered.

"You mean intentional flu," said a third man who had heard of Hok's inclination to hypochondria.

There came a report that Hok, medicinally treated for his stuffy head, had collapsed in the high school cafeteria, had rolled around the floor and was pleading in Indonesian for an early, happy death.

"The poor thing," a kindly cafeteria lady recalled. "I held the boy in my arms. My, he seemed sick!"

"Everything wrong with me," Hok explained later. "Eyes, nose, throat. It was owl-ful."

"I arrive in England, climate changed—damp and cold. Then Canada—dry and cold. Then Detroit—I don't know. In Indonesia I eat soft food, noodles and rice. In England I eat beef and lamb—don't like. In Canada I find one good Chinese restaurant. Now I hope I get good rice here. When I go to school in Texas [Baylor] I will get good rice. Oh, I am feeling owl-ful."

Whatever ailed Tan Joe Hok, his game didn't suffer. In opening play he whomped Detroit's Fred Trifonoff 15-3 and 15-2, and then he dazzled and defeated sixth-seeded Ted Moehlmann of St. Louis. After a postponement granted because of his flu, Hok disposed of third-seeded Don Davis of Seattle.

THE NAME MEANS LUCK

In each game, he drew oohs and aahhs from the crowd when he executed his soft returns which toppled over the net, end over end, making it impossible for his opponent to return the bird. This maneuver, his power shots, his backhand returns and his wonderful change-of-pace made him much the superior. The exhibition demonstrated why Tan Joe Hok (whose family name means luck) is considered the world's best singles player now that the errant Dane, Finn Kobbero, is inactive because of suspension. Hok holds the Indian, the all-England open, the Indonesian, Asian and Canadian titles. Hok was also the key man in Indonesia's capture of the Thomas Cup last summer.

Wherever the visitors went, they were treated like so many visiting princes. Instead of putting up in downtown hotels, the Asians were guests in some of Grosse Pointe's finest homes where hosts saw to it that plenty of kettled rice was cooked just right. Tan Joe Hok was rhapsodic when he learned his host offered lemon juice, Chinese rice and pork sausage for breakfast.

By Friday night Hok and his world circuit colleagues were dominating all events they had entered. Only Teh Kew San, who lost to Poole, the U.S. champion, had not made the quarterfinals, and Poole was later defeated by Wattanasin in two exciting games, 15-7, 18-13. Lim Say Hup and Teh Kew San, who hold four world's doubles titles, reached the finals in their specialty and dispatched the American finalists, FBI Man Joe Alston and Schoolteacher Wynn Rogers, 15-5 and 15-3.

By any measure of sports performance, the singles finals between Hok and Wattanasin was sheer excitement. (Americans were absent for the first time in the history of the Open Amateur championships.) Hok, favored to win, had beaten Wattanasin five times previously, but lost the opener of the final match 15-7. But with growing confidence and composure he won the second game 15-5. Even those in the crowd who had come out of the mildest curiosity, leaned forward anxiously. In a burst of energy that showed no evidence of Scottish rheum or Detroit flu, Hok chased Wattanasin all over the court and won the championship 18-14. "Everyone is nice to me," Tan Joe Hok said. "I am feeling homely."

PHOTOTONY SPINAU.S. BADMINTON CHAMPIONSHIPS DREW KNOWING CROWDS TO GROSSE POINTE HIGH SCHOOL GYMNASIUM TO WATCH ASIAN COMPETITORS, THE WORLD'S BEST, TAKE ON BEST AMERICANSPHOTOTONY SPINAHAPPY VICTOR, Tan Joe Hok, examined his blistered soles in locker room after the finals, exclaimed, "Only nose and feet hurt now. Oh, those feet. Must see doctor."