BASEBALL—It took some doing in a few areas (see page 18), but major leagues eventually got season off ground. New York Yankees, rained out twice, finally got to play Boston, and even Casey Stengel was satisfied when Bob Turley pitched two-hitter and Yankees won 3-2. Meanwhile, Chicago White Sox were off with whoosh, took three straight from Detroit 9-7, 5-3, 5-3 and counted Early Wynn's 250th pitching triumph among their blessings.
Although one series does not a season make. San Francisco fans had good reason to rejoice. Giants swept three games from St. Louis, 6-5, 5-2, 6-3 and stood just a smidgen ahead of Milwaukee Braves, who beat Pittsburgh 8-0, 4-3.
HOCKEY—Toronto squeezed past Boston 3-2 and confidently moved against Montreal in Stanley Cup finals. So confidently that Toronto Coach Punch Imlach was moved to boast: "We're going to beat them in six games. It's all settled. I don't see any reason for playing this series, unless, perhaps, for the money." But the old pros weren't listening. Canadiens used goals by Henri Richard (see above), Ralph Backstrom, André Pronovost, Dickie Moore and Marcel Bonin to beat Maple Leafs 5-3 in opener. Two nights later, Claude Provost bulleted two long shots past busy Toronto Goalie Johnny Bower, and Montreal won again 3-1.
BASKETBALL—Minneapolis Lakers, who shocked St. Louis out of Western playoffs, were no match for title-hungry Boston Celtics in NBA final (see page 66). With magic-handed Bob Cousy directing show, Celtics caught Lakers with their defenses down, hauled them back to reality 123-110, 118-113 to complete four-game sweep. Quipped Boston's Red Auerbach, with more truth than facetiousness: "Why be modest, this is a great team."
April 20, 1959
SWIMMING—A dedicated band of young mermaids churned up three-day white water storm in West Palm Beach's Howard Park Pool, and the most vigorous churners were teen-age Ruuska sisters of Berkeley, Calif. Sylvia, 16, won 400-yard individual medley in record 4:58.2 and 500-yard freestyle, picked up two third places and swam on two winning relay teams for 22 points to share scoring honors with Indianapolis' Becky Collins (see page 16). Sister Pat, 13, scored in four events, beefed up dad's Berkeley YMCA team total to 78 points, more than enough to win AAU title.