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MEMO from the publisher

April 11, 1960
April 11, 1960

Table of Contents
April 11, 1960

Toothpick
Cards
1960 Olympic Basketball Team U.S.
Bally Ache
Scouting Reports
  • Two full major league teams could be fielded from the Los Angeles roster, and there'd still be fine players on the bench. Yet this club will have to be lucky to win the pennant again

  • Red Schoendienst was out last year but even so the Braves were heavily favored to win the pennant. They failed. Now Red is back, there's a fiery new manager and Milwaukee is favored

  • The San Francisco Giants are hungry. Last year they were just about to eat the cake when it was stolen away. Now they are smarter and tougher, as the National League will soon discover

  • Friend, Mazeroski and Skinner are back inform, and the Pirates are dangerous once more. But without real power, they must play near-perfect baseball to rise above fourth this year

  • Slipping steadily since their third-place finish in 1956, the Reds have frantically plugged first one deficiency and then another. Now, at last, they seem to have a sound, solid team

  • Tied for seventh in 1957, tied for fifth in 1958, tied for fifth again last year, the Cubs have been improving. It would seem that this year...but no. The higher you go the tougher it gets

  • The Cardinals have gained in power and the pitching should be improved. But in 154 games an awful lot of baseballs are destined to find their way safely through that leaky defense

  • The Phillies have junked an old, losing club to give their youngsters a chance. This will be no miracle of 1950, but at least the Phils will lose in a younger, more interesting way

  • The Sox won in a weakened league and no one knows it better than Bill Veeck. He has strengthened the attack and made them the team to beat for the first time since 1920

  • A group of pawns on Frank Lane's chessboard came surprisingly close to capturing last year's pennant. Now, having exchanged a few key men, Lane feels he has a winner

  • The old Yankees are dead, and their replacements are not in the same class. This is a sound team but it is far from being a great one and it will need lots of luck to rise above third place

  • Tactical troubles—at shortstop and first base—still plague the Tigers. But the main problem is strategic: how to stir contented also-rans and give the faithful something really to shout about

  • The Red Sox finished in the second division last season for the first time since 1952. Now Jensen is gone and Williams is going, going. It may be a while before the Sox climb back up

  • After several halfway seasons, the Orioles are now fully committed to their youth program. Youngsters have taken over as the old names fade. It will all pay off...someday

  • There's a new optimism in Kansas City. The outfield is solid, the infield and pitching are better, and Hank Bauer has pepped up the whole ball club. Fifth place could be the result

  • A few years ago Washington was a one-man ball club and a last-place team. Things are brighter now. The Senators are still a cellar team but now they have some players people have heard of

Track
Tennis
Motor Sports
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back

MEMO from the publisher

On a mid-June night in London, in 1898, the curtain rose on His Excellency, the Governor, by Captain Robert Marshall. Three acts later the echoing laughter started the career of one of the funniest writers in English literature. In the next few years Marshall turned out hit after hit and also found time to produce one short but unforgettable novel, The Haunted Major.

This is an article from the April 11, 1960 issue

This classic of golf, reprinted many times in Britain, made a brief appearance in this country in 1920 and was then lost to view here until it reappeared in 1958 in the anthology, Great Stories from the World of Sport, edited by Peter Schwed and Herbert Warren Wind. The warm response it evoked there has persuaded SPORTS ILLUSTRATED to bring it before a much wider American audience.

Next week's issue begins a two-part condensation. Editing the work, Robert Cantwell came to know a good deal about its remarkable author.

Marshall was born in Edinburgh in 1863 and evaded his father's designs to make him a lawyer by enlisting in the Highland Light Infantry. He served some time in the ranks, eventually was commissioned a lieutenant and for the next 12 years pursued a fashionably Victorian career in Her Majesty's Service at such way spots as Cape Town, Bermuda and Natal. When His Excellency was accepted for production, Marshall resigned and hurried from Natal to London. His success as a playwright was immediate and phenomenal. In the next six years his five major hits starred Ethel Barrymore, John Drew, Cyril Maude and others as popular, and Marshall became one of the best-known and best-loved figures of the Edwardian stage. "It has fallen the lot of few authors," said the Daily Telegraph, "to make such a sudden leap into fame."

The plays were all characterized by absurdity of plot, comic invention and what was well described as "a refined and harmless cynicism." He often put sport into his comedies, was himself an ardent golfer, fencer and motorist.

All the qualities of his plays are in his one book, which he wrote in 1902 at the height of his theatrical career.

Marshall died in 1910, leaving a fortune of £22,000. Says Cantwell, "He had this, at least, in common with Shakespeare. He did not value his manuscripts highly. He put the rights to all his plays at only £3. He carried The Haunted Major on his books at only five shillings. He was wrong. The book has long been the favorite work of golf fiction in the land where the game began."

Next week readers of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED will have their own chance to discover why.

PHOTOCAPTAIN ROBERT MARSHALL