The first step

April 11, 1960
April 11, 1960

Table of Contents
April 11, 1960

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

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

The first step

Olympic hopefuls were out in force at the Texas Relays

An air of urgency as palpable as the pesky north wind whipping across the track animated the athletes at the Texas Relays in Austin last week. This was the first of the big outdoor meets leading up to the Olympic trials in California in July and the Olympic Games in Rome in August. Even former Olympians like Bobby Morrow and Eddie Southern felt the tension, and a blocky, muscular youngster named Ted Woods, who looks like a shotputter and is a fine sprinter, felt it, too, though it apparently did not disturb him because he defeated both Morrow and Southern at 200 meters.

This is an article from the April 11, 1960 issue Original Layout

Neither did tension bother John Macy, the 30-year-old Polish refugee who runs for the University of Houston. Macy set a meet record Friday night in the 5,000 meters, running a creditable 14:25.4, but he is in a peculiar never-never land as an Olympic prospect. He cannot, of course, compete for Poland; on the other hand, he is not eligible for U.S. citizenship until March.

Eddie Southern, who placed second to Glenn Davis in the 400-meter hurdles in the Melbourne Olympics, ran that event for the first time in three and a half years Friday night. He had worked on the hurdles for only two days, but he ran beautifully in the long, satin-smooth stride which marks him and, surprisingly, he hurdled very cleanly. His 51 flat at this time of the year was exceptional.

Saturday afternoon, Southern proved he is not much of a factor in the 200-meter field. Running against Morrow, Jim Weaver, Bill Woodhouse, Orlando Hazley and the surprising Woods, he finished fourth.

Friday night, Morrow, looking a little like the Morrow of 1956, won the 100-meter race, lunging into the finish a deep breath ahead of Jimmy Weaver, former North Texas State star. The time (10.6) was slow but the race was run into that pesky wind. Bobby is an assistant vice-president of a bank in Abilene, Texas, and he has had a hard time getting into condition. "I felt good for the first time," he said with satisfaction. "I had him about halfway and eased up and got him again at the finish."

Jimmy Weaver, who works for Convair in Fort Worth and practices after work with his wife as starter and critic, didn't think Morrow had won. "No hard feelings," he said. "I just don't think he beat me. Once I said I didn't mind losing as long as it was to Morrow. But I don't want to lose to anyone this year. I want to go to the Olympics."

Ted Woods, who beat the headliners on Saturday, had never run 200 meters before. "I didn't even run it in high school," he said. "I been running the short sprints indoors and the 440 on relay teams. I just figured to get out as fast as I could and I was sure they'd get me coming out of the curve. But they didn't." He beat the field by a good four yards and his performance might have been the best of the meet—except for the presence of a massive blond shotputter from Kansas.

Bill Nieder, who came to the relays to conduct a shotput and discus clinic, broke the world record in this event by a foot and a half inch early Saturday afternoon. On his first attempt, in a special event put into the program for his benefit, he pushed the iron ball out 65 feet 7 inches, breaking Dallas Long's week-old unofficial record of 64 feet 6½ inches.

"I felt very strong," he said later. "I knew I could do it. I woke up about 4:45 this morning and I couldn't get back to sleep, and I read that story in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED about Bowden and Delany training together. Then I had breakfast and brunch and I came out here pretty early."

Nieder had gone over the Texas stock of shots carefully, looking for one which had the proper balance, texture and size.

"Shots are all different," he said seriously. "Some aren't perfectly round, some are bigger, some are rough on the outside. I like a smooth, perfectly round shot. I have my own, but I left it in California to be balanced and brought up to weight. I used it so much it was a half ounce light. But this one did all right."

Nieder set his record on his first attempt. One of his warmup tosses had sailed 64 feet 10½ inches, and he was putting the shot over 62 feet standing at the front of the ring without a glide.

"Frank Medina gave me a wonderful massage just before I came out," he said. Medina is the Texas trainer who went with the American team to Russia two years ago and who trained the American Olympic team in 1948. "He made my arm feel real good. I never have warmed up so fast before. Frank worked on Alley's arm last year before Bill broke the javelin record here, too."


"Anyway, when I got ready for the first one, I thought I could do it," Nieder said. "I was hoping for 65. That little fence looked like it was only 60 feet away. That's good psychological edge, you know." The little fence was 66 feet away; it is there to prevent the shot from rolling out on the track. Nieder's prodigious toss hit only inches away from it.

"I did everything just right," Nieder said. "I've been telling these kids all week to wait for the shot, to get a good, long pull on it, to turn their hips. I guess subconsciously I remembered all that myself. I did it anyway. Last year I used to throw line drives because I was in too big a hurry. I waited for it this time."

Nieder had set his personal goal at 65 feet this year, but he revised it to 66 after this performance. He is not optimistic about keeping the record, though.

"I guess Long will get it eventually," he said. "He's bigger than me or Parry O'Brien or Dave Davis, who has been over 63 feet. He's had the advantage of working from the O'Brien stance all the time. And he started working out with weights when he was 14. I didn't use the O'Brien stance until 1955 and I didn't start using weights until I was 20."

Nieder tossed up the shot he had used for the record and caught it. The gray steel sphere looked like a dirty ping-pong ball in his hand. "I don't mind about the record," he said. "As long as I make the Olympic team. That's the big thing. To make the team and to get a gold medal in Rome."