ON THE RISE
This is an article from the June 20, 1960 issue
Charles DillonStengel rose from a bed of pain last week, and in grandly sympathetic responsethe New York Yankees rose right with him.
For nearly a weekCasey had been in New York's Lenox Hill Hospital with a low-order virus, andhis Yankees had been confined to the ruck of the American League, sufferingfrom low-order baseball. Now, dramatically, both look healthy again, and thatlegion of Yankee haters (which ranges from Frank Lane of the Indians to AlbertKochivar, the Windham, Mont, rancher who sends telegrams of congratulations toeach team that beats New York) is feeling collectively sick, sick, sick.
Yankee hatersalways have a vague malaise, of course, like a man living next to an atomicpile, but they had reason this year to relax a little. For some time, MickeyMantle was batting a comforting .228, opposing batters couldn't hit Ryne Durenbecause he hit them first, and New York left fielders tiptoed cautiously aroundtheir pasture as if the grass were full of adders.
Then Casey movedfrom the hospital to the dugout, and the Yankees started winning. What's more,as veteran Yankee haters were admitting, it was the way they won that hurt.Four big doubles beat the White Sox last Tuesday, four home runs (two byMantle) beat them Wednesday, another Mantle homer beat them Thursday. Friday, aMantle homer beat Cleveland.
The next day,Mantle was injured, but no matter. Cleveland got ahead and Roger Maris homered.The Indians went ahead again, and Yogi Berra homered. Cleveland came on a thirdtime, and pinch hitter Elston Howard homered for the Yankees' fifth straightvictory.
It was enough toset a Yankee hater's stomach churning. Hale and hearty Casey Stengel put thesituation succinctly as he strutted through the clubhouse. "You men,"he said, "are getting hot."
In one of the late rounds of the Robinson-Pender fight last week Mr. JamesPowers, the voice of TV's Gillette Cavalcade of Sports, said: "Well, Pendernever could punch, and now Robinson is just slapping, too." A gulpingmoment later, perhaps feeling the edge of a super blue blade at his throat, Mr.Powers added: "Of course, either one of these boys is liable to land aknockout blow at any time!"
Bill Spivey, seven-foot-tall All-America center at Kentucky during the era ofbasketball's point-shaving scandals a decade ago, has been signed to a $10,000contract to play for the Cincinnati Royals of the National BasketballAssociation. Spivey has always maintained he was not involved in the Kentuckygame-rigging and cites a hung jury at his perjury trial as proof. Even so,Spivey and all other players even remotely connected with the scandals werebarred forever by the NBA. Spivey now says if his contract is not approved hewill sue the league for conspiracy to deny him his livelihood. It seems likelythat the Royals, anxious to bolster a weak franchise, would tacitly supportsuch a suit. The alternatives thus posed for NBA President Maurice Podoloff areto drop the ban and thus open the NBA to any player not actually convicted of acrime or to attempt to enforce it—and risk a court decision that such playersare being deprived of their legal rights.
Olympic Shotput Candidate Dave Davis, miffed at reports that his academicprogram at San Fernando State College isn't exactly rigorous, defended hisscholastic standing last week. "I've got a B average, and I can proveit," he said. "I'm taking five courses—methods of baseball, methods oftrack and field, first aid, dance and safety education."
When golfers inthe National Open play the 402-yard 16th hole at Cherry Hills Country Club inDenver this . weekend they will be at the site of the highest one-hole score inthe tournament's history.
In 1938, RayAinsley, a promising contender, was within range of the leaders until he hit afive-iron over the edge of the 16th green into a small brook about three inchesdeep.
"It didn'tlook like too tough a shot out of the stream," said Bud McKinney, Ainsley'splaying partner, as he recalled the situation the other day. "But after acouple of swipes Ainsley was wet all over, and the ball had started driftingwith the current back toward the tee. There we were, following Ray back as hechopped away. A gallery of 2,000 which had been with Gene Sarazen along aparallel fairway deserted Sarazen to watch Ainsley.
"Thescorekeeper was a fat man," continued McKinney, "and while Ainsley wasswinging away in the stream, the official stood over him like a fight referee,counting 'seven, eight, nine.' Finally, the scorekeeper started to laugh andasked me to count for him. It was hard to do because Ainsley was wasting notime chopping at the ball. Each time it would jump about a foot and fall back.The water got so muddy that he was swinging blind. When he eventually holedout, I put down a 19 for him, but several fans came up to me later and saidthey counted 22 or 23."
Ralph Guldahl wonthe National Open that year, but around Cherry Hills it's Ray Ainsley who'sbest remembered; a muddy monument to golf's frustration.
This high-wheeled rider will soon be seen on signs guiding cyclists aroundBoston's scenic Charles River Basin. Last week Heart Specialist Paul DudleyWhite, who has been proclaiming the health-giving virtues of cycling for morethan 20 years, officially opened the 11-mile route by speeding around it in anhour and a half. Then 74-year-old Dr. White, who doubles as the president ofthe Committee for Safe Bicycling, presented the City of Boston with a check topay for the signs—the better to show others the way.
No larger than afourth-down punt soaring above the horizon of a distant stadium, the footballseason nonetheless was clearly in view last week:
In San Francisco,Red Hickey, coach of the pro 49ers, scanned an "injury index" compiledby his team physician and ordered some of his players into hospitals andgymnasiums. Two linemen will lose their tonsils, a center has been givenweight-pressing exercises because his body is proportionally bigger than hislegs, and such stars as Billy Wilson, Ed Henke and Joe Perry are in the handsof a physiotherapist who will try to strengthen specific muscles.
In Annapolis,Navy Coach Wayne Hardin decided the August heat would be too much for hissquad, scheduled "fall" practice at a Rhode Island naval base instead."We'll get much more work per unit of time," said a precise Navyspokesman.
In South Bend,the beautiful Merion bluegrass has been scraped off the Notre Dame footballfield and replaced with Kentucky bluegrass at a cost of $8,000. Coach JoeKuharich says Merion is too slippery and has caused a rash of Notre Dame kneeinjuries.
In Atlanta,Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd has been considering knee injuries too, but he blamesthe new wide-open style of play, not the grass. "Now boys are blocking atangles, smashing into a man's knees from the side," said Dodd. "Theknee is forced to give in to the side, and that's bad. You didn't used to haveangle blocking of linemen." Unlike Confreres Hickey, Kuharich and Hardin,Dodd has no solution for his problem.
Baltimore baseball fans are stuck on their first division Orioles this year asnever before. The wooden benches in the upper deck of Memorial Stadium, nowseven years old, have developed splinters. "It's getting so bad," saidone fidgety fan last week, "that when you stand up to cheer you sit down infear."
Herb Elliott, theworld's fastest miler, was also the world's shaggiest when he returned toAustralia last week. Hadn't wanted to pay $2 for a haircut during hismonth-long U.S. visit, he said from a barber's chair at Sydney airport, wherehe got happily shorn for 55¢.
...IndefatigableSatchel Paige, 45 going on 65, quit his latest baseball barnstorming tour andvolunteered to pitch for the Milwaukee Braves. "With Ol' Satch theywouldn't be kicking those games away in the late innings," he said.
...Pole-vaultIndoor Record-holder Don Bragg (15 feet, 9½ inches) thinks a leap of only 15feet, one inch will win the Olympics because the runway strip at Rome is dirt,instead of the macadam used in this country.
...The trophy forlast week's Belmont Stakes was presented by a man named Joseph H. Murphy. Mr.Murphy is the head of the New York State Commission of Taxation. His take forthe day was $411,305.