DEATH AND TAXES
Kansas City may lose its baseball team. The death of Owner Arnold Johnson posed some interesting tax problems for his widow, whose addresses—New York, Palm Beach and Chicago—perhaps indicate the extent of her home-town interest in Kansas City. The best guess is that she will unload the Athletics to the highest cash bidder.
The club is worth about $3,500,000, and no one in Kansas City has come running with opened purse. Instead, there have been firm bids from Dallas and Houston, where oil money has long coveted a major league franchise.
The K.C. Chamber of Commerce is trying to stir up home-town interest and has suggested that 1,000 local firms might put up $5,000 each to keep the club in town. The deal will take a hard sell.
July 10, 1960
The succession of second-division finishes and the vastly unsuccessful trades with the Yankees have soured fans. As one put it after watching the A's take a drubbing from the mighty Senators: "The trouble is, we've got the wrong half of the Yankees."
POST-MORTEM ON INGO
Everybody and your Aunt Sarah now has a pet theory about the big fight. Cynics aver that Johansson went into the tank to ensure a third fight, a fat gate and a generous addition to his crammed bank vaults in Switzerland. A New York doctor theorizes that Ingo might have been in a hypnotic state before he came into the ring. Columnist Leonard Lyons writes in dark and somber tone that Johansson was "listless and in somewhat of a daze," and that his eyes didn't sparkle before the fight. Was Ingo Mickey-Finned? Lyons leaves it to the reader's imagination.
One other hypothesis perhaps deserves mention. According to this theory, a healthy Patterson came out in the fifth round and biffed a healthy Ingo twice in the mush. The result could be described as resembling a deep trance or even the effects of a Mickey. Certainly there was very little sparkle, and quite a lot of daze, in Ingo's eyes. Bizarre as this theory may be, there are a number of radicals who embrace it.
THIS IS STATION PORCUPINE
Dr. William Marshall is one of those scientists who post themselves at the very outer limits of their fields. Marshall, a biologist at the University of Minnesota, has long wondered what animals do when no one is watching. To find out, he strapped six one-ounce transmitters to grouse and began tracking their activities by radio. As with Galileo, Edison and Marconi, there were setbacks. One grouse-borne transmitter went off the air completely, leading Marshall to suspect that it might be broadcasting in vain from the belly of a fox. Another grouse fell from a tree, broke both its neck and its antenna.
Concluding that grouse are unstable, Marshall next attached one of the devices to a pregnant porcupine, on the theory that porcupines are lethargic beasts and pregnant porcupines are downright languid. Last week Marshall reported a preliminary finding: porcupines don't climb trees to feed, as everyone thought, but to get away from mosquitoes.
Marshall hopes eventually to attach a transmitter to a grizzly bear. A skeptic has suggested that he wear one himself while he's doing it.
PIERSALL ON PIERSALL
The sensitive center fielder for the Cleveland Indians stepped up to the, 10th tee at the Commonwealth Country Club near Boston, whacked a long two-iron down the fairway and let out a long, low whistle. "Yes, sir," he said, "this is your life, Jimmy Piersall." Rested, happy and ready to return to the game after a week's vacation at his club's request, Piersall calmly discussed what had happened.
"I don't think the Cleveland front office handled this matter correctly," he said. "They had Dr. Kelly sitting right there on the bench watching me. Doc told me if I did anything off-color he would have to recommend a rest for me. How can anybody play with that going on?
"I asked Gordon to get him off the bench, but Gordon said he was there for my own good.
"After the first game, I asked him if he'd get off the bench and he did." I started to feel good again. In the second game I had a hit and drove in a run. Then I tried to steal second' base and was called out. I thought I was safe and argued with Hank Soar. He tossed me out of the game. Some people have said that I tried to get thrown out so I could catch an early plane back here to Boston. As God is my judge, that is not so.
"When I was in the locker room dressing, I saw Dr. Kelly but he didn't say anything to me. I went to the airport and caught a plane. I got off the plane at Boston and the writers showed me a wire saying Dr. Kelly had ordered a rest for me. I was right there next to Kelly a few hours before. He could have told me. Instead he called my wife. She has seven children to take care of. Our boy had fallen off his bike and hurt his kneecap and she had spent three hours at the hospital with him. And she's pregnant again. She was so upset she couldn't eat for three days.
"So I've spent a week at home. I've seen a psychiatrist twice, and the second time he told me I was ready to return to the team. I saw Joe Cronin at Fenway, and I asked him if he thought I was bad for baseball. He said, 'No, you're not. Just take care of yourself. Don't treat everything as if it was the end of the world.'
"Frank Lane called this morning to tell me I made the American League All-Star team. I feel wonderful."
FLASH OF LIFE
More than a thousand sailors participated in the 1960 Bermuda race, but only one of them swam part of the way. Jack Weston of Eastchester, N.Y., aboard the Scylla, was coming off the watch during the great storm on the sixth night. He had unhooked his safety line, and his mates were giving him a hand to the hatchway when "the boat suddenly dropped out from under me and a wave gave me a boot right through the lifelines."
The next thing Jack Weston saw was the mast light disappearing over the waves. Three circumstances saved the Bermuda race from registering the second fatality in its history. One was that Crewman Ray Kaufman was lying astern (he had been there for 14 hours with a case of seasickness); the second was that a new, extremely bright type of flasher light was tied to a life ring within Kaufman's reach; the third was the happy fact that Weston had given Scylla's skipper, Charlie Ulmer, a new set of emergency batteries just before the start.
Kaufman heard the "Man overboard!" and tossed the light into the sea, where it began to flash in the sky. The crew struggled with the sail, trying to tear it down, while the skipper tried to start the engine. The sails came down, but the engine wouldn't start. Up came the emergency batteries, and the engine started.
Back there, way back, the crew could see the faint pulse of the flasher on the water. Sixty minutes from the time Weston went in, he was hauled back aboard, clinging to the flasher. "I couldn't see it on the water," he said, "but I could see it light up the sky. I took everything off and swam toward it. I never swam so hard in my life. I thought my lungs would explode. It seemed like forever."
Not many of the Bermuda boats carried the Scylla's type of flasher. In the next race, a great many boats will.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Byron Nelson explained the secret of hot-golfer Arnold Palmer's multiple successes on this year's tournament trail: "He exerts so much physical and mental force it's almost as if he commands the ball to obey him. He says, 'By damn, ball, you get in that hole,' and the ball does."...
Answering Fred Hutchinson's criticism of the policy of stationing an umpire in the middle of the diamond, National League President Warren Giles said: "Mr. Hutchinson can station his players where he wants them, and we will station our umpires where we want them."...
Sub-four-minute-miler Roger Bannister put his finger on a discomforting fact of this year's Olympic life: "Rome in August looks like being more a test of ability to withstand heat rather than running ability."...
Duke Snider took batting practice before the Yankees-Dodgers exhibition game at Yankee Stadium, promptly cracked a ball into the stands to the frenzied and strident glee of 50,000 fans. "Hey, Duke!" called a reporter. "When did you last hear that?" Said Snider without turning his head, "The last time I struck out at the Coliseum."...
Former Notre Dame Football Coach Frank Leahy resigned as general manager of the Los Angeles Chargers, flew to Chicago hospital for treatment of what his brother Thomas called "a nervous breakdown brought on by personal worries."
THE GROWING PAINS OF DANNY MURPHY
Chicago Cubs bonus-baby Center Fielder Danny Murphy (SI, June 27) looks like Ingemar Johansson in the limbo of the lost after a collision with Teammate Bob Will. The $100,000 teen-ager joined the Cubs, went nothing-for-4 in his first starting role. But no one was expecting Ottlike miracles from him. He needed experience, and he got experiences. Total experiences for his first two weeks: two singles and a double, a .100 batting average, one RBI, three runs scored, no errors, one knockout.