Three Floyd Patterson-Ingemar Johansson fights are enough, a feeling apparently shared by both boxers when they agreed to "no-return guarantees" for their fight this week. There is now a logical contender to take on the heavyweight champion, a contender named Sonny Liston, who last week knocked out Howard King in Miami Beach, winning his 25th consecutive bout. But behind Liston is the shadow of "the mob" (SI, Aug. 29).
This week Senator Estes Kefauver will probably introduce a bill into the U.S. Senate calling for a "czar" to supervise boxing and keep it clean. We hope the czar's first order of business will be to eliminate that shadow—or else establish that it no longer has substance. Then the czar should make it clear to everyone that Liston must be the first to get a crack at the heavyweight championship.
March 20, 1961
The Northeast Regionals of the NCAA College Division basketball tournament began last weekend in Springfield, Mass. Williams, Bates, Springfield and Rochester were there—but Buffalo wasn't. If you happen to be in Buffalo this week, ask anyone in town why Buffalo wasn't in the tournament, and you'll get a rather strong opinion.
Nearly everyone in Buffalo had assumed, and reasonably so, that Buffalo would be invited to the tournament if it beat Rochester in the next-to-last game of the regular season, played in Buffalo. Coming up to that game, Buffalo had beaten some of the nation's major-college teams, and its season's record was better than Rochester's. The meeting apparently proved Buffalo's superiority. With six minutes to go, Buffalo led by 19 points. Then, playing with substitutes, Buffalo won 76-69. But Rochester got the invitation to the tournament.
J. Shober Barr, chairman of the selection committee, then explained, "The committee felt that if the Buffalo-Rochester game had been played on a neutral court that Rochester would have won." Not one member of the committee had seen the game. Of the committee's six members, one is from Bates, one is from Springfield, one is from Rochester—and none is from Buffalo.
BEERLESS IN BEERVILLE
Milwaukee is, of course, a city which likes to believe it made beer famous. On April 11, however, when Milwaukee fans file into County Stadium to see their Braves play the Cardinals in the opening game of the National League season, they will be unable to tote their "handy six-packs" through the turnstiles.
Last week the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors voted that Milwaukeeans would have to buy their beer inside the park. Beer prices for the carry-in trade ranged from 12¢ to 18¢ a can; a beer inside the park costs 30¢. The reasoning of the Supervisors seems to be that the higher the cost the less chance of thrown cans or excessive to-and-fro movement in the stands.
Oh, yes, we almost forgot: the Braves themselves own the beer concession in County Stadium.
NO. 5 IS NO. 1
Joe DiMaggio arrived at Miller Hug-gins Field in St. Petersburg last week and quickly wiggled into a Yankee uniform with his famous No. 5 on the back. As a special, unpaid spring training coach for two weeks, Joe hoped to get some publicity for the company that now employs him (the V. H. Monette food distributing company). For their part, the Yankees realized that DiMaggio would bring a few more people to their Stengelless workouts.
DiMaggio patiently answered questions of newsmen and television men, posed for hundreds of pictures before sitting down in the dugout. After a bit a television man sidled up to DiMaggio, and the Clipper actually seemed glad to see him. "Look," said Joe, "do me a favor, will you? Walk back to the clubhouse with me so it looks like we have business. I don't want to have to sign a lot of autographs and things."
The two rose and started along the wire fence to the clubhouse, and people began pressing close to the fence, begging for autographs. DiMaggio stopped, looked at the crowd briefly, then walked over to the railing. As he began signing everything that was given to him, more people gathered. "Joe," an old man said, "remember Washington when you hit three home runs? They said you were washed up."
"Yeah," said Joe, "that stopped 'em."
"I saw you hit one off Feller," another said.
"Didn't hit many," answered Joe.
A Negro boy handed Joe three baseballs. "Where'd you get all these?" he asked. "Foul balls," the boy said. "What do you do with them?" DiMaggio asked. "He'll sell them," said a man nearby. "You just doubled the price!" The crowd laughed, and so did DiMaggio. He looked up and saw that although he had been there 10 minutes, the crowd had not lessened. No. 5 hesitated a moment, then went on signing. The television man shrugged and left, but Joe did not notice. He was back in baseball again.
THE GOLD CUP
Next week the Stanley Cup playoffs begin among the top four finishers in the National Hockey League. The participants are now known. Last week the Detroit Red Wings mathematically clinched fourth place, behind Chicago, Toronto and Montreal. For citizens of these four cities, the glory is the thing; for the players, the Stanley Cup runneth over—with cash.
The finances of the NHL are often bewildering to track down, but they go like this: each player on the team that finishes first during the regular season gets $1,000, the second-place team members get $500, third-place finishers are given $350, and fourth $150 each.
Then the first-place team plays the third, the second-place team plays the fourth in the semifinals of the Cup. Before starting play for the finals, the two teams that have been victorious in the semis are rewarded $1,250 per player, and the eliminated losers get $750 each. The eventual winners of the Stanley Cup get another $1,750 apiece while the losing finalists draw $750.
Thus, if a team is able to win the league championship and skate on to victory in the Stanley Cup, each player will have earned himself a tidy $4,000 above his regular salary.
The thunder of bowling balls can be heard far beyond even the New Frontiers of this country. In Paris, American-style bowling is the rage. Geneva and Monte Carlo, Biarritz and Antwerp, Stockholm and Rome, are also having a bowling boom. The Swedes have an installation inside the Arctic Circle, and Germany's Bayreuth opens this week.
The American Machine & Foundry Company has been installing its alley equipment all over Europe and packing 'em in. At the International Trade Fair in Vienna last fall, AMF set up two lanes for exhibition purposes, allowed each visitor to throw two balls on each lane and drew 500,000 people. The Russians in the neighboring pavilion cried foul—nobody seemed interested in their tractors. (They have not yet claimed to have invented the bowling ball.)
Europeans are bowling extremely well in the American tenpin game, which is new to many of them. For generations they played ninepins, the game Rip Van Winkle liked before he went to sleep. At Geneva a big tournament was held a couple of weeks ago. Ernst Hauser of Zurich won it with an average of 182 for six games, and he had never seen a bowling alley until two months before. Europeans, used to throwing a straight ball down wood or asphalt, are very accurate on spares. At the Geneva tournament the 4-6 split was made twice. Many American bowlers have never made the 4-6 or the equally difficult 7-9 or 8-10 splits.
The fight to acquire football clients still rages between the American Football League Texans and the National Football League Cowboys in Dallas.
The other afternoon Lamar Hunt, the wealthy owner of the Texans, was playing football with his 4-year-old : son, Lamar Jr. Young Lamar made a fine play, and his pop glowed with paternal pride. "Lamar," said the father, "you're going to be a good football player for us when you grow up, aren't you?"
"No, sir," said the boy, "I'm gonna be a cowboy."
•Moscow will be the scene of a heavyweight championship match this week—but in chess, not boxing. Red handicappers have made 24-year-old Mikhail Tal a favorite to defend his world title successfully against the once-unbeatable Mikhail Botvinnik.
•Charles Finley, new owner of Kansas City Athletics, will try to increase business by mail-order selling. Finley, who relied on mails to build a successful insurance business, now will send out letters to 800,000 homes in 150-mile radius of Kansas City. The offer: choice of any nine games during season and a guarantee of a good seat.
•The University of Houston's golf team should walk off with its sixth straight NCAA title. So stocked with good golfers is Houston that Richard Crawford, twice the NCAA's individual champion, could finish only ninth in the school's own tourney last week.
•The price for Big Ten football tickets next fall will be up 50¢ to $1.