AND THEN THERE WERE MANY
The rivalry between Arnold Palmer and Gary Player goes far beyond any single golf tournament, however exciting. The U.S. hasn't seen two players with such personal color since Ben Hogan and Sam Snead were at the top of their games in the early '50s. Palmer and Player are both products of junior competition, Palmer having learned to play at an early age in this country and Player having developed in South Africa. Both love the long game (Palmer will soon be out with a book titled, Hit It Hard, and Player says, "My game is an attacking game and whether it comes off or it doesn't come off in any tournament—well, I'm only 25"). Palmer gained the first of his two Masters' titles at 28, and Player got his Masters at 25; the median age for a Masters champion is 33.
The Palmer-Player battle two weeks ago drew 27% of the entire Saturday afternoon television audience and 19% of the audience on Monday. We believe that with their boldness, color and skills, Palmer and Player will be drawing young men from the jukeboxes and hot rods, and that instead of having to wait for three people to get off the first tee golfers may soon have to wait for 10.
ONE MORE TIME
Few were surprised last week when the Boston Celtics moved easily to their third consecutive National Basketball Association championship. Bill Russell, Tom Heinsohn, Bill Sharman and all the rest of the Celtics managed to beat the St. Louis Hawks in five games.
Yet, as is always the case with the Celtics, the man most people were talking about after the final game was 32-year-old Bob Cousy, who had to be helped from the court. Cousy had been suffering from an acute sinus condition, and after the game he lay on a training table retching, crying and gasping for breath, while his teammates celebrated noisily about him. Soon, however, he recovered and said to a reporter standing near by, "There must be an easier way to make a living."
We doubt, however, that Cousy will find one in 1962.
Who's got the world's strongest stomach muscles? Conflicting claims were registered in Houston a few days ago by Pepper Gomez and Angelo Poffo, resulting in what might appear to be a peculiarly one-sided contest. Both men are professional wrestlers; Pepper is from Houston and Angelo from Chicago. At a TV broadcast from the stage of the city auditorium in Pepper's home town, Angelo, who has done 6,033 sit-ups and has made Believe It or Not, scoffed at Gomez' abdominals. The indignant Gomez challenged Poffo on the spot. Poffo's manager, Bronko Lubitsch, forthwith climbed to the top of a ring-post turnbuckle and leaped from a height of four and a half feet onto the supine Pepper's stomach. Pepper's face turned blue, but his stomach remained in place. Then the 230-pound Poffo hoisted himself up on top of the turnbuckle and jumped on Pepper. But, apparently dizzy from the height, he missed and landed on Pepper's neck. Se√±or Gomez was trundled to the hospital with a bruised esophagus and bruised feelings about strong-stomached friends who can't jump straight.
FRANKIE AND JOHNNY?
Heavyweight Sonny Liston's lament last week that he will quit boxing unless Pep Barone, his manager of record, releases him from his contract, can be viewed in a number of ways: naive, cynical and hopeful. It is Liston's contention, and an accurate one, that Floyd Patterson will not fight him unless he gets rid of his hoodlum goombars. Liston's laudable intention is to find a manager who will be acceptable to both Patterson and Senator Kefauver, before whose subcommittee there was testimony that Barone is a stooge and that Liston is controlled by Mobsters Frankie Carbo and John Vitale, among others.
It is possible that Liston's passionate outburst was staged by Frankie and Johnny. Barone has indicated that he might return his contract to Sonny, although he says he has been offered $150,000 for it. This is not as preposterous as it seems. Even if Sonny were to acquire a proper manager, he could still whack up his end of the purses with the hoods. Liston is not, however, assured of an immediate title shot merely by obtaining a wholesome manager. He is the logical contender, but boxing is not a syllogism. It is bad business, because of taxes, for Patterson to fight for more than one big gate a year.
It would be naive to believe Sonny will quit and "go back to working like a dog." He explained this meant construction work such as he performed in St. Louis several years ago. Waste no pity. According to the testimony of a St. Louis cop, the main constructive labor Liston did for the Vitale Cement Co. was keeping Negro workers in line. Last year Senator Dirksen observed that Liston was "short on words but long on clout." We make the same observation: we applaud Liston's statement as made in good faith, but we're going to keep whistling until we get some action.
WHERE THE GIRLS ARE
It used to be that a man would say to his wife, "Goin' down to the tavern to see the fight. See ya later." Of course, he had a TV set at home, but the weekly venture into the evening world was an act of manliness. It separated the boys from the girls.
Now, though, the man of the house can no longer sit at a friendly bar and be sure his wife is minding the children. A survey by ABC-TV, which just happens to telecast the fights, reveals that nearly 40% of the viewers of Fight of the Week are women.
THE NEW PROVINCIALISM
If the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul seemed both proud and provincial last week, they should be forgiven. The two cities apparently have picked up the old Washington Senators bag, baggage and bat rack and pressed them to their collective (temporarily) heart. Department stores in St. Paul were selling "Minnesota Twins" sweat shirts, and for just 3¢ a fan could get a Harmon Killebrew Louisville Slugger bat (of course, he had to buy a transistor radio, too).
The press of both cities seemed to go overboard in adoration of the Twins. On Monday, the day before Minnesota opened against the Yankees in New York, the St. Paul Pioneer Press proudly ran a story which said: "Minnesota's first bona fide major league baseball team quietly and confidently checked into their mid-town hotel Sunday night to await Tuesday's American League opener against the vaunted Yankees." RUTH'S HOMER MARK MENACED? ran a headline in the Minneapolis Morning Tribune. By Wednesday the journalists, perhaps feeling that they too had acquired major league status, were running wild, TWINS SET TO FOOL BASEBALL WORLD screamed a Press headline, and the story underneath said: "The Twins, to a man...were ready to prove the 'baseball's smarties' wrong and stage one of sport's biggest upsets since Upset beat Man o' War...."
After the Twins shut out the Yankees 6-0, thus marking the first time that New York had been held runless in an opening game since 1953, The Minneapolis Star printed a large box with a list of 22 TWINS ' "FIRSTS," including first fly ball caught, first pitcher knocked out of box by Twins, first batter to reach first base three times in one game. The Star also ran some intriguing sidelights: "Joe Hendrickson and Nate Crabtree of Minneapolis were the first Minneapolitans to show up at Yankee Stadium."
Actually, it would be very nice if the Twins quietly and confidently checked into hotels around the league, heard the voices of Nate Crabtree and other Minneapolitans spurring Bob Lemon and Harmon Killebrew both to outdistance Ruth, and proving SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S "smarties," among others, wrong.
T'isn't likely, though.
KENNEDY IN THE COUNTRY
Middleburg's 663 inhabitants are sporting people, and some of them are members of "the first families of Virginia." Now they have as neighbors the First Family. Sitting in his rocker on the porch of the 400-acre 19th century Middleburg estate, Glen Ora, the President can watch the fields of waving wheat and forget for the weekend the press and the politicians. Quail fly up right under his nose, and he can fish under a weeping willow from a man-made pond stocked with bass and perch.
One of Mrs. Kennedy's Christmas presents to her husband was a riding outfit, including, it is said, a scarlet coat. The strict hunting set say a man should not wear a scarlet coat until he has hunted for at least five seasons. The President was too busy hunting nominations and elections to qualify strictly, but the neighbors are willing to make an exception, as they good-naturedly have for others in the past.
Since the President has taken to Glen Ora, the Secret Service of necessity has taken to horse. Some agents have been renting horses from a Middleburg stable. A local girl is teaching one of them to hunt. Nobody, we hope, has to teach them to shoot.
Spring racing of the Middleburg Hunt Association has begun, and as spring warms to summer plenty of tennis and swimming will be available. Skeet shooting is another local enthusiasm. There is also a bowling alley near by. If a President can get away from it all, a sporting President ought to be able to do it in Middleburg.
Dr. Gordon G. Stocking of The Upjohn Company of Kalamazoo has developed a hormone drug called Prodox that is said to suppress heat, or estrus, in lady dogs. Prodox can be given in either liquid or tablet form. Big dogs require a bigger daily dose than little dogs. Field tests have been going on for three years under the supervision of Upjohn Lab scientists, with 100% success on 200 lady dogs—no harmful side effects. Some have been kept out of heat for as long as two years. For best results, the dog should be given Prodox at least 30 days before the expected estrus.
Prodox is a progesterone derivative. The scientists say it artificially maintains the progestogen level in the dog. The higher the progestogen level, the greater the suppression of pituitary gonadotropin. To put it another way no pups. Upjohn believes the drug will be a boon to owners of hunting, show and racing dogs—and of friendly dogs who have too many litters.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
•Whitey Bimstein, boxing trainer, discussing light heavyweight Eddie Cotton after Cotton had beaten Bimstein's tiger, Rory Calhoun: "This boy Cotton could beat three thirds of the light heavies around today, and with a little more experience he'll do even better'n that."
•Steve Barber, the Baltimore Orioles' left-hander, after shutting out the Minnesota Twins on five hits: "I didn't have a thing, I didn't know where the next pitch was going. I started to throw fairly well after the fifth inning, but I had no rhythm. Just lucky, I guess."
•Frank Lane, noted trader now with the Kansas City A's, sounding off about his trading of Manager Joe Gordon for Jimmie Dykes last season: "I have made my last trade like that. Managers deserve more respect than to be swapped. I won't be doing it again."
•John Toohey, of The Denver Post, answered the phone last Saturday and received the following question: "Who won the Wood Memorial?" "Next week," said Toohey. "What'd he pay?" asked the horseplayer.
•Yogi Berra, longtime Yankee catcher, who had three bases stolen on him in the opening game of the season, can expect more thefts. The American League coaches and managers have found that Yogi has only about one good throw left in a game.