BASEBALL—PONCHATOULA (La.), squeezing five runs in the ninth inning out of walks, bloops and bleeders, defeated Grand Rapids (Mich.) at Wichita, Kans. 9-8 for the National Non-Pro Baseball Championship and its $10,000 prize.
Phoenix clipped previously unbeaten Cincinnati 2-0 in the final game of a double elimination tourney, then easily defeated the favored Ohio team in a playoff, 4-1, to win the American Legion junior baseball championship, at Hastings, Neb.
BOATING—BRUCE W. HUSTON, Rochester, N.Y., gambled on a long starboard tack, finished ninth in the final race but ran his total to 3,644 points to edge out Walter Swindeman in the International Dragon Class sailing series, at Newport, R.I.
BOXING—DENNY MOYER, Portland middleweight, tuning up for his October 21 fight with Sugar Ray Robinson, shut Dulio Nunez's left eye in the fourth round with sharp right leads, then held up under a late, free-swinging barrage to win a unanimous decision, at Portland, Ore.
September 17, 1961
FOOTBALL—NEW YORK TITANS, in the American Football League opener, edged the Boston Patriots 21-20 at Boston. Titan Quarterback Al Dorow scored from the one-yard line, later threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to End Thurlow Cooper and a 43-yard pass to Halfback Don Maynard.
The HOUSTON OILERS, defenders of the AFL championship, steamrolled over the Oakland Raiders 55-0. While pickets outside protested the Oilers' segregated seating policy, Quarterback George Blanda disregarded the 25-mph wind of Hurricane Carla, threw touchdown passes of 78, 13 and 20 yards, also kicked two field goals to run up an AFL record score.
Frank Tripucka of the DENVER BRONCOS threw one touchdown pass of 22 yards, pitched out twice to Gene Mingo, who threw to Lionel Taylor for 50- and 52-yard touchdown plays, as Denver won 22-10 over the Buffalo Bills, in Buffalo.
The DALLAS TEXANS showed well at the gate—24,500 attendance—but flopped miserably in the field as they lost 26-10 to the San Diego Chargers, 1960 Western Division Champion. The Chargers' Paul Lowe and Bo Roberson ran 87 and 59 yards for touchdowns.
GOLF—Denver Pro DAVE HILL put together rounds of 63-64-67-69 to win the $25,000 Denver Open by six strokes. Art Wall, who shot the tourney's low round of 61, tied for second with Bob Goalby at 269.
HARNESS RACING—COLD FRONT ($38.20) ran hot in the back stretch to win the $110,950 Cane Futurity Pace at Yonkers. The 18-to-1 long shot, with Clint Hodgins driving, finished¾ of a length ahead of Henry T. Adios, pacing the 1[1/16] miles in 2:08⅗ and is now a certain starter in The Little Brown Jug and the Messenger Stakes.
Coffee break, with George Sholty in the sulky, dashed to a 1:58[1/5] mile in the second heat of the $55,635 Fox Stake race at Indiana State Fair. After a day's delay caused by rain, the C. and M. Stable's pacer led Meadow Grayson all the way in the race-off to win the 2-year-old stake by more than half a length, in 2:09[4/5].
Stephan Smith ($15.10), in winning the $25,000 Single G Pace at Yonkers in 3:03⅖ led a five-horse blitz on the world's record for the 1½ mile—held previously by Adios Harry and Widower Creed.
HORSE RACING—CHIEF OF CHIEFS ($20) got away fast, held on to a big lead over a field of 11—including 1960 Horse-of-the-Year Kelso—to take the $120,400 Washington Park Handicap. With Clarence Meaux up, Ada L. Rice's gelding ran the mile in 1:34⅗ finished 4¾ lengths ahead of stablemate Talent Show. Kelso was fourth.
Weldy ($87.20) 43-to-1 long shot, sent into an early lead by Ray York, fought off a late challenge by Snappy King to win the $105,890 Del Mar Futurity. In gaining his first stake race, the 2-year-old colt raced the six furlongs in 1:09.5.
Green Ticket ($31) broke early to the front and, under Eric Guerin's careful hand, held on to nose out fast-closing Endymion to take the $141,635 World's Playground Stakes at Atlantic City. Adele L. Rand's 2-year-old colt swept the seven furlongs in 1:22⅖ a record for the stakes.
Cicada ($4.70), ridden by Willie Shoemaker, outran eight rivals to win by 3½ lengths over Jazz Queen in Belmont's $98,390 Matron Stakes. The 2-year-old filly, owned by Christopher T. Chenery, covered the six furlongs in 1:10[3/5].
Aurelius (9 to 2) took the lead with a furlong and a half to go, then outraced Bounteous to win at the wire in the $98,882 St. Leger Stakes—world's oldest classic for 3-year-olds—at Doncaster, England. Owned by Mrs. Vera Lilley and ridden by Britain's top jockey, Lester Piggott, Aurelius covered the one mile 6 furlongs and 132 yards in 3:06[3/5].
LAWN BOWLING—JAMES F. CANDELET, Pawtucket, R.I. became the first Easterner to win the U.S. Singles Lawn Bowling Championship when he required only 16 ends to defeat William Miller, Gary, Ind., in a playoff, 21-6.
MOTOR SPORTS—Defying 155° track temperatures, which caused frequent pit stops, 40-year-old grandfather NELSON STACEY drove a Ford a record average 117.802 mph to win the $96,000 Southern 500 stock car race at Darlington, S.C.
A. J. Foyt, the nation's leading Big Car racing driver and 1961 Indianapolis winner, coaxed his ailing car through the last 25 laps to finish four seconds ahead of "Shorty" Templeman, with Eddie Sachs third, in the $19,350 Big Car race at the Du Quoin State Fair.
SOFTBALL—In a tense 19-inning game, WHITTIER (Calif.) scratched out a 2-1 win over Stratford (Conn.) in Women's World Softball Championship final at Portland, Ore. when Colleen Riley singled, stole two bases and came home on a suicide squeeze. Joan Joyce, Stratford's pitcher, worked an amazing 33 2/3 consecutive innings on the last day, gave up only two runs, while striking out 67 batters.
TENNIS—ROY EMERSON, 24, upset fellow Australian and Wimbledon Champion Rod Laver 7-5, 6-3, 6-2, to win the men's title of the national championships at Forest Hills (see page 22). DARLENE HARD of Montebello, Calif. came back after a three-month hepatitis-forced layoff to crush Ann Haydon of Britain 6-3, 6-4 for her second consecutive women's title.
WATER SKIING—21-year-old JIM JACKSON of Cypress Point, Fla., second in the slalom and second in the tricks event, soared to a record 134-foot jump to retain his North American over-all water ski championship, at Lake Placid, N.Y.
MILEPOSTS—DISBARRED: DAN WAERN, Swedish miler who has finished under four minutes six times, by the International Amateur Athletic Federation for admitting having received more than legitimate expenses (a reported $20,000 a year).
SUSPENDED: DENNIS RALSTON, 19, temper-tossing, racket-throwing and fifth-ranked U.S. tennis player, for the remainder of the year by the USLTA for alleged misconduct in the Davis Cup match between Mexico and the U.S. in August.
DIED: WOLFGANG VON TRIPS, 32-year-old German count and top racing car driver for the world championship, in an accident that claimed at least 14 spectators' lives, in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, Italy (see page 18)
DIED: BOB HAYWARD, 33, Canadian powerboat driver, of a broken neck suffered in the second heat of the Silver Cup Regatta when his boat—Miss Supertest II—flipped over on the Detroit River.