BASEBALL—FRANK ROBINSON, Cincinnati Reds' complete outfielder, won the National League's Most Valuable Player award for 1961. An excellent fielder, Robinson batted .323, hit 37 home runs, drove in 124 runs and stole 22 bases to provide most of the scoring punch for Cincinnati's first pennant winner in 21 years. Robinson was almost a unanimous selection. He was named on 15 of the 16 first-place ballots and was 102 points ahead of runner-up Orlando Cepeda, the San Francisco Giants' first baseman-outfielder.
BASKETBALL (PRO)—AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE showed a promising balance, especially in the Eastern Division, where the first-place Pittsburgh Rens held only a 4-game advantage over the last-place Washington Tapers. In the Western Division first-place Kansas City won three straight and increased its lead to 3 games over the second-place Los Angeles Jets. Good overall defense has kept the ABL scoring average to 98.2 points a game per team. Bill Bridges, Kansas City forward, leads the league with an average of 24.5 points a game. Pittsburgh's Connie Hawkins has scored the most points, 237, and is second in rebounding at 12.5 per game. NBA, Eastern Division: BOSTON (13-2) continued to play nearly perfect basketball. A sound defense and well-distributed scoring—usually five men or more hit for close to 20 points a game—gave the Celts four straight victories and lengthened their lead to 4½ games over PHILADELPHIA (10-8). The Warriors worked their rookies more, won 2 games while losing 1. SYRACUSE (7-10) was unable to score and defend in the same game, lost 3 and won 1. NEW YORK. (7-13) kept the scores close but missed injured Willie Naulls, also lost 3 and won 1, to stay in last place.
NBA, Western Division: LOS ANGELES (15-5) twice lost to the Pistons and saw its lead drop to 4 games as CINCINNATI (11-9) split 4. DETROIT (8-9) moved to within 1½ games of second place. ST. LOUIS (7-12) had its trade with the Packers approved but still lost 3 games while winning 1. CHICAGO (3-13) won its third game of the season but was still last, far off the pace.
BOWLING—DON CARTER won the World Invitational tournament for the fourth time in five years, in Chicago. Marge Merrick beat Marion Lade wig, the defending champion, to win the women's title.
December 4, 1961
BOXING—SUGAR RAY ROBINSON sharpened up his punching eye, knocked down Al Hauser four times in the sixth round with nicely placed hooks before the referee stopped the fight, in Providence. Ray is scheduled to meet both Wilfie Greaves and Dennis Moyer within the next two months.
CHESS—NONNA GAPRINDASVILI, a 20-year-old Russian, won the women's world challengers' chess tournament, at Vrnjacka Banja, Yugoslavia. Miss Gaprindasvili has now earned the right to meet Elizabeth Bykova, also of Russia, for the 1962 world title. Lisa Lane and Mrs. Gisela Gresser, both of the U.S., tied for 12th.
CROSS-COUNTRY—JOHN J. KELLEY, a U.S. Olympic marathoner, beat 137 men and 3 women to win the Manchester five-mile road race, in Manchester, Conn. Two of the men and one woman failed to complete the race. Mrs. Chris McKenzie, wife of English Olympic Runner Gordon McKenzie (he finished fourth), dropped out, though she was leading the other two women, because she believed it would violate the rules of the race if she crossed the finish line. Julia Chase, a Smith College sophomore, was timed in 33:40 and unofficially placed 128th.
Michigan State beat Penn State for the IC4A team title, but Steve Machooka, Cornell sophomore from Kenya, won the individual championship at Van Cortlandt Park, New York. Running through sleet in near-freezing temperatures, Machooka led most of the way and outdistanced runner-up Gerald Norman of Penn State by 50 yards. The winner's time for the five-mile course was 26:02.9.
FOOTBALL (PRO)—AFL, Eastern Division: HOUSTON, in the only significant game on a slim schedule, beat DENVER 45-14, now has a full-game, first-place lead over BOSTON. NEW YORK defeated BUFFALO 21-14, as Dick Felt's 55-yard runback with an intercepted pass gave the Titans the go-ahead score. The Titans remain third, 1½ games out, and the Bills last.
AFL, Western Division: In the only game played, Dallas literally ran over OAKLAND 43-11. Texan Halfback Abner Haynes scored a record five touchdowns running, and gained 158 rushing, another record.
NFL, Eastern Conference: NEW YORK won another big game, beat CLEVELAND 37-21. The victory maintained the Giants' 1-game lead and dropped the Browns to third place, 2 games out with only 3 left to play. PHILADELPHIA Quarterback Sonny Jurgensen threw for five touchdowns, and the Eagles defeated DALLAS 35-13 to remain close behind the leader. PITTSBURGH edged ST. LOUIS 30-27 with a last-second field goal, and took over fourth place. The Cowboys were next, followed by the Cards. WASHINGTON gained a total of 97 yards, lost to BALTIMORE 27-6 and was last in the division.
NFL, Western Conference: GREEN BAY struggled to a 17-9 victory over DETROIT to clinch a playoff berth. SAN FRANCISCO beat MINNESOTA 38-28 and moved into a tie with the Lions. CHICAGO defeated LOS ANGELES 28-24 to share third place with the Colts. The Rams were next, followed by the last-place Vikings.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats came from 18 points back to tie the Toronto Argonauts 27-27, and then won the total point series in overtime 55-27 in Hamilton, Ont. The victory gave the Cats Canadian football's Eastern Conference title.
GOLF—FRANK PHILLIPS, Sydney professional, held on to an early lead to win the Australian Open Championship, in Melbourne. Phillips shot a 275, former British Open Champion Kel Nagle was second with 277. Gary Player tied Bruce Devlin for third at 279.
HOCKEY—NHL; MONTREAL (11-5-5), TORONTO (13-6-1) and NEW YORK (10-6-6) whirled in and out of the lead as if caught in a revolving door. The Rangers held first place early in the week but lost it on Saturday after a 6-0 defeat by the Leafs. The Canadiens then took over but had to make room at the top for the Leafs, who won 3 straight and tied Montreal at 27 points.
HORSE RACING—KELSO, owned by Mr. Richard C. duPont, was named Horse of the Year for the second successive time. The 4-year-old gelding, a son of Your Host-Maid of Flight, by Count Fleet, won seven out of nine races in 1961. Carry Back was chosen the 3-year-old of the year; Crimson Satan, the best 2-year-old; and Peal, the steeplechaser of the year.
Hillsborough ($14.40), owned by Peter Fuller, manager of heavyweight title challenger Tom McNeeley, easily won the $55,400 Display Handicap, at Aqueduct, N.Y. Ridden by Don Pierce, Hillsborough covered the two miles of sloppy track in 3:29 4/5 to finish six lengths in front of Polylad.
SOCCER—HOWARD UNIVERSITY of Washing, ton, D.C. beat Newark College of Engineering 3-2 to win the NAIA championship, at Lock Haven, Pa. Cecil Durham kicked the winning goal with 18 seconds left to play and broke Newark's 23-game unbeaten streak.
West Chester (Pa.) State Teachers College beat St. Louis University, the defending champion, 2-0, to win the national collegiate championship, in St. Louis. West Chester scored its first goal on a free kick early in the final period, four minutes later scored again when Inside Right Joe Brownholtz booted the ball 45 yards into the upper left-hand corner of St. Louis' goal.
SWIMMING—COLGATE scored in every event except the diving to win the Eastern Collegiate Swimming Association's Relay Carnival at New York. With six victories and two second-place finishes in nine events, the Colgate swimmers tallied 104 points to 90 for runner-up NYU.
TENNIS—ROY EMERSON, Australian and U.S. titleholder, defeated Neale Fraser 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 for the South Australian tennis championship at Adelaide, Australia. Fraser, the world's No. 1 amateur until a knee injury and operation forced him to rest for nearly a year, showed almost a complete return to form as he eliminated Wimbledon champion Rod Laver in a five-set semifinal match. Margaret Smith beat Darlene Hard in the women's finals 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.
MILEPOSTS—RETIRED: DAN FERRIS, 72, from his policy-making post as honorary secretary of the AAU, at New York. Ferris relinquished his position as AAU secretary-treasurer in 1957 after 30 years as an AAU official, but continued in charge of foreign affairs.