BASEBALL—NEW YORK METS, continuing their pursuit of available name players, bought Richie Ashburn, the 1958 National League batting champion, from the Chicago Cubs for a reported $75,000.
Roberto Clemente, Pittsburgh Pirate outfielder, was officially declared National League batting champion. Clemente hit .351, finished eight points ahead of Cincinnati Centerfielder Vada Pinson, though Pinson had 208 hits to Clemente's 201. The Pirates won the team batting title but were next to last in runs batted in.
DOG SHOW—CH. WAKEFIELD'S BLACK KNIGHT, a black-and-white English springer spaniel, won the best-in-show award at the Kennel Club of Philadelphia. Black Knight, the first of his breed to win this honor, was called by Judge Alva Rosenberg "one of the soundest sporting dogs now being shown." An entry list of 1,695 made the Philadelphia show the largest indoor one-day competition in the country.
FIELD TRIAL—ARMFORTH'S MICKELWOOD DAN, owned by the Armforth Kennel of Chicago, won the English Springer Spaniel National Championship Stake at Weldon Spring, Mo. Mickelwood Dan's victory gave his owners their second straight national title. In 1960 Carswell Contessa, handled by Mrs. Phillip Armour Jr., co-owner of the Armforth Kennel, won the championship.
December 18, 1961
FOOTBALL (COLLEGE)—BAYLOR UNIVERSITY, one of the also-rans of the Southwest Conference, beat Utah State, ranked 10th nationally, 24-9, in the first Gotham Bowl game, at the Polo Grounds, New York City. Free of injuries for the first time this season, Baylor moved the ball easily against the bigger Utah line, and capitalized on five Aggie fumbles to score 17 of its 24 points. Baylor Back Ronnie Bull, who flew on to Chicago to negotiate a pro contract with the Bears, was chosen the game's most valuable player.
New Mexico won the first Aviation Bowl game, beating Western Michigan 28-12 at Dayton. Unable to complete a pass, New Mexico rushed for 339 yards and four touchdowns.
Cameron (Okla.) junior college, led by Quarterback Bill Harper, upset Bakersfield (Calif.) J.C. 28-20 to win the Junior Rose Bowl at Pasadena, Calif. A crowd of 49,023 saw the Cameron quarterback run 31 yards for one touchdown and then pass 27 yards to Ulysses Kendall for another.
Darrell Royal, coach of Southwest Conference co-champion University of Texas, was named Coach of the Year by the Football Writers' Association of America. Texas was ranked third in the country, will meet Mississippi in the Cotton Bowl on New Year's Day. Minnesota's Murray Warmath, last year's winner, was runner-up, and Bear Bryant, coach of unbeaten Alabama, was third.
(PRO)—NFL, Eastern Conference: NEW YORK won at least a tie in the division by defeating PHILADELPHIA 28-24. The victory moved the Giants one up on the Eagles with a single game left to play. CHICAGO scored 17 points in the last quarter to beat CLEVELAND 17-14, and cut the Browns out of a possible division playoff. PITTSBURGH scored in every period, whipped winless WASHINGTON 30-14 but remained in a fourth-place tie with ST. LOUIS. The Cards, with Quarterback Sam Etcheverry having his best day (13 completions out of 25 attempts for 265 yards), beat DALLAS 31-13. The Cowboys were in sixth place and the Redskins were last.
NFL, Western Conference: GREEN BAY, sluggishly playing out the remaining games on its schedule, lost to SAN FRANCISCO 21-22. DETROIT, its meager offense once again helped out by a sturdy defense, beat MINNESOTA 13-7. The Lions held on to second place, were followed by the 49ers. LOS ANGELES destroyed BALTIMORE'S chance for second, beat the Colts 34-17. The victory pulled the Rams out of a tie for last with the Vikings, and left the Colts deadlocked with the Bears in fourth.
AFL, Eastern Division: HOUSTON, unbeatable since Coach Wally Lemm took over, won its eighth straight, beating NEW YORK 48-21. The Oilers gained 573 yards in total offense, 216 of them representing Billy Cannon's new one-game rushing record. Cannon also had 114 yards in pass receptions and scored five touchdowns. BOSTON kept pace with the high-powered Oilers, beat OAKLAND 35-21 to remain 1 game behind. The Titans were followed by BUFFALO, which lost to SAN DIEGO 28-10.
AFL, Western Division: The Chargers, having long since clinched the division title, marked time waiting for the AFL championship game. DALLAS, far behind the leader but second in the standings, defeated third-place DENVER 49-21. Oakland was last, but still had a chance to climb out of the division cellar.
GOLF—MICKEY WRIGHT, 26-year-old San Diego psychology student, was named Women's Golf Champion of the Year by LPGA. The leading money winner for 1961 with $22,236.21, Miss Wright scored the first women's "grand slam." She won the National Women's Open, the Women's PGA and the Titleholders' Championship.
Ralph Hutchinson, 50-year-old Bethlehem, Pa. golfer, carded a 34-38—72 to win the Bermuda Goodwill professional golf tournament at Hamilton, Bermuda. Jack Mallon and Roy Bronsdon tied for second at 74.
HARNESS RACING—ADIOS BUTLER was voted harness horse of the year by a panel of 113 writers and broadcasters. The 5-year-old pacer, considered the fastest harness horse of all time, received 100 first-place votes. Su-Mac-Lad, named the aged trotter of the year in divisional balloting, was second with six first-place votes.
HOCKEY—NHL: MONTREAL increased its narrow lead to 3 points over TORONTO. NEW YORK continued to backslide, fell to 8 points behind the leader. Improving DETROIT was next, only 6 points behind the Rangers, followed by CHICAGO and BOSTON.
MOTOR SPORTS—GLEN ROBERTS anchored a six-man team that set a 24-hour stock car endurance record of 108.819 mph at Darlington, S.C. Two teams drove 1962 Pontiacs and covered 2,612.5 miles without accident or injury.
SKATING—HENK VAN DER GRIFT, Holland's world champion speed skater, won the 500-meter race at Fagernes, Norway. Kees Jan Kroon, also of Holland, was second, followed by Haakon Olav Hansen of Norway. John Storm of Burbank, Calif. finished fourth.
SQUASH—AZAM KHAN, 36-year-old Pakistani, defeated his nephew, Mohibullah Khan, 9-6, 7-9, 10-8, 2-9, 9-4 to win the British Open Squash Championship in London. This is the fourth successive year that Azam has won the tournament and the 12th time a member of the Khan family has been British Open champion.
Ralph How, Yale University junior, defeated Charles W. Ufford Jr. 15-11, 10-15, 8-15, 15-5, 15-9 for the Gold Racquets Invitational singles championship held at the Rockaway Hunt Club, Cedarhurst, N.Y. Dr. Paul Steele and James Etheridge beat James Whitmoyer and Howard Davis 15-7, 15-10, 3-15, 11-15, 15-7 for the doubles title.
TENNIS—ROD LAVER broke Roy Emerson's serve in the fourth set, won the Victorian Men's singles championship 4-6, 8-6, 9-7, 6-3 at Melbourne. The loss may cost Emerson the No. 2 singles position for the Davis Cup Challenge Round later in the month against Italy.
Australia's MARGARET SMITH defeated Darlene Hard 6-3, 6-3 to win the women's singles title. It was the third consecutive time Miss Smith had beaten the U.S. champion.
TRACK & FIELD—WILLIAM R. PECK won the Western Hemisphere Marathon at Culver City, Calif., covering the 26-mile course in two hours 26 minutes 19 seconds. Frank Muller of Glendale (Calif.) College was second, and Ed Duncan of Bridgeport, Conn. was third.
MILEPOSTS—RETIRED—TONY BROOKS, 29, Britain's distinguished racing driver, because of increased family responsibilities. In 10 years of racing he has won the German, French, Italian, British and European Grand Prix. Brooks is quitting, he says, "before I push my luck."
FIRED—DALE HALL, 37-year-old coach of the U.S. Military Academy football team, despite an acceptable three-year record of 16-11-2 and another year to run on his contract. Army's failure to beat Navy during Hall's tenure was undoubtedly the principal cause of his dismissal.
DIED—EMIL E. FUCHS, former New York police court magistrate and owner of the Boston Braves from 1923 to 1935, in Boston. Judge Fuchs was a pioneer in baseball promotions. He was instrumental in having Sunday baseball legalized in Massachusetts, and was an early advocate of knothole gangs and ladies' day programs. In 1935 he hired Babe Ruth, who had been released by the Yankees, to serve as player, assistant manager and vice-president of the Braves. In spite of his efforts, however, the Braves went into bankruptcy that same year, and Fuchs lost the club to the late Charles F. Adams for a reported $200,000.