FOUND; A LOST BALL
The U.S. Golf Association, after two years of soft penalties for balls hit out-of-bounds or into unplayable lies, or lost balls, has reinstated the stern old penalties (stroke-and-distance or a two-stroke assessment) for these misplayed shots. We don't mean to sound like anybody's stuffy uncle from Boston, but we applaud this return to the old Scottish virtues. There has been too much pressure of late to make golf an easier and easier—and therefore duller and duller—game. We are pleased that the USGA has decided to keep the rough in the game of golf.
BAN SWEDISH PUNCH?
Some Swedes are clamoring for a ban on boxing because they say it is a brutal sport and possibly because they no longer hold the heavyweight championship of the world. It is an old clamor in Sweden, but it is restricted to an insistently loud minority of the same essential breed as brought Prohibition to the U.S.
The majority of Swedes love boxing. Before Ingemar Johansson ever was considered as a contender for Floyd Patterson's title, 50,000 Swedes paid a $20 top to watch Ingemar knock out Eddie Machen in Goteborg. In Sweden $20 is a large sum for an evening's entertainment.
February 5, 1962
If the Swedes want only to debrutalize boxing, they might consider the simultaneous proposal of Professor Giuseppe La Cava, secretary of the International Association of Sports Medicine and for 30 years adviser to the Italian Amateur Boxing Association. Dr. La Cava would like to see boxing revert to the old bareknuckle days. With gloves on, he says, a fighter punches harder and inflicts more damage because he has less fear of hurting his hands. The bare knuckles and their resultant inhibitions, Dr. La Cava says, explain why oldtime fights went on for so long and why pugilists of the lusty past had such a reputation for tough skin, with fewer cuts inflicted.
Pondering this contention that a gloved fist is a padded mallet, one remembers with sudden illumination how John L. Sullivan sometimes would wear gloves against an opponent and let the opponent fight him with bare knuckles, thus seeming to give the opponent a chivalrous advantage. "I would not want to kill the man," John would say unctuously, "and so I prefer to wear gloves."
FLUTTERS ON FILM
The latest gambling gambit in England is betting on movies of old horse races. Originally a pleasant diversion on French Line ships, the "sport" now is a bingo parlor rage. Films of old American races are shipped to England in sealed containers. To prevent cheating by someone who might remember that Omaha won the Kentucky Derby in 1935, the horses are given false names and the cans are not opened until all bets are in. Payment is on a pari-mutuel basis, and you can bet across the board and all that. It is, of course, impossible to dope the form, which is half the fun of going to the races, but English punters don't seem to mind. The only ones who do mind are the bookies. Automation is hurting their business.
Somebody ought to put a muzzle on Frank Frisch, once one of the liveliest and most exciting of baseball players, now beginning to sound more and more like a plain old-fashioned grouch. Frank has made it his custom, of late, to snort at practically everything in modern baseball—spring training camps are country clubs, modern gloves are nothing but baskets, pitchers are spoiled and lazy, nobody has the old spirit anymore.
Now Frank is against batting helmets; he gets a big laugh at banquets (he's a good speaker) when he mocks them and calls them "garbage cans." Well, hell. It's easy to sneer at batting helmets as another example of the "softness of our modern way of life"; it's a little harder to remember that they called catchers' masks sissy when they were introduced. And it's a little chilling to remember the beanings that happened in Frank Frisch's era: Ray Chapman, who was killed; Mickey Cochrane, whose career was effectively terminated; Joe Medwick, who was never much good afterward. Frisch should know that quite a few good ballplayers have been hit on the head since helmets were introduced; it still hurts—ask Joe Adcock or Hank Thompson—but the helmet breaks instead of the ballplayer.
There is much that can be justifiably criticized about baseball. It seems a little ridiculous to knock a good thing.
GIANTS LOSE 11-1
The fiasco that is San Francisco's Candlestick Park, where the wind blows pitchers off the mound and baseballs from fielders' gloves, became one for the law books this past week when Melvin Belli, the bellicose mouthpiece, struck out Horace Stoneham's Giants. Belli took the Giants to court to demand a refund of $1,597, the price he had paid for a six-seat season box at the park in 1960. He held that the Giants had reneged on an agreement to keep him warm while he watched them play. The so-called "radiant" heat that had been promised just did not radiate, he insisted.
He argued that the heating system worked so badly that the Giants just turned it off and forgot about it while thousands shivered, among them Belli. Belli was in rare form, even for him, before a jury that had just trudged through San Francisco's first substantial snowfall in 30 years. There were some who felt that Belli, a master of dramatic effects, had personally arranged for the snow. At any rate, the jurors were in a mood to listen with sympathy to Belli's proclamation that he had been assailed at Candlestick Park by "the bitterest winds this side of the Himalayas.
"Even with long underwear and an Alaskan wolfhound parka, the same one I wore to Siberia last year, I couldn't keep warm in Box J, Section 4," he thundered, waving a copy of the Giants' yearbook, which said the floors in the boxes were heated to 85°.
The Giants, protesting that they are mere tenants of Candlestick and that the city is responsible for the heating system, lost an 11-1 verdict, but they will appeal, if only because Belli has given a lot of other fans ideas about refunds.
BON APPETIT, CANADA
In the gastronomy of our forefathers, in the days when 60 million buffalo roamed this continent, few game dishes were more esteemed than buffalo tongue. In fact tens of thousands of buffalo were slaughtered for their tongues and hides alone, leaving tons of good meat on the prairies as carrion. But buffalo meat, properly prepared, is a delicacy, as many a lucky Canadian is about to discover.
Periodically, the huge herd in Canada's Buffalo National Park is thinned out to insure sufficient grazing room for the rest, and this month authorities are beginning to send to market 250,000 pounds of prime meat from the bison that were slaughtered.
So that Canadian cooks may be encouraged to attempt buffalo, the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources has issued a small cookbook listing 11 ways to prepare buffalo dishes. Our favorite is the creation of Angelo Casagrande, chef de cuisine of Edmonton's Hotel MacDonald. It is filet de bison sweetgrass en chemise strasbourgeoise and involves brushing a four-pound buffalo tenderloin with brandy, slicing it into six equal parts and placing between the slices a slice of cooked ham that has been spread with p√¢té de foie gras. After it has been half-roasted the whole tenderloin is spread thinly with p√¢té and sprinkled with chopped truffles. Then it is wrapped in a thin sheet of pie dough and baked until the crust is nicely browned. "Serve with mushroom sauce flavored with Madeira," advises Chef Casagrande.
The pioneers never had it so good.
THE INSIDE TRACK
•Tsuyoshi Yamanaka, Japan's finest swimmer and world-record holder in the 200-meter freestyle, is entering the University of Southern California, joining Australians Murray Rose, 1,500-meter world-record holder, and Jon Konrads, Olympic victor over Rose in the 1,500.
•The fortunes of the troubled St. Louis Hawks have improved, thanks to a new NBA ruling that permits players in military service to compete when available. The Hawks' badly needed guard, Len Wilkins, got enough passes from Fort Lee, Va. to help stop a seven-game losing streak and assist in three victories as St. Louis won five of seven.
•"The Goose" seems to be about cooked at the University of South Carolina. He is Warren Giese, athletics director, and it appears he has lost an internal power struggle, which will find him transferred to the physical education department, with Football Coach Marvin Bass replacing him.
•While New Zealander Peter Snell was breaking Australian Herb Elliott's mile record (seepage 48), an earlier Australian hero, John Landy, was at Port Moresby, New Guinea, teaching the fine points of running to natives who hope to compete in the British Empire games at Perth next November.
•Baseball's Southern Association, which produced such greats as Tris Speaker, Burleigh Grimes, Pie Traynor and Shoeless Joe Jackson, expired last week but not altogether for the announced reason of a lack of working agreements with the major leagues. The further fact is that major league clubs just cannot afford affiliations with minor clubs that reject Negro players.
•A new type of cold weather sports clothing may result from experiments made by the Ethyl Corporation in Baton Rouge. A clear face mask containing a small canister is worn at mouth or chin level. The breath combines with a chemical in the canister to form hydrogen. This, along with what oxygen is exhaled, passes through tubes to catalyst units in the clothing, where a second chemical reaction takes place producing sufficient heat to keep the body warm even in severe cold. No electricity or other outside power is used.
•Look for the University of North Carolina to rebound into the national basketball limelight in the next season or two, despite Coach Frank McGuire's departure to the Philadelphia Warriors. His successor. Dean Smith, has a freshman team rated as the best ever at Chapel Hill.
•Jimmy Piersall, the colorful outfielder, said last week that he and Jim Brosnan, the colorful pitcher, are planning a slick-paper magazine to be called Baseball Monthly. "We're going to have authoritative articles," Piersall said. "In the first issue I'm going to have a story about how lousy the Cleveland writers are."
•Ingemar Johansson appears ready to marry his longtime secretary and fiancée Birgit Lundgren. The couple has obtained a Swedish marriage license. But, says Ingo, cagey to the last, "That does not necessarily mean I am going to get married."
AU REVOIR, TENNESSEE
"I'd rather be first than President," Vester R. (Tennessee) Wright, horse trainer extraordinary, is fond of remarking. Last week racing circles were saddened by the announcement that Tennessee, leading trainer in four of the past six years, was at least temporarily retiring at the age of 40 because of a hernia operation. His principal owner and partner, T. Alie Grissom, promptly announced he was selling his stable of over 50 horses rather than employ anyone else. The two men have been associated in racing since Wright started training in 1948.
Wright believed firmly in the values—spiritual, therapeutic and financial—of gambling. (He went into the Air Force during the war with 60¢ and came out with $20,000, made with a pair of dice.) "A man takes care of a horse better if he bets on him," Tennessee has said. "I bet on my horses—every one of them." He adds that his whole stable sends it in, with his enthusiastic approval. "Did you ever see a man rubbin' a horse he's gonna bet on?" he asks. "That horse ain't gonna be neglected."
RICKEY AND ROBINSON
Branch Rickey was the first to hear from Jackie Robinson after Robinson's election to baseball's Hall of Fame: "Jackie tried to call his mother, but he couldn't reach her. Then he called me. That was about five minutes after a newsman on the election committee told him about it. I was just sitting here by my phone. He said, 'Mr. Rickey, I've been elected to the Hall of Fame.' I was delighted. I was so glad he called. I told Jackie, 'That is simply wonderful. Congratulations. You deserve it.' And the baseball writers are to be congratulated. This is something more than recognizing a single person. In our present international relations—yes, in our national relations—this pointing out of a person of distinction breaks down the barriers."
CALLING ALL KENNEDYS
One of our editorial number recently became den father to a Long Island cub scout pack. Equipped with a scout whistle, a football and some beautiful falllike January weather, he set forth to keep the boys busy with touch football (our national game these days), relay racing and tree climbing.
Then he discovered that only half the boys could run around the block without stopping for breath. Two asked to be excused from any strenuous exercise because it gave them headaches. One wouldn't play touch football because, as he put it, "1 stink." Three boys had to have a boost before they could shinny up a tree.
At the next den committee meeting he reported these figures ominously, but his statistics created no stir. One old, experienced den mother explained gently, as one addresses a tyro in any enterprise, that his discovery was not important. After all, she pointed out, the boys were developing other skills—such as stringing and coloring macaroni to make bracelets and necklaces.
THEY SAID IT
•When told that Ernie Banks credited him with teaching Banks to hit, Ralph Kiner said: "It's very flattering to be remembered that way. Ernie was always an appreciative fellow. I've never heard a word from my other student, Roger Maris."
•Ex-golfer Walter Hagen: "People are always asking me if I don't think the modern professionals are too businesslike and don't have the fun we had in the old days. I tell them, if I'd been shooting for $25,000 and $50,000 purses as they do now, I'm not sure I wouldn't have been a bit less playful myself."
•Coach Darrell Royal, reflecting on his Texas team's only defeat at the hands of five-times-beaten TCU: "TCU is like a cockroach; it isn't what they eat or take away; it's what they fall in and ruin."
•Dodger General Manager Buzzie Bavasi, announcing his decision not to let Coach Leo Durocher live off-post at the Vero Beach training camp: "I hate to expose a gentleman like Leo to such crude surroundings, but this privilege is granted only to married men. I can't do anything for Leo unless he decides to get married between now and Feb. 24."
•Los Angeles Blades Defenseman George Konik, propounding the art of meanness: "I think maybe I should be meaner, not dirtier. There's a difference. Mean is somewhere between rough and dirty."