TV OR NOT TV?
Officials of theClass B Carolina League decided this spring that Sunday telecasts of majorleague games were hurting them at the gate. The TV deal between the majorleagues and the networks stipulates that big league games cannot be telecastinto minor league territory while a minor league game is taking place, unlesspermission is obtained from the local minor league club. Carolina League teamshave granted such permission for the past three seasons. This year they saidno—unless they got a fee. The TV people, not about to pay for something theyhad been getting for nothing and who were telecasting big league games onSaturday anyway (Carolina League teams play their Saturday games at night, sothere is no conflict), decided to drop the Sunday games. Fine and good. Victoryfor the Carolina League. Except that local newspapers, television stations,social clubs and angry individual letter writers have been abusing the league'sofficials ever since. We want all the major league baseball on TV that we canget, they said—who cares about the Carolina League?
We can't blamethe people of North Carolina for wanting to watch big league baseball, and wecan't do much more than frown at the way television and baseball combined toexploit that human desire. But neither can we forget that another minor leagueis slowly strangling to death.
April 29, 1962
A British artmagazine, The Studio, asked Heavyweight Champion Floyd Patterson, PrimeMinister Harold Macmillan, Hugh Gaitskell, leader of the Labor party, Dr.Hewlett Johnson, the "Red Dean," Comic Tony Hancock, and W. SomersetMaugham, author and art connoisseur, to suggest an artist or a painting for themagazine to use on its cover.
Dr. Johnsonmentioned Michelangelo, El Greco and Van Gogh, but could not choose betweenthem and misspelled their names. Somerset Maugham wrote: "I am too old andtired to do what you want me to do." Harold Macmillan declined because of"pressure of public business." Hugh Gaitskell said he could not"'claim to be sufficiently clear in my mind on this subject." TonyHancock voted for The Leg, a picture painted for his film, The Rebel.
The magazinereported that Floyd Patterson had sent in "the most informed reply."Patterson wrote: "While T am not an expert on painting, my favorite pictureis the Mono Lisa. The rich color and depth of expression always leave me with adeep sense of satisfaction. To me it seems to breathe life."
Patterson won.Mono Lisa made the cover.
LEWIS & CLARK& DING
A new type of national park, a "recreational ribbon" that would run the2,000-mile length of the trail followed by the Lewis and Clark expedition in1803-06, has been proposed by friends of the late cartoonist Jay N. (Ding)Darling, who had conceived the idea in the last years of his life. Followingthe Missouri, Snake and Columbia rivers, the areas involved would reach outfrom the highway from 100 yards to half a mile, except in towns and cities.They would be used not only to commemorate the famous expedition but topreserve the natural wildlife and recreational advantages of the rivers Lewisand Clark traveled along. Secretary of the Interior Udall has said he is"genuinely excited" by the idea.
Some time ago(SI, December 11) a hungry but myopic English farmer took aim at what lookedlike a rabbit and shot what was in fact a fox—and right in front of theAlbrighton Hunt. Naturally the Hunt roughed up the farmer and threw his shotgunin the brook; the fellow later apologized, of course.
A fortnight agoanother English farmer, this one sharp-eyed rather than myopic, took aim atwhat looked like a fox and shot what bloody well was a fox—right in front ofthe Beaufort Hunt. Naturally the Hunt, led by the hunt master and the Duke ofBeaufort, advanced angrily on the farmer.
It was a mistake.The farmer, Robertson by name, a cheeky devil who had previously warned theHunt to keep its yoicks and tallyhos off his property, advanced right back. TheHunt halted, rather abruptly. The hunt master spoke: "Now, let's keep ourheads. I only want to preserve the peace." Farmer Robertson continued toadvance, gun at the ready, and the hunt master broke ground and galloped off,shouting, "You'll swing for this."
The Duke ofBeaufort, true to his lineage (motto: I scorn to change or fear), held fast. Itwas a hollow victory. The farmer took the horse's bridle and quietly led hisunchanging, unfearing and unprotesting lordship off the property. Said thefarmer later: "The Duke appeared to be far too concerned with keeping hisseat to talk."
FarmerRobertson—the field, the fox, the victory.
Overall score todate in Hunt vs. Farm—one game apiece. We will report directly should a rubbermatch occur.
In 1958 Trainer Tom Barry brought the Irish-bred Cavan to New York and won theBelmont Stakes. Two years later he won the Belmont again with the long shotCeltic Ash. Two years later—that's 1962, and that's this year—he's tryingagain, with the English-bred Vimy Ridge. Vimy Ridge has thus far followedexactly Barry's formula for training up to a classic race: a light campaign at2, a long winter rest and a constant eye on the target. Target: the Belmont(Barry has entered the colt in the Preakness, too, though not the KentuckyDerby). Last week, in his first 1962 start, Vimy Ridge ran a mile at Laurel andwon by 4½ lengths. Remember the colt's name: Vimy Ridge.
•The U.S. GolfAssociation is looking at Houston's Champions Course, owned by Jimmy Demaretand Jackie Burke, as the possible site of the 1965 U.S. Open.
•The PGA, whoseannual championship lost a good deal of its glamor when it was changed frommatch to medal play in 1958, is toying with two ideas to recapture interest: 1)use match play for a "second" championship each year—the National PGAmatch-play championship, so to speak; or 2) use the PGA's new course inFlorida, Palm Beach Gardens (scheduled for completion in December), for thechampionship, in its present form, to be held there every December as a regularwinter spectacular.
•Sonny Jurgensen,the Philadelphia Eagles' record-breaking passer who suffered a cripplingshoulder separation in the National Football League's Runner-up Bowl game atMiami in January, is still in bad shape. In mid-April he helped out at FloridaState's spring practice in Tallahassee, but he threw underhanded and withdifficulty. He suffers acute pain if he lifts his arm parallel to his shoulder,and he cannot yet flip the ball.
•Bob Cousy of theBoston Celtics is on the verge of retiring and so, too, apparently, is BillRussell. The 6-foot 9-inch center says he'll play only two more seasons beforequitting the pressures of big-time basketball. Russell, who made a tour ofAfrica for the State Department, has invested money in Liberia (a rubberplantation, among other things) and with his family will probably move there tolive.
Ford C. Frick, the Commissioner of Baseball, has jumped Manager Casey Stengelof the New York Mets because Stengel posed for a Rheingold beer ad in baseballuniform. One of the finer bits of baseball hypocrisy is the rule that saysplayers, coaches and managers cannot pose in uniform for beer and tobacco ads.They can appear in the ads, but they can't be in uniform. However, beer andtobacco companies are acceptable as sponsors for radio and televisionbroadcasts of baseball games. Their money is good, even if it is tainted.
LOT OF NOTHING
The weather was good on Easter Sunday—it was absolutely magnificent in someplaces—but baseball attendance wasn't. In New York the Yankees and Indiansplayed a doubleheader before 31,971, which means Yankee Stadium was more thanhalf empty on the most beautiful day of the spring. Elsewhere not one majorleague crowd reached 15,000. In Houston the bright new Colts drew 13,130. InPittsburgh the streaking Pirates drew 13,780. Only 8,539 turned out in LosAngeles, 8,011 in Boston (in 80° weather), 6,583 in Cincinnati (to see the Redsplay the Giants). Worst crowd of all was in Milwaukee, where 37,000 empty seatsand 6,571 fans watched the Braves play the Dodgers. Maybe everybody was outrolling eggs.
YOU'RE ALL RIGHT,JACK
Carry Back, thebadly bred horse who won the 1961 Kentucky Derby but whose dismal showing thisyear had the blue-bloods nodding "I told you so," won his first race of1962 last Friday at New York's Aqueduct track. He won by five triumphantlengths, giving weight and breeding to just about every horse in the field ofeight. There were offspring of Swaps and Nasrullah and My Babu in the race, butthe gritty little son of Saggy rolled right over them.
The victory put afinal touch of pleasure on a most satisfactory week for Carry Back's owner,Jack Price. It is hardly a secret that Price is not a prime favorite with theIn people of American racing, since Jack is not of the purple and once workedas a bookmaker. Jack didn't make himself any more endearing last week. Racingsecretaries throughout the country cast ballots in their first monthly poll todetermine the best horses currently active in the various racing divisions.Christopher T. Chenery had two horses named, George D. Widener one, Russell A.Firestone one, Mrs. Magruder Dent one. Old Jack Price, he had three.
"May the sunshine bright...."
END OF ARUNNER
Herb Elliott hasretired. The projected mile race between him and New Zealand's Peter Snell, whobroke Elliott's mile record a few months ago, was expected to be as great anevent as the Bannister-Landy mile at Vancouver. Now it will never takeplace.
"Occasionally, I get a spark of enthusiasm when I think about Snell,"said Elliott last week in Cambridge, England. "I recall the feeling ofinvincibility I had when I was at the peak of my form in 1958 and thetemptation is there. I think if I train maybe I could beat him. At the moment Icould run a mile in 4:18. In two weeks I could be down to 4:08, in two monthsto 3:58, in three months, if I was lucky, to 3:54. That's tremendouslyconcentrated training and whenever I have tried it I have been foiled by aninjury or a cold. It's just not feasible, and the worst would be still to come.To stand a chance I'd have to get down to 3:50. There isn't time. I might haveretired anyway because I feel, why go through all the agony only to do whatI've done before? But my main reason for giving up is lack of time. Trainingthree hours a day would mean studying to midnight each evening. This olduniversity means more to me than just studying and training. It hasn't mellowedme, but it's helped me to realize there are other fields to conquer."
At Cambridge,Elliott belongs to various university societies, has learned to fly, competesfor fun with the university track-and-field team and enjoys life. Down the roadfrom his house is a pub, the Six Bells. Last week its landlord said,"Elliott used to come in here, have only one drink and be miserable. Now hecomes in and feels free to have one more and is happy."
THEY SAID IT
•Dick Stuart, Pittsburgh first baseman: "Peoplekeep telling me my fielding has improved. They didn't say anything like thatbefore I hit 35 home runs."
•Racing Driver Stirling Moss, who crashed this week ina race in England, commenting on an earlier crackup: "My main thought was,'I wonder what death is going to be like.' I don't know whether I had actualfear—yes, I think I did. I think I was absolutely petrified, and I seem toremember just bracing myself for the impact and closing my eyes and sort ofwondering, with this fear alongside me, exactly what was going to happen when Iopened my eyes, if one does. And then—of course, I wasn't killed."
•Ralph Houk, New York Yankee manager: "Our playersare in better shape when we leave Florida than they are two weeks after theseason opens. The consistently bad weather we run into and the frequent opendates make it tough for the players to maintain top condition."