ROAD TO RIGHTEOUSRUIN
Reform is muchlike a turnpike. Once you start on it, right way or wrong, there is no turningback. The reform that boxing needs depends governmentally on the Kefauvercommittee, since the sport wallows in its own rookery and will not cleanseitself. But the Kefauver committee dillydallies. Meanwhile, a bill has beenintroduced in the Louisiana legislature to prohibit professional boxing in thatstate. Its author is Francis Bickford, 45, of Hammond. Bickford took a samplingof his constituents and found them amenable; it will pass, he says, and becomeLouisiana law August 1.
Thus the torchwill be lit. And though Louisiana is now small potatoes as a boxing state, theabolitionist movement will be on the turnpike, taking boxing the wrong way.States waiting for someone to lead them will have their lead. Too bad. Aseveryone must know by now, we are for boxing, though we do advocate federalcontrols (better resuscitate than eliminate). Kefauver's committee has madesome noble speculations, and followed them up with no action. And if actionisn't taken mighty quick, there may be no boxing left to act upon.
May 27, 1962
The arrest ofJack Molinas last week by New York City police on bribery charges culminatesthe most bizarre and possibly the most significant pursuit in the collegebasketball scandals. Molinas, a bright, cocky young lawyer of 30, is a formerstar at Columbia who played one season with the Fort Wayne Pistons, then wasbarred by the NBA for betting on his own team's games. He knew for more thantwo years that the police were trying to make a case against him, and thepolice knew that he knew it. Nevertheless, Molinas, only two days before hisarrest, laughingly refused an offer of legal aid and advice from a friend.This, as he insists, would seem to indicate that Molinas is reallyinnocent—rather than just arrogant.
If theauthorities prove correct in their conviction that Molinas conspired to bribe22 players at 12 colleges to fix 25 games, the way may be opened forexploration of even worse-smelling backwaters of sport. In that case it wouldseem inconceivable that Molinas does not have knowledge of the activities offixers and other underworld figures around the country. And if Molinas talksabout it, the continuing investigation may spread to college and professionalfootball and professional basketball. One of the charges against Molinas isthat he advised one of his clients to lie to a grand jury. The gravity of thischarge—subornation of perjury is a felony—may induce Molinas to cooperate withthe authorities in the hope of gaining leniency.
"Did you eversee a rabbit shot when it was running as fast as it could go?" asked RalphHouk, the manager of the New York Yankees, shortly after his superstar, MickeyMantle, had been injured. "The rabbit is dead but his legs keep spinningand he falls with a horrible thud. That's the way Mickey fell." Mantle, ofcourse, had fallen while running to first base as fast as his often-injuredlegs could carry him, trying to beat out a ground ball against Minnesota lastweek. "He was," said Roger Maris, "really hummin' down the line andwhen he gets hummin' there isn't anyone who can run faster or givemore."
The cause ofMantle's hideous fall (see page 26) was diagnosed to be a torn adductor musclein the upper right thigh, compounded by a strained ligament behind the leftknee. It will keep him out of center field for about a month. In that month theYankees must play 18 games with Detroit, Cleveland and Baltimore—theirprincipal rivals.
The loss ofMantle for any length of time hurts the Yankees in the field, at bat and inspirit, for Mantle is just as inspiring to his team as he is to his fans. BobScheffing, the Detroit manager, said, "I guess I'm ready to go back home ifthey can replace that son of a gun." Added Cleveland Manager Mel Mcgaha:"The Yankees may be just another ball club without him." Yankee CatcherElston Howard was philosophical. "We won the  World Series withouthim," Howard said, then paused. "Come to think of it, though, he had alot to do with getting us into that Series."
For the Yankees,the question beyond the immediate question is this: will Mantle be back andable to give his everything in a month, and what about the three months afterthat?
LET BAD ENOUGHALONE
In Little Rock,Ark., a town little noted for its awareness of the direction of world events,the march of progress has taken another broad step to the rear. The drillmasterin this case is one J. W. White Jr., who manufactures something called theAuto-Fisher, or the fisherman's yo-yo. The Auto-Fisher (Socko! a rival outfitcalls it) is an enclosed reel with a windup spring inside. You strip out theline, heave the bait into the water, hang the yo-yo from a tree limb, and gohome. A fish comes along and nibbles the bait, thus tripping the spring, andzip! (or socko!) he's up and out of the water, caught and waiting for you tocome fetch.
Mr. White, thereis enough wrong with modern fishing (electric baits, sonar fish finders,dull-witted hatchery fish) without adding another minus to the load. And thereare enough baited, spring-wound lines set by other, more lethal predators(international diplomats and lonely women, to name just two species) withoutallowing the yo-yo concept to influence a bunch of simple anglers.
It was not justthe honeybee swarm of people that troubled golf officials at the Masters inAugusta last month, it was the nature of the swarm. What historically had beena gallery of exquisitely mannered and knowing spectators seemed suddenly toturn into a bargain-basement mob. The reason was clear: big tournaments areattracting a tidal wave of nongolfers, just as the Kentucky Derby draws fanswho don't know furlong from fetlock.
As a result,officials of the U.S. Open and PGA Championship have made some preventivemoves. Oakmont Country Club, site of the Open, was asked to fill in several ofits huge traps to facilitate crowd movement. Control will still be difficultbecause the course terrain limits spectator vantage points.
The ProfessionalGolf Association has taken a bolder step for its tournament at Aronimink GolfClub, near Philadelphia: 7,500 bleacher seats will be built at strategic spots."We had to do something drastic," said Ed Carter, an adviser to theclub. But it may not be drastic enough. The best way to watch a golf tournamentis to follow a leader through a series of holes. Seeing everybody play only onehole offers no more continuity or excitement than watching one inning of abaseball game.
The time has comefor organizers of heavyweight golf events to seriously consider selling only asmany tickets as their courses can comfortably accommodate. Such big-leaguesports as football, baseball and basketball do it that way. Professionalgolfers are as big league as any athletes. It's time the game's managers grewup, too.
DON'T ROCK THEROCK
Unless dearreader is a pelican himself, odds are pretty slim he can tell a boy pelicanfrom a girl pelican. When the matter came UD before the House of Commons inLondon last week, the Crown admitted that after 10 years it was still unable tomake the distinction among pelicans in St. James's Park. All that could be saidwas said by Minister of Works Lord John Hope, who announced that a recent"post-mortem examination has revealed that Wilfred, one of two NorthAmerican pelicans....was appropriately named." The survivor, he added withmeasured implication, was now sharing the same rock as an Eastern White.
"Can my nobleFriend say...from his observations of their activities on the rock...whetherthere is likely to be a happy event before long or whether they should bedescribed only as just friends?" wondered Sir Tufton V. H. Beamish.
"As the rockwarms up during the summer," Lord John replied, "we may, perhaps, findout."
Last week a fullgale blew through the musty attic of tradition where the America's Cup resides.The wind was Australian, and its name was Sir Frank Packer. Sir Frank toucheddown to discuss his sloop Gretels forthcoming cup challenge, and to tighten afew screws in his international publishing-television empire. The moment he hitNew York, it was obvious that here was no good loser in the fuzzy, tea-leaftradition of Sir Thomas Lipton.
In one 24-hourperiod he 1) took on the entire New York Yacht Club at a formal dinner andshowed the commodores some good early foot: "Everyone has been so kind andthoughtful, all with but one intent—to beat the hell out of me"; 2) wipedout a fleet of American yachting writers with his suggestion that theforthcoming side-by-side shipment of Gretel and her trial horse Vim may produce"a little one by the time they get here"; 3) squared off against acollection of businessmen, one of whom wanted to know what prompted Sir Frankto make the challenge.
"Alcohol," said Sir Frank.
Had theAustralian government helped to underwrite the project?
"They'vegiven us a lot of smiles, but they haven't kicked in yet."
What would he saythe odds were on Gretel's chances?
"Six to oneagainst."
Was not the wholeBritish Commonwealth of Nations proud of his challenge?
"All we'vegot so far's a sharp note from the palace."
With that, thegale blew off toward the Pacific again, leaving the attic much refreshed.
•Houston willhave trouble keeping construction costs of its new domed stadium (SJ, March 26)within the $15 million bond provision, since the Federal government quashed a$2 million grant. Expected economies: elimination of theater-type cushions,reduction of wall thickness, one coat of paint instead of two and cheaperconcession-restaurant equipment. But there will be a dome.
•South Africa'sfrenzied apartheid government has now ruled that no mixed sports teams cancompete even outside the country. So watch for the 96-member InternationaSoccer Association and ultimately the International Olympic Committee to bootSouth Africa out.
•The ChicagoBlack Hawks will try to dispose of one of their ' "Million DollarLine," Right Wing Murray Balfour, at the intraleague draft June 4-6 inMontreal. Reason: Balfour broke an arm in 1961 and still has trouble with thestick.
•The NCAA, in itsrunning jurisdictional dispute with the AAU, scored heavily last week when theBig Ten and Big Eight, following the lead of the Eastern, Atlantic andSouthwest conferences, officially endorsed the embryonic track, gymnastic andbasketball federations. Expected to do likewise: the West Coast's Big Five whenit meets in June.
THEY SAID IT
•Stan Musial, after his 3,430th base hit, tying HonusWagner's alltime National League record: "Looking back over the last twodecades, 1 feel that right now I'm playing in the best era of baseball. I sawthe change from a pitcher's to a hitter's game, I saw the introduction of thelivelier ball, and I saw the breakdown of the color line. All these changeswere for the better."
•Archie Moore, in a report to the Irish Free Press ofLondon, on Alejandro Lavorante: "All Lavorante needs to be the next greatheavyweight champion is a year's conditioning period. I could take him in handand get his legs and his wind in shape, and I think he'd give Patterson andListon fits."
•Bruce Crampton, the Australian who blew the Colonialon the 18th hole two days in succession, when Arnold Palmer came into a pressconference and sat on a couch beside him: "This is probably the closestI'll get to him all week."
•Pete Reiser, Dodger coach, on the slump-mendingmeasures of Frank Howard: "Howard had a tough time learning the strikezone. We worked on it and worked on it. So now he lays off pitches a shadeoutside or a shade high, the ones he used to drive out of the park."
•Syracuse Coach Ben Schwartzwalder, after watchingArmy's spring football scrimmage: "I counted 16 assistant coaches. I recalldays at Muhlenberg when I didn't have 16 players."