BASEBALL—The minor league meetings in Rochester triggered a major league swap shop as everybody else's players seemed to look good. Most notably: Boston's AL batting titleist Pete Runnels to Houston for Roman Mejias, as Boston sought right-handed power; Stan Williams of the Dodgers to the pitching-hungry Yankees for First Baseman Moose Skowron; and three-fourths of the Pirate infield—Dick Groat (to St. Louis). Don Hoak (to Philadelphia) and Dick Stuart (to Boston)—for Pitcher Don Schwall and assorted other young talent. More faded names also moved: Joe Adcock (Milwaukee to Cleveland), Gus Triandos (Baltimore to Detroit). Bubba Phillips (Cleveland to Detroit) and Norm Larker (Houston to Milwaukee).
BASKETBALL—UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI started its quest for a record third straight NCAA title (see page 44) with a 97-39 rout of DePauw, but highly rated Kentucky lost its opener for the first time in 36 years, 80-77 to VPI, despite 34 points by Cotton Nash (see cover). Other major opening games: Duke, led by Art Heyman (see page 36) who scored 36 points, won a hard-fought 76-68 contest with Davidson; Rod Thorn of West Virginia scored 29 as the Mountaineers beat The Citadel 86-61; Ohio State's Gary Bradds got 32 points to lead his team over Utah State 62-50; Creighton upset La Salle 91-72 and UCLA gave up only 41 points to both Denver and Santa Clara while hitting for 70 and 66 points respectively.
NBA: BOSTON CELTICS won three straight to retake the Eastern Division lead, downing Detroit 125-115, second-place Syracuse 129-110 and Cincinnati 128-127, in overtime. Syracuse, without veteran Dolph Schayes who is sidelined with a knee injury, could only get past Chicago 112-85, while dropping its other three games and falling well behind the Celtics. Cincinnati, consistently improving, was a close third, while New York returned to its usual ways by losing three straight and disappearing deeper into the cellar. The Western Division also saw the lead change hands as LOS ANGELES extended its unbeaten streak to eight games, trouncing Chicago 128-106 and defeating the now second-place St. Louis Hawks twice, 116-110 and 110-97. The weary Hawks were able to beat Syracuse 120-105 and third-place San Francisco twice, 128-121 and 122-116. Chicago and Detroit were both far behind.
AAU all-stars beat the Russian national team 86-71 in Denver as the Soviets ended their U.S. tour with a 4-4 record. The Russian women again grounded the Flying Queens of Wayland Baptist College (Texas) 54-32, giving them an eight-game tour sweep.
December 10, 1962
FOOTBALL—NFL: NEW YORK clinched its fifth Eastern Division title in the last seven years and second straight by defeating Chicago 26-24 on two touchdown passes by Y.A. Tittle and four field goals by Don Chandler. During the hard-fought battle—several brawls, with Chicago's O'Bradovich being ejected—Bill Wade completed 21 passes to boost his season total to 177 and break the team record of 176 set by Sid Luckman in 1947. Pittsburgh's Lou Michaels also set a team scoring record by kicking four field goals and an extra point to bring his season total to 87, 10 more than Bobby Layne's 1959 mark, as the Steelers beat last-place St. Louis 19-17. The win was the Steelers' fourth in their last live games and edged them into second place. Philadelphia beat the fading Redskins 37-14, dropping them to fourth with a 5-5-2 record. Don Meredith's passing and Amos Marsh's crashing runs brought Dallas a 45-21 victory over Cleveland. It was the most points the Cowboys had scored in three years of NFL play.
In the West, division leader Green Bay bounced back from its Detroit disaster with a 41-10 victory over last-place Los Angeles as Paul Hornung returned to starting duty. He had been used sparingly in the last six games due to a knee injury. The Lions stayed just one game behind the Packers—Earl Morrall led them to a come-from-behind 21-14 triumph over Baltimore. Johnny Unitas showed some of his oldtime form by throwing two touchdown passes and just missed bringing the Colts to a tie when his end-zone pass was knocked down in the last 10 seconds. San Francisco took advantage of two Minnesota fumbles and John Brodie's lour long TD passes for a 35-12 victory. The 49ers are now fourth, while the Vikings (2-9-1) are giving the hapless Rams (1-10-1) a run for the basement.
AFL: HOUSTON'S George Blanda ignored a driving rain and the mire it produced to complete three touchdown passes and kick two field goals for a 34-17 win over Denver. The teams set an AFL record with 13 pass interceptions, five for Denver and eight for Houston, as the soggy Oilers held on to their half-game lead over Boston. The Patriots barely managed to keep their title hopes alive in the last 80 seconds when former Michigan State Quarterback Tom Yewcic threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Colclough to beat last-place New York 24-17. Third-place Buffalo upset Western Division winner Dallas 23-14. The Bills' Cookie Gilchrist picked up 63 yards rushing to bring his total to 953, live more than the league mark set by Billy Cannon last year, and helped his team establish a new AFL record of 2,196 yards. San Diego held off a fourth-period Oakland rally to win 31-21 and extend the pathetic Raider loss record to 18 straight over two seasons. A former Toronto Argonaut halfback, Gerry McDougall, who came south from Canada two weeks ago, accounted for 108 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns as San Diego snapped its six-game losing streak.
Winnipeg's Blue Bombers held on to their 28-27 lead over the favored Hamilton Tiger-Cats (earned 24 hours earlier when fog postponed the game with nine minutes and 29 seconds remaining) to win their second straight Grey Cup, the Canadian pro championship, in Toronto.
GAMES—BRITISH EMPIRE GAMES came to an end in Perth with Australia replacing England as the top sports nation of the Commonwealth (see page 24). Led by swimming stars Dawn Eraser and Murray Rose, who both won four events, the Aussies collected 38 gold medals, to England's 29 and New Zealand's 10. Nine world records were set, all in swimming. In track. Kenya's Seraphino Antao took two dashes and New Zealand's Olympic Champion Peter Snell breezed to easy victories in the 880 and mile runs. They were the only double track winners as Canada's Bruce Kidd faded to third in the three-mile and dropped out of the marathon after winning the six-mile.
GOLF—DAVE RAGAN of Orlando, Fla. survived a shot into a palm tree on the 18th hole and then beat third-round leader Doug Sanders on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff to take the 520,000 West Palm Beach Open.
HOCKEY—NHL: CHICAGO blanked Boston 5-0, lost to Montreal 2-1 on a fluke goal by Ralph Backstrom, then hammered Goalie Gump Worsley—who went to the hospital with a shoulder injury—and his New York team 5-1 to move into first place, surging past Detroit, Toronto and Montreal who are all tied for second. The fifth-place Rangers shut out Detroit 5-0 and then Toronto beat the Red Wings 3-1 to knock Detroit out of the lead. Last, as always, poor Boston, which lost three.
HORSE RACING—KELSO ($2.80) collected $35,100 for Owner Mrs. Richard C. duPont in winning the $54.000 Governor's Plate at Garden State Park and thus joined Round Table. Nashua. Citation and Carry Back as the only Thoroughbreds to earn SI million racing, Ismael Valenzuela rode the three-time Horse of the Year to an easy five-length victory and a track record of 2:30[1/5] for a mile and a half.
ROLLER SKATING—KARL HEINZ LOSCH, 20-year-old German architecture student who was hindered by an injured leg, still managed to defeat 12 skaters from eight countries to win his fifth world title in Miami Beach.
Franzi Schmidt, 19-year-old Swiss secretary, showed she was better on wheels than blades (she finished 22nd in figure skating at the 1960 Winter Olympics) as she captured the women's crown.
MILEPOSTS—NAMED: TERRY BAKER, 21, Oregon State's star quarterback and honor student, as winner of the Heisman Memorial Trophy for the season's outstanding college football player.
ELECTED: ROBERT P. STRUB, youthful and energetic head of Santa Anita, as president of the Thoroughbred Racing Associations, in Phoenix.
FOLDED: AMERICAN ASSOCIATION, after 60 years of operation, one of the strongest and oldest of baseball's minor leagues; with the International and Pacific Coast leagues absorbing its five remaining clubs.
FIRED: JACK CURTICE, 55, bright (B.A., M.A. and a Ph.D. candidate) but beatable head football coach at Stanford University, after five years and a 14-36 record.
RESIGNED: CLARK D. SHAUGHNESSY, 70, pioneer of the T formation and coach for nearly 50 sears, from the Chicago Bear staff.
DIED: RALPH (Red) KRESS, 55, former major league baseball player and most recently a New York Mets coach, of a heart attack, in Canoga Park, Calif.
DIED: ALBERT PFLUEGER, 59, sportsman and fish taxidermist, who turned the mounting of fish into a production line business, in Miami.