BASKETBALL—The BOSTON CELTICS won their crucial fourth game from Los Angeles 108-105, moved ahead 3-1 and back to Boston, with Coach Red Auerbach full of confidence. "We've never lost three games in a row," he said. But in the vigorously contested fifth game in their own home town, Tommy Heinsohn was ejected and Bob Cousy fouled out (after he had scored 12 points for a lifetime playoff total of 2,000) and the Celtics failed to stop the 1-2 scoring punch of Elgin Baylor (a series high of 43 points) and Jerry West (32 points). With the Lakers still alive after a 126-119 triumph, the playoffs headed back to Los Angeles.
BOXING—A groggy INGEMAR JOHANSSON had to stagger to his feet to be declared winner on points over former British Heavyweight Champion Brian London. The Briton scored the only knockdown as he belted the former world champion to the canvas with a vicious left hook in the last minute of their 12-round nontitle bout in Stockholm.
GOLF—National Left-handers Champion BOB CHARLES of New Zealand shot a final round 69 for a 12-under-par 268 to win the $50,000 Houston Classic at Memorial Park. Fred Hawkins was second, one stroke back. Amateur Homero Blancas, after firing the best closing round in the tournament—a sizzling 64—ended up third. All three broke the Classic's 72-hole mark of 272 set by John Palmer in 1949. Mighty Jack Nicklaus, who had been second until the end when he bogeyed five holes and finished fourth, tied Mike Souchak's course mark of 273. Two 24-year-old blondes from Florida met in the finals of the North and South Women's Amateur at Pinehurst, N.C., and the victory went to NANCY ROTH, who was playing in the tournament for the first time. Trying hard for a berth on the Curtis Cup team, Nancy downed last year's cup team member, Tish Preuss, 2 and 1, making the win all the nicer.
HARNESS RACING—FIRESTAR ($6.70), an American-bred horse from Italy, took the lead from the start and stayed there to defeat seven foreign rivals and capture the $45,000 Transoceanic Trot at Yonkers. Last year's winner, Ozo of France, was disqualified after finishing fourth, giving that place and the right to enter the U.N. Trot to France's Minarelle H. The two Russian entries, Villa and Zadacha, had their own little race from wire to wire for last place, with Zadacha capturing the dubious honor.
April 28, 1963
HOCKEY—"If my players don't clinch this thing in the next game, they're a bunch of doughheads," said Toronto's Punch Imlach in Detroit after his MAPLE LEAFS had taken the third game of the finals in one of the least suspenseful Stanley Cup series in years (see page 51). Back in Toronto, the league champion nondoughheads forthwith clinched their second straight cup in a 3-1 victory over the Red Wings, sparked by two goals from star Center Dave Keon.
HORSE RACING—NO ROBBERY ($3.60) indicated in the $90,800 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct (see page 49) that he might be the most misnamed Derby winner since 1931, when Twenty Grand won more than 48 grand by beating Sweep All. Under Jockey John Rotz, Greentree's unbeaten and un-extended favorite stole the show in a two-and-a-half-length triumph over Patrice Jacobs' Bonjour, while George Widener's Top Gallant, finishing third, put his more highly-thought-of stablemate Crewman, who finished ninth, to shame.
Never bend, leading contender with Candy Spots for the Kentucky Derby, took the $10,000 Forerunner Purse at Keeneland by a length over Louis B. Rogers' Blaze Starr. With Manuel Ycaza up, the 3-year-old covered the seven furlongs in 1:22 4/5, then went on out a mile in 1:36.
Another Kentucky Derby candidate, ON MY HONOR ($21), came from 26 lengths back to win the $42,900 California Derby in the slop at Bay Meadows, giving Owners Jack and Mike Stein of Beverly Hills and beauty-parlor-operator-turned-trainer Mike Bao their first stakes winner. Jockey Paul Frey, commenting on the 850-pound bay's mile-and-an-eighth victory in 1:54, said, "He can run all day; the Kentucky mile and a quarter is up his alley." The same did not hold for favorite Beekeeper, who ran poorly for eighth and will not make the trip to Louisville.
With Willie Shoemaker aboard, CICADA ($3.70), the equine world's richest female, redeemed herself from her two defeats this year with a four-length triumph over rival Pocosaba in the $22,350 Distaff Handicap at Aqueduct and boosted her total earnings to $720,435.50.
LACROSSE—Pete Taylor scored three goals as NAVY won its fourth straight, trouncing Virginia 10-3, in Charlottesville, Va.
Army stayed undefeated, too, but barely, as it had to come from behind to beat Princeton 10-7 for its third win.
MOTOR SPORTS—Only seven of the 84 starters managed to complete all four days and 3,132 miles of the muddiest EAST AFRICAN SAFARI ever. A French Peugeot 404 won, with a British Ford Super Anglia second and a German Mercedes 220SE third. Of the remaining cars, two other Peugeots, a Fiat and a Rover 3-liter went the distance, 48 were disqualified for being late at checkpoints, 12 broke down, eight crashed or overturned, seven were retired and two when last heard of were still stuck in the mud.
ROWING—The Olympic and World Champion RATZEBURGER ROWING CLUB of Germany opened a spring tour of the U.S. with an effortless three-length victory on the Potomac over defending small-college champion Georgetown University. St. Joseph's finished two and a half lengths farther back. In other varsity races Princeton defeated Navy, Yale rallied to take Rutgers and Columbia beat MIT.
SWIMMING—MARY MARGARET REVELL became the first woman to face up to fabled Scylla and Charybdis by swimming the swirling waters of the Strait of Messina, and the first person ever to make the swim both ways. The pretty Detroit 25-year-old swam 13 miles from Sicily to Calabria and back in five hours and 28 minutes, completing the last 1,500 feet with one arm made useless by cramps.
TENNIS—In the DAVIS CUP European Zone preliminary rounds the United Arab Republic swept Lebanon off the courts, neighboring Israel dropped only a singles match in defeating Turkey, Portugal rallied to take the crucial singles from Luxembourg, and in another close one Greece beat Ireland. In the Eastern Zone, Japan, which makes a habit of winning on its own courts, downed the Philippines for the right to play India, which had coasted to victory over Malaya.
TRACK & FIELD—With Jim Miller starring in five events, the 38th KANSAS RELAYS highlighted a busy college weekend. At the meet in Lawrence, Texas Southern won four relays, Tom O'Hara ran a 4:06.6 anchor mile to lead Loyola of Chicago to a distance medley record, Fred Hansen of Rice broke his own meet pole-vault mark with a 16-foot ¾-inch leap, and in the biggest upset Dave Edstrom dethroned six-time decathlon winner Phil Mulkey. On the West Coast, UCLA's C. K. Yang put on the most impressive performance in a losing cause against Occidental. The decathlon champion captured four first places, ran a lap on the winning 440-yard relay and just missed a world record in the pole vault. Meanwhile, in New York, Manhattan College captured its fourth team title at the Queens-Iona Relays, with Charlie Mays of Maryland State winning individual honors.
Fresh from Europe, AURELE VANDENDRIESSCHE, a 30-year-old Belgian bookkeeper, clocked a record 2:18:58 in winning the 26-mile 385-yard Boston Marathon (see page 12). With about two and a half miles to go, Vandendriessche flashed a smile at race leader Abebe Bikila, the barefoot Ethiopian Olympic wonder, waved at the crowd, blew his nose and sprinted home one minute and seven seconds faster than the mark set by John Kelley of Groton, Conn. in 1957. Kelley finished second in 2:21:09. Hal Higdon, author of On the Run from Dogs and People (SI, April 15), was 13th.
MILEPOSTS—RETIRED: Because of a wrenched front ankle, JAIPUR, Belmont Stakes winner and champion 3-year-old of 1962, who earned a career total of $618,926 for Owner George D. Widener.
DIED: MICKEY FISHER, 58, acting athletic director at Brandeis University, coach of the Israeli Olympic basketball team and longtime (23 years) coach at Boys' High in Brooklyn; of a heart attack, in Brooklyn.