The man chosen by Pete Rozelle, National Football League commissioner, to guard the league against recurrence of the recent betting scandals is considered by many law-enforcement officials to be the most informed cop on underworld operations in the nation. Captain Jim Hamilton of the Los Angeles Intelligence Division has won the commendations of the McClellan committee, the Kefauver committee, the U.S. Treasury Department, the U.S. Attorney General and scores of others. The Intelligence Division he created in Los Angeles became the model for similar units in police departments throughout the country, units that now cooperate with each other in the exchange of information about hoodlum activities.
In addition to his qualifications as a policeman, Hamilton has an avid interest in sport and a hatred for those who would corrupt it. He is, in fact, largely responsible for the federal convictions of Frankie Carbo and Blinky Palermo, mobsters who ruled boxing with impunity for more than a score of years. When Hamilton's men had gathered enough evidence on the pair they quietly turned it over to federal authorities.
Hamilton's mere presence in the league lineup is certain to give pause to fixers who might contemplate approaching football players. As Hamilton's boss, Police Chief William H. Parker, puts it, "If the NFL is interested in its public image, and I assume it is, how can you do any better?"
FROM THE HORSE'S MOUTH
A tall, bespectacled and gray-haired retired farmer is Norman Blake of Yarcombe, Devon, England, who carries cards that introduce him as an "equine educationist." He also, for a bit of fun, likes to refer to himself as a "horse psychiatrist." Blake treats about six chronic patients a year—restoring biters, kickers and throwers to gentle usefulness. One of his techniques, which never include the infliction of physical pain, is to embarrass a difficult horse by turning him loose with some children's ponies. The horse soon comes around.
In the course of a long intimacy with horses and some considerable observation of women, Blake has acquired firm hypotheses about both breeds. He is convinced, for instance, that horses, like women, "talk a lot among themselves." The horses also, he says, understand what humans say and that is one reason women trainers do so poorly.
"A woman always makes the mistake, when she has a troublesome horse," he explained recently, "of chatting about his bad habits in front of him. He knows what she's talking about and that she's afraid of him."
What do the horses say among themselves about Blake?
"They say, 'The old man is a bit tough, but he never hurts his horses,' " according to Blake, who seems to have been eavesdropping.
HOMAGE TO MANTLE
The medical history of Mickey Mantle would provide a year of scripts for Ben Casey—if Mantle would only talk. Instead, with a stoic acceptance of pain that would make a Comanche blush, he goes about his business of playing baseball, day after day, often playing not so much with muscles as with spirit and pride. He has been doing this for years and it will embarrass him to read this now, for he does not consider what he does as unusual.
Whether a completely sound Mantle might have been the greatest baseball player who ever lived is academic. He has never been a healthy ballplayer and he never will be; at 31, with 12 seasons behind him, he probably is well ahead of the game. There are days, however, when Mantle plays as only Mantle can, and then he becomes the most exciting, explosive figure in the sport. When this happens, even Yankee-haters have to applaud. They had to applaud twice last week.
On Tuesday night against the Athletics, Mantle hit two home runs and drove in five runs as the Yankees won 7-4. The next night he hit another home run. It struck the facade up near the roof of the stands in right field, only a few feet too low to become the first fair ball ever hit out of Yankee Stadium. A scientist estimated that it would have traveled some 620 feet if Yankee Stadium had not gotten in the way and Mantle himself said that it was the hardest ball he ever hit. There was a lot of noise about the big home run, so much that almost forgotten was the fact that it came in the 11th inning and that it won the ball game. And this, after all, is what Mickey Mantle does best for the Yankees.
Amid soaring mountains of red plush and 5,000 professional wrestling fans, some of whom had paid as much as 10 nicker (pounds, that is, or $28) for the privilege of being in Royal Albert Hall that night, there was The Dook himself, Prince Philip, the royal consort. To know why he was there you have to realize that professional wrestling in Britain is the biggest thing since the black bottom. Only in Japan is it a larger business. None of the top-liners earn less than ¬£3,000 (3,000 nicker, that is) a year. Up and down the sceptered isle, grunting and groaning, they pack the people in, and television shows attract insatiable millions. At the ringside of top tournaments lovely ladies blow diamond-studded kisses to their favorites, while their escorts make believe they are Beau Brummells. Last week's royal accolade was the summit of a postwar boom, the first time a member of the royal family had shown an interest in wrestling since Henry VIII tried a headlock or two on some of his more athletic, and submissive, subjects.
Elegantly gowned girls sold programs. Mrs. Bessie Braddock, M.P., attended, and so did Sir Learie Constantine, former West Indies cricketer, now high commissioner for Trinidad and Tobago. Prince Philip turned up five minutes late and somebody yelled, "Where've yer been?" He was there, actually, because the profits were promised for the Duke's Award Scheme for Youth, and he would attend an aspidistra-growing competition in Rochdale, Lancashire, if the price was right for one of his pet projects.
So wrestling earned its elevation to the English Establishment, if only for a night. The Duke shook hands with each of the hairy-chested behemoths, among them villain Mick McManus ("The Man They Love to Hate"). When the Duke moved to McManus a voice from near the auditorium dome, obviously long familiar with Mick's dubious tactics, warned: "Don't shake hands with him, Dook!" In the night's last bout Johnny Kwango and Jackie Pallo expended themselves trying to throw each other into the Duke's lap but did not succeed.
It was a jolly evening, and the Duke's Award Scheme wound up some 10,000 nicker ahead.
College football's new substitution rule (SI, March 11) has been a puzzle to coaches since it was proclaimed, and still is. Frank Broyles, Arkansas coach, now has come up with a nightmare situation that, he feels, may well confront him.
"Suppose," he says, "your team is on the 18-yard line, fourth down, with five yards and six inches to go for a first down. You send in your field-goal kicker and a man to hold the ball, replacing your fullback and your quarterback and using up the two substitutions you are allowed on fourth down. On the try the defensive team jumps offside and gets a five-yard penalty.
"Now it's fourth down on the 13-yard line, six inches to go for a first down. But you have your field-goal man and a ball holder in the lineup and your fullback and quarterback are on the bench. The rules say you can change only two men on fourth down and you already have sent in your two. What do you do and how do you explain it to the alumni if it doesn't work?"
Put to Abb Curtis, supervisor of officials for the Southwest Conference, the puzzle drew this answer:
"Enforcement depends on whether the ball was snapped. If it was, it counts as a down and two more men can be sent in. If the ball had not been snapped before the infraction, it is still the same down—and if his field-goal man and ball holder aren't able to do anything else, the coach is in trouble."
Cold comfort, Broyles.
HELLO, MARV, BYE-BYE, BO
Ever since Marvelous Marv Throneberry, hero of the New York Mets, was exiled to Buffalo, there have been those who have held that, like General Douglas MacArthur, he would return. It has been a simple faith and, it seems, is deathless. To wit: when a Met fan, who also had been away, came back to town on the occasion of New York's ticker-tape parade welcome to Astronaut Gordon Cooper, he felt sure he knew what had happened. Breathless, the fan patched together a sign to hang from his Fifth Avenue office window. It read:
WELCOME HOME, MARV
While on the subject of departed baseball heroes, we note that Bo Belinsky, that bon vivant, has also been shipped to the minors. But Bo will not be lacking for bright lights and good times. His destination: Hawaii.
More than 12% of the people in the country who own boats never use them, for one reason or another. Of those who do, an impressive number feel guilty about it. These are some of the facts, or fictions, put forward by the Outboard Industry Associations in a surprisingly frank 47-page effort to tell its member organizations why people buy boats.
Women, according to an OIA survey, present the greatest threat to boat sales. Their proper habitat is the kitchen, the OIA seems to think, and their sense of adventure is less likely to concern itself with the sea than with a new seasoning. For this reason, OIA deplores boating ads that picture an American male surrounded by bevies of bikinied beauties.
At the same time, warns the OIA, the notion of "family boating" should be discouraged, in print anyway. Why? Because the word "family" connotes responsibility, while the word "boating" should conjure up visions of "pleasure and relaxation, and the two concepts are incompatible." The pleasure boat is always an indulgence. Hence, it may become a serious problem when "for example, a man buys a boat despite the opposition of his wife. He feels guilty because he bought the boat, she feels guilty because she objected," and the boat itself becomes "an instrument of complexes fraught with subtle undertones."
On the other hand, provided he can square it with the missus, the boatowner finds his possession a boon to his ego, "closely affiliated to prestige and status." Advertisers, however, should take care to suggest this only offhandedly, for the sea-going suburbanite wouldn't want his pals to think he's stuck-up.
END OF AN AFFAIR
The much-mooted Ford-Ferrari alliance is off. For a time a deal was "quite warm," according to one insider, but talks between the powerful American automaker and the Italian builder of racing and Grand Touring cars have ended. Said Henry Ford II: "We just couldn't get along."
That is fine and dandy, to our way of thinking. The Ferrari model with which Americans are most familiar—the all-conquering red sports racing car—already has a Ford in its future. It will be competing against the Ford-engined Shelby A.C. Cobra. Given a year's development, the Cobra might crack what has become a rather tiresome Ferrari monopoly of the major prizes at Sebring and Le Mans.
Cobra-Ford battles with a captive Ferrari would lack bite. Ford's loss of the Italian works is the racing fan's gain.
THEY SAID IT
•Joey Jay, Cincinnati pitcher, after winning his first game of the season and after nine straight losses over two seasons: "My wife says it was like waiting for a baby."
•George Sauer, director of player personnel of the New York Jets, on working with the new management: "Every time I call Weeb Ewbank, he asks me if I need some more money. That's one thing I never heard from Harry Wismer."
•A Seattle high school baseball coach, Tony Dickinson, bemoaning a losing streak: "Things are terrible. The washer broke down, the television won't work, my wife and kids are sick, and my team can't win ball games. If I became a pumpkin farmer, they'd discontinue Halloween."