BASEBALL—"At least now I know where I'm going," said White Sox Second Baseman NELLIE FOX when he returned from deer hunting to discover he had been sold to the Houston Colt .45s. In 14 seasons with Chicago (1950-1963) Fox hit .300 or better six times, and was the American League's MVP in 1959.
BASKETBALL—Eastern leader BOSTON won three to stretch its latest winning streak to five before losing its third game of the season—108-105 to the Royals, the only team able to beat the Celtics so far. Suddenly taking over as a high scorer, John Havlicek made 27 points in a 132-113 rout of New York, 33 in a 104-95 win over St. Louis and 35 in the loss to the Royals. When the Celtics defeated Philadelphia 111-84, it marked the 10th game in which opponents were held to less than 100 points. CINCINNATI had to come from behind to beat the Celtics, but it had an easy time defeating Detroit (127-107) and New York (112-102). Against the Pistons seven Royals scored more than 10 points, and against the Knicks both Oscar Robertson and Jerry Lucas were benched with injuries but it made little difference. Erratic PHILADELPHIA took the Knicks twice but couldn't handle the Hawks and the Celtics. NEW YORK, which is fast falling out of sight (16 GB), lost four straight to extend its latest streak to six. LOS ANGELES held its fractional Western Division lead by taking three in a row from the Bullets before losing to the Hawks 102-95. Elgin Baylor, who did not miss a game last season, sat out two with a chest cold, but Jerry West averaged 38 points a game and Dick Barnett 28 to help take up some of the slack. Second-place ST. LOUIS kept pace with the Lakers by winning three out of four and, led by Wilt Chamberlain's 136 points, SAN FRANCISCO took two out of three. BALTIMORE, which had just started winning, was abruptly stopped by the wild NBA schedule. The Bullets, bouncing between Los Angeles and San Francisco, played six games in seven days and dropped five of them. What's more, Baltimore had to go into overtime to pick up its only victory (116-114 over the Warriors). Last-place DETROIT had only two games to play but managed to lose both of them with ease.
BOWLING—FALSTAFF of St. Louis took the $12,700 BPAA men's team match-game championships in Chicago by winning 13 games and losing only three in the finals.
BOXING—EDDIE COTTON of Seattle, the top-ranked light-heavyweight contender, scored a TKO over Don Bale in the second round of a scheduled 10-rounder in Bellingham, Wash.
December 23, 1963
In his final European fight before sailing home to spend the holidays with his mother, SUGAR RAY ROBINSON outboxed Frenchman Armand Vanucci, for the second time in two months, to win a 10-round decision in Paris' Sports Palace.
FOOTBALL—NFL: NEW YORK won its third straight Eastern Division title by crushing Pittsburgh 33-17 (see page 22). Frank Ryan's three TD passes and Lou Groza's two 42-yard field goals led CLEVELAND to a 27-20 victory over Washington and second place in the East, a game behind the Giants. Jimmy Brown's 125 yards rushing gave him 1,863 for the season, the most ever in the NFL. St. Louis led DALLAS by 10 points at the start of the fourth quarter but Don Meredith threw two TD passes and the Cowboys defeated the CARDINALS 28-24. Rookie Ron VanderKelen (SI, Aug. 19) started his first game and guided MINNESOTA to an easy 34-13 victory over last-place Philadelphia. In the Western Division, CHICAGO defeated Detroit 24-14 to take its first title in seven years. The Lions had led 7-3 at the half but Bill Wade broke up the game with two quick touchdown passes (51 yards to Johnny Morris and 22 yards to Mike Ditka) in the third quarter. GREEN BAY, the Western leader the past two seasons, finished half a game out by edging last-place San Francisco 21-17 on Bart Starr's two long touchdown throws to Boyd Dowler. Third-place BALTIMORE slipped by Los Angeles 19-16 when Johnny Unitas tossed a 14-yard TD pass to Tom Matte with only 40 seconds left to play. It was Unitas' 21st completion of the game (gained 323 yards) and his 237th of the season, for a new NFL record (Sonny Jurgensen held the old mark with 235 in 1961). The victory was the fast-finishing Colts' fifth in their last six games.
AFL: BUFFALO, which was last just two weeks ago, forced a playoff for the Eastern Division title with Boston on December 28 by coming from behind (down 10-3 at half time) to defeat New York 19-10 while the Patriots were being upset by KANSAS CITY 35-3. Boston could have clinched the title by beating the Chiefs, but Len Dawson spoiled everything when he threw three TD passes and ran for another. Houston, which also had a chance to tie for first in the East, was knocked out of contention when SAN DIEGO, the Western leader, scored 17 points in the second quarter to defeat the Oilers 20-14. OAKLAND, a game behind the Chargers with one game left to play for both teams, won its seventh in a row by beating Denver 35-31 on Tom Flores' five touchdown passes.
COLLEGE: ALABAMA scored on the opening kickoff (102-yard return by Gary Martin) and went on to lead Miami 17-0 at half time. Then George Mira (SI, Sept. 23) started passing, and the Crimson Tide barely won 17-12. Mira's 24 pass completions tied him with Don Klosterman (Loyola of California 1949-51) for most completions in a major-college career (368) and his 301 yards gained passing gave him the 1963 total-offense championship (2,318 yards—42 more than Baylor's Don Trull). In Sacramento ST. JOHN'S of Minnesota, unbeaten in 18 games since 1961, came from behind on the passing of Quarterback Craig Muyres to defeat Prairie View A&M of Texas 33-27 for the NAIA title in the Camellia Bowl game. Mike Hunter scored twice to lead ORANGE COAST COLLEGE of California to a 21-0 win over Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in the Junior Rose Bowl game in Pasadena, Calif. EAST CAROLINA COLLEGE defeated Northeastern 27-6 in the Eastern Bowl game in Allentown, Pa. and FLORIDA A&M crushed Morgan State 30-7 in the Orange Blossom Bowl in Miami.
HARNESS RACING—At the Lexington, Ky. Tattersalls sale, SAFE MISSION, son of 1955 Hambletonian winner Scott Frost, was bought for $60,000 by Del Miller from consignment of Almahurst Farm.
HOCKEY—Slumping CHICAGO defeated the Rangers 6-2 on Stan Mikita's hat trick and then lost two straight games for the first time this season before being tied by the Red Wings 4-4. But the Black Hawks held their eight-point lead when TORONTO stumbled through the week with a 1-1-1 record. MONTREAL slipped into a second-place tie with the Maple Leafs by winning two and losing one, while DETROIT strengthened its hold on fourth with two victories and a tie. BOSTON climbed past the Rangers by upsetting the Black Hawks 2-1 and then tied the Maple Leafs 4-4 after a loss to the Canadiens. Defenseless NEW YORK dropped three in a row and ran its winless streak to nine games before defeating the Canadiens 4-2.
SKIING—At a pre-Olympic meet in Val d'Is√®re, France, BUDDY WERNER of Steamboat Springs, Colo. placed sixth in the giant slalom and first in the special slalom to take the men's combined title, while JEAN SAUBERT of Lakeview, Ore. won the women's combined with a first in the giant slalom and a close second in the special slalom.
TENNIS—While the U.S. Davis Cup team practiced in Adelaide, the Australians played in Perth to decide the final makeup of their own cup team (see page 98). FRED STOLLE upset Roy Emerson in the semifinals of the West Australian championships, and went on to beat John Newcombe in the finals. Emerson and Neale Fraser edged Newcombe and Ken Fletcher in the doubles.
MILEPOSTS—DIED: JOHN McGOVERN, 77, an All-America quarterback as a junior at Minnesota in 1909, of a heart attack in Le Sueur, Minn.
DIED: MARIE MARVINGT, 88, a famous French adventurer, in Nancy, France. Miss Marvingt was the first licensed woman pilot in the world (1910), the first woman to cross the English Channel in a balloon (1909) and was an accomplished swimmer, skier, boxer, fencer, marksman, ice skater, bicyclist, bobsledder and mountain climber.