WORLD SERIES CONTINUED
This is an article from the April 6, 1964 issue
As of last Sunday evening, National League teams had won 58 and lost 24 of the 82 exhibition games played between National and American League teams this spring. Of course, spring training games have no significance, but the pattern the exhibition season has taken this year is startling. National League teams won 11 of the first 12 interleague games and then went right on beating the American League to death—or at least to a state bordering on embarrassment. It won four out of five games played between the leagues on March 15, 13 of 16 between March 17 and 19, five of six on the 21st. On only one day did the American League win more games than it lost; only three times did it split even on the day.
By March 19 two American League teams were at .500 or above; only two National League teams were below .500; Two days later, only one AL team was above .500; only one NL team (the Mets, of course) was below. For four straight days, from March 23 through 26, nine of the 10 AL teams were below .500. On March 24, the day the Mets beat the New York Yankees 1-0, all 10 NL teams were at .500 or above.
The Cincinnati Reds were 0-6 against fellow NL teams, but they were 7-1 against the Americans. The Mets, 1-6 with their own league, were walloping the AL 6-2. Baltimore, the only AL team that managed to stay at or above .500, was 4-0 against its own, but 2-6 against the Nationals.
One ray of hope gleamed for the Americans. The only AL team able to break even against the Nationals was the Yankees, who had lost four straight games to the Los Angeles Dodgers in last fall's World Series. And which was the only National League team below .500 against the American League? The Dodgers.
FAT VS. FIT
Pudgy Pierre Salinger, never a big man for fitness when he was presidential press secretary, is going up against one of the fittest public officials in the country in his bid for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senator from California. One of his rivals is a former Stanford track star (he once beat Ben Eastman) named Alan MacGregor Cranston, currently California state controller. Cranston, who is 50, 6 feet 2 inches tall and 195 pounds, can do 30 pushups effortlessly and almost every day puts on running pants and sweatshirt to run a few laps around a track. He is favored to beat Pierre. Because he is in such good shape? Maybe, but mainly because he has the backing of Governor Pat Brown and other Democratic bigwigs.
TO BE IN CAROLINA
Do you know what the basketball coach of North Carolina said to the basketball coach of South Carolina? Well, the new coach at South Carolina is Frank McGuire, who used to coach at North Carolina (where he recruited high school players from New York so effectively that the process was referred to as McGuire's underground railway) and who quit as coach of the pro Philadelphia Warriors when the team shifted to California. Last week McGuire rubbed his hands and said, "They're so competitive in New York. It seems that there are literally millions of players. Those that get to the top make it the hard way, and they're the ones I want. Give me two years at South Carolina and we'll see some progress. I've been recruiting for two weeks already. I'm started, kid."
All that Dean Smith, the coach at North Carolina, said was, "I was up to New York to see some friends. One's 6 feet 11 and the other's 6 feet 8."
POOL'S RICHEST POOL
The big-money TV contracts awarded to professional football reemphasized the great influence that television exerts on American sport. Now the wand has touched pool.
Last fall George Jansco, who with his brother Paulie stages the annual Jansco Brothers $10,000 World's All-Round Pocket Billiards Tournament in Johnston City, Ill. had a hurry-up call from CBS in New York. Could CBS televise the tournament playoff? Jansco, unaware that the TV crew would have to saw a hole in the roof of his Cue Club and that two walls would have to come down, was agreeable.
The playoff, won by Luther Lassiter, turned out to be a smash hit on TV, and Jansco was immediately set upon by both CBS and ABC for the rights to telecast future tournaments. Last week George signed a two-year contract with ABC. The sum was not disclosed but George announced that—hole in the roof or no hole in the roof—prize money this year would jump to $20,000, making the Jansco tournament pool's richest pool. "I want the players to share in the television," he said.
HEAR THE BIRDIE
Tournament golf is one of the hardest of all sporting events to watch intelligently, because the importance and drama of the shot you are looking at may well depend on what another golfer is doing a quarter of a mile away. The only way to keep posted on a tournament's ebb and flow is to watch large scoreboards, often far apart and invariably an hour behind the action. But at the Doral Open in Miami the other weekend 250 spectators knew immediately what was going on almost everywhere, thanks to transistor radio receivers they had rented from a company called Golf-caster Inc. The 1½-pound receivers were locked at a pre-set frequency and, at significant holes around the course, Golf-caster had sending sets broadcasting the action. Thus the Doral spectator could not only watch a birdie, he could hear one—and, more important, he could know at once exactly where the player he was following stood in the tournament standings. The device proved successful at Doral, according to all reports, and Golfcaster hopes to have as many as 5,000 sets for rent at major events this summer.
MORE NEWS OF ELECTRONICS
Radioactivity is everywhere. On tree farms in the Pacific Northwest black bears do more damage to young Douglas firs than forest fires do. The bears literally claw the trees to death in search of the sweet ooze of sap. To help foresters develop ways of dealing with the sapsuckers, biologists plan to strap small transmitters around the animals' necks (you tranquilize them first with a dart, in case you worried) and then track them with a radio scanner. When a bear wanders into a stand of young firs, the biologists will move in.
In Spain, Neurosurgeon José Manuel Rodriguez Delgado has emplanted electrodes in a fighting bull's brain, using the old dart routine to soothe Ferdinand before the operation. The bull then responds to "directing" currents sent by radio (giving rise to fanciful images of a matador waving a cape at the brave bull and saying, "Hah, toro! Only not too close").
In Japan, where they are more concerned with swimming than with bears, bulls or trees, a tiny transistor receiver has been developed that goes into the water with a swimmer. The coach, watching from the side of the pool, gives continual direction and advice to the swimmer. Breaststroker Kenji Matsumoto said the device was splendid in that it helped him correct faults in his swimming form. But he complained that it bothered him, too, in that it made him feel as though the coach was always near.
Too bad, Kenji. But coaches, like transistor radios, are everywhere. You cannot escape.
WRITE IF YOU GET WORK
Here is a late report on Jim Brosnan, the pitcher-writer who was released by the Chicago White Sox last month because he would not agree to give up writing or publishing during the season (SI, March 16):
•No major league team has called him, and he has not called any.
•Although the situation-wanted ad he ran in The Sporting News for $35 (it was reproduced in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and various newspapers) brought no major league response, Brosnan, an old ad man, feels that his cost-per-thousand in readership was handsome.
•A Tennessee college asked him to teach English and coach baseball.
•He was asked to go on a month-long lecture tour.
•He has been offered spots on two radio-TV networks, and ABC has cut tapes to determine his voice level and mike presence.
•He has "more writing than I can take care of," including six articles and a book to finish in the next month.
•He still has offers from Japan (to pitch) and Italy (to coach).
•He was invited to Colorado for the summer by the Grand Junction Eagles, a crack semipro team. "I would pitch a little," he says, "and have a place to write—and maybe write about." The Grand Junction offer is exceptionally generous, according to Broz, who says, "After my years in the majors, I'm not used to people being so generous."
•He does not feel that he has been blackballed by the majors. "You don't accuse people who are running a $100 million enterprise of conspiring to keep one man out of the business. I don't feel punished or persecuted."
•Things are going so well at the moment that he says he is not sure he will jump at a major league bid. He is asking last year's salary: $30,000.
•His morale is high, he says, "until I begin talking about the whole thing."
Life was one long fight for Andy Frain, the "king of the ushers" and self-styled "crowd engineer," who died last week in Minnesota. Frain was the 16th of 17 children born to an Irish immigrant hod-carrier in Chicago. The 19 Frains lived in a five-room shack with an outdoor privy; one of Andy's chores as a boy was drawing up a schedule for use of the beds (the kids had to sleep in shifts) and the privy. "That was my first experience in crowd engineering," he liked to say.
At 13 he quit school and went to work in the stockyards, but at night and on weekends he peddled cushions for 10¢ at various sports events around Chicago. The ushers then were thugs who "sold" reserved seats to anyone with the right tip. On a big-crowd occasion the management might have to refund as much as $5,000 to angry patrons who, holding reserved-seat tickets, had been left standing. After a riot at the Leonard-Mitchell fight in 1923, started by fans who could not get to their $20 seats, Frain persuaded the owner of the Chicago Black Hawks to let him set up an ushering system for hockey games. Andy raised every usher's pay and warned that he would fire any man who took a bribe from a spectator. He ended up firing 246 of the first 250 men who worked for him.
The next summer he was hired by the Chicago Cubs and, basing his operation on honesty and efficiency, went on to build an ushering empire that handled baseball games, football games, the Kentucky Derby, championship fights and national political conventions. Hoods tried to muscle in on his organization but Frain fought them off. His car was hit by shotgun fire. He was beaten so badly he was unconscious for two days. At a big dance he handled in 1932 the police had to be called in 12 times. At a political convention the same year he refused to honor "passes" issued by a Chicago political boss; for months thereafter he and his wife were regularly arrested "on suspicion" and held a few hours by police before being released.
Four years ago Mrs. Frain was killed in a plane crash while Andy waited for her flight at an airport. He never seemed to get over that loss. Last month he worked the Clay-Liston fight in Miami and then, feeling poorly, checked into the Mayo Clinic. There, at 60, he suffered a final heart attack and died.
THEY SAID IT
•Doc Hayes, SMU basketball coach, on the rule that coaches must remain seated during a game: "If you've got 10,000 people seated in an arena and everybody's standing up and hollering and you expect the coaches and players to be quiet and relaxed, you're going to have to give them a sedative. Then the coach probably will be fired at the end of the season and the players cut off their scholarships."
•Mickey Herskowitz, Houston sports-writer, on how to placate University of Texas faculty members who resent Football Coach Darrell Royal's new title of "professor": "As soon as a Texas professor comes up with a department that's best in the country, give him the title of coach."