BRAVE, YES; WISE, NO
There was every indication when this whole business began with Atlanta and the Milwaukee Braves that it would get worse, not better, and it has. Now that the enforced courtesies of court are over and Milwaukee has proved that hell hath no fury like a home town scorned, a new mood has taken shape. A move is on to snub the team next season. The Braves could have prevented it by behaving in big-league style, but they have not. Instead, Brave Executive Vice-President Thomas A. Reynolds Jr. asserted, "Even if we have to play in Milwaukee, our hearts will be in Atlanta." He also told a Georgia news rally, "If we were running in an election tomorrow against Adolf Hitler, we would lose up there." Mr. Reynolds seems to be full of snappy sayings. Unfortunately, this sort of statement will get him laughs in Atlanta and lumps in Milwaukee.
Small wonder, then, that a band of Milwaukeeans have incorporated an outfit whose purpose is to boycott the Braves in 1965. "We're not going to picket or do anything of that nature to keep fans from buying tickets in 1965," says Attorney Roger J. Karius, but his tone clearly indicates that he expects picketing to be superfluous.
With the Atlanta contract signed for the 1966 season, the best thing the Braves could have done for 1965 was to take events in graceful stride. Perhaps there is still time; there is a long winter ahead. We prefer to think of winter followed by summer and the sharp, clean crack of bat against ball and the throaty roar of the crowds. Not the sharp, clean crackle of Reynolds eating those words in an empty grandstand.
Battling the Chicago Bears for last place in the National Football League's Western Conference, the San Francisco 49ers find themselves with curiously conflicting motivations as draft day, November 28, approaches. If New York does not hold on to last in the Eastern Conference, San Francisco will have not just the usual first choice in the draft but, because of past trades, two first-round picks, another in the second round and two in the third. They could use them all.
"One of the sportswriters here was talking to me hopefully about losing them all to get that first pick," said Coach Jack Christiansen, "and he said, 'F' God's sake, Jack, don't blow that Bears' game.' "
New talent is indeed uppermost in the minds of the 49ers, and to spur their recruitment program they have produced a record entitled Life with the 49ers, the Sounds of Your Future. It will be sent to all who may come into contact with their scouts. It is highlighted by the sound of the 49er plane on a road trip, the bells of St. Mary's (College, that is), where summer training starts, the clang of a cable car to show how much fun San Francisco is and, as a clincher, the voice of Tony Bennett himself continuing the search for the heart he left on a high and windy hill.
VIEWS OF A WOMAN DRIVER
The first woman ever to drive a car at more than 200 miles an hour is a pretty brunette, 29, a divorcee and mother of an 11-year-old boy. She is also uncompromisingly feminine. Like most of her sex she changes her mind, drastically and often.
Paula Murphy of Granada Hills, Calif. closed the Bonneville Salt Flats racing season last week by setting a new world land-speed record for women of 226.37 mph, driving Walt Arfons' jet-powered Avenger. A few days before, when someone suggested she drive a jet car, Paula would have none of it.
But after trying the Avenger for 100 yards, Paula announced she was ready for a "test run" and asked that the timers be prepared in case she decided to go for a record. They were and she did.
Afterward, she was asked what she thought of women drivers in general.
"They're lousy," she said. "How could they be otherwise? They're always driving with a car full of kids, dogs, cats. They can't concentrate."
Paula thinks next year she may go after the men's record.
"There's just one thing that bothers me about these jet cars," she said. "Once you open the throttle, you're committed. If you put it on power for 300, say, there's no changing your mind and putting it back to 275. You can't change your mind."
THE REFORMATION OF MERRY
If there be any among you who would like to sweeten the temper of a savage dog, consider the experience of Mrs. Constance White, London portrait painter, with Merry, a fawn-and-white bull terrier. Mrs. White found Merry sulking in a Sussex kennel, to which she had been confined after killing a pig. Mrs. White took her home.
For a year, Merry was "difficult, belligerent and terrifying," nastily rushing the front door, chasing geese across frozen ponds and harrying postmen, who prudently left the mail outside the garden gate.
But Mrs. White, who belongs to Britain's Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, as well as the League Against Cruel Sports, the Anti-Bullfight Society and Lady Dowding's Beauty Without Cruelty Committee (which believes women can be fetching without resort to furs or cosmetics containing animal fats), is also a vegetarian. She decided to take Merry off meat and put her on oatmeal porridge, milk, nuts, eggs, cabbage, carrots, cheese and, of course, Brussels sprouts.
Behold, now Merry won't even chase a cat. She would even like to be nice to postmen, but they don't believe her. Instead of a bone, she likes nothing better than to munch on a banana. Last time she was offered meat she turned away.
The postmen still leave the mail outside the garden gate, though. They eat meat and are very hard to train.
END OF A MAN
Fred Hutchinson's death hurt everyone who knew him, and not just those who knew him well. He was so much a man to admire that his death left a sharp sense of loss.
He had an abiding respect and affection for the craft of baseball, in which he had worked from the time he was an 18-year-old pitcher for the Seattle Rainiers until last October 19 when, because of cancer, he resigned as manager of the Cincinnati Reds.
When Hutch was there baseball had dignity, strength, integrity, taste—all so badly needed today as the once national game faces its greatest crisis. Perhaps those intent on smothering everything worthwhile in baseball might ponder the lasting impression—excellence of character—that Fred Hutchinson left behind.
Just one incident of many tells much about him. Early last season he told a sportswriter he planned to bench slumping Gordy Coleman in favor of Deron Johnson. The headline read: COLEMAN GOES TO BENCH. But came the next game and there was Coleman, not Johnson, on first base.
"The headline made me change my mind," said Hutch. "I can't humiliate a guy who tries as hard as Gordy."
Gelding American Thoroughbreds is a very common procedure designed for the most part to keep equine minds on money rather than on love. The horses become easier to control and to train.
In 1957 Kelso, a son of Your Host out of Maid of Flight, a Count Fleet mare, was foaled at Mrs. Richard C. duPont's Woodstock Farm in Maryland. When he was a yearling, it was decided to geld Kelso, because Mrs. duPont's farm manager wanted to simplify the handling of his yearlings and to economize on paddock space by developing the colts as a group with the fillies.
During his two-year-old campaign Kelso raced three times, won once and was second twice, earning a mere $3,380. Then he went on to higher and higher achievements until he surpassed Round Table's alltime money-winning record and became Horse of the Year for an unprecedented four times. Now he has just climaxed his career by at last taking the Washington, D.C., International at Laurel. This feat, after three previous attempts in which he finished second, brought his lifetime earnings to $1,893,362 and should make Kelso Horse of the Year for a fifth term.
There has been speculation (SI, Nov. 11, 1963) that the decision to geld Kelso may have cost Mrs. duPont close to a million dollars in stud fees. But further reflection and calculation indicate that she actually may have made money by the surgery. Stallions are rarely kept in training for seven years and Kelso's stud fee would not have been spectacular since his breeding is not top drawer. If Kelso could have gotten 30 mares at $5,000 each for three years, he would have made Mrs. duPont a mere $450,000 by the end of 1964.
REVENOOERS AT SEA
Immediately after the recent increase in registration fees imposed on powerboats by the state of Florida, 96,740 vessels disappeared from the surface—or at any rate from the tax rolls. Last year more than 216,000 such boats were registered. With the new tax, they dwindled to fewer than 120,000.
Not that there really are fewer boats in Florida waters. The tax applies to craft of 10 or more horsepower. Some owners are now mounting two 9.5-hp motors, explaining with a straight face that the extra one is a spare. Others have registered their boats as commercial fishing vessels, for which the fee is only $1.50, compared to $10 or more for pleasure powerboats.
ONE FOR DR. RHINE
The Indiana Collegiate Conference is a league of seven small Hoosier schools, and it has just ended its league football season. The result: five teams (Butler, Ball State, Evansville, Indiana State and Valparaiso) tied for first place with 4-2 records; DePauw followed with a 1-5 record; and St. Joseph's ended smartly with an 0-6.
It was a finish that might well confound a Las Vegas oddsmaker. Associate Professor Charles Johnson of DePauw's mathematics department calculated that, eliminating the possibility of tie games, there are 756 ways in which five teams could tie in a seven-team league. With 21 conference games to be won or lost by the teams during a season, the chances of a five-way tie would occur 36 times every 100,000 seasons, or once every 2,777 years. The conference doesn't have to worry about another until 4741 A.D.
TIME IT WITH A METRONOME
Now that the Olympics and the Paralympics are over there is time to consider the proposal of Harold C. Schonberg, New York Times music critic, for a "musical Olympiad."
When he is not listening to Bach, Mr. Schonberg is an occasional student of The Guinness (he spells it Guiness) Book of Records, in which he found that on May 1, 1955 Heinz Arntz "played the piano non-stop, except for refreshment intervals, for 423 hours (17 days, 15 hours)." He suggests that piano-playing endurance events be part of the musical Olympiad.
He would have an event for speed, too. Despite its name, Chopin's Minute Waltz, he notes, "takes well over 90 seconds to play." He would find out if anyone can really play it in a minute, without cheating, which would mean "clear articulation and no pedal, from a sitting start."
Another event would determine the world's championship at holding high C, in which Birgit Nilsson and Franco Corelli probably would be favorites. For conductors, there would be competitions in baton hurling, invective and score bluffing.
Who says a good music critic has to be dull?
THEY SAID IT
•Lieut. Billy Mills, Olympic 10,000-meter winner, asked at what stage he decided to stay up with the leaders in the race: "Last February, when I made up my mind to try out for the U.S. team."
•Chuck Burr, Buffalo Bills publicist, after his team won its ninth straight game: "Once we were whining losers, but now we're arrogant winners."
•Clint Courtney, ex-Oriole, admitting he is not the man he was when he earned the nickname Scrap Iron: "There's just the scraps left now; not much iron."
•Berl Huffman, Texas Tech freshman coach, on the uncertainties of freshman football: "Games often are decided not by who's best but who centered the ball farthest over whose head."