After five full seasons in Minneapolis-St. Paul, the stockholders of the corporation known as Washington American League Baseball Club, Inc. have tossed caution to the winds and have voted boldly to change their corporate name to Minnesota Twins, Inc.
The responsible Louisville businessmen who have sponsored Cassius Clay since he began his professional boxing career seemed to reverse themselves last week when they agreed to let Clay meet Ernie Terrell for the heavyweight championship of the world in Chicago late in March. Previously, they had maintained that Clay would not fight Terrell unless Ernie was okayed by "a reputable boxing commission, such as the one in New York or California."
New York turned down Terrell when he applied for a license late in January, implying that it was not yet satisfied that he had dissociated himself from alleged mobster connections. That seemed to be that, but then Terrell applied to the Illinois Athletic Commission and was granted a license in nothing flat. Well, not really nothing flat. It took less than 30 seconds.
February 14, 1966
Chairman: Ernie, do you have a manager?
Terrell: No, sir, I don't.
Chairman: Remember you are under oath. You do not have a manager, is that right?
Terrell: Yes, sir. That's right.
Second commissioner: Do you have any kind of managerial agreement?
Terrell: I have no agreements, written or oral.
Third commissioner: I move that Terrell's license be renewed.
Chairman: Any objections? (Silence) Motion passed.
Why did the Illinois commission accept Terrell almost literally without question? The apparent explanation is simply that Chicago wants desperately to reclaim its place as a big-fight town, and nothing nowhere is as big as a heavyweight championship fight. It is very important for Chicago.
But why did the responsible Louisville sponsors go along with the idea? The answer here seems to be simple, too. Cassius Clay is now making his own decisions. "We still want to play father to him," says Louisville Attorney Arthur Grafton, "but he refuses to be the child anymore."
Ten-year-old Bobby Cunningham of Belfast, Me. caught a nine-and-a-half-inch brook trout that had lodged itself firmly inside the center hole of a 45-rpm phonograph record. The fish apparently had grown considerably since becoming trapped, and it was able to swim only at a very slow rate—slow enough to be scooped up easily by Master Cunningham. Although its label had washed away, the record was still playable, and Bobby played it. The song that came forth was Baby, It's Cold Outside.
MINUS A MINUS POOL
Hialeah racetrack is one of the most attractive in the country and deservedly draws large crowds to good stakes races. But twice last week those who came out to see two prohibitive favorites, Graustark on Wednesday and Roman Brother on Saturday, were arbitrarily deprived of the right to bet on any horse to show in those two races. The decision was taken by track officials who feared a minus pool. That is, they feared the two favorites were certain to be in the first three and that so much money would be bet on them that there would not be enough left in the pool to pay off the legal minimum of 10¢ on the dollar.
It would be understandable if show betting were eliminated when there are five or less horses in a race. But in Graustark's race there were seven, and in Roman Brother's nine. It is obvious that the Florida Racing Commission was abdicating its powers when it permitted the track to rule out what bettors are entitled to.
The latter had one ironic consolation. Roman Brother finished out of the first three, so the track had deprived itself of a profitable show pool.
HOW DID PUSAN STATE DO?
Word of the unbelievable climax to the football career of Korea's incredible fullback, Won Sok Hung, has reached us from Cleveland, where newspaper accounts of his exploits titillated the imagination of thousands of newly minted Ricksha Alumni. According to William Hickey, Cleveland Plain Dealer sports columnist, "The Sun Prince of Korean football never shone more brightly" than when he led the Pusan State Panthers to a stunning 28-27 upset of Japan's University of Mejii (sic) in the Sake Bowl.
Sok, whom Hickey discovered in his inkwell one day last autumn, not only scored all four of Pusan's touchdowns on long runs (the last a 105-yard kick-off return with seven seconds left), but he also made 19 solo tackles in the second half while filling in on the defensive team.
Before Sports Editor Hal Lebovitz called a reluctant halt to Hickey's Far Eastern football coverage, his admirers learned that Sok, a 4-foot 11-inch, 128-pound fullback, had to play both ways because the Panther defense had been riddled by a terrible half-time pileup in the locker room. Fired up by Coach Nu Rok Nee's plea to "win one for the Dipper" (injured Quarterback Kim Dip Thong), the Panthers attempted to return to the field by knocking down the locker-room door. Unfortunately, the Pusan No. 2 and 3 quarterbacks, 98-pound twin brothers Kim Suh Ping and Kim Suh Pong, reached the door simultaneously, banged together and ricocheted back into the thundering horde.
Nu Rok Nee made up for his disastrous pep talk, according to the imaginative Hickey, by managing to get Mejii star Crazylegs Nakamura ejected from the game for punching him in the mouth. Nakamura protested bitterly, after the game, that Nu had questioned the bravery (not to mention the resilience) of his father, a World War II kamikaze pilot who logged 24 successful missions against the Allies.
OFF AND RUNNING
If a comeback is returning to a place where you have been, then don't call the great golf Arnold Palmer has been playing in 1966 a comeback. He not only is off to the finest start of his startling career—it is the best start any pro has made in 20 years. In four tournaments Palmer has finished first, second, third and second. Usually slow to get going, his fastest start before this was 1961, when he went first, fourth, eighth and third. Can he keep going? Next comes the Phoenix Open. If you like to bet horses for courses you ought to know that from 1961 to 1963 Palmer won the Phoenix three straight times.
A dead coon dog named Cleo and an angry mountain man named Williard York are stirring things up in Georgia legal circles. Some Georgia legislators view the case of Cleo as comic relief, but not Williard York. "If I could," he drawls, "I'd take it to the Supreme Court."
Cleo was shot and killed three years ago by a state game and fish biologist who said he thought the dog was running deer. York, unsuccessful in seeking redress through the courts, finally found a champion in Rep. Fulton Lovell, himself a mountain man and a former chief of the Georgia Game and Fish Commission. After some debate the state agreed to pay York $300. End of....
Aw no they don't, said York. Citing Cleo's lineage, he insisted: "Cleo wasn't running no deer. She was too good for that. I don't consider $300 no right 'justment.' " Williard wants $1,200, or "something like that."
Meanwhile, Rep. Charles B. Watkins, also from the mountain country, has joined ranks with York and Lovell. Questioned as to the value of a good coon dog, Watkins replied: "I'm thinking of taking the Fifth Amendment, but I've paid up to $2,000 for a good one." Why the Fifth? "I wouldn't like my wife to know," he said.
The NCAA has established a minimum grade for athletes. It is quite low (1.60 under the four-point system, about the equivalent of a C minus), but the NCAA explained: "We had to set the standard low enough that a college would be ashamed to complain it was too high." Beginning February 16, any school that plays athletes whose grades are under the standard will be punished, the NCAA says. On the surface it seems a praiseworthy step, but some colleges—notably the Ivy League—have reacted angrily.
The Ivies say that the NCAA has put an athletic organization in the absurd position of dictating academic standards to college faculties. That is the main objection, but it is not the only one. The new bylaw is so sloppily devised, the Ivies say, that it directly contradicts the NCAA constitution, which provides that each faculty shall set its own standards. As for the threat to declare offenders ineligible for forthcoming NCAA championships, that would be illegal, too. Even the new rule exempts athletes admitted before January 1.
The NCAA got itself into this box by forgetting that a college athlete is (or should be) a student, and the rules that govern all students should govern him. He should be discriminated neither for nor against. The NCAA also forgot that it is not merely reprehensible to influence faculty decisions adversely; it is exceedingly presumptuous to influence them at all.
It has long been the custom of Red Auerbach, the coach of the Boston Celtics, to point out to basketball officials the errors of their ways. Red usually does this by shouting. The gist of what Red wants to get off his chest usually is that the official, for one colorful reason or another, has overlooked a foul that has just been committed. However, this year, with the Celts hard-pressed to remain in first place, Red has felt obliged to be of even greater help. He is now informing the officials of fouls that will take place, so they can get ready to call them. For instance, the other night, when Dave Stallworth of the New York Knickerbockers got the ball, Red shrieked, "Double dribble coming up!"
One reason Boston wins all those ball games is that Auerbach leaves as little as possible to human frailty. A second or two later Stallworth double-dribbled.
TELL IT TO THE GENERAL
It is an old baseball axiom, dating back to the ironfisted regime of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, that mere proximity to horseflesh (particularly racehorse flesh) will cause a ballplayer's moral fiber to rot. Even tinfisted Ford Frick dreaded the equine curse. In 1960, for example, when Detroit Outfielder Al Kaline announced plans for a racing stable, Frick and Bill DeWitt, then Detroit president, exerted so much suasion in behalf of a (presumably) outraged fandom that Kaline hurriedly disclaimed the notion.
Don Drysdale, it would appear, is determined to be the exception. The Dodger pitcher has been breeding Thoroughbreds for some time now, and he expects to make his racing debut this summer with a 2-year-old filly. If the new baseball commissioner, General William Eckert, zeros in on Drysdale with a morality meter, Drysdale can retaliate by asking how come John Galbreath can run the Pittsburgh Pirates and still breed horses like Graustark and Chateaugay. Oh, the general may assume that a club owner is less vulnerable to temptation than a ballplayer, but can he prove it?
Or maybe the restriction applies only to association with losing horses.
THEY SAID IT
•Harvey Murphy, basketball coach at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, after six of his 11 basketball players became academically ineligible: "This is bad for team morale."
•Billy Smith, Loyola University of Chicago basketball star, on why he underwent a tough tutoring program to regain admission to Loyola after having been dropped for scholastic deficiencies, instead of simply transferring to an easier college: "With my grades I couldn't have got back into high school."