A PLAGUE ON BOTH THEIR HOUSES
Judge Elmer Roller's decision against baseball and the quondam Milwaukee Braves leaves us feeling the way we assume most baseball fans feel: confused and irritated by the parties to the dispute. Certainly no one, with the possible exception of the citizens of Atlanta (and even they seem to have their doubts), can approve of the carpetbagging tactics of the Braves' owners, nor deny that their callous move to Atlanta was a serious blow to the prestige of big league baseball. Too, the National League's hurried approval of the Braves' plan to switch cities, leaving Milwaukee entirely without professional baseball, was terribly shortsighted and stupid. The failure of the baseball commissioner to take any forceful action in the situation was depressing, if not unexpected.
As for the State of Wisconsin, it has wallowed in self-assumed martyrdom these past two years and the legal action it has launched seems to have been inspired more by revenge ("We'll show those carpetbaggers") than by a true interest in baseball. The city of Milwaukee has conveniently forgotten its own rape of the Braves from Boston and its steady abandonment of the Braves while they were still Milwaukee's own. Judge Roller's decision says, on Page One, that the Braves averaged nearly 1,600,000 paid admissions in Milwaukee from 1953 through 1964. It more or less ignores the fact that attendance as long ago as 1961 was 500,000 below that average, and it fails to point out that Milwaukee's combined 1962 and 1963 home attendance was the worst in the National League.
It's a sorry mess all around. No one is going to come out of it with credit, and the biggest loser is the once-great game itself.
April 24, 1966
GRADES BEFORE GRISTLE
The first three years he coached at William Jewell College, Liberty, Mo., Norris Patterson followed the standard coaching philosophy—he recruited football players for his football team. "They made good teams," says Patterson, "but their failure to keep up their grades caused us continual problems. When my fourth season rolled around I tried a new approach. We went looking for boys who were first of all academically sound and who had physically fit bodies. We sold them on coming to Jewell to get an education."
That was 12 years ago, and Jewell has won the Missouri College Athletic Union football title seven times since. What's more, Patterson sat down the other day and came up with an all-academic alumni team, chosen from his football squads of recent years, that has a doctor of philosophy at each end, at each guard, at center, at one tackle, at fullback and at the halfback positions. There were two Ph. D.s left over as spare halfbacks. Rounding out the team were three holders of M.D.s and, at tackle, a candidate for a Ph. D. in English.
Naturally, the coach of Patterson's alumni team should be Patterson. He holds a Ph. D., too.
THE LEBANON AFFAIR
Purdue University may be in trouble over a basketball scrimmage involving Rick Mount, one of the nation's most widely sought high school basketball stars (SI, Feb. 14). Both the NCAA and the Big Ten Conference are investigating a postseason session at Mount's school in Lebanon, Ind.
"We were on our way to Indianapolis," said Purdue Coach George King, "and I dropped off two boys to visit Mount." The two were 7-foot Chuck Davis of Garrett, Ind., who has signed on at Purdue, and Tennessee high school whiz Perry Wallace. The visit developed into a scrimmage that was joined by another Lebanon senior, three Indianapolis high school players and at least one member of Purdue's freshman squad.
Since NCAA recruiting rules forbid any practice session at which "one or more prospective student-athletes reveal...or display their abilities," the NCAA and the Big Ten took one look at the Lebanon newspaper's report of the scrimmage and started probing. The Indiana High School Athletic Association suspended the prep players from spring sports—except Mount, who at 19 is beyond the age limit for them. Said Coach King, rather lamely: "Well, it was spring vacation and our guys play a lot of basketball everywhere."
The odds against Pauline, the golden eagle, were long from the start (SCORECARD, April 11). You may remember that a gunman killed her mate and that she bravely attempted to hatch the two eggs in her nest near Carson City, Nev. despite nearby crowds of the curious. "There were just too many people," said Naturalist Bill Smith, one of those who tried to stand guard. Last week someone shot Pauline, too.
18 HOLES IN ONE
For a tourist paradise, Hawaii is long on beaches and short on golf courses. But that could change soon. Planners have begun talking about famous old Diamond Head as the perfect site for a new course. Not on the hill—inside it, in the extinct volcano.
Impossible idea? Not entirely. The interior of Diamond Head contains about 500 acres, including slopes. The historic crater is 400 feet deep and has a floor of some 300 acres, part of which is a million-gallon lake.
Backers of the scheme are seeking a way to share the space with the National Guard, which trains there, and the Federal Aviation Agency, which has spotted the crater with electrical equipment. They must satisfy critics, who point out that there are only two tunnel entrances to the crater and that temperatures inside often get pretty uncomfortable.
These are minor problems, say the enthusiasts, when one considers the potential joys of golfing inside an old volcano. And no need to worry about those deep divots. The volcano has not erupted in maybe a million years.
WHIRLYBIRD'S SEA RESCUE
Helicopter Pilot Jim Hinklin, a traffic trouble spotter for Honolulu's station KHVH, was up above the city minding his jams the other day when he glanced out to sea. He saw a different kind of trouble: the big sailing catamaran Kepiokai becalmed off a nearby reef, toward which the ocean current was driving her.
Hinklin had a helicopter; a helicopter makes wind with its rotor; the Kepiokai needed wind. Hinklin did not need a computer to feed him the answer. Whirring down to within two feet of the water he angled his chopper so the rotor blades made a favorable breeze for the Kepiokai. Then he blew her off the rocks and safely into port.
It was the second such rescue for Hinklin and food for thought for sailors intolerant of motors, who have been known to shake their fists at helicopters that disturb the deep blue peace.
NO WHINING AT MY RING, MADAM
Windsor Olson, a man among men, has decreed that no woman shall attend a fight his Seattle promotional outfit is staging in Vancouver. Olson says: "They're taking over everything. There's no place left where a man can go for a congenial evening, speak his mind and smoke a cigar without some gal sneezing and whining at him." He is opposed to women at fights, "because boxing is the last stronghold of masculinity."
This was fine for Olson—in Seattle. But in Vancouver, the fury that hell hath not broke over the head of local Matchmaker Dave Brown, an innocent bystander. "I had no idea it was going to turn out like this," said Brown. "My telephone hasn't stopped ringing since the announcement came out." One woman dared Brown to try and keep her away, and there were other threats to storm the arena.
"Pretty soon," said Olson—in Seattle—"the boxers will be wearing lace pantaloons and the ropes around the ring will be replaced by pink ribbons. They [women] can just stay home where they belong."
Lots of luck, Windsor.
He was having trouble with his form, Dallas highschooler Chester Ellis explained to Bowling Champion Bill Lillard. Would Lillard be kind enough to watch him roll a couple of balls and perhaps give him a few pointers? Sure, said Lillard, five-time winner of the American Bowling Congress title. And what did Chester do? He bowled a perfect 300 game.
CRISIS AT CANDLESTICK
Aside from the risk of getting sunburned knees, one would not think of those new short skirts as being hazardous. Yet the modish miniskirt does present problems to girls whose beaux take them out to the ball game. The combination of the skirts and the wooden seats of the ball parks mean more runs in nylon stockings than ever before.
The earliest authoritative report on this crisis comes from San Francisco, a city of beautiful and fashionable girls. Candlestick Park seats are snagging stockings despite maintenance work with sandpaper and shellac. And what are the girls doing about it? Well, there is an awful lot of mail to Candlestick and to the city's recreation department. It is uniformly angry, and many of the letters contain ripped stockings sent in as samples of the damage.
Bricklayer Peter O'Sullivan is a British soccer fan and a proud father. He decided that just any old name would not do for his third child, a girl. It should be something grand, he figured, honoring his favorite Liverpool team, its manager, coach and trainer.
May we present Miss Paula St. John Lawrence Lawler Byrne Strong Yeats Stevenson Callaghan Hunt Milne Smith Thompson Shankley Bennett Paisley—ah, yes—O'Sullivan.
Since the 4th hole at Chicago's Edge-brook Golf Course is 296 yards—remember that figure—Newspaper Columnist Mike Royko should have been delighted when he banged a drive some 25 yards beyond the green. Not Mike. He was suspicious and promised himself that he would measure the hole one day. Well, he has done it, and his findings are deflationary.
The 4th, said Mike, is only 253 yards long. Worse, the 3rd is listed on the official scorecard as a par-5 376 yards and is only 310 yards, according to Mike. He skipped the 17th because it is being rebuilt but found that, all in all, distances for the other 17 holes, listed at 4,933 yards, actually fall 621 yards short of that. The broader implications are there for everyone to see. Ever have that uncertain feeling about a hole on your course?
INDY GOES TO LONDON
The American television programs beamed to Europe via the Early Bird satellite have emphasized culture far more than the meaty stuff of our folkways. But next month audiences in London will see us in shirtsleeves, whooping it up at that redoubtable Memorial Day institution, the Indianapolis 500-mile race.
In its first live Atlantic crossing, the 500 will be bounced into 12 London theaters, and next year Germany, Italy, France and Sweden will tie in.
$7 FOR 7,000
Foresighted folk planning summer vacations will want to know about the Federal Government's Operation Golden Eagle. It is a program to enlist support for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which gives grants to state parks and other recreation grounds. To this good end the fund is offering what it calls a Golden Passport—a wallet-size card that entitles the purchaser and everyone in his car to enter any of 7,000 federal recreation areas. The permit is valid for unlimited use from this spring through March 31, 1967, and at seven bucks it's a bargain.
THEY SAID IT
•Whitey Ford, after losing 2-1 on Opening Day to left-hander Mickey Lolich of Detroit: "When Lolich beats me he tells everybody I'm his idol. I'm sick of being an idol to guys who beat me."
•Freddy Edwards, Texas linebacker, describing the technique of Longhorn football star Bill Bradley in spring drills: "He rolled out and I chased him to the sideline. It was just him and me. Then all of a sudden it was just him."