TIME FOR SEVERITY
Last week in Vancouver, B.C., Seattle Pitcher Jim Coates threw one high and tight and struck Ricardo Joseph of Vancouver on the shoulder. Joseph charged the mound, but before he could get to Coates, he was tackled from behind and had his chin bloodied by Seattle Catcher Merritt Ranew. The ensuing free-for-all finally subsided, but then Vancouver's Tommy Reynolds bunted up the first base line, forcing Coates to field the ball and tried to run the pitcher down. Again Ranew raced to the aid of Coates. Vancouver's Santiago Rosario dashed from the on-deck circle and hit Ranew over the head with his bat, opening up a deep three-inch gash. There is internal bleeding in the brain, and the left side of Ranew's face is paralyzed.
This was the third attack with a hat that professional baseball has produced in nine months. For hitting Los Angeles' John Roseboro over the head last August, San Francisco's Juan Marichal received a nine-day suspension and a $1,750 fine. The comparative mildness of the punishment was condoned because 1) Marichal's team was deeply involved in the pennant race and 2) it was the first such incident in major league baseball, and there was no precedent for punitive action. But a warning should have come immediately from the Commissioner that future attacks would bring drastic punishment. None was sounded. Two weeks later Cleveland's Pedro Gonzales swung his bat at Detroit's Larry Sherry; Gonzales was fined $500 and suspended for 13 days.
In the Vancouver case Pacific Coast League President Dewey Soriano acted with commendable vigor and proper severity. He fined the lesser culprits in the incident, fined Rosario, too, and then suspended him for the remainder of the season. Soriano said, "Using a bat on a player is not part of baseball."
Soriano is right. And we recommend strongly that Commissioner Eckert step in where his predecessor failed to do so and say flatly that the next man who tries to hit an opponent with a bat will be expelled from organized baseball for life.
The Bahamas government is changing its currency next week from pounds and shillings to dollars and cents, and the new notes and coins contain some of the most attractive sports and outdoor scenes you ever spent. The reverse side of the British colony's dime shows two bonefish. The $1 bill presents an undersea world in full color. There is no $2 bill, but the big silver $2 coin shows two flamingos against the setting sun. There is, however, a $3 bill (phony no more, sir), showing a crescent-shaped beach. The $100 note is the gem in (his financial art gallery. It shows a leaping white marlin, a blue sea with a fishing boat in the background.
Says Sir Stafford Sands, Minister for Finance: "Surely, when 90% of our tourists come from North America...the term dollar is the only one that is sensible for us to adopt."
LONG GRAY SEARCH
After six weeks of searching for a football coach to replace Paul Dietzel, Army finally turned to its plebe coach, Tom Cahill, to fill the position. West Point was embarrassed when Dietzel moved on to South Carolina only days before spring practice began. Cahill is a nice man, but his promotion underlines the fact that the head coaching job at Army ain't what it used to be.
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
One of several possible reasons for crossing Lake Erie is to have a farewell party on leaving Erie, Pa. "You know how these farewells get," said Art Oehme, a Cleveland laundry operator, who set out for home with his wife and 15-year-old nephew in his 27-foot Chris Craft. "People were seeing us off, and I forgot to get gas."
Discovering the shortage a few miles out, he thought he might make it to Conneaut, Ohio, but a 35-mph wind blew up, and within sight of Conneaut Harbor the engines died. The Coast Guard was too far away to be of assistance.
But, ah! In the liquor cabinet Oehme's wife found the better part of two bottles of Scotch and a fifth of bourbon. Pouring these into the port tanks, Oehme started the engine. They made it a quarter of a mile inside Conneaut Harbor before the engine died. A soup√ßon of vodka took them within 200 feet of shore. Desperate, Oehme and his wife combed the bulkheads and cabinets in the teeth of the storm and found a little vermouth. Figuring the vermouth might not mix with the liquor he had poured into the port tanks, Oehme emptied it into the starboard tanks. "That engine came right to life," he said. It ran just long enough to get them to shore.
"If you've got to use it," Oehme concluded, "I think a good grade of Scotch or maybe Canadian whisky is best."
BEWARE THE RAMBLERS!
Now that spring has come, the British Ramblers' Association is marching into combat again. Just (he other day, 300 Ramblers gathered in Millington Pastures in the East Riding of Yorkshire for a little stroll. And as they strolled, they cut farmers' fences, put stock lo rout and trampled such crops as were in their way—all to preserve the sanctity of the British footpath.
Organized in 1905, the Ramblers are the storm troopers of the older Commons, Open Spaces and Footpaths Preservation Society. When they campaign for national parks and footpaths and a tightening of public rights-of-way laws, which they do incessantly, the Ramblers can muster 15,000 members and a reserve force of 40,000 belonging to 360 affiliated Rambler clubs. When they march, woe betide the Tanner who impedes them.
In command is 73-year-old Tom Stephenson, a walker and climber all his life, whose greatest triumph is the Pennine Way, a sort of mini-Appalachian Trail that stretches 250 miles from Edale in Derbyshire to Kirk-Yetholm over the Scottish border. Stephenson suggested the walkway in a 1935 newspaper article, and when a survey showed that 70 miles of footpaths could be added to 180 miles established, there was no stopping him. The path was completed last year, and 2,000 people gathered on Malham Moor to celebrate.
Such victories have not softened the Ramblers. Currently, Stephenson finds the Labor government weak on footpaths, and when Tom's annoyed, the wire cutters go snip, snip, snip.
AMOR VINCIT ALBUQUERQUE
Irked at the cost of a rising number of out-of-state conferences that city employees were attending, Albuquerque voters recently elected a new commission, which in turn fired the city manager. As part of a shakeup in people and policies G. B. Robertson, acting city manager, issued a ban on all interstate travel at city expense.
He had to make an exception almost immediately, however, because the city zoo wants to send two female zebras to the zoo at Colorado Springs, Colo. for a 60-day conference with a male zebra.
Johnny Longden, after 40 years as a jockey, made his debut last week as a trainer. It was at Hollywood Park, and he saddled a little-known Argentinian horse named Attention III in the seventh race run at a mile-and-a-sixteenth. Longden was nervous. So was Attention III. Surrounded by photographers and Sweating in civilian clothes, Longden said he would rather be in silks, and added, "I got the horse ready. Now it's up to him." Attention III kicked at him but missed. "He's allergic to shadows," Longden explained to the jockey. "Watch him if you see any. He jumps real high.... Don't worry about his acting up. He'll be all right on the track."
The jockey, whose name is William Shoemaker, smiled understandingly and saluted Longden with a flick of his whip. He broke Attention III on top, but settled to third at the first turn. At the quarter pole Attention III passed Current Speech. Then he began a duel with Carpenter's Rule that went right down to the wire, Attention III winning by a head and paying $4.60. Johnny Longden was in a glow of triumphant understanding. The man who had booted home 6,032 winners, more than anyone ever, now had his first winner ridden for him by someone else. "I couldn't have done it better myself." he cracked. "it's great to be at this end." he added, as if a light had dawned. "I'm going to like it."
FINE FAST FILM
"If I were not a moviemaker," says France's Claude Lelouch, "I'd be a racing driver." Lelouch is the brilliant new New Wave director whose film Un homme et une femme, about a lest driver, has won the admiration and enthusiasm of the Cannes Film Festival. It took the 28-year-old Lelouch exactly 28 days to shoot the film. Much of the footage he took with a hand camera while lying attached to the hood of a Ford Mustang traveling at 60 to 80 mph on the perilous roads of the Monte Carlo Rally. About half the film takes place in the front seat of a Mustang, and after seeing the picture, automobile-loving French youth are going to he Mustang-mad.
Lelouch has been making movies ever since he bought a secondhand camera in the Paris Flea Market when he was 14. In the last decade he has produced six full-length films and a remarkable color short on the Tour de France bicycle race.
"I'm crazy about all sports." he says. "I've competed in four or five rallies, and I'm planning to make a picture about boxing soon in the United States."
For Un homme et une femme he wrote the scenario, directed and personally did the camera work. Although it was the official French entry, few of the two thousand critics and movie moguls at the Cannes Festival had ever heard of Lelouch. But for the first and only time during this year's 20th anniversary festival, they applauded during the film and gave it an ovation afterward. The photography, mixing color and black and white, is stunning, the dialogue genuine and there is a love story, beautifully told. One critic praised Lelouch for "making music out of motors and the sound of tires on icy roads."
If the 13 judges share the mood of the visiting critics, Sports Lover Claude Lelouch this week will win the festival's Golden Palm hands down.
If you are a million or so wrong in your guess as to how many people go to track meets, watch automobile races or attend wrestling matches, do not worry about it, just guess large. Nobody knows the exact totals. The 19th annual Survey on Sports Attendance just released by The Morning Telegraph reveals that the 1965 attendance at automobile races was 39,000,000, up 1,000,000 from 1964, but adds a note of caution: "Estimated. Exact figures not available." Wrestling crowds in 1965 were estimated at 4,767,000. That meant an estimated increase of exactly 653,938 customers at wrestling matches.
Exact figures, of course, are available from the baseball leagues, the slate racing commissions, the professional football leagues and college athletic associations, and they provide ample documentation that crowds in general are getting bigger. Thoroughbred racing attendance still leads all other listed sports (40,737,009), though there was a decline in 1965 of 90,863. All other totals were up, except minor league baseball, where the total attendance in 18 leagues came to 10,193,819 or 120,004 less than the 1964 total.
THEY SAID IT
•Jim Lefebvre, Dodger infielder, after hitting a home run from each side of the plate in a game against Cincinnati: "I was feeling pretty good about it until somebody told me if I do it nine more limes, I'll tie Mickey Mantle."
•Joe Louis, asked why he has not been more active in the civil rights movement: "Some people do it by shouting, some march, some give lots of money. I do it my way—behaving. All ways help."
•Murray Warmath, Minnesota football coach, on the evenness of competition on his squad following a 20-20 tie in the spring game: "When you have two even teams, it usually means you have two second teams, no first team."
•"Champagne" Tony Lema, winless in eight months: "It's been a long time between corks."