The way Oregon Representative Robert Duncan tells about them, his semipro baseball days as a teen-ager in Alaska sound like something out of Robert Service: the daily nine hours in the gold fields north of Fairbanks, the weary bus trip back to town, the two-mile walk to the ball park and the nine-inning games eyeball to eyeball with the glowering midnight sun—and all without a whimper. "Semipro meant half got paid and half didn't," says the Congressman. "My half didn't." Which stoicism brought him around to alerting Oregon voters (he's running for the Senate this year) to keep tabs on him during the annual Congressional game in Washington's D.C. Stadium last week. Duncan hit 3 for 3, scored a run and raised his four-year series average to a fittingly legend-sized .571.
As one who grew up on intimate terms with poverty, filth, bad housing, poor schools and dope pushers, Lightweight Champion Carlos Ortiz (below) has opposed them all in his Democratic primary campaign for a state senate seat—a platform not likely to repel residents of a heavily Puerto Rican slum district of New York City who vote this week. Should he win the primary, said the candidate who got considerable home-town exposure on TV the other night when he successfully defended his world title in Pittsburgh, he hopes to schedule his next major fight in Madison Square Garden—and that just a few days before the general elections in November. "This way I'll get good press coverage on the sports page," says Carlos, catching on fast. "That'll be worth about 1,000 speeches and at least 300,000 votes."
Named to be co-chairman of the $500 million Hamilton Life Insurance Company of New York, Jackie Robinson was frank to say that "perhaps" his appointment was a "grandstand play" by his new employer. But whatever the motivation of Hamilton Life, said Robinson, "as long as Negroes are brought into the mainstream of American business, and young Negroes are encouraged by my career, that's all that counts."
Fat and twelvish, Wilfred Pastrano first put up his dukes to defend his honor against neighborhood teases—and grew up to be the light heavyweight champion who once said, "Anybody who likes to fight is crazy." Now retired from boxing, Willie, at 30, is deeply involved in physical-fitness programs for the children of North Miami Beach, and he says, "It's like my life was just starting. All that fighting was just school for what I'm doing now and a lot of things I hope to do." In his job Pastrano puts on swimming meets, track and field meets and tennis tournaments. "And I have a boxing tournament coming up. But that worries me some," says Willie. "I can't include the little girls in it."
There is much that is right about sport, said UNESCO Director General René Maheu, from the fact that "for me an athletic competition is the modern form of the theater" to the fact that "the inequalities of life and of society are wiped out, as if by magic, on the athletic field. Sports satisfy a profound desire for justice which touches particularly the disinherited people of the world." But when nationalism appears, snorted Maheu, it undercuts most of this good. "I find it vulgar and dangerous to mistake the French team for France," said the old professor. "In this connection I find an abusive use of flags and national anthems. There is an obvious—and sometimes ridiculous—disproportion between La Marseillaise, with its words and its historical and political significance, and a soccer team."
Among the many things Rocky Graziano has had going for him down here are TV and nightclub engagements, a TV commercial series for a "more cultured yogurt" and public appearances in which he urges good little children to stick with it and not wind up as delinquents. But after he had been called to testify in an extortion trial on Long Island, the aging middleweight champion complained of image damage. "I've met four or five Presidents," he grumped. "They all said, 'Hello.' Now this is going to hurt bad—to hurt like an s.o.b."
An inventive little tyke, TV Singer John Gary made his first scuba lung out of a fire-extinguisher tank when he was 13 and lived to tell about it. With 20 watery years of experience behind him, he is currently winding up development of a sophisticated motor-driven backpack that can propel a skin diver at the mere flip of a toggle switch. Gary believes his Aqua-Peller will be as much a boon to oceanography as to sport and will continue to perfect the accessory radio transceiver crash helmet. "You need that because the Aqua-Peller can go nine knots," says Gary. "That's like a torpedo—or like sky diving under the water. Beautiful!"
Himself bald as a bowling ball, Polish Premier Jozef Cyrankiewicz stepped into the American Pavilion at the Poznan Trade Fair, found himself suitably fascinated by the mysterious workings of a bowling-alley pinsetter. Then, against his better judgment, he succumbed to U.S. Ambassador John Gronouski's invitation to roll a couple down the imported alley (below). "I warn you I'm not very good," said the Premier, preparatory to sending both balls skittering into the gutter. That left the pinsetter unmoved, but Gronouski got a spare and Kentucky Governor Edward Breathitt, also on hand, got a six. Cyrankiewicz got the last word: "Next year I'll get even at billiards. I'm much better at that."