THE SHADOW (CONT.)
Although the AFL has evinced little interest in the fact that some bookies are refusing to take big bets on games involving certain AFL teams (SI, Nov. 14), the NFL is not so unconcerned. Last week William Hundley, the NFL's chief investigator, was nosing around in Houston for two days. Hundley heard conflicting stories, and the investigation is still in progress. Meanwhile, the apprehensive bookies continue to shy away from AFL action; in fact, last week one wouldn't handle anything but the New York-Buffalo game.
THE THIRD WHAT?
Walter J. Dilbeck of Evansville, Ind. is the president of Walter Dilbeck Enterprises, a firm that deals chiefly in Kentucky real estate; Dilbeck lost his Indiana real estate license in 1955. Last year Dilbeck was briefly in the news when he offered to buy the Kansas City A's for $10 million and was turned down, so Dilbeck is now forming the Global League, which, he says, will be a third major league and will play ball in 1968. Don't laugh. Dilbeck's thinking of forming a fourth league.
At Dilbeck's invitation, representatives from Milwaukee, New York, Phoenix, Evansville, Indianapolis, St. Paul, Cincinnati, Chicago, San Juan and Manila foregathered in Evansville last month to hear Dilbeck tell them how they could play in his league by posting $50,000 for a franchise and a $1 million performance bond.
November 21, 1966
Dilbeck said stadiums would be no problem; Memphis and Seattle, among others, were building new ones. Evidently, he didn't know that blueprints call for enlarging Memphis' present ballpark from 2,300 to 7,500 seats and that Seattle voters recently turned down a bond issue for a new stadium. As for players, Lincoln Hackim, president of the American Amateur Baseball Congress, was on hand to say that "amateur players are available," and Mickey Martin, an Evansville resident who captained Murray State's baseball team last spring, said there are "plenty of players with pro potential in college."
Said Dilbeck: "We can find better players than there are in the major leagues. I'd say there are only 20 or so in each league who would be good enough to play in our league."
Said Vincente Corea of the Philippine consulate in Chicago: "Our people in Manila are very much interested and enthusiastic about your plan. Today we use the butt of a gun to settle differences; perhaps next year, or in two years, we'll swing a baseball bat."
Perhaps. In 1958 Dilbeck ran for mayor of Evansville, campaigning on a mule and passing out free barbecue in saloons. He polled 586 votes.
MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED
This week the Dallas Cowboys are second in the NFL's Eastern Division. Their eminence is not so much attributable to signing All-Americas as it is to culling the overlooked, unappreciated and unwanted—the free agents, 15 of whom are now on the Cowboys' roster. Two regulars, Cornerback Cornell Green and Split End Pete Gent, played basketball in college, while Safety Mike Gaechter was primarily a track man. And Dan Reeves, who is second in the league in scoring, wasn't even picked on the 20th and final round of the draft. What, for example, did Dallas see in Reeves that the other 14 teams didn't? "Just say we're lucky," says Gil Brandt, the Cowboys' scouting director.
Some luck. Brandt and the Cowboys have a system—a $250,000 computer system that catalogues and analyzes every prospect. In addition, Dallas relies on an intelligence test and a four-hour motivation-and-personality exam—lately shortened to 45 minutes. "The motivation exam is uncanny," says Brandt. "Nine times out of 10 it will accurately predict which player will drop out or be dropped because he lacks the drive or toughness to compete in the big league. Some of the hardest-nosed prospects have failed to fool the test. I frequently disagree with its findings, but you can't argue with accuracy."
Dallas has further discovered that a football player is most likely to succeed in the pros if his IQ is between 90 and 124. If it's below 90 a player is just not sharp enough to master the intricacies of the game, and if it is above 124, the player is apt to be too inclined to think for himself, to be overly creative.
We suppose the exception proves the rule: St. Louis is first in the Eastern Division, thanks to Charley Johnson, who has an IQ of "over 137," and Cleveland is third, ditto to Frank Ryan, whose IQ is 155.
According to John McKay of USC, the reason Alabama does so well in football is that Bear Bryant has got his players believing there's no way they can lose. "Bryant exudes confidence," says McKay. "We went duck hunting last year when I was down in Alabama for a coaching clinic, and Bear says, 'I'm the greatest shot in the world.' Well, we're sitting in the blind and one lone duck flies overhead. Bryant aims and fires, and the duck keeps right on flying.
" 'John,' says Bryant, 'you're witnessing a miracle. There flies a dead duck.' "
One week from now the annual baseball draft will be held in the ballroom of the Beasley-Deshler Hotel (where else?) in Columbus, Ohio. Of late, the draft has been notable for 1) Ralph Houk's selection of Duke Carmel from the Mets, and 2) Baltimore's pick of Moe Drabowsky from Kansas City.
This year's draft list has 3,468 names on it, among them two Shorts and a Long, two Smalls and a Little, an Orange, a Lemon and a Bonnano.
What's more, for less than $400,000, one can own the nucleus of one of the most individualistic teams of modern times. First Baseman Jim Gentile, who once hit back-to-back grand-slam homers and was rewarded by the immortal words "Nice goin'!" from Manager Paul Richards, can be had for $25,000. Second Baseman Larry Burright, who was traded from the Dodgers to the Mets and went AWOL, is all yours for $8,000. Shortstop Nate Oliver goes for $25,000; Nate also has the best singing voice in baseball. Third Baseman Steve Boros, one of sport's most prodigious readers, may be drafted for $25,000. It was once said of Boros, "He'll be the first man in history to read himself right out of the game." Choo-Choo Coleman has a price tag of $25,000, too, and Casey Stengel once described Coleman as "the best low-ball catcher in the game and I use him to keep the balls from bouncing up into the press box."
Bo Belinsky is available, as is John Pregenzer, the onetime Giant pitcher who has a fan club "To Make This A Better World For John Pregenzer To Pitch In." Bill Faul, who claims he pitches best when hypnotized, costs $25,000. Tracy Stallard, the former Red Sox, Met and Card, is on the list, and Tracy is the man who gave up Roger Maris' 61st home run and said "I'm sure it won't be the last one I'll give up."
Although we doubt that many of these characters will be picked, it should be recalled that back in 1961 the Houston Colt .45s paid $425,000 for Al Heist, Dick Gernert, Don Taussig, Al Spangler and Dick Drott.
DOWN WITH THE QUEEN
A giant portrait of Queen Elizabeth II that had adorned Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens for 13 years has been taken down, and in its place is a balcony filled with 700 season-ticket holders.
Such an act of l√®se majesté would never have occurred if Conn Smythe, 71, still owned the Gardens, but he sold out in 1961 to Harold Ballard, John Bassett and his son, Stafford Smythe, who are more interested in increasing revenue than in maintaining a shrine.
A year ago, when the Red Ensign was struck from the Gardens and replaced by the new Canadian maple leaf flag, the elder Smythe refused to recognize it; and last March, when the Gardens offered its facilities for a Cassius Clay-Ernie Terrell fight (which never came off), Smythe disposed of nearly all his remaining stock, observing that the building had been used for a lot of things but never as a garbage dump.
The new management has tried to entice Smythe back by erecting a special box, where he could view hockey games in regal solemnity. He could even have a portrait of the Queen wrapped in a Red Ensign hanging on the wall. So far Conn Smythe has not seen fit to dignify the accommodations by his presence.
Arizona State has a quarterback named Rick Shaw, so the fans are demanding that the coach put in the slant I offense.
Jim Kaat, who publicly criticized Sam Mele for firing Coaches John Sain and Hal Naragon (SI, Oct. 17), signed his 1967 contract for about $50,000, making him the highest-paid pitcher in the history of the Minnesota Twins, and, for that matter, its predecessors, the old Washington Senators. The moral seems to be that it pays to tell your boss how to run his business. However, we wouldn't recommend it unless you're 25-13.
HAMDAN, THE THANKFUL
When, about 20 years ago. King Farouk was offered $122,100 for Hamdan, an Arabian stallion, he indignantly refused to part with him at any price. Last month Hamdan—meaning the thankful—who is perhaps the finest stallion in Egyptian history, was sold to the Cairo zoo for $1.25 as lion food.
Now 30, Hamdan had been standing at stud, but six months ago the stud farm was sequestered and the horses were neglected. On October 13 the sequester general ordered Hamdan, along with two dead and two other dying horses, trucked to the zoo.
The farm's former veterinarian was the first to hear about it, and that night telephones rang throughout Cairo: "Hamdan has been sold to the zoo! He is to be destroyed tomorrow!" Once the zoo officials learned that the skin and bones were none other than Hamdan, they delayed the destruction order to allow a group of Arabian horse lovers to contact the sequester general. Hamdan was moved to the only available zoo stables, which were built for Shetland ponies. His great, fleshless bones loomed above his stall and his appearance was pitiful: someone had clipped his flowing tail and mane for a fly whisk. Yet the stallion hoarsely neighed at the little Shetland mares. Released from his stall, he joined a camel in the paddock and trotted in remembered circles. The elephant attendant, the camel attendant and the pony attendant brushed him, rubbed him, exercised him—and fed him.
The sequester general finally agreed to sell Hamdan to his fans for $100, and on October 23, 80 pounds heavier, he walked out of the gates onto the Cairo streets. It took him 30 minutes to cover the two miles to his new stable in Gezira. He is still weak, but his heart is strong. As befitting a great stud, he requires two men to hold him down when walked, and his action on the longe is fluid and light, with the balanced springiness that typifies the Arabian horse.
Now all Hamdan needs is an artificial tail.
Student anarchists at Oxford in England have painted 20 bicycles white and are leaving them about for anyone to ride.
Explains John Birtwhistle, 20, who asks not to be called the head anarchist, since anarchists don't have leaders: "Many students ride off on other people's bikes and the bikes get lost. With the white bicycles this should stop. You can just get on and ride, leaving the bike for someone else when you have finished. It's attractive to anarchists because it's attractive to many other people and they may think about the bicycles and then begin to question the present idea of private property."
THEY SAID IT
•Danny Abbott, Texas sophomore guard, explaining how outdated his upper-class teammates are: "Why, some of the fifth-year players still do the twist."
•Joan Hitman, Goucher College student who interpreted for the Russians at Laurel's International, on Nikolai Nasibov, the Russian jockey: "He has a favorite expression in English. He stands at the rail watching a horse go by and yells, "Come on, baby!' "