After a hard day's play, a pro athlete ought to be able to crawl into his hotel room and let his hair down, but if he stops at the Sheraton in Philadelphia he had best be on his toes. Mickey McCloskey, the bell captain there, has a good-guy team going. Some of the guys: John Kerr, "The nicest guy in basketball"; Orlando Cepeda, "The greatest guy in baseball"; Walt Frazier, "Sweetest of the mod types"; Wilt Chamberlain, "Likes a high room on the south side; quiet, moody, good tipper"; Red Schoendienst, "Like a favorite big brother"; Lou Brock, "Most humble." What about sweethearts like Bob Lilly and Billy Kilmer? Football players don't get rated because McCloskey doesn't work weekends.
"Veni, vidi, vici!" crowed Marshal Tito to Daniel arap Moi, the vice-president of Kenya, and with good reason. On a state visit to Kenya (veni), the Yugoslavian president and Mme. Tito had gone hunting; had seen (vidi) a three-ton male rhino, a 2½-ton buffalo and a "huge" lion; and Tito had shot (vici, sort of) all three, bringing down the rhino and the lion with single shots. Madame earlier had got herself a zebra and an impala. If she made a classical allusion it was not reported.
The alumni of St. Charles High School in Columbus, Ohio thought it would be nice to have Joe Garagiola speak at a reunion, so Dr. John Clifford, a dentist, undertook to set it up. He called NBC, where they referred him to Joe's agent. The agent said Joe's fee would be $4,000. Dr. Clifford said, "Well, thank you anyway." Then added, "I'm sure glad he didn't bat over .260."
As British Open champion Tony Jacklin emerged from Buckingham Palace last week, where he had gone to pick up his O.B.E. from Queen Elizabeth, he found himself unexpectedly on camera, the "victim" of the British version of the TV show This Is Your Life. Predictably shouting, "I don't believe it," Jacklin was rushed off to the studio to complete the program. Among those on hand were Bert Yancey, his closest friend on the U.S. tour, while Jack Nicklaus appeared on film. Jacklin was reminded that in 1955 he had won a xylophone in a yo-yo contest. He was handed a yo-yo to determine whether he had retained his skill. He hadn't. On his first release, the yo-yo flew from his hand and disappeared forever off camera.
March 2, 1970
"Ballplayers run far too much with their toes out and their heads up and back," says Wes Santee. "What is worse, they actually lean back to see where the ball has gone. Why look at the shortstop if you've hit the ball to him? You know what he'll do when he gets it." Santee, once America's best miler, and Bill Easton, his former coach at Kansas, have temporarily joined the staff of the Kansas City Royals to try to improve running and training techniques. It is their opinion that if baseball players ran properly, they would get to first safely a dozen more times over a season. Another of their proposals is that an outfielder shouldn't jog back to his position but engage in a series of 10-to 15-yard sprints so that muscles are stretched and adrenalin flows. Says Santee, "I know baseball players are traditionalists, and they'll think they look funny doing sprints, but the way I look at it would be, 'I don't care how silly I look, I'm going to the bank later.' " Lots of luck, gentlemen.
Bobby Richardson, Paul Anderson, Jerry Stovall, Carroll Dale, Don Shinnick and Steve Spurrier were on hand in Jacksonville not long ago for a Fellowship of Christian Athletes rally. However, the star of the three-day program was Mike Crain, an ordained Baptist minister and a black-belt karate instructor, who performed in a demonstration entitled Karate for Christ. Crain broke a foot of concrete blocks with his forehead. "You'll notice I yell as I hit them," he said. "That's done to completely void my mind of any sensation, so I won't feel pain. And, just as breaking these blocks requires a lot of power, my living requires God's power. Romans 1:16 says, 'For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.' " Anyone care to suggest a more concrete demonstration of faith?
The most hair-raising news of the season may be that Walt (Clyde) Frazier of the Knicks and Mike Battle of the Jets have teamed up in something called Battle & Clyde's Penthouse Salon, which is a barbershop near Madison Square Garden. A clip joint? Well, not exactly. A hair-styling sets you back $7, a comb-out $5, hairpiece servicing (including styling and cleaning) $10, a permanent $12 and straightening $25, but Knick tickets are available for $4-$7 and Jet tickets for $4-$8 as a courtesy to "regular customers." These are box-office prices, but the operative word is "available."