British feathers have been ruffled lately over the news that Queen Elizabeth has been breaking Rule 15 of the National Flying Club, which governs pigeon racing in Great Britain. The rule states that birds "should not carry private rings or one stamped with their owner's name and address." But special rings have been a royal tradition since the 1900s and all of the Queen's pigeons bear a numbered ring with the letters ER. "It means," complained a spokesman for unlabeled pigeons, "that everyone is racing anonymously except the Queen. There could be advantage in this, or at least a suspicion." (The suggestion is that the Queen's birds could be released first.) A complaint has been entered against Her Majesty with the Royal National Homing Union. "If you play a game, you ought to abide by the rules," the spokesman added. "A lot of money changes hands on a big race—as much as ¬£3,000 or ¬£4,000." It should be noted, however, that last year the Queen's pigeons, rings and all, failed to win a single major event. Said Len Rush, who trains the Queen's pigeons, "This sounds like sour grapes from people who are jealous of the royal birds."
Adolph Rupp, who has won 25 Southeastern Conference basketball championships, four NCAA titles—and has a good shot at a fifth—and has been president of the Kentucky Hereford Association 17 times, has just opened his first restaurant, the 7-Kings, in Elizabethtown, Ky. Rupp is no stranger to the short-order grill. "Back when I was a student at the University of Kansas, I worked my way through school," he said. "First at the Jay-Hawk Café as a cashier, then I became manager of the College Inn restaurant." That was half a century ago. Sighed Rupp, "I guess this is where I came in."
Last year Steve McQueen filmed five of the 24 Hours of Le Mans for a feature film on auto racing. This year, again using Le Mans as a backdrop, McQueen will enter the race teaming up in a Porsche 917 with none other than world Grand Prix champion Jackie Stewart. The pale blue and orange car of the Gulf-Porsche team will be serviced by McQueen's own set of mechanics, who will also draw pay as movie extras. McQueen has made it known that he merely wants to finish, and will be content to dawdle along as the cameras grind. Stewart has yet to be heard from.
New Twins Manager Bill Rigney may be relieved to know that although Dave Boswell is taking up karate, it has nothing to do with the fact that he came off second best in a brawl with ex-Manager Billy Martin last summer. Boswell isn't trying to strengthen his punch, only the fingers on his right hand, which develop blisters from pitching.
March 9, 1970
First Sam Huff said he's going to seek the Democratic nomination for Congress from the 1st District of West Virginia. Then his old teammate, Andy Robustelli, was mentioned as a possible candidate in the Republican primary for governor of Connecticut. Now Bob Short, owner of the Washington Senators and former national treasurer of the Democratic Party, says he may run for governor of Minnesota. Big deal? Not according to one of the wives involved. Said Mrs. Short, "I hope he does run. It will give him something to do before breakfast."
Twenty years ago Jackie Jensen dropped out of the University of California at Berkeley, where he was majoring in speech, for a career in baseball. It is difficult to imagine that he could have been more eloquent: in 11 seasons with the Yankees, Senators and Red Sox he had a lifetime batting average of .279, drove in 929 runs and, in 1958, was voted MVP. Nevertheless, Jensen, 44, is again taking speech—and history and English. Now baseball coach at the University of Nevada, he has enrolled there to get the 32 hours he needs to graduate. "I left Cal with the intention of going back," said Jensen, "but I never seemed to get around to it."
It's been 27 years since Robert Mitchum was riding the range as the bad guy in Hopalong Cassidy movies, but he hasn't given up horses—not by a long shot. In Nassau recently to attend Lady Sassoon's Heart Ball, Mitchum was out at the racetrack, Hobby Horse Hall, helping her ladyship present the trophy to the winner of the feature, the Heart Ball Cup, and talking about quarter horses. He pointed out the numerous quarter-horse sires and dams in the program and said he would rather be on his ranch in Atascadero, Calif., seeing to his 35 horses, than almost anywhere else. He was delighted when he discovered that the winner, a chestnut filly named Little River, was by Flit Bar, a well-known sire of quarter horses. "Hey, baby," said Mitchum, patting the filly on the nose, "I know your daddy."
Mike Reid, the Cincinnati Bengals' No. 1 draft choice, is a serious pianist who majored in music at Penn State. "If I can't make the team," he observed cheerfully, "I can always entertain at halftime."