Jersey Joe Walcott made a speech and answered questions in Reno, and among his questioners was Coach Tommy Prothro of UCLA.
This is an article from the June 29, 1970 issue
Prothro: It seems to me, Joe, that there aren't as many good fighters as there used to be in your day. Why is that?
Walcott: In the past I don't think there was anything that compared with boxing for people with limited opportunities. In most cases a minority fella who entered boxing was reaching for some measure of success. It was the only thing he could turn to. But now people like you have made the opportunities so plentiful for the minority athlete that it has put a restriction on boxing. That's a great thing, but it has hurt boxing—hurt it in a good way, maybe.
The 79-year-old ex-President of France set such an extraordinary pace in his tour of Spain (where he visited General Franco) that journalists kept stopwatches on him. They were so impressed by the brief time he spent in tourist shrines that they called his journey "the rallye of Charles de Gaulle." After his first 120 hours in Spain their record read, "Five days, 3,000 kilometers and only one hour for tourism!" The general's finest achievement came when he zoomed through the immense Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in 15 minutes—"a feat never equalled," wrote one admirer, "in the millennium-long pilgrim history.... The rallye of Charles de Gaulle over Spanish routes will be forever engraved in any biography of the general as the greatest sporting feat of his prolific and agitated life."
Princess Caroline, 13-year-old daughter of Rainier and Grace of Monaco, has been taking the course in animal training offered at Monaco's zoological gardens. "Beginners' instruction," says Trainer Freddi Hager, "consists first of getting the animal into the habit of having a human being around." Clearly, Caroline and the 8-month-old lion Elsar are ready for step No. 2.
Wilt Chamberlain is taking on the companies that produce Gatorade, Sportade and other fluids with an energy drink his attorney says Wilt "whipped up himself." Obviously, Wilt has a well-stocked kitchen, for his lawyer, Sy Goldberg, describes the mixture as "grape-lemon in flavor and grape in color...a lightly colored, isotonic drink, with glucose, salts and other ingredients that is assimilated into the bloodstream seven times faster than the same amount of water." It will be distributed under the trade name of Wilt's—which is a great name, of course, to basketball fans, but one that may not instantly suggest pep to non-believers.
In 1961 Horace Stoneham built, in Arizona, a thing he called Francisco Grande, comprising a hotel, baseball-training complex, golf course and restaurant. Pat Boone, the singer, planned a nearby housing development to flourish with the expected success of Francisco Grande. But Francisco Grande never did much, Boone called off the housing project, and the deal seemed to be dragging—until copper was found on Francisco Grande land. The latest stockholders' report of the San Francisco Giants says smugly that their recreation property "holds great promise, inasmuch as important copper finds in the area will result in a substantial demand for housing and other facilities." A nearby landowner sold 300 of his acres for 2½ times what he paid for them.
Congressman Richard McCarthy (D., N.Y.), in the course of his campaign for the Senate, has already found it necessary to scuba-dive into the waters around Manhattan, and to fly above Central Park in a balloon "to dramatize the problems of environmental pollution." But he was balked when he tried urban spelunking. Questioning a request for a rate increase by the New York Telephone Company, the statesman proposed that he crawl under the streets and examine the underground wires and workings of the corporation to dramatize—well, the possibility of telephone pollution. New York Telephone turned him down, saying that such a visit would be "in violation of the company's security and safety regulations."
"I'm dying a slow death," Ken Harrelson explained as he threw away the cast he has worn on his right leg since he broke it in spring training. "I'd have hit 40 home runs if this thing hadn't happened." Now limited to hobbling around Boston looking after his business interests—he has bought into a restaurant on a pier in East Boston and opened a chain of clothing stores with the Red Sox's Mike Andrews—Harrelson expects to be back in the Cleveland lineup by the end of July. "I think I'll be able to hit 15 home runs in the time I have left," he says.
Tommy Helms' batting average dropped to .204, which made him conspicuous among Cincinnati Red sluggers, whose team average hovers around .275. When the Reds began a series in Philadelphia he heard that Johnny Callison, in a similar bind, consulted a respectable local witch, who cast a few spells after which Callison drove in 100 runs. Helms decided to give it a try. With occult assistance his average rose moderately to .210. "Don't say anything about it," he said. "People will think I'm some kind of a nut."
Now former Defensive Back Johnny Sample has revealed that he, too, is going to bring out a dirty book, called Confessions of a Dirty Ballplayer. At a press conference in Washington he admitted that his opus, like Jim Bouton's Ball Four, will contain potshots at several eminent sports figures. "A lot of people do get it in my book," he said, "but mostly, it's me."