Kansas City Royals Manager Jack McKeon recalled a young minor-league speedster named Juan Visteur who played for him at Wilson, N.C. Visteur sailed through so many stop signals at third base that McKeon threatened to shoot him the next time he ran through one. "Visteur was Cuban, and about that time everybody was shooting at everybody down there," said McKeon. "I bought a couple of blank cartridge pistols and carried them in my hip pockets. So one night Visteur goes right through my sign and I let him get about halfway toward home plate and then, pow! pow! Visteur took a leap, slid in headfirst and was safe as he knocked the ball loose from the catcher. He lay there, face down, with his hands over his head. I think he got the message."
Those giant-size tomatoes Oriole groundkeeper Pat Santarone grows near the Baltimore bullpen have a secret ingredient. Santarone, who also serves as a turf consultant at Pimlico Race Course, was seen skulking around the back of Secretariat's stall when the Triple Crown winner was at Pimlico for the Preakness. "I admit it," Santarone says. "I told Chick Lang to get me a couple more pails of Secretariat's manure at Belmont. I got tomatoes coming up that look like beach balls." And presumably, when you stick a fork into them, they run like mad.
Barbara Ader, one of the first women jockeys, returned to competition at River Downs racetrack in Cincinnati after a layoff of two years. For love and money. Barbara has been going with Jockey John Shaffer, and the two have been saving their money to get married. John, unfortunately, crushed a vertebra in a recent fall and will be grounded for three months. In the emergency, Barbara, who has kept her riding skills by exercising horses in the morning, decided to earn some bread.
A major-league baseball player, a table tennis champ and now broadcaster for the Kansas City Royals, Buddy Blattner nonetheless claims that one of the most interesting experiences of his life was being in the Navy with Bobby Riggs. "Don't tell me about that guy," he says. "Absolutely one of the best-coordinated athletes I ever saw. He would catch on to anything so fast you can't believe it." Example? Blattner cites the time Riggs picked up a saltshaker in an officer's club and said, "Let's slide this down to the end of the bar for a dollar each. If it goes over the end, you lose." Riggs, naturally, went last. All the others went off the deep end, and he slid the shaker three feet and picked up the money. "Now," says Blattner, "they wanted to do it again and make Riggs go first. He stopped the shaker two inches from the end. He hadn't tried it before, either. He was always doing that sort of thing."
July 1, 1973
It was a routine June wedding, except for a couple of details. First, the bridegroom had to duck to get in the church door. Second, the minister got lost for two hours on the freeways going to the rehearsal. From those clues, one might guess that the locale was Southern California and the bridegroom was a UCLA basketball player. Right. 6'11" UCLA Center Swen Nater was marrying Marlene Murray at the West Anaheim Methodist Church, and it was a joyous team affair with the Rev. L. Leander Wilkes—father of UCLA's celebrated forward Keith Wilkes—officiating. Having a ball at the ceremony were UCLA players (from left) Bob Webb, the groom, Andre McCarter, Greg Lee and the squad's other center, Bill Walton.
It was a routine June wedding, except for a couple of details. First, the bridegroom was Olympian. Second, the bride was a princess 48 years his junior. From those clues, one might—or might not—guess that Avery Brundage had married Mariann Princess Reuss. Mariann, 37, whose royal lineage is traced to a small principality in middle Europe, is an expert skier, speaks six languages and has been connected with the Olympics as hostess and interpreter for more than a decade. And where will the happy couple live? "I've been living in an airplane for the last 25 years, and that's probably where we'll be most of the time," said Brundage, still flying high at age 85.
There is no doubt about it. Man is smarter than a bird. Or at least smarter than a puffin. The birds were holding Wildlife Officer Robert Montgomery prisoner on an island off Newfoundland by driving away a Royal Canadian Mounted Police helicopter every time it tried to rescue the marooned Montgomery, who had been on the island for 12 days. But the Mounties' whirlybird finally got its man, because a puffin lets nothing disturb its sleep. On the 12th night, long after puffin bedtime, the helicopter swooped down and plucked Montgomery from his uncomfortable nest.