The New York Jets were having trouble concentrating on football. First, New York Daily News Reporter Kay Gilman rather unexpectedly dropped in on the Jet locker room, taking Running Back Mike Adamle completely by surprise. Then two Hofstra University seniors, Sonni Daniel and a sporting friend, showed up for practice claiming that "a coach with a Southern accent" had told them they could work out with the team. "Someone mentioned something about them wearing pads so nobody could tell they were girls," said Helen Daniel, Sonni's disbelieving mother. Then, after morning practice, Wide Receiver Jerome Barkum and Assistant Trainer Mike Biles were standing in the men's room when, Biles says, "I got a strange feeling. I turned around and there were two girls—in stalls three and four—peaking out at us over the top. I think they were waiting for Joe Namath."
And, adding a word of caution that he is not entirely serious all the time, it can be reported that Lee Corso, the new football coach at Indiana, claims to know exactly what he wants in the next assistant coach he hires. The next assistant will be a Ph.D. in education, experienced in physical education, athletically inclined, age 27 to 30, attractive—and a woman. "With a woman around, there will be a tendency to eliminate vulgarity and profanity," he says. Those who know Corso aren't betting any large amounts this will actually happen. On the other hand, they aren't wagering a whole lot that it won't.
Folks are faster than Volks—or so claimed San Jose Bee Outfielder Kenzie Davis, who already has 62 stolen bases, only 13 short of the California League record. Davis was bet $50 by clubhouse agitator and Catcher Sam Beard that he couldn't outrun a Volkswagen. Davis immediately accepted the bet, and Bee General Manager Larry Glissman had the promotional good sense to schedule a formal race for a Sunday baseball game. An anxious crowd of 3,243—over a thousand better than the Bees' average attendance—gathered to watch Davis and a Volkswagen do their thing across a 75-yard stretch of outfield grass. "I think I can beat the Volkswagen as long as it's not souped up," the outfielder said. "I don't care if it's an automatic shift." Well, Davis jumped out of the starting blocks to a big lead and beat the machine by three yards, though the Bug was gaining fast. Heady with success, Davis plans to try his wheels against a champion quarterhorse.
After years as New York's most flamboyant and aggressive jockey, Manuel Ycaza has taken up another kind of horseplay—if you want to so describe international relations. He has become Panama's consul general in New York. With his many suspensions behind him now, the hitherto controversial Ycaza said diplomatically that New York had "the best" stewards, and that his former profession had been wonderful to him for 20 years. "I rode hard all my life. I tried to please the public in every way," he said. "I did not want to hurt anybody when they put $2 on Manuel Ycaza."
August 5, 1973
Here is a true confession by Ron Luciano, the American League umpire and former 6'4", 250-pound All-America tackle from Syracuse University. Several times a week Luciano prowls around, field glasses in hand, in the woods near the cities in which he works games. He is an ornithologist, and one with a serious problem. "My ear is not particularly good for birdcalls," Luciano says. "I think it is because I have heard too many boos and jeers." Why has he been so secretive about his pastime? Well, Jim Bouton wrote in his book that one recreation of ballplayers on the road was being Peeping Toms, and here Ron was, a bachelor who always carried binoculars with him. And one could see another reason for an ump to keep binoculars under cover.
"Starting at first base for the Houston Astros—No. 9, Jerry Lewis...." In a real-life Walter Mitty role, the comedian played four innings for the Astros in a charity game against the Detroit Tigers and acquitted himself remarkably well, handling several chances in the field and batting leadoff. First time up he drew a walk. The next time he blooped a hit into right for a genuine single off a big-league pitcher, Mike Strahler. "This was the greatest moment of my life," Lewis said afterward very seriously. "I've played in intrasquad games with the Giants, but this was the real thing, regular game conditions. And the whole time I was watching my sons in the stands. They were out of their minds. My 9-year-old had his mouth open. He never shut it." Arriving at a dinner party later that evening, Lewis was still wearing his Houston uniform with his name and number stitched across the back. "You'll need a meat cleaver to get this off me," he said. "When I die you'll have to peel it off like a marlin skin."
After Princess Anne got engaged to equestrian friend Lieut. (now Captain) Mark Phillips, the London Daily Express' popular astrologer, Lord Luck, pompously consulted the stars and announced that, considering everything, "The marriage would be a very stable relationship." That seems to be a safe prediction. Certainly Captain Phillips looked happy enough affixing a contestant's number to the royal arm as Anne prepared to ride her horse Doublet in the Combined Open Championship at Hickstead, Sussex. She won, advancing a step toward the European championships in Kiev, where she and her fiancé may compete together in September.
The pitching duel that airplane buffs had been anticipating all year finally materialized: Messersmith vs. Folkers. Andy Messersmith of the Los Angeles Dodgers shot down Rich Folkers of the St. Louis Cardinals with a seven-hit shutout, which is what the plane nuts expected. A World War II product should zap a World War I model every time.