BASEBALL—Cincinnati opened its National League best-of-five playoff series with the Phillies by winning 6-3 and 6-2 in Philadelphia. In the American League, New York split with Kansas City, winning the first game 4-1 and losing the second 7-3 in Kansas City.
BOXING—VICTOR GALINDEZ of Argentina won a unanimous 15-round decision over South African Kosie Smith, in Johannesburg, to retain his World Boxing Association light-heavyweight title.
Light-heavyweight champion JOHN CONTEH of England defended his World Boxing Council title against Alvaro Lopez of Stockton, Calif., winning a unanimous decision in a 15-round bout in Copenhagen.
PRO FOOTBALL—World champion Pittsburgh continued to founder, dipping to a 1-4 record with an 18-16 loss to Cleveland. The Browns got four field goals from Don Cockroft—the deciding one coming with 1:55 remaining—and some nifty quarterbacking from David Mays, who was filling in for the injured Brian Sipe, who was filling in for the injured Mike Phipps. Sipe was sidelined in the first half with a mild concussion, and Pittsburgh Quarterback Terry Bradshaw suffered a neck injury in the fourth period. Kansas City won its first game of the season, 33-30 over aging Washington. Green Bay won its second straight, defeating winless Seattle 27-20. Lynn Dickey passed for 215 yards and a touchdown to lead the Pack. The St. Louis defense held Philadelphia to 58 yards rushing in a 33-14 win. Chicago and New England both suffered losses; the Bears had an extra-point attempt blocked in the fourth quarter and lost to undefeated Minnesota 20-19 (page 26). And the Patriots, facing Detroit, were humbled 30-10. Greg Landry threw three scoring passes as Tommy Hudspeth made his coaching debut. Houston missed several scoring opportunities down close to Denver's goal line, but won anyway, 17-3. New Orleans Linebacker Jim Merlo returned an intercepted pass 83 yards for a touchdown, sparking a 30-0 rout of Atlanta. The New York Jets won their first of the season, 17-14, when Pat Leahy kicked a 38-yard field goal with 48 seconds remaining. The New York Giants, playing for the first time in their new New Jersey digs, did not fare so well against Dallas, losing 24-14 (page 68). Cincinnati Defensive Back Tommy Casanova intercepted a pass to set up one touchdown and recovered a fumble and ran it back for another as the Bengals defeated Tampa Bay 21-0. Ken Stabler threw three touchdown passes in Oakland's 27-17 defeat of San Diego, and Baltimore's Bert Jones picked on Miami's injury-riddled secondary with 10 straight completions as the Colts beat the Dolphins 28-14.
October 17, 1976
HARNESS RACING—JADE PRINCE ($8.40), a 2-year-old pacer driven by Jack Kopas, recorded the fastest mile raced in harness history—1:54[1/5]—on The Red Mile in Lexington, Ky. (page 64).
Quick Pay ($3.20, $3), driven by Peter Haughton, won the $100,000 Kentucky Futurity for trotters by taking the second (1:59) and third (1:59[1/5]) heats of the classic contested in Lexington.
HOCKEY—NHL: Washington was the worst team in the league last season with an 11-59-10 record, but the Capitals were off to a flying start this season, topping Atlanta 6-5, then tying Detroit 3-3 before losing to Cleveland 6-3. Montreal was Montreal, the Stanley Cup champions routing Pittsburgh 10-1 and Vancouver 3-0. Pittsburgh gave up 22 goals in its first three games, two of them losses. Eddie Giacomin registered his 52nd shutout as Detroit took Buffalo 4-0. The New York Islanders handed Philadelphia its first home shutout in three seasons, 3-0, and then the Flyers lost 4-3 to Atlanta. Philadelphia finally won, against Los Angeles 1-0, but the Flyers looked shaky. The Islanders opened with a pair of victories, the other over Chicago 2-1. Chicago got three goals from Pit Martin, two in a 6-4 victory in St. Louis, where Emile Francis is the new coach. Derek Sanderson scored a goal and added an assist in the Blues' 2-1 win over his and Francis' old club, the New York Rangers. The Rangers came out on top in a free-wheeling 6-5 game with Minnesota, which lost two games before beating Colorado 4-1, Tim Young scoring his fourth goal of the young season. The Rockies had opened with a 4-2 win over Toronto. Boston's Rick Middleton scored three goals in his first game with the Bruins, and Johnny Bucyk added three assists in a 6-2 win over Minnesota. Buffalo split a pair of games, and the new Cleveland Barons got off to a 1-1-1 start.
WHA: Serge Bernier scored two goals and added an assist in Quebec's opening 5-2 victory over Calgary. The Cowboys also suffered a 4-1 loss to Winnipeg. Edmonton Goalie Dave Dryden shut out the New England Whalers 2-0. Indianapolis and Birmingham both began well in the East Division, the Racers winning 4-3 over Minnesota and the Bulls defeating Houston 4-2. Cincinnati defeated Minnesota 7-2, lost to Phoenix 8-6, then tied San Diego 7-7.
HORSE RACING—REVIDERE ($5.40), Jacinto Vasquez up, scored a convincing 14-length victory in the $132,375 Ruffian Stakes at Belmont Park. The 3-year-old filly avenged her only loss of the year—to Proud Delta in the Beldame Stakes—by running the mile and a quarter in 2:01 on a sloppy track. Proud Delta did not like the footing and finished last in a five-horse field.
Sensational ($22.80), ridden by Jorge Velasquez, won the $107,900, one-mile Frizette Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Belmont, beating Northern Sea by 1½ lengths in 1:36[1/5].
Run Dusty Run ($4.40) came from off the pace to win the $134,800 Breeders' Futurity for 2-year-olds at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky. Under Jockey Darrel McHargue, Run Dusty Run finished the seven furlongs and 184 feet a nose ahead of Banquet Table, in 1:27[2/5].
MOTOR SPORTS—England's JAMES HUNT, driving a McLaren, finished 8.03 seconds ahead of Jody Scheckter of South Africa to win the U.S. Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, N.Y. (page 28).
Donnie Allison took the lead with 40 miles to go and easily won the National 500 at Charlotte, N.C. Driving a Chevrolet, Allison averaged 141.226 mph.
TENNIS—CHRIS EVERT defeated Dianne Fromholtz 6-1, 7-5 to win the $75,000 Talley Tournament in Phoenix. Fromholtz had defeated Billie Jean King—playing her first tournament singles in 15 months—6-3, 6-2.
MILEPOSTS—FIRED: By baseball's St. Louis Cardinals, RED SCHOENDIENST, after 12 years as manager. Schoendienst, 53, led the Cards to NL titles in 1967 and 1968, and to a World Series triumph in 1967. The Cardinals finished 72-90 this season. He was replaced by Vern Rapp, 48, a minor league manager for 15 years.
HIRED: To manage the San Francisco Giants, JOE ALTOBELLI, 44, who skippered Rochester of the International League for six years, winning three pennants.
HIRED: To manage the Montreal Expos, DICK WILLIAMS. Fired this year by the California Angels, Williams managed Boston to the American League pennant in 1967 and the Oakland A's to three division titles and two World Series championships.
RESIGNED: RICK FORZANO, in his third year as head coach of the Detroit Lions. Tommy Hudspeth, 45-year-old coordinator of personnel, was named interim coach.