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Original Issue

The Question: A baseball axiom is that the team leading the league on July 4 goes on to win the pennant. Will that hold true this year?

Author and playwright
"The Dodgers will be on top July 4 and will win the pennant. The Yankees may be on top but won't win. I've been a rabid Yankee fan since childhood when they were known as the Highlanders. I don't like to predict misfortune for them, but they haven't got the pitching."

United States Senator
"Not in the American League, where anything can happen. It holds true only when a team has a lead like the Dodgers. It's well nigh impossible to overtake them. They have the pitchers and the best array of hitters in their league. However, many teams have been ahead on July 4 and have lost."

REV. GERARD G. GRANT, S. J., Chicago
Professor of philosophy
Loyola University
"No. The axiom takes no account of the human factors of will and conviction. We talk of teams playing over their heads. Not really—it is only their desire to win. In 1951, the Dodgers led by 13½ games on Aug. 12. Yet the Giants caught them and won in the play-off on Bobby Thomson's homer."

"The World Series will be between the Chicago White Sox and the Brooklyn Dodgers, no matter who leads on July 4, and it may be the White Sox. My husband reminds me about the Boston Braves who came from last place on July 4 to win the 1914 National League pennant."

PAGE BROWNE, Boston, Mass.
Sheraton Hotels
"No. If I were to believe that, I'd have to concede the Red Sox haven't a chance. With Ted Williams playing like the Williams of old, our team may duplicate the feat of the 1914 Braves, who were last on July 4 but won the pennant. The Red Sox are now playing the same kind of baseball."

CARY GRANT, Hollywood
Movie star
"Probably. Percentagewise, a team leading on July 4 has a better than an even chance to win the pennant. I don't see how the Dodgers can be stopped. As for the Yankees, they've won 20 pennants. 16 of these pennant teams were in first on July 4. They play best when the chips are down."

Public relations
"Yes. It's a foregone conclusion that the Dodgers will stay on top and win the pennant. The Giants are too weak to pull another miracle. If the Yankees can hold their lead to July 4, they'll win. If Cleveland's on top July 4 and Al Rosen has fully recovered from injuries, they'll win."

CLAYTON HANNON, Klamath Falls, Ore.
Herald & News
Sports editor
"Yes. In the National League, the Dodgers are set with their tremendous start and can win by playing average ball. The American League is a tough one. The Yankees are known to play for the big ones. This could happen this year. They'll be much harder to overtake than Cleveland or Chicago."

ANNE CULKIN, Scranton, Pa.
Owner charm school
"Yes and no. The Brooklyn Bums will lead on July 4 and will win the pennant. The Yankees will lead in the American League, but won't win. Too bad. Everyone likes them as much as they hate the Dodgers. I'd like to give the Bums scholarships to my school. I'd make them popular champions."

Restaurant owner
"Even though I know that nine Brooklyn teams led the league on July 4 and failed to win pennants, the Dodgers can't be headed—not with such a commanding lead. It's different in the American League. A slim lead on July 4 won't mean much. But if the Yankees are on top, they will win."

President travel service
"Yes. Brooklyn can't be stopped. The sluggers are at their peak and the pitching staff is the best in the league. In the American League, the Yankees, Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox can be on top July 4. Any of these teams has the potential to win. July 4 should tell the story."




Can polo be popularized? (Asked at Palm Beach and the Dominican Republic.)