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Original Issue

Events and Discoveries of the Week


As the score mounted in last Thursday's 16-3 Yankee victory, the most nervous man in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was Herbert Levin, manager of The Syndicate, a clothing store. Levin had advertised that he would cut prices on suits, topcoats, sport coats and slacks in proportion to the total runs scored in each Series game. The cuts were to be $1 per run on suits and topcoats, 75¢ per run on sport coats and 50¢ per run on slacks.

Fans began to mob the store after the eighth inning. The Syndicate had to put on five extra clerks, lock its doors and admit only 12 to 15 customers at a time. At one point there was a block-long line outside the store. And 100 more eager buyers were lined up when the store opened Friday morning. Said Levin: "It was the most phenomenal day in our 86-year history." He didn't seem very happy about it.


A courageous man faced reporters in the Beverly Hills Hotel last week and tried to explain what had gone wrong. Sir Donald Campbell apologized for his impaired hearing and his bloodshot eyes (leftovers from a hairline skull fracture) and said, "It was not the fault of the machine."

This was Campbell's first public appearance since his $4.5 million car rocketed off the runway at Bonneville Salt Flats in an acceleration test that was to have preceded an attempt at a new world land speed record. Campbell believes he knows exactly what happened: at 365 mph, the car was sideswiped by cross-ripping winds, with the result that the right wheels were biting into loose salt while the left wheels were grabbing air. "It was like losing the tread of a tank. One instantly blacked out," said Campbell, who has an aversion to the personal pronoun.

The machine was airborne for 300 yards, then rolled three times in the air, came back to earth, took off again and slid for 80 more yards. "Then there was a period of gray-out in which one can remember being thrown across the cockpit. Later, one was pulled out of it. We have survived certainly the fastest road vehicle crash in history," Campbell said. Through it all, he added, the machine showed remarkable stability. "Not one single tire burst," he said, "despite two wheels off. The brakes were incredibly powerful."

Campbell attributed his survival to the fighter-plane harness he wore, plus his helmet. His g-meter showed that he withstood acceleration forces of 16 g's—his head actually traveled only about three inches before fracturing against the cockpit.

Ironically, Campbell arrived at the hospital at the same time as two elderly women who, he recalls, "came to grief at a mere 45 mph on the highway near by. One dear old thing broke her leg, her pelvis and her shoulder, all as a result of her car encountering a soft shoulder in the road."

The moral, Campbell said, is this: "One can prove that if man can survive a 365-mph crash, broken bodies are quite unnecessary at lesser highway speeds." To test this and other premises, Sir Donald and his rebuilt car will give it another brave whirl next year.

Denver University Football Coach John Roning is a man who turns all stones. During practice last week he instructed his men in the technique of carrying him off the field on their shoulders after winning games.


In this era of the H-bomb and the zip gun, Thoresen, Inc., of New York City, is offering to teach U.S. adolescents of all ages an ageless Japanese system for killing by hand. The system is karate, a method of hand-to-hand fighting which can be lethal. Unlike judo, which it in some ways resembles but which is largely a defensive science, karate stresses attack.

Thoresen is marketing a book called Super Karate Made Easy. It promises to teach you karate in a few easy lessons, "LEARN KARATE AT HOME faster this easy picture way!" trumpets a full-page newspaper ad. Karate, the ad goes on to say, will "turn hands, elbows & feet into deadly weapons!" It will teach you how to "use the nervous system [the other guy's, not yours] for mild, serious or fatal blows." You will "surprise your friends with your newly acquired skills." Surprise 'em, hell—you'll kill 'em.

Cindy's Delight, Anthony Presti up, was second by a head as the horses went across the finish line for the first time. But on the second lap around the half-mile track in Hagerstown, Md., Presti opened up a huge lead. In fact, he lapped the entire field. It would have been a great day for Presti if the race had been a mile and an eighth. But it was only five furlongs, and it had ended the first time around. Cindy's Delight evidently realized she had been hoaxed. Pulling up at the end of the superfluous second lap, she slammed to a stop and threw Presti. And they say horses are stupid.


It used to be said in Japan that water would flow upstream and the sun would rise in the west before the Taiyo Whales of the Central Baseball League would win the pennant. Well, somebody better check the rivers and the sunrise. The Whales, having wallowed in the depths for six straight years, last week surfaced with a loud banzai and a barrage of home runs.

The Whales are owned by 64-year-old Kenkichi Nakabe, minnow-size proprietor of the world's largest fishing business, the Taiyo Whaling Co. Last year Nakabe decided that his baseball Whales were giving his industrial whales a bad name. He set aside $83,000 for rebuilding. Prize purchase: slugging Third Baseman Takeshi Kuwata, who won the home run title with 31 and the rookie-of-the-year award. Nakabe also had a yen for Japan's most famous manager, Osamu Mihara, 48, who had won three consecutive pennants in the rival Pacific League.

Mihara, former Tokyo Giant in-fielder, took over the Whales this season and asked Owner Nakabe to give him three years to win a pennant. Permission granted, Mihara set about ridding the team of its loser's complex. On the field Mihara fought like honorable tiger, became the first Japanese manager ever evicted for socking an umpire. He Stengeled his lineups, once using 26 players in a game, and three years became one.

As the team caught on, the fans responded. Razzle-dazzle cheerleaders began arriving at the Whales' games. They waved great flags saying, "WHALES, courtesy Central Fish Market," and "WHALES, the Ham and Sausage Manufacturers Association." Owner Nakabe bought himself a Whale baseball suit (No. 63) and ordered a special featherweight baseball so he could work out with the players. In the locker room after games, he challenged the players to wet towel-throwing contests, in which a towel is rolled into the shape of a ball and propelled toward a target. "Sometimes," says Nakabe proudly, "I beat my own pitchers."

Last week, when Nakabe's junk finally came in, the Whales led a victory snake dance from their home town of Kawasaki into downtown Tokyo. In the evening the players were feted at Tokyo's Grand Hotel (majority stockholder: the Taiyo Whaling Co.). Fifteen gorgeous geishas sashayed around in kimonos, opening beer bottles for the glorious players, and Kenkichi Nakabe stood on tiptoe behind a big victory cake, a three-foot bronze cup and a microphone. His speech was admirably short: "The team has shown a fine effort in winning the pennant under your good coach, Mihara." Then he moved shyly among the crowd, bowing and shaking hands, while the band played a discreet, congratulatory cha-cha-cha.


•It has been (and will be) denied, but Forest Evashevski has selected his successor as Iowa football coach for next season. The choice: Jerry Burns, 33, backfield coach and, like Evashevski, a football alumnus of the University of Michigan.

•Preparing for the game against the Chicago Bears, Baltimore Colts' Coach Weeb Ewbank diagrammed 84 ways that Bear Linebacker Bill George moves on defense, drilled his team on each of them.

•The NCAA is seeking opinions from member schools on stricter recruiting and financial aid regulations. Probable result: a tightening of rules concerning visits by prospective athletes to college campuses.

•American compact cars have hit the French auto industry hard, with imports off 50%. Renault President Pierre Dreyfus noted American plans to export compacts, swore he would "fight back without mercy."

•At least two major league scouts have their eyes on Isaiah "Fireball" Jackson, 21-year-old pitcher who won 18 and lost three for the Kansas State Penitentiary Red Sox. Jackson is serving a 10-to-21-year term for robbery, will be eligible for spring training in 1963.

•Horace Stoneham may or may not hire a new manager, but he definitely is going to mend his fences. Those in left and left-center field at San Francisco's Candlestick Park will be moved in next year to give Giant sluggers like Mays and Cepeda a better chance to conquer the winds.