THE INSIDE TRACK
•The Boston Red Sox hope to sign disgruntled Phillies' Pitcher Gene Conley, who doubles as pro basketball center with the Boston Celtics. Conley says he will never play baseball for Philadelphia again because of salary differences with John Quinn.
•Opponents of Southern Methodist University, loser of four straight games, will encounter wild, razzle-dazzle football during the rest of the season. As Coach Bill Meek said: "You can't get hurt falling out of bed when you're sleeping on the floor."
•The nation's top collegiate tennis team next year will play for Trinity University of San Antonio (enrollment: 1,300). Davis Cupper Chuck McKinley will begin his sophomore year; teammate Earl Buchholz has signed a Trinity letter of intent. Without Buchholz, Trinity was 16-1 in dual meets last year, losing only to powerful UCLA.
•Repercussions are still being felt as a result of the AAU's banning of a visiting Swedish basketball team here last winter. Piqued at this and other AAU boo-boos over the years, three members of the National Basketball Committee are quietly making plans to supplant the AAU as U.S. representative on the International Basketball Federation.
•Missouri Valley Conference football is dying, with only four of eight members—Wichita, North Texas, Tulsa and Cincinnati—competing for the championship. Look for the Valley to add three more schools in 1961, probably Memphis State, Louisville and Marquette, all of them prepared to compete in football, as well as other sports.
At a fashionable boys' school in Nottinghamshire last week, mountain climber Sir John Hunt was asked by a pupil: "What did Sir Edmund Hillary say after conquering Everest?" Sir John paused, then said, " 'We've knocked the bastard off.' " To a slightly abashed audience, Sir John explained: "I think it's better that I told you the truth, even if it isn't what you expected."
FERMENT IN THE WEST
The folks around Berkeley, Calif. believe they are onto a good thing. They make beer, good old-fashioned home-brew, and they claim it is better (which is doubtful) and cheaper (for sure) than the commercial kind.
For $1.85, they make 30 to 32 quarts with this recipe:
Dump five pounds of dextrose and malt syrup into a gallon of water and simmer until it thickens. Heat a pound of hops-flavored malt in a double boiler till it liquefies. Then mix it with six gallons of water, and add the syrup. Finally, add a small package of yeast, and stir with loving care. Wait three or four days, then enjoy! enjoy!
As the formula gains circulation in the San Francisco area, grocers are advertising hops in newspapers up and down the Coast. The Treasury Department is not unaware of all this, but so far it is adopting a laissez faire attitude. Said one T-man: "It's illegal to make beer at home, but so many seem to be doing it. We have no way of checking up, nor any reason to. We've had no complaints. I'm sure no one would be bothered unless he started selling his homebrew, or created a nuisance by a lot of parties."
Incidentally, if you put in too much yeast, the bottles will explode, so measure carefully and stand back.
The best television show of the year turned out to be a ball game. Produced without a script, without rehearsals, without special lighting, without even a pilot film, the seventh game of the 1960 World Series drew a huge audience (NBC estimated it at well over 40 million) and held that audience through the last fascinating second of its two-hour-and-36-minute run.
It was a marvelous show, as baseball at its best always is. As telecast, however, it was neither better nor worse than the presentations of earlier games—which means pretty good but not good enough. Throughout the Series the action caught by the camera and reproduced on the TV screen was limited to snips and patches of the original action. That apparently was unavoidable. The commentary by Bob Prince and Mel Allen, intended to supplement what one saw on the screen, was often insufficient, not to say inane. And that certainly should be avoidable.
This is not to say that Allen and Prince never explained the seen and unseen action. Allen, particularly, was excellent in following fast-moving plays that the camera could not catch, such as Mickey Mantle's attempted steal of third base in the third game. (Allen's goof in calling Berra's three-run homer in the seventh game a foul ball is in a class with Clem McCarthy's historic miscall of the Kentucky Derby and can be excused as a once-in-a-lifetime error.) But both announcers seemed more intent on filling the air with tired phrases—a home run was either a going-going-gone or a kiss-it-goodby; Mantle had two going-going-gones and one kiss-it-goodby to set a new Series record for cliché homers. Phrases like "jammed him," "popped him up," "as they say in the trade," "alltime great," "a great guy with a great heart," "there is no tomorrow" and "my colleague, the voice of the..." don't have to be around long to wear awfully thin. Sentences like "There isn't a faint heart abeatin' within his brawny body" and "The Pirates go to the bullpen frequently as soon as trouble rears its head" don't have to be around at all.
The finest piece of camera work came in the sixth game (the one that Whitey Ford won 12-0 from Bob Friend) in a superb closeup of the losing pitcher. When Friend was struggling in the second inning, shortly before he was knocked out of the box for the second time in the Series, the camera moved in on his face. Those watching on television were suddenly closer to Friend than anyone in the ball park, closer to him than his first baseman was. One could see the look of puzzlement on his face. Here he was, one of the best pitchers in baseball, a veteran of three All-Star games, but he couldn't get the Yankees out and he couldn't understand why.
An old, seedy, win-at-any-price gimmick, which does credit to nobody, has cropped up again in pro football. Chicago Bears' defensemen have taken to shouting "signals" across the enemy line in an attempt to confuse the other team. The Bears used this shoddy technique in defeating the Los Angeles Rams 34-27. Last week the San Francisco 49ers spent valuable practice time, while preparing to play the Bears, trying to work out a defense for it. As Quarterback John Brodie called plays, the defensive team filled the air with spurious signals. Coach Red Hickey said the drills were merely "precautionary."
PAPA NO. 3
A thickset, white-bearded man flew into Vancouver from Watson Lake, British Columbia last week, dressed in a hunting jacket and patched pants. In the Hotel Georgia he asked for "a day room to freshen up" and pushed forward a registration card reading "Ernest Hemingway."
"I've been up north hunting grizzlies," he said.
"Not the Ernest Hemingway?"
After enjoying Vancouver's hospitality, he checked out and hasn't been seen since. He joins 51-year-old Kenneth H. Vanderford, who has been bullfight-bumming around Spain, as one of the growing clan of Hemingway pretenders. None of them does apparent harm, and Papa has said he doesn't care if they sign his name for autographs so long as they don't sign his name to checks.
A thickset, white-bearded man will be in Sun Valley, Idaho next week. If he signs his name to a check, cash it. He's Papa No. 1—the real, bona fide, 24-carat Hemingway.
There are all kinds of ways to play the daily double, as the Internal Revenue Service is now discovering. Some men bet their or their wives' or children's ages; some the digits of their telephone or house numbers; some even pick horses instead of numbers.
A 76-year-old Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. man had a dream recently. It had nothing to do with 7 and 6 but, Freud only knows why, concerned 10 and 3, which his vision told him would pay big. He hopped a plane to the nearest track, Hazel Park, Mich., bought five $2 daily double tickets on 10 and 3. The No. 10 horse in the first race, O'Riley, won and paid $136.40 for $2; No. 3 in the second, Cosmic Wish, came in at $19.40. The double, $1,256 for $2, was the highest of the Michigan racing season to date.
The dreamer, who preferred to remain anonymous, collected a check for $6,280 and revealed that he also had bet on the same horses aside from the double. He walked off with a track police escort, perchance to dream some more. On the flight home to Soo he might have pondered the words of Menander: "For what one has dwelt on by day, these things are seen in visions of the night."
HECK'S BAD DOG
Dallas quail hunter Lon Holcombe visited Heck Lonon's kennels to look over a good bird dog. "Will he point, back, retrieve, stand to wing and shot?" he asked.
Lonon took Holcombe and dog into the woods for answer. The animal excelled. Said Holcombe, "Is he a real going dog, or is he a piddler?"
"That dog will cover the world if you let him."
So Holcombe paid $300 and took the dog home. The next day he let the dog loose in a big field. The dog started running. He hasn't been seen since.