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Original Issue

Events, Discoveries and Opinions


Jimmy Kilroe is the nation's leading connoisseur of young Thoroughbred horses. Each year he estimates how the previous season's 2-year-olds will do when they get to the classics—the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes. His scale of excellence is called the Experimental Weights, and when he released them the other day racing fans immediately looked to see who was in second place. For the last two years his second choices (Tomy Lee and Venetian Way) have run off with the Derby.

This year a filly is second. Her name is Bowl of Flowers. She is large and red, won six of eight and $198,706 last season, is owned by the Brook-meade Stable and trained by Elliott Burch. She can run from behind the leaders or with them. If she wins the Derby, she will be the first filly to do it since Regret in 1915.

New York's National Motor Boat Show carries an official award as the best consumer show in the country. This year it is better than ever: more exhibits, interesting new trends, enthusiastic crowds (see page 48). Only the great gadfly, Robert Moses, until recently commissioner of practically everything around New York, including the waterways, saw a need to grab the industry by the ears. Addressing its assembled leaders, Moses said, "How are we to prevent these millions of boats from running wild on the waters, smashing into each other, capsizing from heavy wash? It is typical of American assembly lines and salesmanship that when the boat with an outboard or inboard engine slides down the ways, the entire concern of the average manufacturer is over. The boat industry must contribute more than soft selling.... There was a time when the big automobile manufacturers were against modern roads because they cost money. Finally it dawned on that industry that a car is no good if it has no road to run on. The motor-boat maker needs a similar education. Why should he wait until safety is forced on him? The way things are going," Moses concluded, "the internal combustion engine will overwhelm us on the water as it has on the land."


Bill Veeck, the man who made the open collar famous, has turned down an invitation to the Kennedy inaugural because it meant wearing a tie. This perturbed Hank Greenberg, White Sox vice-president. "I got a great idea," Greenberg told him. "We'll fly an Italian designer over for the occasion. We'll have him design twice as many outfits for you as Sinatra has. Think of the publicity! We'll change your public image—from sport shirts and no tie to the best-dressed man in sports."

"Can't do it," Veeck said.

"Why not?"

"I got married in a church. My mother-in-law pleaded with me to wear a tie at the ceremony, but I refused. Can you imagine what would happen if I wore a tie to the inaugural? She'd never speak to me again."


Last week the NCAA put the University of North Carolina on probation for a year because Basketball Coach Frank McGuire allegedly had broken the rules in recruiting players. McGuire is the New York-born-and-bred Irishman who has attracted many of that city's best high school players to Chapel Hill.

We have long admired McGuire as a man (SI, Dec. 9,1957) and applauded the manner in which he teaches sportsmanship and gentlemanly behavior as well as basketball. If he was guilty as charged, however, he should have been penalized, and in that spirit of impartiality we are impelled to inform the NCAA of another of McGuire's devilishly clever recruiting techniques.

Twenty years ago, when he was coaching at Xavier High School in New York, McGuire sent a christening present for the infant son of a next-door neighbor. It was a basketball, naturally, and the child came to cherish it, using it as a sleeping companion the way other youngsters used teddy bears. Later, the growing boy dribbled it and threw it through hoops on playground courts. The ball died a natural death after some years, impaled on the steel spiking atop a playground wall, but the deflated shell remained a prized possession.

The boy became a basketball star in high school. In his senior year at Fordham Prep he averaged 25 points a game and was chosen for the city's all-star team. He barely looked at the many offers from other college coaches, telling Frank McGuire he wanted only to play for him. His name is Don Walsh, and today, as a starting guard, he is one of the reasons Carolina is favored to win the Atlantic Coast Conference race.


•Alvin Dark, new manager of the Giants, believes the club lost last year because it did not have a dependable late-inning relief man. Dark now plans a startling switch: Sam Jones, who has won 39 games in two years as a starter, will work in the bullpen; his replacement will be junk-baller Stu Miller, who has started only 12 times over the same stretch.

•The Washington Redskins plan intensive homework this summer for their No. 1 draft choice, Quarterback Norman Snead of Wake Forest. Snead's tutor will be Ralph Guglielmi, who won the starting job only last season.

•Look for conference realignments throughout the Far West. Arizona State is expected to follow Arizona out of the Border Conference; both are considering a proposed Great Western grouping, which would include Utah, New Mexico and Brigham Young of the Skyline, and independents Oregon State, Oregon and Washington State. If this fails to develop, Arizona, Arizona State and Texas Western may desert the Border Conference to join the Skyline.

•Promoters of Jacksonville's Gator Bowl are considering a shift to January 1 and direct competition with Miami's Orange Bowl. The move hinges largely on an improved television contract.

•Big Jake, listed as a 1,000-to-1 shot for the Santa Anita Handicap in the Caliente Future Book on December 24, has won two of his last three races, is now 30 to 1.

In Athens, Ga. last week, Georgia Tech beat the home team University of Georgia in a basketball game 89-80. Disappointed Georgia students thereupon marched up to the girls' dormitory and threw rocks through the window of one of the coeds, Charlayne Hunter. Miss Hunter is not, as one might suppose, a spy for the winning Tech team. She is a Negro trying to get a college education.


The new Attorney General of the United States (5 feet 10, 165 pounds) won his H at Harvard playing end on the football team. Introduced last week at a banquet meeting in Pittsburgh of college football coaches and NCAA authorities, Bob Kennedy began with a smile. "When you play football in college," he said, "you get a little better in the public's mind and a great deal better in your own mind each year after graduation." When he was invited to speak, Kennedy said, he thought to himself: "They want me to reminisce about that 1947 Harvard team and tell in detail about a few blocks I made and tackles that I would have made if luck hadn't been against me." It was a blow to his morale, he said, to learn that the coaches had never heard of his Harvard letter. "However, I come with great pride...." And the smile disappeared and Kennedy emphasized the next words with the crisp, chopping, right-hand gesture the country has come to recognize in the style of his brother JFK: "Except for war, there is nothing in American life which trains a boy better for life than football. There is no substitute for athletics."

Then the new Attorney General took up the theme of The Soft American that the new President outlined in this magazine a month ago. If his listeners had expected mere pleasantries they were in for surprises.

"Think back to what happened during the Korean war. Almost 50% of our Army prisoners—American soldiers who were captured in Korea—died on forced marches or in prison camps. Turkish soldiers captured at the same time suffered no fatalities even though they were generally in worse condition than our soldiers.

"Those who have made a study of the causes of this situation have come to the conclusion that we had such a high mortality rate because in many cases U.S. Army prisoners cared only for themselves, allowing their sick and wounded to go untended and die in the cold."

Moral, mental and physical fitness go together, said the Attorney General. While his audience listened in engrossed silence he ticked off, with the chopping gesture, the TV quiz scandals, the publicized corruptions of the 1950s in labor, business and government, and the lagging fitness standards of American youngsters.

"I am here," he ended as the cheers came, "because President Kennedy and we who are a part of the incoming Administration are deeply concerned about what has been happening to our country.... We are going to work on a program which emphasizes that all children should participate in sports. All children should recognize the need for physical fitness. All children should realize that excelling in athletics is important. If a game is worth playing it is worth winning."


After dismissing Manager Lou Boudreau last fall Phil Wrigley struck a radical course for his hapless Chicago Cubs. He announced the club would open the '61 season with an eight-man board of coaches—and no manager. Last week, ignoring the hecklers, he named his sixth and seventh members of the board, Verlon Walker and Charlie Grimm (previous members: Rip Collins, Harry Craft, Vedie Himsl, Goldie Holt, Elvin Tappe). Wrigley parried all questions with a Confucian "He who explains is lost."

While baseball experts speculated on Wrigley's sanity, a source close to the Cub owner offered some interesting clues. Wrigley has been a successful businessman (chewing gum) for as many years as he has been an unsuccessful baseball man. Now he'd like to try Spearmint tactics in the dugout. He sees no logic in baseball's practice of firing all the coaches every time a new manager is hired. He considers this wasteful and disruptive. Group brain-picking has been run up the commercial flagpole and saluted.

Wrigley has sold a lot of chewing gum that way. Maybe it will also win some ball games.


At the hockey game in Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens the other night several people in leather jackets turned up with box seat tickets. It took a few days for Maple Leaf officials to recover from this. The regular box-seat patrons in Toronto normally are dressed to the nines, or even the tens, in evening clothes and mink. That's the way it is in the Gardens, where there has not been an unsold ticket to a hockey game since 1945.

When the Leaf officials pulled themselves together, they issued the following memo to all box holders:

"Among those attending the NHL games in Maple Leaf Gardens there has been a noticeable letdown lately in the dress and general deportment of a number of people occupying the box seats. These, naturally, are not the regular box-seat holders but, having always been able to keep a high standard in the Maple Leaf Gardens, we are asking our subscribers to exercise care when they release their tickets to someone else."

Unmentioned by the Leafs' management was another important reason for dressing properly. Many of the boxes are within earshot of the hockey players' benches. Without evening wear, the spectator is in for an expansion of his vocabulary. But, properly dressed, the fan has only to pull his top hat down over his ears.