There has been a certain amount of buzzing and murmuring on golf courses around the country because Arnold Palmer, no longer Superman (has not won the Masters since 1964, has not won the U.S. Open since 1960, has never won the PGA), is obliged this year to go out and qualify for the Open in sectional play. But Palmer's plight may only be a sign of the times. At the $100,000 Greater New Orleans tournament last weekend, these prominent golfers did not even make the cut:
While these golfers did:
Hinson, incidentally, went on to win the tournament.
One of the livelier bits of news to come out of the 1968-69 hockey season was the great lottery rigging scandale in Montreal. Andre Dandurand, official timekeeper at Canadien games, was charged with having conspired to alter the official time of goals scored to aid the operation of an illegal lottery.
Lotteries based on the precise time that goals are scored are commonplace in Canada, and in metropolitan Montreal they are almost as popular as the numbers racket in the U.S., in which the winning number is based on, for instance, the betting handle at a particular racetrack. In the hockey lottery you buy a ticket with a certain number, say 18:18. If a goal is scored at that time, voilà, you win. But Dandurand and his associates were accused of rigging the deal.
Apparently, they would not sell numbers ending in certain digits; let us say that in the drawing you are involved with, they held out all numbers ending in five and zero. Now, a goal is scored, for example, when the clock that shows the time remaining in the 20-minute period reads 1:42. Take one minute and 42 seconds away from 20 minutes and you get 18:18. That's the official time of goal and that's your number, bébé. Except that—according to police—Dandurand might be just a little slow stopping the clock—a couple of seconds will do. So the time remaining is now 1:40, and that figures out to 18:20, and that is the official time of goal and that's not your number. You don't win and nobody does, except the lottery operators.
Until they got caught.
Governor Kenneth M. Curtis of Maine has signed a bill abolishing the six-inch minimum for brook trout, which means any size is legal now. Fisheries biologists had favored doing away with the six-inch minimum because, for one thing, trout from streams and brooks seldom exceed six inches anyway, and most of those under six inches that are hooked and then released die of injury.
Emit Zatopek had a long run as the free-speaking hero of Czechoslovakia, but he has finally come up against the ruthless force of totalitarian government. Demoted in January from a prestige position in the Ministry of Defens (SCORECARD, Feb. 24), the winner of four Olympic gold medals has now been suspended from his relatively menial post as coach of the Dukla Army Sports Club. The defense ministry, in justifying this treatment of a Czechoslovak national figure, accused Zatopek of "spreading untruthful reports and of action at variance with relevant orders of the Ministry of Defense."
Zatopek was reported to have said, "I cannot turn my back on my people. I felt it was my moral obligation to speak up." His activities are being officially investigated, but he told a newsman that he would not care if he went to prison because of his protests.
BRAGAN THE COUTURIER
Bobby Bragan was a colorful character in baseball when he was being evicted from more than 150 games as the manager of teams in Fort Worth, Hollywood, Havana, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Milwaukee and Atlanta. Now he has become a colorful Texas League president. One of the first things Bragan did when he took the job of running the 81-year-old league in March was take his umpires out of their funereal serge suits. Bragan ordered mock turtlenecks, windbreakers, permanent-press slacks and caps for his umpires and he had them made up in such colors as "triple-play gold," "popup blue," "outfield green" and "bullpen brown." The caps are tricolored, and the umpires keep the game balls in checkerboard hip-riding sacks.
"They can mix and match the combinations any way they want to," says Bragan. "But for the sake of our fashion critics, I hope they won't wear their pop-up blue with their bullpen brown."
Willie Shoemaker's sickening accident, which took him off Arts and Letters in the Kentucky Derby and sidelined him for at least six months, occurred not long after Diane Crump became the first of the current crop of lady jockeys to fall during a race. Such accidents—disastrous in Shoemaker's case, happily inconsequential for Miss Crump—are not uncommon at racetracks and ordinarily would have attracted relatively little notice. But because headline performers were involved, the incidents serve as a reminder of the continuing dangers of race riding.
Efforts have been made over the years to minimize those dangers, though nothing could have helped Shoemaker—his horse reared in the paddock and then almost literally sat on him. But in-race injuries have been reduced by crash helmets, for instance, and now an English steeplechase rider named Stan Mellor has helped to develop a kick-proof plastic back protector. Mellor had experienced four severe spine injuries and numerous kidney bruises from being kicked or stepped on by horses passing over him as he lay on the track after falling. But with the lightweight (six ounces) foam polyethylene back pad, Mellor says, "After you fall, you curl up into a ball. You don't have to worry if you get kicked along by the horses behind you." It has already protected Mellor (steeplechase riders fall a lot) from several potentially damaging kicks.
"It's no distraction to wear," says Mellor. "You don't even know you've got it on. You may look a proper Charlie in the changing room, but I'll never ride without it again. It's something every jockey should wear. In future, it's something every jockey will wear."
John Wooden, whose UCLA basketball teams have won five NCAA championships in the last six years, including the last three in succession, has some outspoken things to say about existing basketball rules. For one thing, Wooden suggests that all jump balls be abandoned. "Jump balls are one of the weakest parts of our game," says Wooden. "I've made a study of it, and you hardly ever see a legal jump ball. Why not let the visiting team take the ball out to start the game and then have the two teams alternate taking it out whenever it is tied up during the game?"
Offensive tip-ins for baskets should be banned too, Wooden argues. "I don't think rebound baskets should be allowed. The man who gets a rebound should be forced to pass it to another man and not be allowed to put it in the goal himself. This also would cut down the number of fouls."
Wooden also thinks the colleges should adopt a time limit, such as the pros have now, for shooting at the basket, and he feels that the dunk shot, which was banned after Lew Alcindor's sophomore season, should be reinstated.
A LITTLE KNOWLEDGE
The New York Yankees, along with other major league clubs, are polling fans, sportswriters, broadcasters and others to determine their alltime All-Star team. Last week listeners heard two Yankee broadcasters, Jerry Coleman and Phil Rizzuto, both former ballplayers, discussing their picks over the air. Coleman went through his team first and ended up with his outfield: Mickey Mantle in left, Joe DiMaggio in center, Roger Maris in right. Rizzuto then named his team. When he got to the outfield he said, "I'll go along with you on Mantle and DiMaggio, Jerry, but I've got to say Charlie Keller in right."
Whatever happened to that fat fellow who used to play right field for the Yankees? Hit a lot of home runs once...name was Babe something.
SHAPE OF THINGS
Here is the schedule on internal Olympic battles, fans. The Fédération Internationale de Ski meets in Barcelona, Spain, from May 18 to 25, where it will hone ski poles to razor sharpness as it discusses what reaction to take on A. Brundage's request (SCORECARD, May 5) that the FIS see to it that all Olympic medals won in Alpine skiing at Grenoble in 1968 be returned because of the commercialization rampant in the sport.
Brundage, in turn, meets with his International Olympic Committee from June 6 to 10 in Warsaw, where the FIS dispute will be only one of the items on a lively agenda. Also likely to be rassled over, freestyle, no holds barred, will be the question of whether flag raising and national anthem playing should be abandoned at future Olympic medal award ceremonies. This is an almost schizophrenic problem for a representative from one of the lesser Olympic countries. On the one hand, he has become weary to the death of hearing rendition after rendition of, alternately, The Star-Spangled Banner and the Russian national anthem and so would welcome the elimination of all anthems and flags. On the other hand, if his own national hero, M'Wumba Slobotnik, happens to come through with a victory in the 50-kilo walk, it sure would be nice hearing the Olympic loudspeaker playing Outer Endive's own song.
Beyond this momentous question there is the continuing irritant of South Africa, apartheid and Olympic sanctions. Indications are that South Africa, which is still a member of the Olympic movement, though not eligible to compete, will be tossed out entirely.
In any case, it looks like a stimulating Olympic spring.
DEFENDERS OF THE CUP
It is possible that the West Coast may provide two contenders for the America's Cup when competition for that most treasured prize in yachting is resumed in 1970. In San Diego Gerry Driscoll, one of the West's leading boat builders and deep-water sailors, has designed and is tank testing a new 12-meter model. Driscoll has issued no statements about the Cup races, but it is hard to envisage anyone building a 12-meter to sail around Mission Bay.
In Newport Beach, Calif. Pat Dougan, owner of Columbia, runner-up to Intrepid in the 1967 trials to determine which U.S. boat would defend the Cup, is having tests made on his boat, and Gary Mull, a San Francisco designer, has been retained as a consultant. Dougan, too, has made no public statements on his plans for next year, but he has intimated that if the tank tests prove satisfactory he may go ahead with plans to redesign and rebuild Columbia.
THEY SAID IT
•Andy Granatelli, whose turbine-powered car failed just short of the finish at Indianapolis two years ago after leading throughout the race, on the title of his new book, They Call Me Mister 500: "I feel bad about the title. I think it should be They Call Me Mister 498."
•Rosy Ryan, 71-year-old executive vice-president of the minor league Phoenix Giants, who has spent more than half a century in baseball, explaining his addiction for freewheeling, fun-loving baseball people like Casey Stengel, Babe Ruth, Lefty Gomez, Horace Stoneham and Mike Kelly: "They're the kind of people I like. I never met anyone interesting in a library."