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Original Issue


When Prince Hiro of Japan visited the U.S. pavilion at Expo '70 Howard Chernoff, USIA commissioner general, greeted him, saying, "Your Highness, I suppose you would like to see the moon rock?" Chernoff supposed wrong. What His Highness, 10, really wanted to see was Babe Ruth's uniform. He was escorted on a tour of the sports exhibit, which includes murals depicting various American sports heroes. Finally a member of the royal party pointed to one of the paintings and announced "Babe Ruth!" "That is not Babe Ruth," the prince informed him coldly. "That is Lou Gehrig."

"There's only one way to really get the feel of it, and that's to get right in over your head," says Congressman Richard McCarthy (D., N.Y.), speaking, ugh, of water pollution. McCarthy is against it, and on the theory that you should know your enemy—or something—he has scuba-dived into Lake Erie and, most recently, the Hudson River in Manhattan. "The Hudson is much worse," he reports. "Lake Erie is a pristine body of water compared to the Hudson. I went down six or seven feet, but it was just total blackness, I couldn't find the bottom."

"Out of it" now describes former Oakland Linebacker Chip Oliver—well out of it, that is. Last January he joined a commune in Larkspur, Calif., so you can figure, if you want to, that it's costing him $25,000 a year to scrub down the commune's nonprofit, health-food restaurant tables. He figures that a fifth of that money just "went down the drain in Vietnam—now Cambodia," and says, "That's one reason I quit. The only way not to pay taxes is not to make money." There are other reasons. "It's a silly game they're playing," he says of the pros. "I'm going to miss playing football—the actual football part of it—but I'd look up at the people in the stadium and realize I wasn't helping them. I wasn't helping anybody. All we're doing in pro football is entertaining these people and...they need to do their own creative thing." A vegetarian diet, periodic fasting and yoga have cut Chip's weight down to a tough 180 pounds from his playing weight of 230; he has cut his worldly possessions down to a few old clothes and an Instamatic camera. He is a happy man. "Even my mother likes me better this way," he says. "So does my father [a retired Army sergeant], but he's afraid to admit it. He doesn't like me associating with these 'Communists.' "

Some years ago David Hartman, 6'5" star of TV's The Bold Ones, kept in shape taking dance classes. This spring in Montreal the Expos' Bob Bailey was saying to him, "You gonna uni [suit] up?" and, as Hartman observes, "it's a little more fun to uni up." All work and no play, he said, was leaving him "a sieve-headed, babbling idiot," so for his second vacation in 10 years Hartman wangled his way into the San Francisco Giant workouts. Enough of a ballplayer to have turned down semipro bids after high school—he went to Duke instead for a degree in economics—Hartman traveled with the Giants to Japan, Montreal and New York, "doing everything they did. Before games I threw batting practice, grabbed a bat and took a few swings, then ran with the pitchers, did calisthenics, came back and did a small amount of the infield. I'm in super shape." The deal hasn't hurt the Giants, either. Ron Hunt credits his early-season 4-for-4 pinch hitting to Hart-man's pitching. "He throws a funny-looking thing," Hunt says. "After trying to follow his stuff in practice I went out and hit two home runs. That never happened to me before."

Bob Taft Jr., who recently won the Republican senatorial nomination in Ohio, is an avid, if bumbling, sportsman who has always been able to take his sporting defeats in stride. He jokes about his football career at Yale, where he was, as he says, "the first player in history to play three years on the junior varsity without ever moving up to the varsity." Indeed, as a senior, he was honored as the most dedicated JV player. Taft also went out for freshman crew but put his foot through the shell in a final practice session before, of all things, the Yale-Harvard races. He recalls: "That was an unpardonable sin. The shell keeper had to stay up all night with sandpaper and patch to have the shell ready for the race. I think we lost, and I never went out for crew again. I went back to my squash playing." Which he still enjoys, along with fishing, paddle ball and golf. The day after his primary victory over Jim Rhodes he played nine holes. And how did he do? "Not well," Taft admits. But he keeps trying.

John Lindsay Jr. doesn't let a flower bed stand between him and an autographed basketball. Particularly when he's in his own backyard at New York's Gracie Mansion, where his father, Mayor John Lindsay, was host at a reception in honor of the world champion Knicks. One hopes that young John's early interest in the game will keep him from duplicating daddy's faux pas; His Honor made a notable goof in confusing the military and expansion draft. Referring to Don May, Bill Hosket and John Warren, he said: "Unfortunately three members of the team have been drafted by Uncle Sam." Piped up Warren, the only one of the three present, "I was drafted by Uncle Cleveland, not Uncle Sam."