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Original Issue


Connie Robinson was safe at third because Brooks let her on so that he would be safe at home. And that is pretty much the way it went in the Orioles' game against their wives. First, the regular Birds all batted wrong-handed while the birds batted straight; then, the base umpires were all Baltimore female TV personalities. And finally, the girls brought in ringers to catch and pitch. So what happened? Naturally, the Orioles swarmed out of the dugout to protest and lost the game for refusing to clear the field. The ladies won 9-0 (they had been ahead 12-0), and then the Orioles played their regular game against the Red Sox. They won 5-2.

This is the month the horsy society sets up at Saratoga Springs, that leafy old New York hideaway. Governor Nelson Rockefeller and wife Happy dropped in on the John Hay Whitneys, and they all went off to the Tchaikovsky concert at the Performing Arts Center. The governor presented Conductor Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia orchestra with some gifts for their joint 70th birthdays, then napped through the final strains of Symphony No. 5 in E Minor. But even thus refreshed, he had little time for the horses. And no time at all for questions about just how New York plans to manage its new off-track betting system. Or even when it will start to try.

A few pro football rookies around the country got to feeling pretty cocky during the strike, and in Thousand Oaks, Calif. the general giddiness led a bunch of young Cowboys to start baiting a good-looking man seated at a local bar with a young lady. Their target took it for a while and then got up and left, whereupon the triumphant rookies tried to move in on the girl. She was a trifle puzzled. "What's the matter with you guys?" she inquired. "Don't you know Craig Morton?" They didn't, and they had better hope Morton didn't know them.

And over on football's other coast, Colt Tackles Bob Vogel and Fred Miller also have been getting in some work on the old pigskin, noteworthy in this case because the skin in question is still on the pig. The boys own a hog farm in a Baltimore suburb and have discovered that by the time a pig reaches, oh, 250 pounds or so, it can be a mean opponent. "You should have seen Fred going one-on-one against a big fella," Vogel observed. "The pig put on a couple of head fakes, and before we knew it he was through Fred's legs and away. I yelled, 'Hey, Fred, how are you going to catch Savers this year?' "

Jockey Donal Bowcut is out every day working horses from 6 a.m. until midmorning, and then he's off to The Thing—The Thing being (you give up, right?) Bowcut's leather-and-suede shop in Harpers Ferry, W. Va. There he and his wife make jazzy leather clothes for fans knocked out by the ones Bowcut has made for years for himself. "Naturally," the jockey says, "I don't want to make clothes just like mine, because I want to look individual." But he makes things sort of like his—working strictly by hand and using only, he says, "outside stitches. Jockeys never have inside stitches on their pants because the stitches would wear out so rapidly." To say nothing of the jockeys.

If a man is going to live at No. 10 Downing Street, he should have a boat to fit the address, right? So, having moved in, new British Prime Minister Edward Heath is now trading up: he's thinking of getting rid of that old $16,800 sloop and having a new yacht built. Something suitable for about $48,000.

"I didn't know which window to go to," said Godfrey Cambridge of his first visit to a racetrack, Chicago's Arlington Park. So he stood in the show line for a while, but that one was too long, and he tried the place window, because that one didn't have a line. Then, "I asked the clerk if it mattered which window I bet at," he said. "The clerk figured I was a kook and said 'no,' so I bet place. But it did matter. That old horse finished show, and I could have collected $300 if I'd stayed in the first line. I hate sports."

Grandest Sporting Gesture of the week:
Queen Elizabeth has given up her role as protector and owner of whales and sturgeon, making it legal at last to catch the things without Crown consent. It was an old 1297 law that everybody had royally ignored anyway. Let 'em eat caviar.

On to the Sporting Revenge of the Week:
Guard Billy Keller spent two basketball seasons at Purdue in Rick Mount's shadow, and he may find himself back there again when Mount joins the Indiana Pacers this fall. But meanwhile, it was Keller who rolled home first to Mount's third in the Oil Can Derby, a special exhibition race run before the annual Soap Box Derby at Indianapolis. "My car wanted to go to the right all the time," whimpered Mount, to which Keller replied heartlessly, "You just couldn't drive it, that's all."

Everybody knows Pamela Ann Eldred, the current Miss America, but do they know that all this time she has been harboring an unsuspected interest in athletes? "Joe Namath doesn't do a thing for me," she says. Joe who? Well, how about Al Kaline: "He's my favorite, a man, not just an athlete." Then she really likes Dave Hill's "snippiness," and as for hockey's Derek Sanderson—"I'd like to meet him. He intrigues me. Anybody as bad as they say he is fascinates me. He's so bad he's good." And as Sanderson might well say, Pamela...who?