Those close to him say Bobby Jones preferred to be called Bob, but the diminutive survived through the years because of the warm affection the general public felt for this exceptional man. One of the handful of titans who dominated sport in its so-called Golden Age—the time of Ruth, Dempsey, Tunney and the rest—Jones was of a markedly different pattern. In a rowdy, brawling, money-hungry era, he was quiet, gentlemanly, amateur. Yet no one in sport was more competitive than he, no one more successful. The paradox was irresistible.
Significantly, none of the others did as much for his sport as Jones. When they ended their active careers they left behind glittering records, amazing feats, stories to be told over and over again, but all that they had to give was already given. Jones, on the other hand, gave golf two of its continuing treasures after his retirement from competition at the age of 28. One is the Augusta National golf course, a living museum of the sport that Jones conceived and helped to design, and with which he was closely associated until his death. The other is the Masters Tournament, one of the four major championships in golf. The Masters was Jones' own idea, and its development into the distinguished position it holds today was a direct result of his interest and influence.
What a legacy to leave. What a man he was.
Despite reports to the contrary, the only football injuries that can be directly related to artificial turf are abrasions and burns from falling and skidding on the plastic surface. A 1968 report claimed that artificial grass reduced knee and ankle injuries by 80%. A 1970 report said it was the other way around: injuries were up 50%. Dr. Harry H. Kretzler Jr. now declares that his own four-year study disagrees with both the earlier reports. As far as he can tell, from his comparison of AstroTurf and a soft, slow grass field, the turf neither reduces nor increases the number of injuries. He says the generally better footing on artificial turf, which allows players to run at greater speed, contributes to greater impact. But even so, most injuries stem from the violent nature of the game, not from the surface it is played upon.
Stressing that all studies so far, including his own, are not comprehensive enough to be the last word on the subject, Dr. Kretzler says no factual evidence exists to indicate more injuries in football now than in previous decades. If subsequent studies show that there are indeed more injuries, he suggests that it is probably because today's players are bigger and faster and are trained to hit each other harder. A few rule changes, he says, or stricter adherence to existing rules, would do more to reduce injuries than altering the surface of the field.
A SHOWER FOR CAESAR
Baseball is a surprisingly active sport in Europe, if not yet up to the high level of the game as it is played in Japan and Latin America. The European baseball championship held in Bologna this past fall had some rather bizarre scores, particularly when the class teams, The Netherlands and Italy, were involved. The Netherlands, for instance, edged Belgium 20-1 and France 21-0. Italy took England 21-0 and San Marino 24-0. Italy's hopes rode on the arm of a pitcher with the all-but-unbeatable name of Julius Caesar Glorioso, but not even Caesar could stop the versatile Dutch, who beat Italy in the final 7-3.
Nothing much was hurt or damaged in the underground nuclear explosion on Amchitka Island on Nov. 6—or, at least, nothing appeared to be at the time. But bodies of dead sea otters, presumably killed by the blast, are now washing ashore. Alaska fish and game officials and biologists hired by the Atomic Energy Commission estimate that 15% of the sea otter population, or as many as 1,000 animals, may have been destroyed. If you are of cynical bent, this misfortune can be glossed over because the otters were flourishing before the blast and, in time, will renew their numbers. Happy New Year.
UP FROM ACADEME
Most major league baseball coaches are either old friends of the manager, ex-catchers, one-time managers themselves who have stepped down a peg or, occasionally, hardworking old ballplayers with aspirations to become managers themselves someday. Now the California Angels have broken the pattern and have gone into the college ranks to hire what could be called a teaching pro. Signed on as an assistant to new Manager Del Rice is Bobby Winkles, the very successful head baseball coach of Arizona State (SI, June 30, 1969).
Winkles, 41, played a little minor league ball, but when it was obvious that he was not going to make it to the majors he took his master's degree in hand and applied for the coaching job at Arizona State. In 13 years there, he had a .752 winning percentage, won the College World Series at Omaha three times (1965, 1967 and 1969) and produced ballplayers like Reggie Jackson, Rick Monday, Sal Bando, Gary Gentry, Duffy Dyer and Joe Keough, all of whom went on to the majors. Harry Dalton, the new California general manager who hired Winkles, says, "Bobby is an outstanding instructor with particular strength in the areas of organization, training and discipline." What Dalton means is Winkles not only can teach baseball, he knows how to get along with the New Youth, the sometimes far-out generation that so often antagonizes and confuses old-line baseball men. Since the Angels were a morass of chaos and disorder last year, it is obvious what one of Winkles' major duties will be.
THE WAY IT IS UP THERE
When a prominent athlete pops off in public he is almost automatically subject to indignant disapproval. Never mind the tedium of stopping to sign autograph after autograph every time you walk across a hotel lobby, nor the need to answer politely when you are asked the same dumb question or get the same comment for the—literally—thousandth time. Yet the ordeal this can be is testified to by a man who closely observed Kareem Jabbar during a recent Buck road trip to Atlanta. From the moment of the team's arrival at the airport until the 7'2" center checked into his room at a downtown hotel, 32 people made some quip or statement to him about his height.
When New Orleans finishes building its zillion-dollar domed stadium, the Sugar Bowl will go into eclipse, or molasses, or whatever happens to old sugar bowls. But the new stadium, preening its superscoreboard, its plush boxes, its splendid roof, will never be able to match the old Sugar Bowl for financial sweetness. Originally Tulane Stadium, with a capacity of 23,204, the renamed Sugar Bowl was increased in stages to its present capacity of 80,985 for a total cost of $1,568,780.49, which wouldn't pay for the construction workers' hero sandwiches today. Years ago the Sugar Bowl people committed themselves to retiring at least $25,000 in bonds each year. The 1970 payment reduced the outstanding debt to slightly more than $10,000, and that pittance is about to be wiped out. Here's how it went:
In 1937 a loan of $164,000 permitted an increase in capacity to 37,574. This obligation was paid in full in 1943. In 1939, a $550,000 debenture bond issue provided funds for jumping the capacity to 67,738. The accrued bond debt of $643,000 was paid off by 1955. In 1947 another $500,000 bond issue allowed the final rise in capacity to 80,985. The total cost was $707,000, and this is the debt that will be paid in full after this weekend's Sugar Bowl game. Other relatively minor expenditures raised the total cost of the Sugar Bowl reconstruction over the years to the final $1.5 million figure.
In the 37 years of its existence the Sugar Bowl has also distributed a total of more than $10 million to the colleges and conferences whose football teams have played in the bowl games there. Teams in the Sugar Bowl basketball tournament have earned $636,000. And taxes over the years from Sugar Bowl tickets totaled $2,461, 840.57.
That's quite a store they've been running down in New Orleans.
Furious Fred Glover, coach of hockey's Los Angeles Kings, does not think expansion of the National Hockey League into Atlanta and Long Island will dilute the quality of the game. "It couldn't possibly become worse than it is now," snaps Glover, who was a fiery competitor when he was a player with the Cleveland Barons of the American Hockey League. "It's almost impossible to charge up a team anymore. The players simply don't care. It's not that they're quitters—they don't care. They won't mix it up. They won't fight. The only time you see a good body check today is when two players from the same team collide accidentally.
"The players have become smilers. They say, 'Why should we hit each other? We've got our players' associations.' They expect everything to be handed to them today."
The University of Tennessee has a freshman athlete named Condredge Holloway you are likely to hear about next fall. Only 5'11" and 170, the 18-year-old Holloway is an athletic genius who deliberated for four months before turning down a reported $100,000 to sign a professional baseball contract with the Montreal Expos. Tennessee's coaches won't commit themselves this early, but all the evidence indicates that young Holloway will be Tennessee's No. 1 quarterback next season. He will also be the first black quarterback in Tennessee's history.
Deeper in the South, Mississippi State has a 6'1", 180-pound black freshman football player from Biloxi named Melvin Barkum. Barkum, a cousin of the Detroit Lions' Lem Barney, turned down scholarships from more than 50 major schools, including Notre Dame, Michigan State and half the Southeastern Conference, in order to attend Mississippi State. He, too, is a quarterback and is expected to be No. 1 man at the position as a sophomore.
The University of Alabama does not have a black quarterback on deck, but it does have three outstanding black players on its varsity basketball team—Wendell Hudson, Raymond Odums and Ernest Odom, all from Birmingham—and this year 'Bama almost certainly will have three blacks and two whites on the floor at times. Moreover, the Tide has a 6'5" black freshman named Charles Cleveland, who was considered one of the best high school players in the country.
Admittedly, it is still not the best of all possible worlds but at least it is a changing one.
'TIS THE SEASON
Couple of holiday hunting items. In Birmingham the Domestic Sewing Center gave away a free Winchester or Remington rifle or shotgun to any customer buying a new sewing machine. In Monticello, N.Y., the Sullivan County Sportsmen's Council ate roast beef at its annual venison dinner because only one of the 200 members managed to shoot a deer this past year.
THEY SAID IT
•Shelby Metcalf, Texas A&M basketball coach, after his team lost to UCLA 117-53: "I was asked if our kids were awed. I don't know about our kids, but that was the first time during a game I ever started thinking about the 23rd Psalm."
•Terry Bradshaw, Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback: "I got an odd letter the other day. Some kid asked me for three footballs, 12 jerseys, one pair of cleats, a car and $10,000 in small bills. He also wanted my autograph."
•Bob Lilly, Dallas Cowboy defensive tackle: "Holding can be eliminated by different methods of rushing the passer. I use my own hands a lot more. When that fails, you start belting them around the headgear. That tends to eliminate holding."