The Broadway Show League has opened its 1972 softball season in Central Park with the usual mixture of high drama and low comedy. One recent game had the cast of Sugar, the hit musical, pitted against a team of newspapermen, who clobbered the actors 18-4. Star Robert Morse of Sugar was philosophical. "It's just for fun," he said, "and I play wherever I get the most sun." That happened to be second base, where his most spectacular play came when he ran in from his position to comfort a young lady in the stands who took a foul ball in the face. Later he booted a grounder and lamented the skimpy crowd. "If I were Dick Cavett," said Morse, "I'd have a big crowd watching. Secretly, you know, I've always wanted to be Dick Cavett."
Over in London, meantime, a potential World Series rivalry is shaping up. During a break in rehearsals for her role in the film A Touch of Class, British Actress Glenda Jackson was learning baseball's liner points from her co-star, American Actor George Segal. Now if the Russians can just get something going....
Sartorial notes from all over: Gail Goodrich of the Los Angeles Lakers has been chosen as one of Esquire magazine's 10 best-dressed athletes for 1972, but teammate Pat Riley ought to get the No. 10½ spot, at least. When informed of his honor and invited to a picture-taking session, Goodrich immediately called Riley to ask him what he should wear.
Meanwhile, in Omaha, Heavyweight Champion Joe Frazier is unveiling a new, self-designed ensemble made especially for his light with Ron Stander. Frazier has chosen a red, white and blue motif to commemorate Memorial Day, he says, and will carry it out with a bright red robe trimmed in white satin, a pair of white, navy-and-red-striped shoes and custom-made boxing gloves that feature red palms and blue tops. To avoid a clash, Frazier has provided Stander with a pair of gloves in the same hues but with colors reversed. Sounds divine.
Idylls-of-a-Prince Dept. Bonnie Prince Charles of England discussed last week, in a new book entitled Captains and Kings, his first royal parachute jump, from a plane over the English Channel last July. The slipstream from the propeller was surprisingly hard, reported the Prince, and when he let go of the wing strut his feet flipped up and he found himself heading earthward head first. "It doesn't happen often," he said. "Either I've got hollow legs or something."
For some 24 years, J. Edgar Hoover was Pimlico Race Course's most celebrated patron. His special table was always waiting for him in the clubhouse, and each year he presented the winner's trophy at the Dixie Handicap. This year the Dixie trophy was presented without him, but Chick Lang, general manager of Pimlico, has made sure the late FBI director is not forgotten. On Dixie day he had the former G-man's traditional table set up in red, while and blue decor and left it empty as a tribute. Next year, says Lang, he will name a stakes race after Mr. Hoover.
It was a feat worthy of Dick Tracy. After the L.A. Police Revolver and Athletic Club completed its 2,000-mile goodwill relay from Tijuana, Mexico to Vancouver, British Columbia last week, two of its members decided to put on a little law-and-order demonstration that was not on the schedule. At the celebration following the end of the race, Sergeant R.A. Hickey and Officer Tom Holroyd spotted this purse snatcher making his getaway in the crowd. Despite having logged an aggregate 36 hours of running time in 11 days, the two lawmen took off in hot pursuit, nabbed the suspect and returned, barely breathing hard, to the celebration.
Bill Peterson and Don James, the head football coaches of the Houston Oilers and Kent State University Golden Flashes, respectively, evidently feel the best way to a player's heart is through his stomach. In separate bursts of gastronomical excess, the two greeted their 1972 charges with enough calories to heat Anchorage, Alaska. Peterson hosted 50 players and prospects at the Oilers' three-day orientation camp, where they consumed 84 pounds of meat, nine gallons of beans, cole slaw and potato salad, 28 loaves of bread and Jos. Schlitz only knows how many quarts of beer. James treated his charges to a similar gustatory blowout at Sunday breakfast. His 38 players put away 15 pounds of sausage and bacon, nine dozen eggs and live gallons of milk. A few returned in the afternoon for lemonade and cookies. The coaches probably still can't believe their players ate the whole thing.
The former heavyweight champion of the world and his wife Belinda are the parents of their first son, born in Philadelphia last week, and all parties are doing fine. The same might not be said for readers of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, however. The newspaper, which has never acknowledged the father's Islamic name, neglected to explain in its story on the birth why a man named Cassias Clay would call his son Muhammad Ali Jr.