There's a long, long trail awinding to Munich, but Gordon Naysmith will never sec the end of it. The 35-year-old Scotsman set out 21 months ago from Lesotho in southern Africa on horseback, intending a triumphal arrival this week at the Olympic Games. Alas, only 272 miles from his destination he ran out of horse. "What can I do?" asked Naysmith after quarantine regulations cut short his trek at the Austro-Hungarian frontier. He turned down the offer of Edgar Fried, secretary-general of the Austrian Olympic Committee, for a substitute steed. Maybe it's all for the best. Naysmith didn't have a ticket, anyway.
The old L.A. Angels' one-two pitching punch is hack in action as a one-two, Uh, punching punch. Dean Chance, who has been promoting prizefights in Ohio for the last several years, has hired former colleague Bo Belinsky as his matchmaker and factotum. "I was doing every-thing," said Chance. "Publicity, matchmaking, managing and promoting." Explaining his new duties, the pudgier (187 pounds) but no less outspoken Belinsky said simply, "I'll keep Dean straight. I'll even wear a tuxedo." The first Chance-Belinsky card will feature Ernie Shavers and Vincente Rondon.
It has not been what you would call a great year for race officiating. Beginning with the 1972 Indy 500, where the start was bungled and the order of finish shuffled the day after, there has been a rash of disputes over rulings on the nation's raceways. The latest is this pushing-and-yelling contest between Hobby I user and a guard at the loin Bettenhausen Classic in Milwaukee last week. Unser, upset because USAC officials apparently had been looking the other way when he ran his fastest lap (confirmed by nine stopwatch readings), withdrew in protest from the race, changed clothes and tried to return to the pit area, with results shown above.
It was a line time to decide the wire was too loose. There was Karl (The Great) Wallenda, doing his spellbinding thing 160 feet above the turf of Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium between games of a Phillie doubleheader, when he realized the ‚Öù-inch cable strung between the foul poles had "too much sway." Wallenda paused in his 600-foot stroll, put down his pole and, to the gasps of 30,000 fans and Phillie Veep Bill Giles, who conceived the stunt, began gesturing to the groundkeepers. "They were holding the wires like washing lines," said the 67-year-old aerialist. Once the wires were taut Wallenda completed his act, topped off with a headstand for peace. Afterward he socked down two martinis to "kill my nerves."
Bruce Kison, the young Pittsburgh Pirate pitcher who was whisked off to his wedding by helicopter after the final game of the 1971 World Series, may he cooking up an encore. He and his wife, the former Anna Marie Orlando, have announced they are expecting their first child around World Series time. If things keep going well for the Pirates next month, maybe somebody better arrange for another helicopter.
At last Tim Rossovich has someone to eat glass with. The San Diego Charger linebacker counts among his diverse tastes an appetite for such things as lightbulbs and beer glasses. Comes now Jeff Kolberg, a New England Patriot rookie safety-man, who also indulges an occasional craving for something brittle, He prefers thin glass. which he consumes in small bites, then pulverizes with his teeth and swallows down East Coast glass, he complains, is harder than the stuff he gets in his native Oregon.
California's Governor Ronald Reagan has signed a moratorium on the state tax on closed-circuit prizefights in hopes that the move will lure Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier to finally schedule their long-awaited rematch at a site like Jack Kent Cooke's Forum in Los Angeles. One of the hangups, according to some reports, was Frazier's reluctance to surrender 5% of his share of the TV money to the state of California. Not to mention promoter Cooke's reluctance to give up 100% of everything if the fight never comes off.
Harvard has a pretty good basketball prospect who's been hanging around the campus this summer, if only the school can figure out what to do about his eligibility. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been taking a course in Arabic to further his work on a master's degree in Near I astern studies.
Baltimore's Memorial Stadium may not always provide the Orioles with an adequate crop of spectators—for one game last week only 655 diligent fan showed up—but the team should never lack for tomatoes. Head ground keeper Pat Santarone and Manager Earl Weaver decided during the winter that a tomato growing competition might have salutary effects on the team's spirit. A left-field foul area was preempted for the plants, which are maintained by Weaver, Santarone, Coach George Staller, Boog Powell and Brooks Robinson. The man with the biggest crop at the end of the season wins. At the moment Santarone, whose vines are eight feet tall and have yielded a bushel of tomatoes, is leading the league. He had one cluster of four that weighed 9.7 pounds.