BASEBALL—MILWAUKEE BRAVES, meeting their most persistent challengers face to face, all but got rid of San Francisco for good by taking three out of four, then split first two with bubbling Pittsburgh to lead Pirates by 7� games in National League scramble to face New York Yankees in October. But Pirates still had life in them, boasted league's leading winner in Bob Friend, who won his 18th, over Braves 3-2. Los Angeles, Cincinnati and St. Louis were neck and neck for fourth place.
Casey Stengel began to worry ever so little when star left-hander Whitey Ford turned up with sore arm and Washington won two straight from his Yankees to cut lead to 10� games. Runner-up Chicago, recovering slowly from shocking setback in Stadium, were well enough to take two from Senators, split pair with Detroit, but even Manager Al Lopez was just about willing to concede World Series loot to Yanks.
Washington Senators, deeply entrenched in American League cellar, began to stir restlessly, almost as if they might welcome change of altitude. Minneapolis and St. Paul quickly leaped into action, hopefully dangled bond issues and plans for enlarged stadiums in front of Senators as well as Cleveland, also disturbed by rapidly dwindling attendance. But at week's end, Washington President Calvin Griffith and his directors were still playing footsie while Twin Cities sweated it out.
FOOTBALL—CHICAGO BEARS kept exhibition slate clean, turned back punchless Pittsburgh 17-10 in first pro game ever played at Pitt Stadium. In other games, pendulum-footed Lou Groza calmly booted 50-yard field goal in closing seconds to give Cleveland 13-10 win over Los Angeles; Detroit latched on to two of Charley Conerly's passes, turned them into touchdowns in 26-7 victory over New York; Washington beat Baltimore 27-7.
HARNESS RACING—EMILY'S PRIDE, trained by 78-year-old Fred Egan and driven by 64-year-old Flave (Flick) Nipe, pair of oldsters who know their oats, won first heat, broke and trailed in 12th place in second but saved her best for last in $106-719.24 Hambletonian at Du Quoin, Ill. Storming up from second tier, Emily's Pride trotted briskly into lead at three-quarter pole, swept down stretch to clock 1:59[4/5], fastest mile in Hambletonian history, win $67,750.92 for Kentucky Co-owners Castle-ton and Walnut Hall farms (see page 53).
TRACK & FIELD—AUSTRALIA'S HERB ELLIOTT, by far the best middle-distance runner ever to trample a cinder, proved his greatness once again, hot-footing 1,500 meters in fantastic 3:36 (roughly, equivalent of 3:53 mile) at Gothenburg, Sweden, to break Czech Stanislav Jungwirth's world record. Next day, slender Aussie, whose primitive diet and unorthodox training methods have amazed his frustrated opponents, took to track at Malmoe, buzzed around soggy circuit in 3:58 for mile, ninth time this year he has cracked once-invincible 4-minute barrier.
Britain's Gordon Pirie, sixth-place flop in 1,500-meter race (won by Aussie Merv Lincoln in 3:45.4), came back 30 minutes later, nettled Russians with solid victory in 14:03 in 5,000-meter run at Oslo Games. Soviets also were handed unexpected setback in high jump when Sweden's Stig Petterson equaled 6-foot 6�-inch leap by Yuri Stepanov, was awarded first place on basis of fewer misses.
Australians, ruffled because some of nation's best athletes are gravitating to U.S. colleges, rocked IAAF meeting at Stockholm with proposal that such stars be deprived of their amateur standing if they accept scholarships at American schools. But idea died aborning, left many a stateside coach breathing easier.
HORSE RACING—RESTLESS WIND, Owner Liz Lunn's $10,000 bargain-basement buy at Saratoga yearling sales in 1957, lugged in ever so slightly on 60-to-1 outsider Winsome Winner in head-to-head stretch duel, but withstood foul claim to win $164,725 Washington Park Futurity at Arlington. Victory pot of $112,225 boosted Restless Wind's 2-year-old earnings to $271,833, edged him within $77,809 of record held by Jewel's Reward.
Outer space, Mrs. Gerard S. Smith's spring-loving 4-year-old filly, saved ground until top of stretch, squirted through under Jockey Eldon Nelson ("You've got to ride these lady horses like you were huggin' your girl friend") to win seven-furlong $29,600 Vagrancy Handicap by length at Belmont.