But in its decision last month the court disagreed, upholding two lower court opinions to the effect that the will is a public record and, as such, belongs to the state. The court further ordered that the document be held under Greenville County's control for as many as 75 years and then archived with the state.
While it's unfortunate that two charities were deprived of a possible source of revenue, the ruling, which will help the state avoid a rush of heirs claiming wills as personal property, doesn't mean that Shoeless Joe's John Hancock is forever lost to public view. "Anyone who wants to see it can come to the courthouse and put in a request," says Greenville County assistant attorney Jeffrey Wile. "If the charities got it, the will might have ended up in a basement somewhere. We didn't want that, and the law simply didn't permit it."
Short of the Goal
Before playing Jamaica at Washington's RFK Stadium last Friday, the U.S. had averaged 1.5 goals a game in six World Cup qualifying matches, an output that most of the American players figured would rise now that the full U.S. squad was healthy and playing together for the first time in 10 months. Instead, Jamaica earned a stunning 1-1 draw that, for the U.S., marked the low point in a 10-game qualifying tournament for the 1998 Cup. With the tie, the U.S. remains in third place, with 10 points, behind Mexico (14) and Jamaica (12) in the grouping of nations from North and Central America and the Caribbean.
The match confirmed what had previously been painfully evident: Eric Wynalda, who scored on a penalty kick in the 49th minute, is the only U.S. forward who doesn't get the yips in front of the opponent's goal. During qualifying, coach Steve Sampson has started no fewer than seven players besides Wynalda at the forward position, and not one of them has scored. Against Jamaica, Sampson chose as his second striker Ernie Stewart, who netted the winning goal against Colombia in World Cup '94. Stewart whiffed on his best scoring chance only minutes into Friday's game and ran himself out of several other opportunities by overdribbling. "We just need to pull the trigger," says Sampson. "The players try to make that perfect final pass, when what we need to do is test the goalkeeper more."
So the search continues. Sampson raised the likelihood of Forward Audition No. 8, for Joe-Max Moore, who's coming off surgery on his right ankle. The U.S. has a daunting qualifier in Mexico City on Nov. 2, followed by potentially challenging matches in Vancouver against Canada and in Foxboro, Mass., against El Salvador in the succeeding two weeks. It will likely need at least one win to qualify for a third straight Cup.
A Babe Since Birth
The Most Valuable Player of the International Softball Association's over-35 World Tournament, held earlier this month in Myrtle Beach, S.C., was a 40-year-old catcher-designated hitter for the champion Perkins Roofing team of Cincinnati. He hit nine home runs in six games, including one that his manager, Craig Perkins, says, "must've gone 600 feet, I swear." Such deeds are hardly surprising. The man stands 6'4", weighs 300 pounds and his name is Homer Ruth.
In a feature on the sports world's endangered species (SI, Sept. 29), we labeled the dropkick a "dodo bird." Well, in Burleson, Texas (pop. 14,000), a town 13 miles south of Fort Worth, folks are doing their part for ornithological preservation. In the second quarter of Burleson High's Sept. 26 homecoming game against crosstown rival Joshua, after Burleson had scored a touchdown to go ahead 27-0, coach Bobby August told senior kicker Joey Biasatti to try drop-kicking the extra point. "I'm a history buff," says August, who had had Joey practicing the kick all week. "I know we always get a lot of old alumni back for homecoming and—no disrespect intended—I figured the old geezers would love it."
Sure enough, when Joey took the snap, bounced the ball off the turf and booted it through the uprights, the crowd of 6,000 responded with a standing ovation. "People kept coming up to me and saying they couldn't remember the last time they'd seen anything like that," says Joey, a highly recruited prospect whose father, Tony, kicked—but didn't drop-kick—for TCU in the 1970s. "Coach says any time we get up by 27 points, we can try it again."