For better or worse, the Monkees are back on the pop charts. And the Beatles' 1964 hit Twist and Shout has reappeared in the Top 40. In the New York area another golden oldie is again selling briskly. The Amazing Mets, an album that sold 100,000 copies in 1969, has been reissued by Sutra Records and has sold "three, maybe four thousand in the last couple of weeks," according to Merrill Kass, Sutra's director of marketing. The collection of 10 uniformly awful songs—including the prophetic We're Gonna Win (he Series, the joyous Mets—Hallelujah and the bucolic Green Grass of Shea—created such a stir during the miracle season that seven Mets were booked for a two-week gig in Vegas and a one-night stand on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Since the reissue is riding a wave of excitement created by the 1986 Mets, it seems only fair that the oldie is being outsold by Let's Go Mets, a music video starring this year's team. Having both productions out simultaneously has created one of those classic, never-to-be-resolved sports debates: Who were lousier singers, the '69 or the '86 Mets?
A RUTHIAN SKIER RETIRES
To much media fanfare, University of Texas freshman Mary Lou Retton announced two weeks ago that she was retiring from gymnastics and that she has hopes of a broadcasting career. "I can't keep flipping my whole life," she said.
Much more quietly, another American Olympic hero recently retired from world-class competition. Cross-country skier Bill Koch said he is leaving the U.S. ski team, which means he will be ineligible for international competition. Koch said he'll continue to promote the sport and perhaps enter some domestic events, but that, at 31, "I didn't want to make the commitment to training that I'd have to."
When Koch won a surprise silver medal in the 1976 Innsbruck Games, the first medal ever won by the U.S. in cross-country, he singlehandedly created a Nordic boomlet in this country. In 1982 he revolutionized the sport by employing the then radical technique of skating in becoming the first American to win the World Cup title. This year, for the first time, half the World Cup events will be designated skating races and half will require the traditional style. It's not difficult to cite cross-country racers with more wins or talent than Koch, but it's hard to find one who has matched his impact. Jim Page, the U.S. Nordic program director, said last week, "He was the Babe Ruth of the sport."
A RUTHIAN SKATER REMAINS
While one winter-sports legend has retired, another has never bothered to, at least not technically. Listed as an "available" player in last week's NHL waiver draft was a Blackhawks defenseman: No. 4, Bobby Orr, who's still on contract but who hasn't played since 1978.
MUST BE A TINY TROPHY
Call it the Lilliput's Cup. That's more manageable, certainly, than the event's actual title: the First Annual America's Cup Style Challenge Radio Control Sailboat Regatta. Thirty-five sailors—they really call themselves "sailors"—recently gathered at Conservatory Pond in Central Park for the New York regional competition. Entrants had to be 18 or older, which seemed a silly rule considering that they were, after all, playing with toy boats. Their 20-inch yachts were maneuvered through a course that had been set according to international racing rules. The craft in the closed-class competition were exact replicas of the 12-meter yachts that just began challenging for the America's Cup off Perth, Australia (page 36). Or almost exact replicas; there were no concealed winged keels at the pond. Although the rudders and sails were electronically controlled with hand-held radios, the boats were powered by wind.
It was a line day for racing, with a steady breeze and gusts that occasionally threatened to topple the boats but, thankfully, never did. Several hundred people gathered to watch as John Elmaleh, a 26-year-old carpenter from Brooklyn, beat all comers. Elmaleh won a trip to San Diego, where he will compete in December against sailors from five countries for the world title. His fellow New York yachtsmen sent him off with an urging not heard on these shores since 1983: Keep the Cup at home!