Then Edward P. Mulrooney, a former member of the State Crime Commission who helped found the Police Athletic League as a force against juvenile delinquency and has seen many boxers emerge from it, had a very few words to say, but with overtones. A white-haired, pink-cheeked man who bears his 80 years with grace, Mulrooney turned cryptic.
"There is nothing wrong with boxing," he said, "and there's nothing wrong with boxers. Beyond that I have nothing to say. I have certain reservations."
A few days later Governor Averell Harriman, talking over WCBS Radio, expressed the feeling that boxing "has gotten among the racketeers."
"We are going to clean it out regardless of what happens," he said, "because the sport can't remain unless it's made clean."
Whammo, bammo and clang
A year is a funny sort of a thing if you stand off and think about it. To begin with, "year" is a queer name even for a year. Say it aloud a few times. Of course, in a way, they're all the same, half days, half nights, part May, part November. Eighteen ninety-eight was that way. But take 1955. Or first take threshing machines. They're pretty much alike, too—clatter a lot, and waddle along dribbling wheat into sacks and blowing chaff. But run a threshing machine down a 45� grade and drop old locomotive bells into the hopper. Whammo, bammo and clang! Though the year 1955 is still young, it seems to be developing a personality of its own too.
Miler Wes Santee has contributed to this flavor, this piquancy, by running the Sugar Bowl Mile on a soggy track in 4:14, which would have been slow even in 1932, the year Wes was born. The slow time wasn't really Wes's fault, but it did prey on the mind of a fellow named Charlie Grogan.
Charlie, a man of 39, was sitting at a bar in Riverhead, N.Y. at the time, and after a while he was unable to bear the fact that no American had come close to matching John Landy's 3:58 world record. In a flash, Grogan decided to act. He stripped down to his underwear, taped a bar chit bearing the number four to his shoulder blades and whizzed off down the street doing his best to break four minutes. "That cop," he said later, "never would have caught me if I'd had a tail wind."
The track season had hardly contributed this bracing bit of deviation before a thunderclap roused the somnolent world of baseball. The incomparable Willie Mays, who has been playing winter-league ball in Puerto Rico, lost his temper in the park at San Juan and got into one of the most intricate and highly publicized scuffles in the history of the game. During the course of it he rolled on the ground with none other than his teammate and buddy, N.Y. Giants Pitcher Ruben Gomez. He seemed genuinely abashed and apologetic afterward, but Willie shocked his fans nevertheless—he announced that he was sick of baseball and forthwith flew to New York for a furlough. "I guess you can get tired of anything," said the once joyous outfielder. "I'm tired of playing ball. I wouldn't even play stick ball."
Boating, too, contributed something unusual to the new year's sport scene—an Eskimo named Puppygitwok-Koopuaok. Both Puppygitwok and his 20-foot skin boat were flown all the way from Kotzebue, Alaska to Manhattan by the manufacturers of Mercury Outboard Motors so that Puppygitwok could put-put across New York harbor to the Statue of Liberty and thus celebrate the National Boat Show.