Spring baseball training begins March 1, and ordinarily the air would now be full of winter trades. One reason for the relative quiet in the American League: instead of flying back from Japan with the Yankees last month, Casey Stengel took Mrs. Stengel on a leisurely tour of India, the Middle East and Europe. When he gets back to his desk after the holidays, look for signs of action, including a trade to bring the Yankees added pitching in exchange for surplus outfield strength.
National League trading has also been on the quiet side. A reason: the world champion Brooklyn Dodgers have trades in mind but are unwilling to block out their moves until they learn the draft status of Pitcher Johnny Podres, star of the World Series (see page 18). The Surgeon General's office, which was asked to review the medical findings on Johnny's bad back, has now returned his file to local officials, who should soon announce their verdict.
Australian track fans have just enjoyed the heady sight of a 25-year-old Australian milkman named Dave Stephens outrunning Hungary's famed Sandor Iharos twice, once at 5,000 meters, once at three miles. Now it appears that Iharos has been running in Australia with strained ligaments, due to a dislocated ankle bone. A Sydney specialist has ordered him to take three months off for complete rest or risk danger to his great career.
The U.S. indoor track season gets a boost with the announcement that Britain's Brian Hewson, one of the select five who have run a mile in less than four minutes, will arrive for two New York meets in February, the New York A.C. games and the National A.A.U. championships.
Harness racing in 1955 drew 10,242,678 customers who bet $476,728,009, both record figures. The 12 states involved collected more than $34 million in tax revenue.