What Price Glory?
With Little League Baseball Week currently a matter of national observance, we pass on a story that has just reached us from a correspondent in New Orleans.
A Little Leaguer's mother, the dispatch goes, turned up at the field just in time to see her son being triumphantly carried off the field on his teammates' shoulders.
"Oh," she inquired proudly, "did Jimmy win the game for you-all today?"
"Naw," grumbled her source. "I won it. They're carrying him because he's the lightest."
Crowds at Winged Foot
A Light breeze was murmurous in the ancient elms overhead, the summer grass lightsome and elastic underfoot, and behind 12 miles of red-white-and-blue nylon rope, the spectators at Winged Foot at the National Open were making golfing history. The rope was stretched tautly along broad rippling fairways and around edged emerald greens; the spectators either trudged along outside, following their favorites, or they settled themselves around the greens to wait for the contenders to come up. There had never been so many of them at a National Open before: 14,000 on each of the first two days, 15,000 on the third despite the rain and 10,000 more on the unscheduled, unforeseen postponement Sunday.
They made a far-reaching spectacle in themselves. They were good-tempered and quiet-spoken and in general dressed in sport clothes of vivid and celebratory hues; seen across the benign and sunny grounds, the gallery of 5,000 or so following Ben Hogan looked consciously decorative, as if someone had planted them there. When the weather turned sour on the last two days they turned out in foul-weather garb and defied the wind to blow.
Smaller galleries of a few hundred followed other favorites. From time to time short, spirited, temperate shouts arose. But there was a share of applause for everyone. The most hopeless plodder, with no gallery at all, might find his scrambling iron shot from the rough enthusiastically greeted by some old gentleman in shorts resting under a tree in a deserted grove; somewhere or other there was always someone clapping his hands. The sound was frail, cheerful, human, the reverse of the roar of the crowd. Every New York paper wrote of Winged Foot's crowds. The Mirror's Dan Parker said, "Don't be sure, until you've seen the crowd at Winged Foot, what our national pastime is!"
Now in the summer of 1929, when Bobby Jones won the Open at Winged Foot, there were newspaper references to "his enormous gallery in a frenzy of excitement." And how large was that gallery? It ranged from 150 on the second day, when a downpour reduced the crowd, to 3,000. The actual records of Winged Foot were destroyed in a fire, and there are contradictions in the contemporary published accounts, but the total attendance for the first day was estimated at 3,800, around 4,000 for the second before the rain and around 3,000 each day thereafter.