Sports-loving Americans by the millions smacked their lips last weekend over one of the richest menus of sporting delicatessen that had been served up in years. Crowd after crowd, like that one in Cleveland pictured here, poured into stadiums to savor the excitement of two climaxing pennant races, an Olympic preview, a nerve-jarring Davis Cup finale, the first blood of a professional football season already assured of being one of the best ever and myriad lesser events.
Not even the sizzling heat that gripped the nation could curb the sporting appetite, and, lest the gorging fare prove too difficult for press-room digestion, the practical editors of the Associated Press warned all correspondents to hold down their wordage.
The scope of the sports fever which gripped the country was best seen at Los Angeles. At the massive athletic soup tureen Angelenos call the Coliseum there was hardly time to close the gates in the wake of 65,000-odd baseball fans leaving the game on Friday night before a like number of football buffs poured in to watch the Chicago Cardinals play the Los Angeles Rams in a football game on Saturday. Overnight, yard lines were hastily erased, goal posts torn down, cleat marks smoothed, and the baseball fans were back again.
In Cleveland another 165,000 fans were on hand to watch the White Sox swelter through the breath-taking Cleveland Indian summer. Meanwhile, back at the Sox' own ranch, 66,000 endured the heat of Soldier Field to watch the U.S. pile up a comfortable lead, as 2,200 hemisphere athletes vied in the Pan American games.
Thousands of spectators joined 2,400 participants at Vandalia, Ohio, where Trapshooter Arnold Riegger broke 1,422 straight clay pigeons; 20,000 saw Tompion win the Hopeful Stakes on a Saratoga Saturday; and yet another 15,000 were on hand when the Hamtramck, Mich. Little Leaguers won a little World Series.
And if the crowds were smaller, the action was among the hottest at such diverse spots as Congressional Country Club, where Golfer Barbara Mclntire put a four-leaf clover in her pocket and defeated Joanne Goodwin in the Women's Amateur; and Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, where Mickey Thompson drove an automobile 362 mph.