ON THE RISE
Stengel rose from a bed of pain last week, and in grandly sympathetic response
the New York Yankees rose right with him.
For nearly a week
Casey had been in New York's Lenox Hill Hospital with a low-order virus, and
his Yankees had been confined to the ruck of the American League, suffering
from low-order baseball. Now, dramatically, both look healthy again, and that
legion of Yankee haters (which ranges from Frank Lane of the Indians to Albert
Kochivar, the Windham, Mont, rancher who sends telegrams of congratulations to
each team that beats New York) is feeling collectively sick, sick, sick.
always have a vague malaise, of course, like a man living next to an atomic
pile, but they had reason this year to relax a little. For some time, Mickey
Mantle was batting a comforting .228, opposing batters couldn't hit Ryne Duren
because he hit them first, and New York left fielders tiptoed cautiously around
their pasture as if the grass were full of adders.
Then Casey moved
from the hospital to the dugout, and the Yankees started winning. What's more,
as veteran Yankee haters were admitting, it was the way they won that hurt.
Four big doubles beat the White Sox last Tuesday, four home runs (two by
Mantle) beat them Wednesday, another Mantle homer beat them Thursday. Friday, a
Mantle homer beat Cleveland.
The next day,
Mantle was injured, but no matter. Cleveland got ahead and Roger Maris homered.
The Indians went ahead again, and Yogi Berra homered. Cleveland came on a third
time, and pinch hitter Elston Howard homered for the Yankees' fifth straight
It was enough to
set a Yankee hater's stomach churning. Hale and hearty Casey Stengel put the
situation succinctly as he strutted through the clubhouse. "You men,"
he said, "are getting hot."
In one of the late rounds of the Robinson-Pender fight last week Mr. James
Powers, the voice of TV's Gillette Cavalcade of Sports, said: "Well, Pender
never could punch, and now Robinson is just slapping, too." A gulping
moment later, perhaps feeling the edge of a super blue blade at his throat, Mr.
Powers added: "Of course, either one of these boys is liable to land a
knockout blow at any time!"
Bill Spivey, seven-foot-tall All-America center at Kentucky during the era of
basketball's point-shaving scandals a decade ago, has been signed to a $10,000
contract to play for the Cincinnati Royals of the National Basketball
Association. Spivey has always maintained he was not involved in the Kentucky
game-rigging and cites a hung jury at his perjury trial as proof. Even so,
Spivey and all other players even remotely connected with the scandals were
barred forever by the NBA. Spivey now says if his contract is not approved he
will sue the league for conspiracy to deny him his livelihood. It seems likely
that the Royals, anxious to bolster a weak franchise, would tacitly support
such a suit. The alternatives thus posed for NBA President Maurice Podoloff are
to drop the ban and thus open the NBA to any player not actually convicted of a
crime or to attempt to enforce it—and risk a court decision that such players
are being deprived of their legal rights.
Olympic Shotput Candidate Dave Davis, miffed at reports that his academic
program at San Fernando State College isn't exactly rigorous, defended his
scholastic standing last week. "I've got a B average, and I can prove
it," he said. "I'm taking five courses—methods of baseball, methods of
track and field, first aid, dance and safety education."