Note for a future historian: 1961 was the year MM lost its original (since 1955, that is) meaning and came to stand for Mantle and Maris.
NO LOVE, NO NOTHIN'
The arguments between Jack Kramer, the world's frankest tennis promoter, and his No. 1 drawing card, Pancho Gonzales, go on and on. Recently Gonzales told Kramer that next season the professional tour will be sans Pancho. Kramer and Gonzales are now in the second year of a seven-year contract, but Pancho can break it as long as he does not play tennis for anyone else.
"I feel very sorry for Gonzales," Kramer said. "What else can the guy do but play tennis? Nothing. He's mentioned going into real estate. But I know lots of guys with more personality and twice as much intelligence who have to slave to make ten or twelve thousand a year in that business."
Kramer indicated he would keep signing the best amateur players available and said the next in line are Rod Laver and Luis Ayala, the Chilean player. He hopes to put 12 pros into two tours next season: one will play 65 matches, and the other will play 35. He also is planning a series of matches between professionals from four world regions, Eurasia, North America, South America (including Mexico) and Australia. None of this, however, will amount to much if Pancho is absent. We sympathize with Businessman Kramer in his negotiations with prima donna Gonzales—but No Pancho, No Show.
THE LAST SHALL BE LAST
If you lived in Philadelphia a quarter of a century ago, you knew a number of things for sure. You knew the rich were rich and the poor were poor because God meant it to be so. And you knew that after midnight on Saturday you had to go over the bridge to Camden, N.J. to get a drink. But most of all you knew, no matter what else happened, that the Athletics and the Phillies were then and would always be in last place.
They would not be last by some rule of chance or stroke of fate. They would be purposefully, staunchly last, just as they had always been (well, almost always). If at some point in the season—like April—they seemed momentarily to rise, the city never panicked. The Phillies pitchers, headed by Walter (Boom-Boom) Beck and Hugh (Losing Pitcher) Mulcahy were men you could count on. The A's had pitchers like Lynn (Line Drive) Nelson, and shortstops like Jack Wallaesa, who once leaped for a line drive that struck him in the armpit. Later, they had a shortstop named Al Brancato, who once scurried into the hole and rifled a throw against the upper deck.
A lot of things have changed since then. But one thing is still comfortingly true. The Phillies and the A's are in the cellar. In fact, last week the Phillies broke the modern major league record—formerly held by the A's and the Red Sox—for consecutive defeats when they earned their 21st, a 4-1 loss in Milwaukee. It is true, of course, that the A's are no longer a Philadelphia ball club, but even this may be set aright before the year is out. The A's new owner, Charles O. Finley, stung by local criticism, is threatening to move out of Kansas City.
"If they don't appreciate us here," he warned, "I feel there are other places we might be wanted."