RELIEF FOR THE FAN
In New York's Yankee Stadium, where the World Series opened, the bullpens are deep in right and left fields, far from the view of most of the spectators. Hardly anybody in the crowds could tell who was warming up, a matter of no little interest to the baseball fan. While televiewers were being kept right up to the second on such details, paying patrons were forced to rely on the scoreboard. And what was the scoreboard doing? In typical Yankee fashion, it was shilling for the souvenir program and flashing worthless records in meaningless messages.
We wonder if this isn't the time for the people who run baseball to discard their traditional hauteur and begin treating fans as customers. The scoreboard would be a good place to start. Let them tell the paying patrons who is warming up, why the umpire ruled as he did on that strange play at home, what Joe's won-and-lost record is, who has just been ejected from the bench for harassing the umpire. After all, people watching on television—for free—get all this information, and it helps spice up the game. We'd like to see major league scoreboards relax from shooting fireworks for a while and just shoot out some good, old, useful information.
The latest innovation in football is a gadget that cleans and dries wet footballs in 60 seconds or less. The sales slogan: "Toasty footballs on frosty nights."
Last week the state of Wisconsin made it mandatory for all 1962-model automobiles sold in that state (an estimated 150,000) to be equipped with seat belts. Next year new cars sold in New York, Connecticut, North Carolina and Ohio will have to be equipped with seat-belt brackets. The safety belt has been a controversial item for motorists for two reasons: it costs money (about $20), and it can be an annoyance on very short trips. But recent studies indicate that 5,000 lives might have been saved last year if all occupants of automobiles had been using seat belts. We hope more states make them mandatory.
Horseplayers buy a lot of "information" in the form of tip sheets like "Manny's Purple Card," "Roscoe's Red Sheet" and "Paul's Burnt Sienna." Whether they really contain information has puzzled serious minds at race tracks for years. Now a New York judge has rendered a learned opinion. The question before the court of Justice George Tilzer was whether tip sheets are subject to the 3% New York City sales tax. The distributors' attorney argued they contained absolutely no information but were filled with opinion and guesses and should be tax exempt. The court said otherwise, and we hope the future proves him right. The past certainly hasn't.
HOME FOR CHRISTMAS
After the suspension of Dennis Ralston for being a naughty boy, we did not think U.S. prospects in this year's Davis Cup matches could get much bleaker. Well, they could and they have. Tut Bartzen has come down with bursitis and won't be able to play. And now Bruce Thomas, dean of Trinity University in Texas, has talked Chuck McKinley into staying home and studying his lessons. This means he will not go to Italy for the next round of Davis Cup play. McKinley is the best of a poor-but-honest lot of U.S. amateurs. We don't know what the Italian trip would do to his education, but we do know what his and Bartzen's absence will do to U.S. cup chances. Captain David Freed can confidently plan to spend Christmas at home with his family, far, far from Australia's blazing heat.
Divine Child High School of Detroit is winning big this year, and the whole parish is uneasy. "There's no joy in winning any more," lamented Coach Tony Versaci after his team walloped Our Lady of Sorrows 67-0 for its third straight runaway win. The coach has been accused of rolling up the score, when, in fact, he has frantically yanked regulars to hold down the score. Still, Divine Child, only in its second year of varsity football, wins by huge margins. Someday there may be a headline something like: "Divine Child Slaughters Our Lady Queen of Peace." Said a nervous parish priest: "Now wouldn't that look nice?" Another suggested that maybe Divine Child's competition isn't praying hard enough. Which brings to mind one priest's evaluation of what the Lord would do if two football teams prayed for victory with exactly equal fervor. "I imagine," said the padre, "He would just sit back and watch a whale of a football game."
MOTHER, GO HOME
People are too nervous about love. Especially people's mothers are too nervous. Take Ronald the duck. He fell in love with a girl duck. But the lady who looks after Ronald, Mrs. Erland Jordan of Gardiner, Maine, wouldn't hear of it. What bothered Mrs. Jordan was that this girl duck was a plastic lawn-ornament type of duck.