BASEBALL—FRANK ROBINSON, Cincinnati Reds' complete outfielder, won the National League's Most Valuable Player award for 1961. An excellent fielder, Robinson batted .323, hit 37 home runs, drove in 124 runs and stole 22 bases to provide most of the scoring punch for Cincinnati's first pennant winner in 21 years. Robinson was almost a unanimous selection. He was named on 15 of the 16 first-place ballots and was 102 points ahead of runner-up Orlando Cepeda, the San Francisco Giants' first baseman-outfielder.
BASKETBALL (PRO)—AMERICAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE showed a promising balance, especially in the Eastern Division, where the first-place Pittsburgh Rens held only a 4-game advantage over the last-place Washington Tapers. In the Western Division first-place Kansas City won three straight and increased its lead to 3 games over the second-place Los Angeles Jets. Good overall defense has kept the ABL scoring average to 98.2 points a game per team. Bill Bridges, Kansas City forward, leads the league with an average of 24.5 points a game. Pittsburgh's Connie Hawkins has scored the most points, 237, and is second in rebounding at 12.5 per game. NBA, Eastern Division: BOSTON (13-2) continued to play nearly perfect basketball. A sound defense and well-distributed scoring—usually five men or more hit for close to 20 points a game—gave the Celts four straight victories and lengthened their lead to 4� games over PHILADELPHIA (10-8). The Warriors worked their rookies more, won 2 games while losing 1. SYRACUSE (7-10) was unable to score and defend in the same game, lost 3 and won 1. NEW YORK. (7-13) kept the scores close but missed injured Willie Naulls, also lost 3 and won 1, to stay in last place.
NBA, Western Division: LOS ANGELES (15-5) twice lost to the Pistons and saw its lead drop to 4 games as CINCINNATI (11-9) split 4. DETROIT (8-9) moved to within 1� games of second place. ST. LOUIS (7-12) had its trade with the Packers approved but still lost 3 games while winning 1. CHICAGO (3-13) won its third game of the season but was still last, far off the pace.
BOWLING—DON CARTER won the World Invitational tournament for the fourth time in five years, in Chicago. Marge Merrick beat Marion Lade wig, the defending champion, to win the women's title.
BOXING—SUGAR RAY ROBINSON sharpened up his punching eye, knocked down Al Hauser four times in the sixth round with nicely placed hooks before the referee stopped the fight, in Providence. Ray is scheduled to meet both Wilfie Greaves and Dennis Moyer within the next two months.
CHESS—NONNA GAPRINDASVILI, a 20-year-old Russian, won the women's world challengers' chess tournament, at Vrnjacka Banja, Yugoslavia. Miss Gaprindasvili has now earned the right to meet Elizabeth Bykova, also of Russia, for the 1962 world title. Lisa Lane and Mrs. Gisela Gresser, both of the U.S., tied for 12th.
CROSS-COUNTRY—JOHN J. KELLEY, a U.S. Olympic marathoner, beat 137 men and 3 women to win the Manchester five-mile road race, in Manchester, Conn. Two of the men and one woman failed to complete the race. Mrs. Chris McKenzie, wife of English Olympic Runner Gordon McKenzie (he finished fourth), dropped out, though she was leading the other two women, because she believed it would violate the rules of the race if she crossed the finish line. Julia Chase, a Smith College sophomore, was timed in 33:40 and unofficially placed 128th.
Michigan State beat Penn State for the IC4A team title, but Steve Machooka, Cornell sophomore from Kenya, won the individual championship at Van Cortlandt Park, New York. Running through sleet in near-freezing temperatures, Machooka led most of the way and outdistanced runner-up Gerald Norman of Penn State by 50 yards. The winner's time for the five-mile course was 26:02.9.
FOOTBALL (PRO)—AFL, Eastern Division: HOUSTON, in the only significant game on a slim schedule, beat DENVER 45-14, now has a full-game, first-place lead over BOSTON. NEW YORK defeated BUFFALO 21-14, as Dick Felt's 55-yard runback with an intercepted pass gave the Titans the go-ahead score. The Titans remain third, 1� games out, and the Bills last.
AFL, Western Division: In the only game played, Dallas literally ran over OAKLAND 43-11. Texan Halfback Abner Haynes scored a record five touchdowns running, and gained 158 rushing, another record.