FOUND; A LOST BALL
The U.S. Golf Association, after two years of soft penalties for balls hit out-of-bounds or into unplayable lies, or lost balls, has reinstated the stern old penalties (stroke-and-distance or a two-stroke assessment) for these misplayed shots. We don't mean to sound like anybody's stuffy uncle from Boston, but we applaud this return to the old Scottish virtues. There has been too much pressure of late to make golf an easier and easier—and therefore duller and duller—game. We are pleased that the USGA has decided to keep the rough in the game of golf.
BAN SWEDISH PUNCH?
Some Swedes are clamoring for a ban on boxing because they say it is a brutal sport and possibly because they no longer hold the heavyweight championship of the world. It is an old clamor in Sweden, but it is restricted to an insistently loud minority of the same essential breed as brought Prohibition to the U.S.
The majority of Swedes love boxing. Before Ingemar Johansson ever was considered as a contender for Floyd Patterson's title, 50,000 Swedes paid a $20 top to watch Ingemar knock out Eddie Machen in Goteborg. In Sweden $20 is a large sum for an evening's entertainment.
If the Swedes want only to debrutalize boxing, they might consider the simultaneous proposal of Professor Giuseppe La Cava, secretary of the International Association of Sports Medicine and for 30 years adviser to the Italian Amateur Boxing Association. Dr. La Cava would like to see boxing revert to the old bareknuckle days. With gloves on, he says, a fighter punches harder and inflicts more damage because he has less fear of hurting his hands. The bare knuckles and their resultant inhibitions, Dr. La Cava says, explain why oldtime fights went on for so long and why pugilists of the lusty past had such a reputation for tough skin, with fewer cuts inflicted.
Pondering this contention that a gloved fist is a padded mallet, one remembers with sudden illumination how John L. Sullivan sometimes would wear gloves against an opponent and let the opponent fight him with bare knuckles, thus seeming to give the opponent a chivalrous advantage. "I would not want to kill the man," John would say unctuously, "and so I prefer to wear gloves."
FLUTTERS ON FILM
The latest gambling gambit in England is betting on movies of old horse races. Originally a pleasant diversion on French Line ships, the "sport" now is a bingo parlor rage. Films of old American races are shipped to England in sealed containers. To prevent cheating by someone who might remember that Omaha won the Kentucky Derby in 1935, the horses are given false names and the cans are not opened until all bets are in. Payment is on a pari-mutuel basis, and you can bet across the board and all that. It is, of course, impossible to dope the form, which is half the fun of going to the races, but English punters don't seem to mind. The only ones who do mind are the bookies. Automation is hurting their business.
Somebody ought to put a muzzle on Frank Frisch, once one of the liveliest and most exciting of baseball players, now beginning to sound more and more like a plain old-fashioned grouch. Frank has made it his custom, of late, to snort at practically everything in modern baseball—spring training camps are country clubs, modern gloves are nothing but baskets, pitchers are spoiled and lazy, nobody has the old spirit anymore.
Now Frank is against batting helmets; he gets a big laugh at banquets (he's a good speaker) when he mocks them and calls them "garbage cans." Well, hell. It's easy to sneer at batting helmets as another example of the "softness of our modern way of life"; it's a little harder to remember that they called catchers' masks sissy when they were introduced. And it's a little chilling to remember the beanings that happened in Frank Frisch's era: Ray Chapman, who was killed; Mickey Cochrane, whose career was effectively terminated; Joe Medwick, who was never much good afterward. Frisch should know that quite a few good ballplayers have been hit on the head since helmets were introduced; it still hurts—ask Joe Adcock or Hank Thompson—but the helmet breaks instead of the ballplayer.