SI Vault
July 01, 1963
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
July 01, 1963


View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3

The box score in a baseball game at Huntsville, Texas, last week showed the winning pitcher to be Elijah (Scottie) Walker, who pitched a five-hit shutout and batted in two of his team's four runs. What the box score did not reveal was that Walker is 68 years old. He started in professional baseball in 1914 with the Memphis Red Sox, a barnstorming Negro team, and says he once played with Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson on the Kansas City Monarchs. For the last 21 years, however, Walker has been getting nowhere with his pitching, being a resident member of the Texas Department of Corrections (state prison)team. The oldest winning pitcher in captivity is serving a life sentence for murder.

It is the commuter's belief that the end of the world will come in one crashing big traffic jam. Vic Bastien of Tulsa believes this and has, he says, suffered his last red light, gulped his last exhaust fume. Vic used to spend 30 minutes inching along to his job as program director for KOME radio. He now rents airplane space and parachutes to the studio. Hang the expense, says Vic, it's 15 minutes closer. Besides, every time he gets into harness he's heading for a new world record for diving to work. To date he has fallen 11 miles to KOME. Each day announcers at the station walk through a cow pasture—carefully, carefully—to shoo away the cattle so the drop zone will be clear. The only obstacles then, says Bastien, are 500 trees, spectators' cars, a busy highway, inquisitive hawks, four transmitter towers (each 290 feet high), barbed wire, genuine fertilizer and poison ivy. Bastien says coming down "is like trying to play shuffleboard with a fried egg." But it beats traffic, he says.


Last week the Wall Street Journal put out an ad whose purpose was to tempt more advertisers to spend money in the Wall Street Journal. There was a huge photograph of Dodger Shortstop Maury Wills coming up from a hard slide, and below the picture two lines of bold type that said:

Maury Wills did.
Business men should.

Well now, there is the kind of frankness we like. As baseball fans on the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere know, last year Maury Wills set a new record for stealing. He stole more than 100 times in the season, the duration of which coincides quite closely with the second-and third-quarter fiscal business intervals. And what was even more impressive from both the baseball and businessman's point of view was that he rarely got caught. What the Wall Street Journal's ad went on to say was this: "The Dodger star hit a gratifying .299 last year. But he converted a merely good season into a stand-out season by seizing every opportunity to advance after getting on first base."

Well, gentlemen, the call is clear. This first quarter of the year has been good—about a .299 quarter, we'd say. So take a good, long lead, and if the Securities and Exchange Commission goes into a long windup, break for second, or even third. However, we don't know quite what to recommend about home—which we always thought of as Brazil. But since Eddie Gilbert got caught in a rundown, we would say: be careful.


Pancho Gonzalez, once the world's best tennis player, and Tony Trabert, head of the touring pros, are being rude to each other with a consistency reminiscent of Gonzalez' sulking feuds with old pro king Jack Kramer. Gonzalez dropped out of serious competition two years ago, but he is back fighting now because now there is more to fight about: more money. Like a girl just shorn of her pigtails, pro tennis is suddenly coming up roses. This season Trabert got sponsors for several lush tournaments. He also got rights to a profitable television series. Then he found that Gonzalez had wildcatted for a $35,000 TV contract with his brother-in-law, Tom Tannenbaum, and had persuaded Pancho Segura to sign up, too. Trabert promptly suspended both players from the International Professional Tennis Players Association, making them ineligible for the IPTPA tournament held recently in Los Angeles.

But Trabert rules a limited monarchy. He could not keep the renegade Panchos out of this week's big pro match at Forest Hills, because they signed separate contracts with the sponsoring Wildon Productions, Inc., which really couldn't care less about harmony. To further Trabert's discomfort, Gonzalez filed a $150,000 antitrust suit against him and several other pros and the IPTPA itself. By suspending Gonzalez, they are "making fools of themselves", said Gonzalez. "Nice fella," said Trabert.

Continue Story
1 2 3