SI Vault
September 07, 1964
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
September 07, 1964


View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3 4 5

Well, certainly not enough like Gordie Howe.


Behind the surprising 34-6 defeat of the San Diego Chargers by the New York Jets last weekend was a racial incident that shattered the morale of the previously unbeaten Chargers.

Staying at Atlanta's Hilton Inn, several of the Chargers, all Negroes, were asked to keep out of its plush poolroom. When some players protested, Head Coach Sid Gillman reportedly asked his men to withdraw.

They did, but the effect on team morale was obvious. Even during the game several players said they were in no mood for football, and the team took what was only its second loss in the entire exhibition history of the Chargers.

One of the Hilton Inn's owners is Barron Hilton. He owns the Chargers, too.


Since it appears that this is a year of miracle teams in baseball—what with the Phillies surprising the world, and the Orioles and White Sox leading the American League's dash—let us pause now to look back 50 years to the miracle team of 1914, the Boston Braves, and especially to their catcher, Harry (Red and Hank) Gowdy, who is still in baseball.

A springtime bout with pneumonia has Hank sitting on the porch of his house in Clintonville, the old North Side of Columbus, Ohio, but he retains his affiliation with baseball as youth director of the Columbus Jets. He is just taking a rest, the Jets insist.

Gowdy, who celebrated his 75th birthday August 24, was not much of a ringleader in the Braves' astonishing dash from last to first—his season's batting average was an anemic .243—but in the Series he slugged Philadelphia Athletic pitching at a .545 pace to lead the Braves to baseball's first four-game World Series sweep. For National Leaguers, that .545 still remains tops for the Series. And Hank was the first major leaguer to enlist for World War I and is the only major leaguer to have fought in World Wars I and II.

Continue Story
1 2 3 4 5