SI Vault
August 29, 1966
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August 29, 1966


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Or by playing basketball,

There is this campaign in Kentucky to dignify the crappie, a favorite panfish. Minor Clark, commissioner of the Fish and Wildlife Resources Department, is insisting that all employees identify the fish as the croppie a spelling that conforms to the more popular pronunciation. This way, he says, no one will be embarrassed writing it or saying it. Oh, come on, Clark, don't be such an oss.


It was Casey Stengel who observed some years ago that Japanese ballplayers would never make it in the big leagues because their fingers were too short. The Stengelism no longer applies: Japanese fingers are growing longer, for the very simple reason that so is all the rest of them. Pete Newell, athletic director of the University of California, just back from his fifth basketball clinic in Tokyo, reports that Japanese basketball players, who used to stand around 5 feet 10, are now going 6 feet 3 and 4.

On a national average, young Japanese adults are two inches taller and 15 pounds heavier than their prewar counterparts, and six-footers are no longer a rarity. The reason: better and more plentiful nourishing food—a widespread popularity of milk, butter, cheese and eggs, and more protein for growing children. Today the Japanese are consuming 20% less rice but three times as much bread, seven times as much milk, 2.5 times as much meat, 2.5 times as many eggs and twice the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables as before the war. Well, the Japanese may be growing taller and longer-fingered, but over the last few years Americans have indicated that they are not to be left behind. The American Seating Company announced this year that the standard seats in U.S. auditoriums and stadiums had to be increased from 16 to 22 inches.


After a neighborhood baseball game, our Cincinnati correspondent intercepted one of the participants, his 8-year-old son, and this dialogue ensued:

Father: How did you do?

Son: Real good.

Father: Get some hits?

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