SI Vault
February 13, 1967
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February 13, 1967


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Avis may advertise it's No. 2, but this is too much. Teams representing the Pittsburgh Hertz and Avis agencies met in a basketball game last week, and Hertz won 96-54. At least no one said Avis didn't try hard enough.


The color orange should never be used at a racetrack, says Dr. Deborah Sharpe, a New York psychologist who is redecorating three Ontario tracks—Greenwood, Woodbine and Fort Erie. Orange, it seems, is disconcerting, stirs human tempers and is thus a distraction to wagering. Red is ideal for the area where mutuel tickets are sold, being an optimistic color that stimulates action—but, on the other hand, too much red can cause nervousness and irritability.

"Black is also one of our most stimulating colors—a fact long known by lingerie manufacturers," Dr. Sharpe told a meeting of the National Association of Canadian Race Tracks last week. "I would not hesitate to do an all black-and-white track under certain conditions. Pink would go over great, too, but the mere mention is enough to give a track owner apoplexy."

Alas, Dr. Sharpe said nothing about the bettor's favorite shade—long green.


At the behest of the American League, Umpire-in-chief Cal Hubbard and his 20 men in blue forgathered in Boston last week. At the end of the two-day conference it was announced that with the exception of the plate umpire all personnel may remove their coats on hot days. What constitutes a hot day? That will be determined by a majority vole of the three umpires affected.

The authorized undergarment will be a long-sleeved, sky-blue shirt, which is one reason why the plate umpire must continue to sweat it out—according to a league spokesman, "a sky-blue background might disconcert the pitcher." The other reason is that if the plate umpire were in his shirt sleeves, he would have no place to keep extra baseballs.

Although National League umpires have worn short-sleeved shirts for several years, the American League selected long sleeves because several umpires—reportedly Hank Soar and Frank Umont were among them—have hairy, muscular arms and, the league source revealed, "They were concerned that the fans might refer to them as apes."

Finally, it was announced that Umpire Emmett Ashford has permission to wear French cuffs.

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