The 18-year-old skier, noted for her powerful racing style, had made headlines a few days before by. running a practice course only four seconds behind the Austrian men's champion, Karl Schranz.
The country's newspapers left little doubt about the reasons for her retirement, and one of them, Kronen Zeitung, in a column directly addressed to Erika, consoled, "Please look at it this way: you are a victim of modern science. A science that has seized total possession of sport. A science for which a chromosome counts more than a mischievous, girlish laugh. But take heart. There is no place for a fashion model in the fields of your farm."
MUD IN THEIR EYE
After Jim (Mudcat) Grant, then of the Minnesota Twins, pitched his team to victory in the first game of the 1965 World Series he was surrounded by inquisitive reporters, and one asked if he was a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. A big grin came over Mudcat's face, and he couldn't help laughing as he said, "I was a member of the NAACP before it became camp." Recently Grant was traded from the Twins to the Dodgers, and he explained how he heard the news from the Twins. "I got the word," Grant said, "from the assistant to the assistant of the assistant to the right-hand assistant to the public relations assistant.... It's a heckuva way to get to Hollywood."
Last week, however, Grant was saying some things about certain members of the Twins that were not funny at all. He brought up matters of racial prejudice and rampant dissension in a club that over the last three seasons has won more games than any team in major league baseball. His statements demand immediate action from both Owner Calvin Griffith and Baseball Commissioner William Eckert.
Grant maintained that certain Twins had spoken openly against Negroes and that nothing was done. He cited several instances. One, for example: "During the heart of the riots last summer, two players were in the back of the bus looking at photographs of Negroes being killed or rapped over the head. They'd point to a picture in TIME magazine and yell 'get 'em' or 'sic 'em' if there were dogs in the photograph." And Grant added, "Usually you do what you've done for 14 years in baseball—you let it go in one ear and out the other. But I'm 32 now, and it's time to raise your hand and be counted."
Although Grant did not know of it, late in the season a certain member of the team called a highly thought-of baseball official a kike in a New York restaurant. To add further to the disgrace that the Twins suffered this year when they voted against giving deposed Manager Sam Mele, who had served the team from spring training until June 9, any form of a share in the team's winnings, five members of the team voted not to give Mele's replacement, Cal Ermer, anything either. Nice guys. Second seems to be where they finish these days.
England's champion 2-year-old, a colt named Vaguely Noble that has won two of his four starts, was sold at auction last week for the world-record price of $342,720, and if the price raised British eyebrows, so did the identity of the purchaser. The actual bidding at Newmarket was done by a Californian wearing a psychedelic tie named Albert Yank, who was identified as the head of the World Wide Bloodstock Agency, a firm that veteran horsemen had never heard of before. Yank later explained that he was acting as agent for a famed and controversial Hollywood plastic surgeon, Dr. Robert Alan Franklyn, who has used his talent to refurbish the sagging fortune of many a movie star.
Franklyn first said he bought Vaguely Noble for his wife, Wilma, and had told Yank "the sky was the limit," but later he told reporters that he was the managing director of a 15-man international syndicate called Tas de Ca�que. He declined to divulge the other members' names, identifying them only as nine individuals from France, one from Canada, one from England and three from the U.S.