SI Vault
September 02, 1968
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September 02, 1968


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Several umpires feel this is as good evidence as any to convict a pitcher, that on most illegal pitches the ball does not rotate when it reaches the plate. It breaks but lacks any of the spin that a curve-ball or a slider has. "It can break inside, outside or dip," Umpire Ed Runge explains, "but the lack of a spin gives it away."

Hank Soar described it as "like a ball dropping off a table." Many balls into the dirt are spitballs.

"Any umpire that has been in the game a number of years and can't tell what the spitter or the Vaseline ball looks like, should look for another job," Umpire Al Salerno says. "Both just dive. They don't do anything but go down. There is just no two ways about it."

Next case?


When it comes to looking exotic, some of Oregon State's football players are neck and neck with the Martians. To build up the Beavers' necks, Assistant Trainer Eddie Ferrell bored a hole through the top of a helmet, stuck a six-inch length of pipe through the hole and attached a conical stack of weights, which looks like one end of a barbell. Voil�: a pointy-headed gridder.

Players with histories of neck injuries have been wearing these helmets for two hours a day during the summer, hoping to head off trouble. Starting with 10-pound weights, they have increased the load gradually, sometimes to as much as 25 pounds.

OSU Coach Dee Andros feels he needs bull-necked players because he likes to see a man tackle with his face in a runner's number, instead of hitting him with a shoulder to the midsection. One Oregon State player who has had neck trouble in the past says that in the two months he has been wearing the helmet his neck has gained an inch in circumference. Whether it has lost anything in length, he doesn't know.


Several years ago Harold (Jug) McSpaden decided to build what he hoped would be the most difficult golf course in the country among the cornfields and dairy farms of eastern Kansas. The course, named Dub's Dread, was finished two years ago, and McSpaden immediately began scheming to set up a match in which he and Byron Nelson, the golden boys of the pro tour in the '40s, would play those solid gold golfers of today, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.

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