The sports department of Baltimore's Evening Sun recently advised him that the rubber golf ball was not invented until 1899. The U.S. Golf Association, through Bob Sommers, a public information officer who consulted a book, The Curious History of the Golf Ball, concluded that the ball was made of celluloid. Eleazer Kempshall, it turns out, was a Bostonian who made a fortune in celluloid, chiefly out of celluloid collars and eyelets for shoes.
"Apparently," reported Sommers, "he was a golf nut, too, and thought he could manufacture celluloid balls. He did, in fact, take out a patent on a celluloid ball in 1901, but the process never was satisfactory.
"He also made a gutta percha ball with a celluloid center and a celluloid ball with a gutta percha center. Try to figure that out.
"Anyway," Sommers concluded, "Mr. Kempshall was better known in the U.S. Patent Office than he was on the first tee."
ONE MORE FOR GUINNESS
For what it is worth, a new world marathon basketball record is claimed by Sarasota ( Fla.) High School and Sarasota Riverview High. The two schools played from noon on Dec. 26 to 9 p.m. on Jan. 2, a total of 177 hours. Previous unofficial record: 150 hours, set last August by Gunners Basketball Association in Aurora, Ill.
Purpose of the game was to establish a better relationship between the two schools, its sponsors said, and wipe out the memory of a fistfight last season. Each team used 26 players and each player played three times a day in two-hour shifts. Final score: Riverview 9,216, Sarasota 8,980, no knockdowns.