Those close to him say Bobby Jones preferred to be called Bob, but the diminutive survived through the years because of the warm affection the general public felt for this exceptional man. One of the handful of titans who dominated sport in its so-called Golden Age—the time of Ruth, Dempsey, Tunney and the rest—Jones was of a markedly different pattern. In a rowdy, brawling, money-hungry era, he was quiet, gentlemanly, amateur. Yet no one in sport was more competitive than he, no one more successful. The paradox was irresistible.
Significantly, none of the others did as much for his sport as Jones. When they ended their active careers they left behind glittering records, amazing feats, stories to be told over and over again, but all that they had to give was already given. Jones, on the other hand, gave golf two of its continuing treasures after his retirement from competition at the age of 28. One is the Augusta National golf course, a living museum of the sport that Jones conceived and helped to design, and with which he was closely associated until his death. The other is the Masters Tournament, one of the four major championships in golf. The Masters was Jones' own idea, and its development into the distinguished position it holds today was a direct result of his interest and influence.
What a legacy to leave. What a man he was.
Despite reports to the contrary, the only football injuries that can be directly related to artificial turf are abrasions and burns from falling and skidding on the plastic surface. A 1968 report claimed that artificial grass reduced knee and ankle injuries by 80%. A 1970 report said it was the other way around: injuries were up 50%. Dr. Harry H. Kretzler Jr. now declares that his own four-year study disagrees with both the earlier reports. As far as he can tell, from his comparison of AstroTurf and a soft, slow grass field, the turf neither reduces nor increases the number of injuries. He says the generally better footing on artificial turf, which allows players to run at greater speed, contributes to greater impact. But even so, most injuries stem from the violent nature of the game, not from the surface it is played upon.
Stressing that all studies so far, including his own, are not comprehensive enough to be the last word on the subject, Dr. Kretzler says no factual evidence exists to indicate more injuries in football now than in previous decades. If subsequent studies show that there are indeed more injuries, he suggests that it is probably because today's players are bigger and faster and are trained to hit each other harder. A few rule changes, he says, or stricter adherence to existing rules, would do more to reduce injuries than altering the surface of the field.
A SHOWER FOR CAESAR
Baseball is a surprisingly active sport in Europe, if not yet up to the high level of the game as it is played in Japan and Latin America. The European baseball championship held in Bologna this past fall had some rather bizarre scores, particularly when the class teams, The Netherlands and Italy, were involved. The Netherlands, for instance, edged Belgium 20-1 and France 21-0. Italy took England 21-0 and San Marino 24-0. Italy's hopes rode on the arm of a pitcher with the all-but-unbeatable name of Julius Caesar Glorioso, but not even Caesar could stop the versatile Dutch, who beat Italy in the final 7-3.
Nothing much was hurt or damaged in the underground nuclear explosion on Amchitka Island on Nov. 6—or, at least, nothing appeared to be at the time. But bodies of dead sea otters, presumably killed by the blast, are now washing ashore. Alaska fish and game officials and biologists hired by the Atomic Energy Commission estimate that 15% of the sea otter population, or as many as 1,000 animals, may have been destroyed. If you are of cynical bent, this misfortune can be glossed over because the otters were flourishing before the blast and, in time, will renew their numbers. Happy New Year.
UP FROM ACADEME