SI Vault
Edited by Robert W. Creamer
April 10, 1972
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April 10, 1972


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Bob Hancock, mutuels manager at Bowie and Pimlico, says the sharp drop in $2 place and show wagering is caused by the popularity of the exacta, in which one bet covers both win and place. Hancock says, "One third of all money bet each day is on the exacta. It has to come from somewhere."

In Northern Ireland a pubkeeper named Bernard Browne of Strabane in County Tyrone went fishing in the River Foyle. Just as he hooked a seven-pound salmon, a fire fight broke out between British troops and IRA guerrillas. Shots sounded all around him, but Browne stood fast, played the fish for 20 minutes and landed it. "I hardly noticed the shooting," he said later. "When you have a seven-pound salmon on the hook, nothing else matters. First things first."

There is an old wives' tale that what is right for one identical twin is usually left for the other. Within a 24-hour span at the Pennsylvania Class B high school state basketball championships, identical twins Mike and Mitch Swartz of Middletown gladdened the hearts of all who swear by old wives. Mike cracked a bone in his right foot in a semifinal game. The next day in practice Mitch broke the corresponding bone in his left foot. "You hear of this," a Harrisburg doctor said, perhaps uneasily, "but there is no demonstrable scientific evidence for it." The twins' father, either corroborating or denying the adage, depending on how you look at it, added, "One has a tall, blonde girl friend, the other a short brunette.' "


At the NAIA basketball tournament in Kansas City last month, 6'8" Travis Grant of Kentucky State set a one-game scoring record of 60 points, after which his coach, Lucias Mitchell, said, "He's worth $2 million to the pros. He's the greatest shooter in the world. If he's not the No. 1 player drafted, I'll be the most surprised person in the country."

Mitchell's glowing praise was not unexpected, since along with being coach he is something of an agent for his players. But Len Snyder of the Buffalo Braves said (SI, March 27), "He is the best pure shooter l've ever seen." Bob Cousy of the quondam Cincinnati Royals conceded that Grant played no defense but commented, "He hardly needs to. Any NBA club with a big stud at center would find him extremely useful." Dick McGuire, the New York Knicks scout, said after watching Grant, "A hell of an exhibition."'

However, a strong dissent on Grant's ability came from Marty Blake, former Pittsburgh Condor general manager who now runs an independent scouting service for professional basketball that supplies information and opinion on the potential worth of college prospects. In discussing some of the current crop of collegians in Sport magazine, Blake was very down on Grant: "He does not play defense, and he shoots from 20 feet out. A computer would have told me to take him, but after watching one game I know the guy can't play."

The ABA apparently concurred with Blake's opinion, for in its closed draft in February, Grant was not selected in the top 20. It will be interesting to sec where he is picked in the NBA draft this coming Monday. A $2 million contract seems pie in the sky right now, but if it is any consolation to Grant, the final decision on just how good he is can't come until the pros return to the court next fall.


Before a Red Sox exhibition game this spring, Catcher Carlton Fisk checked with Pitcher Rogelio Moret on what signals he wanted to use. Said Moret: "Use one, two, three fingers and a wiggle."

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