Other teams did even worse. In Kitchener, Ontario, where the annual Rotary Club game usually draws a sellout 6,500, only 1,927 saw the New York Rangers play the St. Louis Blues. The Philadelphia Flyers played three games in Ottawa's Civic Center, which seats 9,355. They drew 2,475 with the locally popular Toronto Maple Leafs, 774 with the California Seals and a rattling 321 with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Everything happens, sooner or later, on a golf course, but the things that were visited upon Dick Smith in the Philadelphia Sectional PGA championship were almost beyond belief. On the first day his caddie stumbled and kicked his ball a few feet. Following the practice and tradition of golf, Smith called a penalty on himself. Then assuming the ball was supposed to be returned to approximately its original position, he did the lift-and-drop-over-the-shoulder routine.
The caddie's error cost Smith one stroke, which was duly added to his score. Then, after discussing the incident, the tournament rules committee decided that lifting and dropping the ball was a mistake, too, and one that demanded an extra two-stroke penalty. Smith was thus zapped with three strokes.
This seemed rather extreme, and the next day the committee asked a U.S. Golf Association official for an opinion. The USGA man said a player cannot be penalized twice for the same offense, so off came the two added strokes. But the discussion continued, and on the third day the committee phoned Commissioner Joe Dey of the PGA. Dey said Smith should have been penalized all three strokes or else he should have been disqualified.
But Smith was playing fine golf, right there at the head of the pack, and the committee was reluctant to accept this Draconian ruling. Someone pointed out that the rules of golf are ordained by the USGA and that Dey, although once the USGA's executive director, was no longer a part of that organization. A call now was put through to P. J. Boatwright, Dey's successor as high priest of the USGA. Boatwright confirmed Dey's opinion. The tournament committee sadly and finally penalized Smith the three strokes.
Even though his score kept going up and down like a yo-yo, Smith held his poise and, despite the added strokes, finished in a tie for first place. But even the end of the tournament was wreathed with indecision. Because of scheduling conflicts, the playoff for the title did not take place until a couple of weeks later. It went off without incident, poor Smith losing by two strokes to Dick Hendrickson. We hope that during it, Dey and Boatwright were at their phones, on standby.
CONFLICT IN KANSAS
When Ewing Kauffman, owner of the Kansas City Royals, fired Manager Bob Lemon he said part of the reason was Lemon's public reprimand of two of his players in August. "I would have told the press I was just resting them for a while," said Kauffman. He also said he wanted someone younger as manager. Lemon is 52; his replacement, Jack McKeon, is 41.
But Kauffman apparently made his mind up about Lemon back in May, almost three months before the disciplinary incident. The Royals were playing in California, and a Los Angeles paper quoted Lemon as saying, "For the first time I'm glad I'm old. I'm just a couple of years from retirement and I'm going to get out as fast as I can run. I'm going to take my wife and settle on some remote island. I'll buy a little beer bar and just sit there and think. I hope we don't even have any customers."