Things stopped being funny about here. Felton grabbed at Campas' horse to keep from falling, but one of his feet was still in a stirrup and for several strides he was stretched out between the two galloping horses, his hands on one, his foot on the other, like a Hollywood stunt man. He finally shook loose, dropped to the ground and rolled over face down. He was stunned but, except for a strained neck, he was not hurt.
Trainer Johnny Longden, who as a jockey won more than 6,000 races, was the first person to reach Felton. "Kid," said Longden, a man who understands the proprieties, "do your fighting in the jocks' dressing room."
Del Mar official George Taniguchi, a former jockey himself, said, "I thought this kind of thing went out of sports before I started riding." Both boys were set down for 10 days.
FEW AND FAR BETWEEN
All that playing catch with their sons, giving them plenty of batting practice and seeing to it that they make Little League is not really paying off for American fathers who dream that in the glorious future Junior will do the right thing by the home folks with some major league cash. A study by the U.S. Department of Labor offers sobering data on diminishing returns. It reports that only the cream of the Little League, about 400,000 boys, play high school baseball. About 25,000 (one in 16) go on to play college ball. Perhaps 1,200 are drafted by pro teams. About 100 of these make it to the majors long enough to get their names into a box score. And for the handful who do become established major-leaguers, the average career lasts a bit more than seven years.
The odds, Dad, are long. You might think about that next time you call a big-leaguer a bum. He's really something pretty special.
10% OF FOUR YEARS
However, Dad, if your kid shows size, speed, coordination, heart and all the other things that go into a superior athlete, you might consider calling Bill Serra of Wall Township, N.J. about the time Junior is a junior in high school. Serra runs a business called College Athletic Placement Service, which helps high school athletes get college scholarships. "I used to help kids on my own," he says, "but a friend of mine who saw my phone bill said I ought to do it professionally."
So Serra opened an office, subscribed to lots of newspapers, bought rating services that evaluate high school athletes and nurtured his contacts with college athletic offices.
"When we spot a kid we think has college potential, we send him a brochure describing our service," says Serra. "But we send it to him through his high school guidance counselor. We don't go to him directly. If the boy is interested, he contacts us.