Which leads to the headline writer who got this one off: CLEVELAND DEFEATS INDIANS. That was Reggie Cleveland of the Red Sox, who will hear more of this now that he is an American Leaguer. Sometimes it is not worth being the pitcher of record.
YES, VIRGINIA, FAST WOMEN
The remarkable thing about the 36 women who ran in the Boston Marathon last week was not that half of them finished in under 3� hours (qualifying time for all runners) or that four went under three hours; it was the way they finished. While most of the men limped into the Prudential Center on tortured muscles and many collapsed, moaning, on the floors or lay semicomatose under blankets on cots, all but two of the women were bouncing around chatting amiably about what seemed to have been a refreshing stroll in the rolling countryside from Hopkinton, 26 miles away. They did not even wince when the 97th joker in a row, recalling the cigarette ad, said, "Baby, you've come a long way."
The fact may be that women are better suited to the marathon than men. Dr. Ernst van Aaken of Waldniel, West Germany, who sent four of the top seven women finishers to Boston, believes that they are. He claims that their lower body weight and smaller muscles enable women to sustain the rigors of such a long race more easily.
"I don't think we can beat many men," tiny Miki Gorman, looking cool and radiant after the race, massively understated. "Men are faster. But we should have the opportunity to try." A 38-year-old Los Angeles housewife who weighs only 84 pounds and stands 5'�", Miki won the women's section in 2:47:11, which would have placed her 279th among the men, or, to put it another way, ahead of 1,426 other men.
Nina Kuscsik, a 35-year-old mother of two from Long Island, N.Y. who placed third in her section in 2:55:12, thought that one reason the women apparently suffered less was that they had not tried as hard as the men. "We are still treading new ground," she said. "Maybe we can push ourselves much harder. But you can only learn by doing it over and over again and putting in more mileage every day."
Which is the way Kathy Switzer sees it. Kathy started the whole thing for women in 1967 when she entered the race, unofficially, and finished. Now 27, she was fifth among women this year with her best time to date (3:01:39). She said, "Women have become so competitive and the marathon is such a competitive event. In our lifetime we should see women training 150 to 200 miles a week and perhaps placing as high as 20th among the men." Baby, that's smoking.
It now appears that the go-betweens who helped bring together the new World Football League and established National Football League players were the NFL teams themselves. The clubs never give out home addresses of players, but they do forward mail, which secretaries in NFL offices did gladly when letters from the WFL to every active player arrived in plain white envelopes.
Inside was a form from the WFL's R. Steven Arnold inquiring about the player's contract, his interest in hearing further from the WFL and the name of his agent or adviser. Reportedly better than 50% of the players responded. These were broken down into four categories: 1) stars whose presence the new league desperately needed: 2) average players whose options run out in the next two years; 3) average players with long-term contracts; 4) and those who, the WFL believed, didn't stand a chance. The operation saved the WFL a lot of money, money better spent on players. Whatever happened to inefficient secretaries?