SI Vault
Edited by Andrew Crichton
May 20, 1974
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May 20, 1974


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But if these were signs, the politicians, who cannot look a horse in the mouth without seeing gold, were ignoring them. Faced with a massive deficit in his proposed budget, New York City Mayor Abraham Beame asked for—and received—approval from the state for a 5% surcharge on OTB betting. If the City Council adopts the measure, the surcharge will be on the winners' pool at the betting offices and will become statewide after 60 days.

Balancing the books at the expense of the bettor is an age-old ploy that, on balance, has always played into the hands of the bookmaker. Pass the legislation, guys, and Nathan Detroit is back in deep clover.


Andre, we are pleased to report, has not slowed down, but he was a while getting over his latest trip and he looked, well, grizzled. Gray had mottled his once sleek dark skin, his whiskers were touched with white, and while his big, inquisitive eyes snapped smartly at visitors there was no snap in his appetite for alewives and herring. Andre, you may have guessed, is a seal (harbor variety) and traveling fool.

Harry Goodridge, a tree surgeon and skin diver, found Andre, an abandoned pup, 13 years ago and raised him to become one of the country's most photographed and televised performing seals. Andre summered in a pen moored in Rockport harbor off the Maine coast. Twice a day the pen was pulled ashore and the 240-pound ham showed off to the delight of tourists and Down Easters. Winters, Andre was on his own, swimming freely in harbor waters and sometimes straying as far south as the bottom tip of the state before turning north for another season in summer stock.

This winter, though, Goodridge decided to take Andre to Boston to show off his tricks to the aquarium people there. As a fillip on the way home—and to prove Andre's intelligence—he deposited the seal in the Atlantic at Marblehead, with the parting shout, "See you in Rockport, Baby."

That was at two p.m. on April 26. Four days and 168 miles later Andre, who has been clocked at 15 miles an hour, popped up in Rockport, a pooped traveler if ever there was one. He flopped into the skiff of Leonard Ames, a part-time lobsterman, and rocked off to sleep. Now fully recovered, the old trouper will be back this summer performing and posing for pictures. If there is one thing Andre likes better than a fine kettle offish, it is a loaded Kodak.

All of Becky Dooley's troubles seemed finally behind her. Permitted to work out with the Chaffee, N. Dak. high school boys' baseball team, the 18-year-old proved talented enough to take her place in center field. There had been a problem with the North Dakota High School Activities Association, which ruled Chaffee would have to forfeit its game with Sheldon if Becky played, but that was disposed of in the seventh inning when Coach Keith Snortland decided to put her into the game and dashed out to the umpire with a temporary restraining order. Becky donned her glove and trotted to her position. In the bottom half of the inning she came to bat. Swack! She smashed a foul ball. Swack! Another foul ball. Then it happened. She was called out on two strikes. Seems that in all the confusion nobody on the Chaffee team thought to tell the umpire of the lineup change. When he woke up to the technicality, he ruled that a rule was a rule, and sent Becky back to the bench. Pioneering never was very easy in the Plains States.


The United States is not the only country wrestling with its sports conscience. French sportswriters, like their American counterparts, have become vexed over the rise of professionalism and commercialism, insisting it is swamping the "true sporting spirit in France." Without fear of mixed metaphor, one Paris newspaper headlined, THE GOLDEN CALF HAS INFILTRATED AND IS CREATING A GROWING MALAISE.

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