While baseball's flanneled warriors strove at the gates of Valhalla last week (with Cleveland and Giant fans full of anticipatory delight, Yankee, Milwaukee and Brooklyn followers vocal with dogged, mathematical hope), new heroes emerged into the limelight on land and sea:
?The most surprising, most dogged, most long-suffering was a demure 16-year-old Toronto high-school girl named Marilyn Bell who became the first human to swim the 32-mile width of Lake Ontario from Youngstown, N.Y. to the Canadian shore near her home city. Marilyn stayed at her grueling chore after Channel Swimmer Florence Chadwick gave up, fought winds and rough waves, was almost?but not quite?conquered by exhaustion half a dozen times before she reached the Toronto seawall (see page 23).
? Eugene ("Gene") Walet III of New Orleans, who startled the yachting world last year by winning the Mallory Cup in the North American Sailing Championship at the tender age of 18, successfully defended his prize in a Lightning Class craft on Louisiana's Lake Ponchartrain (see page 47).
?The Kentucky-bred three-year-old Never Say Die brought tears of joy to the eyes of his owner?78-year-old New York Financier Robert Sterling Clark?by winning England's historic and testing St. Leger by 12 lengths (see page 25).
?Meanwhile, the U.S. college football season began?so quietly, so diffidently, so far out in the brakes and the bushes that hardly anyone noticed. Nevertheless there were scores: Wayne ( Neb.) 13, Augustana ( S.D.) 7; Youngstown ( Ohio) 13, Gustavus Adolphus 0; Moorehead ( Minn.) 7, Huron ( S.D.) 0; Concordia ( Minn.) 12, North Dakota State 0; Central Michigan 26, Milwaukee State 7; Peru ( Neb.) 14, Panhandle A & M ( Okla.) 7.
Dressed to kill
Pepper Martin was in the news last week, a wire-service item from Norfolk, Va., reporting that Pepper at the age of 50 had pinch-hit a double for his Portsmouth Merrimacs, the team he manages in the Class B Piedmont League. Pepper is, of course, the old Gas House Cardinal whose rambunctious, hell-for-leather, dirty-uniformed play excited major-league fans for 12 years.
About the same time another item arrived, this one reporting that at the International Softball League tournament in Selma, Calif., the Dayton ( Ohio) Nationals had been selected as the "best-dressed team" in the tournament. What with memories persisting of the hawk-nosed Martin belly-whopping into third, dust spurting up all around, the news from Selma seemed somehow depressing.
Glenn Scobey Warner