Then out came Dagmar to auction off Lloyd Mangrum. It was obvious Dagmar didn't know golf, only men. As it happened, it was enough, and after a leering start which found Hope characteristically staring down her bosom and remarking, "Looks like somebody took a divot," Dagmar cooed, "I'll get you an eyeglass—and you can see my jewelry much better." She sold Mangrum for $9,500, and as the golfer himself walked dreamily toward the exit Dagmar stared. "If I knew he had a moustache I would have got much more," she told the crowd.
Now John Daly left the Winchell table to take over. Daly, mellifluous and grinning, sold Jerry Barber (Ail-American tourney winner) for $7,000, the minimum price for the night. Daly's (and Winchell's) friend Bob Considine (in Vegas for the atom bomb shot) was next up at the auction stand and managed to peddle Bud Holscher to Carl Anderson for $8,000 after cutting himself in for $100 of the action.
Comedian Joe E. Lewis was summoned to auction off a golfer named Billy Maxwell. Joe E., who paused to snatch a drink from a customer's table and down it, leaned out to the audience to confide: "I don't know anything about golf—I don't even know how to hold a caddy. Last year I bought Chandler Harper in this thing. I thought it was I.W." Between jokes he sold Maxwell to Gil Dye for $8,500.
Walter Winchell arose, a little ill at ease and implacably serious, to auction off: 1) six ringside seats to the Moore-Valdes fight (to Minneapolis' R. E. "Bob" Peters) for $1,000; and 2) Ed Furgol (to Minneapolis' Peters) for $9,000. Peters also bought Minnesota golfer Wally Ulrich for $7,000, which probably saved the unknown Minnesotan from the ignominy of being the low man of the evening.
Golfer Bo Wininger was stalled at parity, $7,000, when Bob Hope bravely bought him for $8,000. Radio announcer Harry Wismer rose to auction off Cary Middlecoff, who opened at $10,000—highest of the night till then—and climbed rapidly to the top price of $16,000 which a Chicago toy manufacturer, Chick Ross, ponied up.
Ulrich was sold next and then Gene Littler was placed on the block. "I will accept a starting bid of $10,000, no less," announced Auctioneer Wershow. "And I will bid $11,000." Littler sold to crooner Frankie Laine for $13,000.
Hope rose to try to pump enthusiasm for a golfer named Pete Cooper, who won the Virginia Beach Open. He brought $7,000 from a buyer named Blankenship whom nobody had ever heard of either.
Mighty Mike Souchak, who won two tournaments in a row this winter and has been playing like a battleship-sized Hogan, brought the second highest opening bid of the night—a hefty $12,000. The bidding closed at $15,000 when Walter C. Marty, ex-director of the Del Mar Race Track and before that of Caliente, bought him.
A PIECE OF THE LOOT
Art Wall Jr., last year's winner, was next up. In 1954 Wall was almost going by default when the Desert Inn owner, Wilbur Clark, bid him in at a measly $3,500, thus winning $49,626. This year Clark had to bid considerably higher—$12,500—to get Wall again.