The Brooklyn Dodgers discovered a brand-new pitching resource on their own bench when they sent 19-year-old Sandy Koufax, a bonus rookie ($14,000) without minor-league experience, out to start a game against Cincinnati. In a two-hit victory, Koufax struck out 14, more than any other National League pitcher this year.
Needles, handsome Florida-bred son of the 1949 Kentucky Derby winner, Ponder, identified himself as a two-year-old to remember by beating Polly's Jet and others in the Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga, a race won in their own day by Man o' War, Whirlaway, Native Dancer and Nashua.
Joey Giambra, 24-year-old Army private from Buffalo, took a furlough from Camp Hood to meet Middleweight Champion Carl (Bobo) Olson in a non-title fight. Though he lost the decision, Private Giambra threw so much hard and fast leather that he marked himself as a coming man, went back to Camp Hood with the promise of a middleweight title match in February.
Bandleader Guy Lombardo injected a new note into the old score between the Gold Cup champion Gale V (SI, Aug. 15) and the speedy, Ted Jones-designed Seattle boat Miss Thriftway in the Silver Cup Regatta on the Detroit River. Lombardo, a sometime racing driver himself, sat back and watched his Tempo VII, driven by Danny Foster, easily beat both the Gold Cup stars, among many others.
Pat Lesser, 22-year-old Brooklyn-born daughter of a retired Army colonel, smashed past such strong contenders as Mary Ann Downey and Polly Riley, then trounced an Indianapolis schoolteacher, Jane Nelson, 7 and 6, to become U.S.'s national women's golf champion of 1955, at the Myers Park Country Club in Charlotte, N.C.