Jim Venner, Plainfield, N.J. water jockey, zipped his Too Much through driving rain over Pasquotank River course, averaged 63.2135 mph for two runs to break his own APBA world speed record for Class F runabouts in International Cup Regatta at Elizabeth City, N.C. (Sept. 29).
New York Yankees and Milwaukee Braves wound up with biggest prizes as major league season ended, but there were plenty of honors for others. Boston's Ted Williams, at 39, became oldest player ever to win batting title when he led American League with .388 and, just a smidgen behind in years, St. Louis's Stan Musial, 36, was National League leader with .351; Washington's Roy Sievers (see page 10) and Milwaukee's Hank Aaron won double crowns, Sievers topping American League with 42 home runs, 114 RBI, while Aaron was boss in National League with 44 homers, 132 RBI; Baltimore, flushed with fifth-place finish, also set major league record by playing 80th errorless game. Managers Fred Hutchinson of St. Louis, Danny Murtaugh of Pittsburgh, Mayo Smith of Philadelphia were resigned for 1958, but Cleveland's Hank Greenberg, embarrassed by team's sixth-place standing, resorted to usual remedy. He fired Kerby Farrell, hired Bobby Bragan to lead Indians next year.
Denver, American Association champions, showed way for parent New York Yankees, taking four out of five from Buffalo's International League title-holders to win Little World Series. Bears belted out base hits in big league style to win first three games 16-5, 9-1, 13-9, slumped slightly to lose fourth 2-1, but came back with 8-1 triumph to end series.
College football's first big weekend saw Big Ten open in crescendo of touchdowns, mighty Tennessee and Georgia Tech figure in surprising upsets. Iowa set scoring pace for Big Ten, rolling over Utah State 70-14, while Michigan State routed Indiana 54-0; Minnesota defeated Washington 46-7; Wisconsin beat Marquette 60-6; Michigan squeezed past USC 16-6. Auburn, making most of airtight defense, shocked Tennessee 7-0; SMU held favored Georgia Tech to 0-0 tie. Among other highlights: Notre Dame got off on right foot with 12-0 victory over Purdue; TCU edged Ohio State 18-14; Stanford beat Northwestern 26-6; UCLA defeated Illinois 16-6; Baylor burst Houston's bubble 14-6; Columbia outscored Brown 23-20; Oregon State, top-rated by many on West Coast, had little trouble with Kansas, winning 34-6 (for regional report, see page 16).
Cleveland Browns and Chicago Cards, no great shakes in preseason exhibitions, saved their Sunday punches for NFL openers. Browns turned burly Lou Groza loose with 21 seconds to go for 47-yard field goal to beat New York Giants 6-3 in bruising defensive battle at Cleveland; Cards invaded San Francisco, used potent running attack to upset 49ers 20-10. Other opening day results: Green Bay Packers dedicated new stadium by overtaking Chicago Bears 21-17 on Babe Parilli's fourth-quarter pass to Gary Knafelc; Quarterback John Unitas rang bell with four scoring passes to help Baltimore Colts beat Detroit Lions 34-14 at Baltimore; "new look" Pittsburgh Steelers turned three touchdown passes by Quarterback Earl Morrall into 28-7 defeat of Washington at Pittsburgh; Los Angeles Rams had trouble with Philadelphia Eagles but came out on top 17-13 at Los Angeles.
Hawaii Kai III clinched national hydroplane title, bouncing over Ohio River at Madison, Ind. behind faultless piloting of Seattle's little Jack Regas to win all three heats with record 106.636 mph average and add Governor's Cup victory to earlier successes in President's Cup and Silver Cup. Other Seattle boats were not so fortunate. Miss Thriftway, after setting world speed record in preliminary (see below), hit rough water and disintegrated; Miss Wahoo lost propeller failed to finish final heat.
French-Canadians, who treat hockey as their secular religion, Montreal Forum as its temple and Les Canadiens as its priests, heaved genuine sighs of relief last week when they got news that controlling interest in hallowed Canadian Arena Company, including Canadiens' franchise and cavernous 14,600-seat Forum, has passed from aging (76) Senator Donat Raymond to elegantly mustachioed Senator Hartland DeMontarville Molson, 50-year-old head of distinguished English-speaking Montreal family and president of Molson's Brewery. Hailed Sports Columnist Gerard Gosselin of nationalist Le Devoir: "The news is joyful...our local sport has escaped a disaster which could have taken the form of foreign capital...even though the Molsons' name is English, they are purely bilingual in heart and spirit. Those who know the Molson family will tell you that it is quite accidental that they are not French-Canadians."
Walt Hansgen, 37-year-old Westfield, N.J. leadfoot, hustled one of Briggs Cunningham's powerful 3.8 D Jags around spanking new Bridgehampton, N.Y. layout at 85.83 mph average to win first Bridgehampton Cup race (see page 40).