At the half, last year's most valuable All-Star player received his trophy. He was Bob Pellegrini, the Maryland linebacker, and he was as confused as the current All-Star secondary defense. He thanked his coaches and teammates and parents and wound up by saying, "But most of all I owe thanks to my dog." This caused a rustle of questioning in the wet stands and was never explained to the 75,000. According to the script, what Pellegrini meant was, "But most of all I owe thanks to my God."
One of the big problems in advancing American tennis is just spading up the ground: finding, in the vast reaches of the country, the young players who ought to be guided, encouraged and watched. Some of the best help yet to turn up in solving this problem has come from the National Junior Chamber of Commerce. Its fourth national tournament for juniors and boys wound up at Santa Monica, Calif. last Saturday after beginning, weeks ago, with local tournaments in which 40,000 young players took part. Those who survived the state eliminations were sent on to Santa Monica—and they arrived there from 45 states, Alaska and Hawaii.
The two champions this year are Paul Palmer of Phoenix, Ariz. (boys) and Allen Fox of Beverly Hills, Calif. (juniors). Fox and Larry Nagler, of Roslyn, N.Y. ( who also reached the junior finals), will automatically be added to the USLTA's Junior Davis Cup Squad, the rest of whose members are already assembled and under the guidance, for the next four weeks, of William F. Talbert and Jack Bushman.
The cost of this year's tournament—$15,000—was covered by Motorola, Inc. The local Jaycee groups provided organization and manpower, and the entire effort came off resoundingly well: 40,000 kids got a pat of encouragement and a chance at tournament play. And the Jaycees reached all the way down to the small-town, grassroots level where many of the country's best athletes are found—-a level tennis has rarely reached in the past.
The runner touched first
And it promptly exploded;
He should have remembered
The bases were loaded.
—CHARLES E. HALL
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