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Three Days after he won the Wimbledon championship for the second time (see page 12), Lew Hoad turned professional. The contract he signed with Promoter Jack Kramer should become a document for tennis history if only because it guarantees him $125,000 for two years' service—by far the greatest salary ever paid to a tennis pro. But more significantly, from the point of view of tennis, it marks the departure of the last outstanding amateur into the ranks of the pros.
Now the round robin pro tournament that Jack Kramer is staging on the sacrosanct courts of the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills next week (and repeating a week later in Los Angeles) becomes the most attractive event on the tennis calendar for 1957. For it matches all the top talent of the moment—Lew Hoad himself along with the champion, Pancho Gonzales, Ken Rosewall, Tony Trabert, Pancho Segura and Frank Sedgman. The very fact that they will appear at all on the sacred lawn of Forest Hills—for so long the exclusive preserve of the amateurs—is a kind of tacit admission by the tennis fathers of the current poverty of amateur tennis.
The amateur season will, of course, be played through to its normal conclusion, which this year happens to be the Davis Cup Challenge Round in Australia in December. But the titles to be filled, and indeed the Cup itself, will represent little more than consolation prizes—a playoff among the members of the junior varsity.
A POINT OF VIEW
After two months of experiment at Yankee Stadium, New York's television station WPIX has begun giving parlor baseball fans a view of the game which no spectator—or player—has ever seen (although a somewhat similar outlook is available on page 18). Through the eye of a long lens mounted above the top seats in the center-field bleachers, the viewer peers over the pitcher's shoulder at hitter, catcher and plate umpire. The new look took a good deal of doing, for the Yankees didn't want opposing teams stealing their own catcher's signs nor did they want to be accused of stealing the signals of teams visiting in the stadium. The problem was solved by placing the viewer behind and above the pitcher, so that one has the impression of hanging in mid-air 20 feet above the second baseman's head. Even at this distance, however, curves break spectacularly. The new look, which is used only spasmodically as a "color shot" during most games, tends, however, to give the viewer a curious feeling of schizophrenia. When the game is watched from behind the plate, almost anyone, viewing it from the batter's viewpoint, subconsciously wants to overwhelm the pitcher—the enemy—with a hit. The new shot, however, makes every viewer a pitcher for a few moments; the batter becomes a figure of menace and, as the pitcher throws, it is hard, indeed, not to wish the ball over the corner of the plate on every pitch in order completely to outwit and annihilate the batter.
Thus it is that the new television angle eloquently demonstrates the importance of a point of view.
Riding to Hounds is as important to the good people of Leicestershire, England, as drinking kickapoo joy juice is to the folks down in Dogpatch. Nonetheless, Leicestershire, like Dog-patch, still has its independent thinkers, and one such is Dave Campbell of the village of Melton Mowbray. Campbell takes the same jaundiced view of fox hunting that drove Oscar Wilde to describe it as "the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable."
So it is that Dave Campbell and his wife have been spending their summer months training a domesticated fox and vixen named Simon and Sally. When the hunting season starts in September, the Campbells intend to load Simon and Sally into the family car and follow the chase. Once the hounds are on a spoor Simon and Sally will be released in front of the pack with the sole purpose of so confusing the scent that the hounds won't know where to turn next. This accomplished, the Campbells will whistle for Simon and Sally, load them back into the car and await the next chase. If the plan works, the hounds of Leicestershire will indeed lead a dog's life.