Prodded out of their lethargy by the insurgent Continentals, the pressure of public opinion and the threat of Congressional action, the American and National leagues last week finally agreed to expand. The established leagues, the major-domos promised, would absorb four charter teams from the Continental League right away and the other four "within a reasonable number of years."
The Continental officials seemed relieved that they had so neatly extricated themselves from the almost impossible third-league theme. Nor were the member cities showing any remorse. " Atlanta is definitely in line now for major league baseball," they said in Georgia. "We can't miss," they said in Fort Worth and Dallas. In Buffalo they said, "We're the only city that has a stadium of major league size right now." In Minneapolis-St. Paul they said, "We have achieved our goal at last." Nearly everybody, suddenly very cynical, said, "The Continental League never had a chance in the first place."
Yet how good are the chances of immediate expansion of the American and National leagues? They could be better. For one thing, no one has yet explained how the first four teams would be manned. For another, no one has explained what Dan Topping is up to. Topping, co-owner of the Yankees, said late last week he would oppose National League expansion into New York unless the American League expanded into Los Angeles.
Los Angeles, of course, belongs to Walter O'Malley, not to the Continental League. If Topping can exert enough pressure, he might be able to make the majors renege on their promise to the Continentals or even put off expansion altogether.
Ernie Elliott, an 18-year-old in Portland, Ore., played 257 holes (that's more than 14 rounds) of golf in 24 hours last week. He's claiming the world record for that sort of thing. That's wonderful.
But to the man who is bushed after only one round of golf in 24 hours it may be a comfort to learn that during the course of his marathon Ernie: drove one ball into the golf-course swimming pool, broke the strap on his golf bag, lost his nine-iron through a hole in the bottom of a substitute bag, had his foot run over by a spectator's motor scooter, took off his shoes to rest his feet and stepped on a bee, which stung him.
DRIFTING & DREAMING
People marveled, during a stock-car race in Atlanta last week, when Glenn (Fireball) Roberts barreled his sedan into his service pit at 75 mph and, without even slowing down, rocketed through the pit, out the exit and back onto the track.