THE FORLORN LEFT
The chance of a left-handed golfer achieving the Palmer-Hogan-Snead stratum has always been rated about equal to that of a lighthouse salesman in Montana. But in Bradenton, Fla. last week a slim, hipless, precise lefty from Christ-church. New Zealand took a tough course apart and then reassembled it to fit his form. The golfer was Bob Charles and he shot the four greatest successive rounds of golf ever put together by a wrong-sider. Playing the DeSoto Lakes Golf and Country Club layout, a testy, trap-infested course (par 71), Charles was 68-65-68-69 for 270. This was eight strokes under the previous DeSoto 72-hole record fashioned by Sammy Snead.
Charles was playing with his own kind, the National Association of Left-Handed Golfers, in its annual tournament. He finished 21 strokes in front of defending champion Loddie Kempa of Macon, Ga.
What the tournament proved to Charles was that "it will make golf equipment manufacturers realize that the left-handed golfer has arrived and can play the game with the next fellow." it hasn't been too many years that good equipment for lefties has been obtainable and even now no one makes left-handed clubs for juniors. As a result, though 30% of children are born left-handed, fewer than 1% play golf left-handed. Maybe things will change now.
NOW A TEAR FOR TOLEDO
The American Association died last week when minor league baseball was reorganized. The Pacific Coast and International leagues will have 10 teams each and Triple-A status. The American Association will have its memories: Ted Williams batting .366 at Minneapolis in 1938; Willie Mays hitting .477 for the same team 13 years later; Bill Veeck and Charlie Grimm having fun at Milwaukee; Joe McCarthy first demonstrating his great skill as a manager at Louisville.
In a way it's a strange passing. Except for 1914 and 1915 the association had the same eight cities for 50 years, from 1902 through 1952. Then the Boston Braves moved into Milwaukee and the association started to crumble. A decade later it is gone. But of the original eight cities, four are in the majors ( Milwaukee, Kansas City and Minneapolis-St. Paul) and two ( Indianapolis and Columbus) are in the International League.
Still, a sadness remains. Clipper ships are gone, trolley cars are gone, the Toledo Mud Hens are gone. All we've got to look ahead to is the dusty old moon.
When Athol Graham drove his car, City of Salt Lake, across the Bonneville Flats in 1960, he wound up in eternity. So far as purposeful existence was concerned life might have ended then, too, for the young mechanic who had shared Graham's dream of shattering the world's land speed record. Otto Anzjon was 18. He had worked with Graham days, nights, Sundays, holidays, whenever they had an hour. They had plenty of hours, no money and a dream. When Graham crashed and died Anzjon wept, his anguished head on a wheel of the demolished City of Salt Lake.