BASEBALL—There were signs that things were going to be different this season: Sandy Koufax lost a game; the NEW YORK YANKEES (1-3) failed to hit a home run and got off to their worst start since 1930; the NEW YORK METS had their best start ever, losing only four games before getting their first win. The Mets and their new park, Shea Stadium, attracted an astonishing average attendance of 37,000 persons for three home games. And last year's pennant winners—the Dodgers and Yankees—sank to last place.
In first place in the National League was PHILADELPHIA (4-1). The Phillies won three games on homers and hit eight for the week, three by rookie Richie Allen. Leading the majors with six home runs was the incomparable Willie Mays (see page 22) of SAN FRANCISCO (4-2). In all, the Giants hit 11 homers and overcame spotty pitching by scoring 10 runs in one inning and nine in another. ST. LOUIS (4-2), however, won on good pitching, the best of which Curt Simmons threw at the Giants to shut them out on three hits. Only a two-out infield single in the ninth by Frank Howard kept Jim Maloney and John Tsitouris of CINCINNATI (3-2) from pitching a combined no-hitter against the Dodgers. Also jockeying for position in the early going were PITTSBURGH (3-2), MILWAUKEE (3-3), CHICAGO (2-3 despite belting 11 homers, four of them by Billy Williams) and HOUSTON (2-3, both wins by Ken Johnson on homers by Jim Wynn). Koufax pitched a shutout in the first game, but then LOS ANGELES dropped five in a row.
Superb relief pitching by Stu Miller (two wins and a save) and Wes Stock (one win) enabled BALTIMORE (4-1) to grab the lead in the American League. MINNESOTA (4-2) capitalized on eight home runs, three by another Allen—Bernie, in this case. DETROIT (3-2), CHICAGO (2-3), WASHINGTON (2-4) and KANSAS CITY (1-2) struggled to stay in the running. Ken McBride, with help from Julio Navarro, pitched a one-hitter on opening day as LOS ANGELES (2-2) beat the Senators.
BASKETBALL—Wilt Chamberlain was the hero with 39 points as SAN FRANCISCO defeated St. Louis 105-95 to win the Western Division playoffs, four games to three, and make the NBA finals for the first time since 1956. (The champion Warriors of that year, of course, played out of Philadelphia.) Defending Champion BOSTON, far from rusty despite nine days of idleness, rolled over the Warriors 108-96 in the first game of the final series.
BOWLING—WAYNE ZAHN of Atlanta defeated Billy Hardwick 196-179 in the final match to win the $26,000 PBA Lodi ( Calif.) Open.
BOXING—EDDIE PERKINS of Chicago successfully defended his world junior welterweight title by winning a 15-round decision over Bunny Grant, British Empire lightweight champion, in Kingston, Jamaica.
Middleweight Champion JOEY GIARDELLO got a scare from Rocky Rivero of Argentina but escaped with a split decision in a Cleveland nontitle bout.
In Honolulu, World Welterweight Champion EMILE GRIFFITH knocked out Welterweight Stan Harrington of Honolulu in the fourth round of a nontitle match.
Third-ranked Heavyweight ZORA FOLLEY of Chandler, Ariz. and Germany's Heavyweight KARL MILDENBERGER, rated eighth, fought to a 10-round draw in Frankfurt, Germany.
FLYING—Piloting Spirit of Columbus, a single-engine Cessna, 38-year-old JERRIE MOCK, a Columbus, Ohio housewife, became the first woman to make a solo flight around the world. She took 29 days to complete the 22,858.8-mile journey, stopping 21 times to refuel.