Topics in the News
Auto Racing: NASCAR
Bill France and NASCAR.
The National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) was founded by racing promoter Bill France in 1947 to showcase the talents of southern whiskey runners in their modified street cars, souped up so they could outrun country sheriffs. By 1960 NASCAR had developed a well-organized professional racing circuit confined, largely, to the South. NASCAR was southern: most of its driving stars and its core of fan support came from the South. The sport had national appeal, though, as the American automobile manufacturers recognized. Early in the decade they sponsored the NASCAR racing season by providing high-performance versions of current showroom models. It was an effective sales tool in a time when speed sold cars, and by the time manufacturers abandoned racing because it was too expensive and because of social pressures to refrain from endorsement of a dangerous sport, NASCAR was self-sufficient.
At the beginning of the 1960s NASCAR racing was dominated by former whiskey runners turned legitimate. They drank hard up to the night before a race and knew no limits on the track. Fans delighted in the frequency of pileups and in the uninhibited style of the drivers, who would hit and bump their competitors at high speeds and go all out to win regardless of the conditions. Midwesterner Fred...
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Auto Racing: USAC
The founding of USAC.
In the major leagues of auto racing there are two types of cars: Indianapolis, or Indy-type racers, made expressly for the race course and undrivable on public roads are the sleekest; stock cars, radically modified versions of automobiles available in dealer showrooms, run at about the same speed as the Indy racers and seem closer to life to many race fans, especially in the South. The United States Auto Club (USAC), the governing body for Indy-type racers, was formed in September 1955 by the owner of the Indianapolis Speedway, Tony Hulman. The Indianapolis 500 has since 1911 been the most respected automobile race in America, and Hulman wanted to be sure it stayed that way. USAC ran a full season of racing and named a champion each year, but the crowning event of the season was the Indianapolis 500.
New Cars for a New Age.
During the 1960s Indianapolis was under assault from new kinds of cars with new kinds of engines. Colin Chapman, the respected British carmaker whose Lotus chassis had carried its drivers to Grand Prix championships in Europe, developed a revolutionary Indianapolis car; Ford brought its engineering expertise to the track and by the end of the decade had replaced the venerable Offenhauser engine; car owner Andy Granate Ili introduced the turbine engine that protesting drivers said should be...
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Baseball: The Game Face
A Two-Faced Game.
Baseball had two faces during the 1960s, one shown on the field, the other in the board room. On the field baseball was a glorious game played by enthusiastic athletes who seemed truly to enjoy their participation in the nation's game. Their performances were spectacular as they demonstrated skills that reshaped the game.
1960: Stengel Retires.
The 1960s began with a changing of the guard. Casey Stengel, arguably the greatest manager of modern times, was forced to retire at the age of seventy. He was down but not out. A year later he returned to baseball as the bemused manager of the expansion team New York Mets. Ted Williams, the great Boston Red Sox hitter, retired in his nineteenth season at the age of forty-two; he hit .316 his last season. The New York Yankees hit 193 home runs in 1960, the most ever in an American League season, but their hitting power was inadequate to secure a World Series victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates, who played in their first championship series since 1927, when Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig led the Yankees to a four-game sweep. In 1960 it took seven games and a bad bounce on a grounder to Yankee shortstop Tony Kubek in the eighth inning for the Pirates to win the Series.
A New Home-Run Record.
Roger Maris hit a record-breaking 61...
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Baseball: The Business Face
The Day of the $2 Ticket.
If the game of baseball flourished on the field, it seemed that the occupants of the front offices, where baseball was big business, had to scramble to save the game's vitality. Attendance declined steadily during the first half of the decade as television transformed spectators from bleacher bums into couch potatoes. At the beginning of the decade 25 percent of team revenues was from broadcast licenses; by the end of the decade the total was 30 percent. Although ticket prices averaged from two dollars to three dollars in the 1960s, fans increasingly found it more convenient to watch games on television than to go to the park. Still, the twenty teams in major-league baseball attracted 22.4 million paying fans to the ballpark in 1965, setting a per-club attendance record. The 150 or so minor-league teams drew less than half that number.
The Cost of Baseball.
As a result, team revenues declined while the owners figured out how to negotiate broadcast contracts to their best advantage. In 1960 each club in baseball averaged $200,000 in national broadcast revenues; in 1970 revenue had increased to $700,000; in 1993 it was $14 million. About three times as much was earned from local broadcast rights. Many teams during the 1960s reported losses, but in fact they were profitable to the owners because of available tax...
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Baseball: The Amazin' Mets
In 1957 and 1958 New York lost two National League baseball teams to the West Coast. The Giants left for San Francisco in 1957 and the Dodgers for Los Angeles in 1958, That left the Yankees, who were on one of the grandest winning streaks in baseball history, but National League fans wanted a team of their own. In the National League expansion of 1962 they got their wish, the New York Mets. The majority owner was former Giants fan Joan Whitney Payson, one of the wealthiest women in the nation. Her pockets were deep, and a five-year, $6 million broadcast-rights deal with Rheingold brewery assured that the Mets were solvent.
The team cost a total of $2.3 million—$500,000 induction fee to the league and $1.8 million in draft fees from a league-created draft pool of shockingly bad players. The Mets managers got to pick twenty players, of which sixteen were chosen from a group of players released from their contracts by other teams...
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Basketball: The Pros
Professional Basketball Expansion.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) began the decade with eight teams. By the end of the decade the league had expanded to seventeen teams, had a fat television contract, and had seen attendance jump from under two million in 1965 to over five million. Throughout much of the 1950s professional basketball was being played in the shadow of the college game and was searching for an identity; toward the end of that decade the sport saw its future in Bill Russell—the big man with grace and speed. But professional basketball did not catch up with Russell until the 1960s, when men emerged who along with Russell defined the modern game. Most notable among the new breed of athletes was Wilt Chamberlain. Wilt the Stilt, as he was called, combined imposing size, intelligence, and legendary strength in challenging Russell for basketball supremacy. The rivalry between the two superstars gave professional basketball much-needed drama. Despite the influx of great basketball talent from the college ranks into the pros during the 1960s, there remained only one true super team, the Boston Celtics.
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Basketball: The College Teams
A Live-Action Game.
Neil D. Isaac, author of Ali the Moves (1975), a history of college basketball, argues that basketball is the most popular sport in the United States, but that it is more successful as a live-action spectator sport and as a participation sport than on television. While baseball fans might question that claim, there is an undeniable attraction to basketball, particularly at the college level. The continuous action and high scoring of the game make it exciting to watch, even if it does not televise well. The roughly one thousand college basket-ball teams in the United States attracted fifteen million fans in 1960.
A National Audience.
College basketball became a national game at the major-college level in the 1960s. Before that time college coaches recruited locally and promoted what might be called regional game styles. But television and the rise in fan interest affected basketball as it did other major sports. The game became faster and the players bigger as a system of high-school feeder teams was developed. Coaches traveled throughout the country searching for fast, big boys they could mold into team players. The game attracted the attention of gamblers too. In 1951 there was a cheating scandal, involving players from seven schools, that had shocked naive fans. In 1961 there was another, bigger scandal that...
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The sport of professional boxing seemed to be in decline at the beginning of the 1960s. Boxing had been the most frequently televised sporting event during the 1950s because it was easy to produce: the action between two men in a small ring could be captured easily and cheaply by a single camera. By the end of the 1950s fights appeared routinely on television; Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer sponsored the Wednesday night fights on ABC, and Gillette sponsored the Friday night fights on NBC. Televised fights used up fighters and distorted an already-corrupt sport.
Television and Boxing.Television imposed a level of commercialism on fighting that the sport had never confronted before. Television audiences, and thus television sponsors, demanded more glamour and more drama than the sport could deliver, There were not enough white hopes or inspiring role models in boxing to supply televised fights at least two nights every week and more nights most weeks. Moreover, there was increasing evidence that television boxing was corrupt. The International Boxing Club, controlled by mobster Frankie Carbo, monopolized the promotion of fights for television, and Carbo was under investigation at the beginning
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Football: The Pros
By the beginning of the decade professional football was surpassing baseball in popularity. The Baltimore Colts' stunning overtime victory over the New York Giants to win the National Football League (NFL) championship in 1958 had thrilled a nationwide television audience and helped attract a new generation of fans to professional football. The NFL championship game had as large a television viewing audience as the World Series. By the end of the decade professional football was the national pastime. NFL attendance had climbed above 90 percent of stadium capacity—figures that were the envy of the baseball owners, Sunday afternoons—traditionally reserved as time spent with family—were taken over by the sport, as fathers sat in their living rooms glued to their television sets. Even the football widows—the wives of armchair fans—came to recognize the names and the language of football. A new breed of superstar emerged from the media hype that surrounded the sport; slick, brash, and attractive players like Joe Namath had charisma, sex appeal, and, as endorsers of products, great selling power.
During the 1960s television money poured into professional football at an increasing rate, as Pete Rozelle, who became NFL commissioner in I960, successfully marketed the sport. Having convinced team owners that it...
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Football: The College Teams
An anecdote related by sports historians Randy Roberts and James S. Olson demonstrates the evolution of college football (and all televised sports, for that matter) during the 1960s, as television began to redefine the game for fans. In 1960 Roone Arledge asked ABC engineer Bob Trachinger if it would be possible to replay a piece of sports videotape in slow motion to show how a play developed and to verify a close call by a referee. Trachinger went to work on what became instant replay, which was tested during the Boston College-Syracuse University football game that year. Arledge re-called, "That was a terrific game, and at one point Jack Concannon, a sophomore quarterback, was trapped in the pocket but ended up running seventy yards for a touchdown. Six or eight people had a shot of him and we replayed the whole thing in slow motion with Paul Christman analyzing the entire play as it unfolded. Nobody had ever seen anything like that before and the impact was unbelievable. That moment changed television sports forever."
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The Greatest College Football Teams of the Decade
1. University of Texas Longhorns, 1969.
Darrell Royal, in his fifteenth year as coach of the Texas Longhorns, led his team to an undisputed national championship and a perfect season in 1969. The Longhorns scored 45 or more points in six different games en route to the Cotton Bowl in the postseason, where they overcame a strong Notre Dame team 21-17. Quarterback James Street passed for 699 yards, often to Cotton Speyer, his favorite receiver. Halfback Jim Bertelsen averaged 7.1 yards per rush, and Steve Worster, a talented blocking back, averaged 4.8 yards to lead the Longhorns to the nation's best offensive performance on the ground with an average of 363 yards per game. Placekicker Happy Feller scored 61 points during the season, second on the team only to Bertelsen, who had 78. At home the Longhorns were invincible, with an average winning point spread of 43 points.
2. Ohio State University Buckeyes, 1968.
Woody Hayes was coach of the year in 1968 as he led the Buck-eyes to an undefeated season and an undisputed national championship. During nine of the next ten seasons Ohio State won or shared the Big Ten conference title. Hayes coached a ground-based offense. His star fullback, Jim Otis, rushed 189 times during the season for an average of 4.7 yards, and Rex Kern rushed 119 times for 4.2 yards per carry. The rushers were supported...
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Palmer and Nicklaus.
The two most talented golfers of the 1960s made their marks as the decade opened. In 1960 Arnold Palmer won the Masters and the U.S. Open and earned $77,000 to lead all professional golfers. Second place in the U.S. Open went to a twenty-year-old amateur, an undergraduate at Ohio State named Jack Nicklaus. He shot a 269 over the seventy-two holes of the tournament. Nicklaus's last year as an amateur was 1961. He won the U.S. amateur title that year by eight and six strokes respectively in the final two rounds. He was prepared in 1962 to enter a head-to-head competition with Palmer to determine who was the greatest golfer of the decade and, arguably, of all time.
Palmer in 1962.
Palmer won his third Masters title and the British Open for the second year in a row in 1962, but Nicklaus beat him in a playoff at the U.S. Open. Promoters seized the opportunity to exploit their rivalry by arranging the World Series of Golf at the Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. Devised for a television audience, this event pitted the three best golfers of the year against one another in a thirty-six-hole competition. Nicklaus won with a 135; Palmer and South African Gary Player tied for second, with 139s.
In 1963 Palmer and Nicklaus became the first professional...
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Olympics: The Contemporary Version
The Contemporary Olympic Era.
What were called the modern Olympic Games, the phrase that referred to the revival of the Olympics in 1896, gave way to the contemporary games in 1960. The ideal, championed by International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Avery Brundage, of international amateur competition held in an arena unaffected by worldly influences was in its death throes. The forces that undermined the ideal—politics, commercialization, and drugs—were introduced in the 1950s, and by the 1960 games their influence was inevitable.
In 1952 Avery Brundage was elected president of the IOC. He was a controversial choice because members of the international committee feared the power that a president from a superpower nation would wield. The cold war affected most aspects of international relations, and observers feared that an American president would use the games to promote nationalism. Brundage managed to avoid serious charges that he used his position to promote American diplomatic goals, but during the Brundage years, due to the intrusion of forces he could not control, nationalism became the underlying theme of the Olympics, and politics was played as calculatingly in the IOC boardroom as in diplomatic gathering places.
Politics of Participation.
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Olympics: The 1960 Games
The Soviet Standard.
The XVII Olympiad was held in Rome in August and September and the Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, California, in February. Over 7,000 athletes from 85 nations participated in the summer games, which were promoted as the most spectacular ever, staged at a cost of some $30 million. The Soviets won forty-three medals to thirty-four for the Americans, and in the point system, introduced by the media to measure performance, the Soviets won the games with 807.5 points to 564.5 for the United States, 319.25 points for the Germans, 270 points for the Italians, with Hungary, Australia, Japan, and Great Britain following, in that order.
The Americans were strongest in track and field, despite some disappointments. The men won eight of the twenty-four track and field events, but sprinters David Sime and Ray Norton, expected to win, lost in the 100- and 200-meter races, and world-record holder John Thomas finished third in the high jump. Rafer Johnson lost seven events in the decathlon but won the gold medal with a victory in the 10,000-meter race six seconds faster than his previous best time. Male swimmers won half the swimming events, and American male divers won gold and silver medals in both springboard and platform competition. The U.S. men won three gold medals in boxing, including a dominating...
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Olympics: The 1964 Games
The First Asian Olympics.
The XVIII Olympiad was held in Tokyo in October 1964; the winter games were in Innsbruck, Austria, in January and February 1964. It was the first Olympics held in Asia and marked the recovery of Japan from defeat in World War II. The Japanese were eager to stage a showcase for their culture, and toward that end they spent $2.7 billion to prepare. The preparations were largely lost on American audiences, though, due to the indifference of NBC, which had the broadcast rights. There was anticipation of live satellite coverage and cooperative efforts between Americans and Europeans to share video, but NBC balked at the expense and the practical difficulties of coping with a fourteen-hour time difference. They attempted one live transmission, of the opening ceremonies, and delayed telecast until after The Tonight Show in deference to Johnny Carson and his audience. The Japanese were infuriated, as was the State Department, which hoped to claim a show of American technological superiority if the United States was the first nation to broadcast these Olympics live.
The American Men.
The Tokyo Olympics attracted 5,500 athletes from 94 nations, who competed in 163 events in 20 sports. From a national perspective the games were more competitive than the 1960 games. The Soviets won 96 medals to the 90 of the United...
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Olympics: The 1968 Games
The Political Games.
The XIX Olympiad in Mexico City was as dedicated to political activism as to athletic excellence. The participation of South Africa was a controversy that grew in significance as the date of the games approached. At first the South Africans were invited. Then when threatened boycotts by black African nations and black athletes in the United States seemed likely to disrupt the games, the IOC voted to recommend that South Africa decline the invitation, effectively barring their participation. In the United States athlete-sociologist Harry Edwards organized the Olympic Project for Human Rights to coordinate protest movements by black American athletes, and when some members of his group agreed to participate in the games after the South African invitation was rescinded, Edwards promised a protest.
Meanwhile in the host city there was open fighting in the streets. Mexican students
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Fischer, Bobby 1943-
Bobby Fischer was thirteen in 1956 when he became the youngest national junior chess champion in history, fourteen I when he won the U.S. Open Chess tournament and the right to challenge Arthur B. Bisguier for the U.S. Championship, fifteen when he became the youngest International Grandmaster in the history of chess and won the U.S. Championship, and sixteen when he ended his formal education: "The stuff they teach in school, I can't use," he explained. Erasmus Hall High School, his alma mater, presented him with a gold medal for his accomplishments in chess the year he quit school.
Charges against FIDE.
Before he was twenty Fischer was the most outspoken critic of the world chess establishment. He boycotted the U. S. Championships in 1961 because he said the prize money of one thousand dollars to the winner was insulting. Three months later he won the world interzonal tournament in Stockholm, earning the right to play for the world championship. In June 1962, nine...
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Griffith, Emile 1938-
WELTERWEIGHT AND MIDDLEWEIGHT BOXING CHAMPION
Emile Griffith was the third man in history to hold both the welterweight and middleweight championships. The first two were Sugar Ray Robinson and Carmen Basilio. Griffith was born in Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands, and came to New York City when he was thirteen to join his mother, who worked in a hat factory. He eventually took a job working with his mother and came to the attention of the factory owner, who introduced Griffith to trainer Gil Clancy, one of the best in the business. Two years later Griffith was one of the top amateur fighters in the East.
Battle for the Welterweight Crown.
He turned professional in 1958 and won twenty-two of twenty-four fights before he earned the right to fight Benny ("Kid") Paret for the world welterweight championship. He won the fight with a knockout in the thirteenth round, but his championship was short-lived. After one title defense he met Paret again and lost. Six months later, on 24 March 1962, the two fighters met for the third time in a decisive battle fought in the Virgin Islands and televised nationally. In the twelfth round Griffith, angry because Paret had called him a homosexual, pounded his opponent relentlessly as the referee watched without stopping the action. When Griffith was finally called off...
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Hornung, Paul 1935-
The Golden Boy.
Paul Hornung was called "The Golden Boy" partly because of his blond good looks, but more so because he seemed to shine when the occasion warranted. He played on championship football teams from the time he was a senior at Flaget High School in Louisville, Kentucky. He went to Notre Dame, though Coach Frank Leahy did not offer encouragement that he would make the team. He practiced with the scrubs as a freshman, played third-string quarterback as a sophomore, made the All-American team and was named outstanding back in the nation by United Press International as a junior, and won the Heisman Trophy as a senior, despite playing on a team that lost eight often games. He graduated from Notre Dame with excellent grades, adding further luster to his athletic achievement.
Hornung signed a three-year contract with the Green Bay Packers for sixteen thousand dollars a year when that was a lot of money for a professional football player. He soon earned a reputation as a playboy who lacked a professional's seriousness about the game. Vince Lombardi changed that perception. Under his tutelage Hornung became known as one of the best backs in the league. Sharing ball-carrying duties with fullback Jim Taylor and accepting full responsibility for kicking field goals and points...
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Koufax, Sandy 1935-
Sandy Koufax was a hard-throwing pitcher who lacked control during his high-school years in Brooklyn. He was an outstanding baseball and basket-ball player and was recruited by the University of Cincinnati. In 1955, after his freshman year, he dropped out of college to play professional baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers. It was not until the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles that Koufax began to show promise as a major leaguer. He won eleven of twenty-two games in 1958 and tied a major league strikeout record of eighteen against the Giants in 1959.
Cy Young Awards.
By 1961 Koufax was a star, and he continued to improve throughout the decade. Between 1963 and his retirement in 1965, his highest season's earned run average (ERA) was 2.04, and he won a total of seventy-seven games, including twenty-five in 1963, twenty-six in 1965, and twenty-seven in 1966, all years in which he won the Cy Young Award as the best pitcher in baseball.
In 1966 Koufax, a lefthander, and Dodger star...
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Lombardi, Vince 1913-1970
PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL COACH
Winning Is the Only Thing.
Vince Lombardi is regarded as professional football's greatest head coach. Lombardi guided the Green Bay Packers to league titles in 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, and 1967 and to Super Bowl victories in 1967 and 1968; the Packers never finished lower than second during the Lombardi era. In his nine seasons in the National Football League he compiled a record of 141 wins and 39 losses, with 4 ties. Sportswriters, fans, and students of the game consider Lombardi's winning numbers all the more impressive given the poor-quality football teams he inherited at Green Bay and later at Washington as coach of the Redskins. The success of these teams under Lombardi is due largely to his demand that his players share his drive and determination to win at all cost. He once insisted, "Winning isn't everything. It is the only thing."
Lombardi the Ram.
Reared in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Italian immigrants, Lombardi attended local Catholic schools and graduated with honors from Fordham University in 1937. In that year, Lombardi also had led the Fordham Rams to a 7-0-1 record, the tie coming in a scoreless game with heavily favored Pitt. The Rams enjoyed an immense following among fans in the New York area, and the team's front line, popularly known as the Seven Blocks of...
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Oerter, Al 1936-
FOUR-TIME OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL DISCUS THROWER
Four World Records.
Al Oerter was the first man ever to throw the discus over 200 feet, the first of his four world records in a sport he excelled at throughout the 1960s. At the age of twenty, the 6 feet 4 inches, 290 pound sophomore at the University of Kansas was rated second in the world in the discus throw. He had set a national high-school record and had won two NCAA championships. At the 1956 Olympic games Oerter won the gold medal with a personal best throw of 184 feet 11 inches.
A Career-Threatening Accident.
He returned to college and to a career-threatening challenge. In 1957 Oerter was involved in a serious automobile accident that nearly took his life. He trained furiously to regain his strength, and he never again competed without pain. After graduating from the University of Kansas in 1958, he continued to compete as a discus thrower as a member of the New York Athletic Club.
The 1960 Olympics.
In 1960 Oerter lost in the Olympic trials to the...
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Russell, Bill 1934-
BASKETBALL PLAYER AND COACH
College and Olympics.
The University of San Francisco won NCAA championships in 1955 and 1956 during Bill Russell's junior and senior years; they were 29-0 during his last year, and Russell won most valuable player (MVP) awards in five of the last six college tournaments he played in. The out-standing college player of the time, he was chosen for the 1956 Olympic basketball team, which won an Olympic gold medal after an eight-game series in which the narrowest margin of victory was thirty points. Russell also qualified for the Olympic team as a high jumper, but he withdrew so that another athlete could have the honor of representing his country.
Contract with the Celtics.
When he turned professional Russell was the most-sought-after player of the year. The Harlem Globetrotters, who played at clowning basketball exhibitions for pure entertainment, offered him a one-year contract for $32,000. The Harlem Clowns, another exhibition team, offered Russell part ownership of their organization. He signed with the Boston Celtics for $24,000, joining the most formidable sports dynasty of modern times. The Celtics, under Coach Red Auerbach, won their first NBA championship during Russell's rookie year. In the next twelve years they won ten times more; then Russell retired. He was named league MVP...
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People in the News
Alphonse Bielevich catches a world record 98-pound 12-ounce Atlantic cod off the Isle of Shoals in New Hampshire on 8 June 1969.
Three professional football quarterbacks throw for seven touchdowns in a game during the 1960s. George Blanda of the Houston Oilers against the New York Titans (19 November 1961), Y. A, Tittle of the New York Giants againstthe Washington Redskins (28 October 1962), and Joe Kapp of the Minnesota Vikings against the Baltimore Colts (28 September 1969).
Philadelphia Warrior basketball player Wilt Chamberlain scores a record 4,029 season points in 1961-1962, including seven games played between 16 and 19 December 1961, in each of which he scores over 50 points.
Washington Senators pitcher Tom Cheney strikes out a record twenty-one batters in a sixteen-inning game on 12 September 1962.
Atlanta Braves pitcher Tony Cloninger hits two grand slams on 3 July 1966.
Michael Eufemia reportedly pockets a run of 625 balls at Logan's Billiard Academy in Brooklyn on 2 February 1960.
New York Yankee pitcher Whitey Ford pitches thirtytwo consecutive scoreless innings in 1961, breaking Babe Ruth's forty-three-year-old record.
In 1965 A. J. Foyt, Jr., wins a total often starting pole...
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Major League Baseball World Series—Pittsburgh Pirates (National League), 4 vs. New York Yankees (American League), 3
National Football League Championship—Philadelphia Eagles, 17 vs. Green Bay Packers, 13
Collegiate Football National Champions—University of Minnesota
Heisman Trophy, Collegiate Football—Joe Bellino (Navy)
National Basketball Association Championship—Boston Celtics, 4 vs. Saint Louis Hawks, 3
National Collegiate Athletic Association Basketball—Ohio State University, 75 vs. University of California, Berkeley, 55
National Hockey League Stanley Cup—Montreal Canadiens, 4 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, 0
Kentucky Derby, Horse Racing—Venetian Way (jockey, Bill Hartack)
Preakness, Horse Racing—Bally Ache (jockey, Bob Ussery)
Belmont Stakes, Horse Racing—Celtic Ash (jockey, Bill Hartack)
Masters Golf Tournament—Arnold Palmer
United States Open Golf Championship—Arnold Palmer
Professional Golfers of America Championship— Jay Herbert
United States Women's Open...
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John Franklin ("Home Run") Baker, 77, from 1911 to 1914 led the American League in home runs, 28 June 1963.
Jack Barry, 73, former shortstop for the Philadelphia Athletics, 23 April 1961.
Tony Bettenhausen, 44, racing driver, killed while testing a car at the Indianapolis Speedway, 12 May 1961.
Maureen Connolly Brinker, 34, the first woman to win a tennis "grand slam" (the national championships of the U.S., Great Britain, France, and Australia), 21 June 1969.
Jimmy Bryan, 33, race car driver and former winner of the Indianapolis 500, of injuries suffered in racing accident, 19 June 1960.
Primo Camera, 60, Italian-born boxer who won the heavyweight title in 1933 from Jack Sharkey and then lost it in 1934 to Max Baer, 29 June 1967.
Tyrus Raymond ("Ty") Cobb, 74, played with the Detroit Tigers for 22 years; the first member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, 17 July 1961.
Gordon Stanley ("Mickey") Cochrane, 59, former catcher for the Philadelphia Athletics and manager from 1934 to 1939 of the Detroit Tigers, 28 June 1962.
Samuel Earl ("Wahoo Sam") Crawford, 88, at the time of his death the only baseball player to have led both leagues in home runs, 15 June 1968....
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Hank Aaron, Aaron, r.f. (Cleveland: World, 1968);
Furman Bisher, Miracle in Atlanta: The Atlanta Braves Story (Cleveland: World 1966);
Al Bloemker, 500 Miles To Go: The Story of the Indianapolis Speedway (New York: Coward-McCann, 1966);
Ty Cobb, My Life in Baseball, The True Record (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1961);
Bob Cousy, The Last Loud Roar (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1964);
Robert Curran, Pro Football's Rag Days (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1969);
Robert Daley, Cars at Speed: The Grand Prix Circuit (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1961);
Daley, The Cruel Sport (New York: Bonanza Press, 1963);
Joseph Durso, The Days of Mr. McGraw (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1969);
Harry Edwards, The Revolt of the Black Athlete (New York: Free Press, 1969);
Albert Hirshberg, Basketball's Greatest Stars (New York: Putnam, 1963);
Jack Johnson, Jack Johnson is a Dandy: An Autobiography (New York: Chelsea House, 1969);
Sanford Koufax, Koufax (New York: Viking, 1966);
Elmer Layden, It Was a Different Game...
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Important Events in Sports, 1960–1969
- National Association for Stock Car Racing (NASCAR) Grand National tracks open at Charlotte, North Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia.
- The New York Yankees hit a record 193 home runs during the season, winning their twenty-fifth American League pennant; they lose the series in seven games to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
- Approximately 6.5 million Americans participate in organized bowling; the top money winner among professional bowlers is Frank Clause from Old Forge, Pennsylvania, who earns over one hundred thousand dollars.
- Some $2 billion is wagered by an estimated 30 million people at American racetracks; Kelso is horse of the year, winning six consecutive stakes races and registering $293,310 in earnings.
- The second annual National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) soccer championship is won by Saint Louis University, 5-2, over the University of Connecticut.
- Professional boxing is the fifth-ranked spectator sport in the United States, attracting some four million people annually to live matches.
- For the first time since 1936, the United States fails to reach the challenge round of Davis Cup tennis competition.
- On January 26, Los Angeles Rams general manager Pete Rozelle, 33, is named commissioner of the National Football League...
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