"Marathoner Loses by a Mustache." So read the headline of a recent Associated
Press story. It appeared that Abbes Tehami of Algeria was an easy winner of the Brussels
Marathon--until someone wondered where his mustache had gone! Checking eyewitness
accounts, it quickly became evident that the mustache belonged to Tehami's coach, Bensalem
Hamiani. Hamiani had run the first seven-and-a-half miles of the race for Tehami, then
dropped out of the pack and disappeared into the woods to pass race number 62 on to his
pupil. "They looked about the same," race organizers said. "Only one had a
mustache." It's expected that the two will never again be allowed to run in Belgium.
Today in the Word, Moody Bible Institute, Jan,
Two baseball teams had battled to a five-all deadlock as darkness enveloped the
diamond. In the last half of the ninth inning with the bases loaded and the count three
and two, the pitcher called for a conference with the catcher. "I'll wind up and
pretend to throw the next pitch. You wham your fist into your mitt like you'd caught a
strike, and maybe the ump will call it that way. It might work." The catcher nodded.
In the interim, though, the opposing coach cooked up his own stratagem, quickly relaying
it to the batter. When play resumed, the pitcher wound up and apparently let fly. The
batsman swung mightily and the crack of ball against bat (the coach's work) echoed through
the park. The batter circuited the bases for a grand slam, and the game ended, 9 to 5.
Sullenly the pitcher walked from the mound. Had he confessed that he'd failed to throw the
ball, the runner on third would have scored on a balk.
During a runoff Senate primary fight with former Texas Governor Stevenson, early
indications were that Congressman Johnson had lost. Six days later, however, Precinct 13
in the border town of Alice, Texas, showed a very interesting result. Exactly 203 people
had voted at the last minute--in the order they were listed on the tax rolls--and 202 of
them had voted for Johnson. While Stevenson protested, Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black
upheld the result, and Johnson squeaked by with an 87-vote victory. For this feat,
columnist Drew Pearson gave Johnson the sobriquet Landslide Lyndon. It was not until July
30, 1977, that Luis Salas, the election judge in Alice, admitted that he and southern
Texas political boss George Parr (who had killed himself in 1975) had rigged the election.
Baseball player Al Schacht slid into second base and felt a low thrown ball land under
him. Under cover of the dust, Al quickly slipped the ball into his hip pocket. The
opposing infielder vainly looked for the ball and finally figured it must have rolled into
center field. As he and his teammates frantically searched for the ball, Al completed the
circuit of the bases for a home run. But all good things must come to an end--and they did
when Al trounced onto home plate and the ball dropped from his pocket. One $50 fine later
and Al's laughter was tempered a little.
History remembers John Joseph McGraw primarily as the famed and ferocious longtime
manager of the New York Giants. But as unrelenting as McGraw was as a manager during the
first three decades of the 20th century, he had been even more unrelenting as a player in
the 1890s. It was an era of dirty baseball, and the Baltimore Orioles delighted in being
the dirtiest. The most pugnacious Oriole was McGraw, who played third base--"the
toughest of the toughs and an abomination of the diamond," one sportswriter said.
McGraw was born in Upstate New York, the oldest of eight children of an Irish immigrant
railroad worker. In 1884, when diphtheria swept through his village, he was a slight,
eager 11-year-old whose proudest possession was a battered baseball he had been allowed to
order from the Spalding catalog. He watched helplessly as, one by one, his mother and four
of his brothers and sisters died. His father took out his grief and anger on his son,
beating him so often and so mercilessly that at 12 he feared for his life and ran away
from home. He supported himself with odd jobs until he won himself a place on the Olean
(New York) professional team at 16 -- and never again willingly took orders from any man.
Although he was short and weighed barely 155 pounds, he held far bigger base runners
back by the belt. He blocked them, tripped them, spiked them. When they did the same to
him, he was usually not one to complain. "We'd spit tobacco juice on a spike
wound," he remembered, rub dirt in it and get out there and play." McGraw had a
face "like a fist," one reporter wrote, and he saw nothing to be ashamed of in
his style of play:
"We were in the field and the other team had a runner on first who started to
steal second, but first of all he spiked our first baseman on the foot. Our man retaliated
by trying to trip him. He got away, but at second Heinie Reitz tried to block him off
while Hughie (Jennings)...covered the bag to take the throw and tag him. The runner evaded
Reitz and jumped feet first at Jennings to drive him away from the bag. Jennings dodged
the flying spikes and threw himself bodily at the runner, knocking him flat.
"In the meantime, the batter hit our catcher over the hands so he couldn't throw,
and our catcher trod on the umpire's feet with his spikes and shoved his big mitt in his
face so he couldn't see the play."
U.S. News & World Report, August 29/ September 5, 1994,
STATISTICS AND STUFF
A survey performed for the IRS with 2200 people discovered: 23% admitted cheating by
either underreporting income or overstating deductions. 52% think at least one in four of
their fellow taxpayers is cheating too, and that cheating is becoming more prevalent. 63%
say it is fear of getting caught that keeps people from cheating.
William Giese, Homemade, January 1986.
A recent poll of 5,000 students concluded that 46 percent of them would cheat on an
important test. Thirty-six percent said they would cover for a friend who vandalized
school property, while only 24 percent would tell the truth. Five percent would steal
money from their parents if given the opportunity.
Moody Monthly, June, 1990, p. 8.