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Pickles the Pooch Finds Stolen World Cup The Jules Rimet Trophy--more commonly known as soccer's World Cup--was stolen on March 20, 1966. It was snatched from a glass display case at Methodist Central Hall in the Westminster section of London, England when the security guard assigned to keep an eye on it was temporarily absent from his post. England was going to host the quadrennial soccer tourney in three months--and the theft was a huge embarrassment for the country's Football Association. Shortly thereafter Joe Mears, the president of the F.A., received a parcel containing part of the World Cup. It was accompanied by a ransom note from a man calling himself Jackson. It demanded 15,000 British pounds in small denominations or else he would melt down the golden symbol of soccer supremacy. Mears contacted the police who arranged for a detective named Len Buggy to act on behalf of the ailing Mears who suffered from heart trouble. Buggy agreed to meet Jackson at London's Battersea Park at a specified time. Buggy brought a briefcase containing only about 500 pounds but Jackson did not bother to count it. Instead he got into Buggy's car and instructed him to drive aimlessly around London for 10 minutes. Jackson noticed a police van tailing the car. He panicked and attempted to escape on foot. He was quickly apprehended and identified as Edward Betchley, a 46-year-old army veteran. He claimed to be acting as a middle-man for a mysterious fellow he called The Pole. Betchley was the only man who was ever arrested in connection with the crime. He served two years in prison and died shortly thereafter of emphysema in 1969. The World Cup was missing for a week until David Corbett took Pickles--his mongrel dog--for a walk in the Norwich section of London on March 27. Pickles was drawn to a bundle tightly wrapped in newspaper lying near a parked car. Corbett removed the newspaper and there was the World Cup! Corbett immediately contacted police--who promptly interrogated him as a possible suspect. They finally let him go at 2:30 a.m. for lack of evidence. Pickles became a celebrity pooch. He was named Dog of the Year, was awarded a year's supply of dog food, appeared on several British TV shows, and had a feature role in a movie. Pickles was also invited to appear on TV programs in Chile, Yugoslavia and Brazil, but Corbett declined the offers as they would have required Pickles to go through strict quarantine measures and get several vaccinations to travel abroad. Corbett estimates that Pickles earned him 3000 pounds--money he put toward the purchase of a new house. When England won the World Cup on July 30, Pickles was invited to attend the team's private post-match victory party--a gathering so exclusive that even the players' wives were barred by the F.A.! Sadly Pickles accidentally suffocated in 1967 when his choke leash became entangled in a tree.
Tags: Pickles  dog  stolen  World  Cup  soccer 
Added: 19th February 2016
Views: 2475
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Posted By: Lava1964
Gonzales-Pasarell 1969 Wimbledon Marathon Before the advent of tiebreakers in tennis, every set needed to be played until one player had won six games with at least a two-game advantage. In the first round of the 1969 Wimbledon tourney, Pancho Gonzales and former NCAA champ Charlie Pasarell needed more than five hours and 112 games to decide a winner in a match spread over two days (June 25 and 26). Here is five minutes of terrific video from that match with original BBC commentary by Dan Maskell. After dropping the first set 22-24, the 41-year-old Gonzales, who was hot-tempered, was irked when play wasn't suspended due to impending darkness. He basically tanked the second set. Nevertheless, Gonzales rallied to win in five sets the next day. The final score was 22-24, 1-6, 16-14, 6-3, 11-9. The 112 games played in a single men's match stood as a Wimbledon record for 41 years. (Note that the electric scoreboard could not handle set scores in the twenties. It shows Pasarell winning the opening set 4-2 instead of 24-22.)
Tags: Gonzales-Pasarell  Wimbledon  tennis  marathon 
Added: 3rd September 2017
Views: 998
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Posted By: Lava1964
1987 Little League World Series Blowout Entering the final of the 1987 Little League World Series, the American champions from Irvine, CA had won 18 games in a row. Two of the wins were in the quarterfinals and semifinals of the single-elimination tourney by scores of 13-0 over Dover, NH and 8-1 versus Chesterfield, IN. Their opponents in the final would be the team from Hualien, Taiwan--a country that had dominated the tournament for years, crushing all opposition. Jim Palmer, doing commentary for ABC, opined that the Irvine team might have what it takes to beat the seemingly invincible Taiwanese team. It didn't work out that way. Irvine lost 21-1 in the most lopsided LLWS championship game ever. The game was so one-sided and was taking so long to complete that ABC terminated the broadcast so its affiliates could go to their scheduled local news programming. The relentless rout also persuaded the LLWS poobahs to adopt a mercy rule to prevent similar beatdowns in the future. Therefore Taiwan's record 20-run margin of victory is likely to stand forever.
Tags: 1987  LLWS  baseball  Irvine  Taiwan 
Added: 9th September 2017
Views: 972
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Posted By: Lava1964
Maureen Connolly - Tragic Tennis Star You can watch tennis for the next hundred years and you'll never witness anyone match the dominance that Maureen (Little Mo) Connolly had at the majors between 1951 and 1954. She entered nine Grand Slam singles events--and won every one. Connolly first took up tennis at the age of 10 at San Diego's public courts. Although she was naturally left-handed, her first coach, Wilbur Folsom, converted Connolly to a right-hander. She became an excellent baseline player who, despite her small 5'5" frame, could strike powerful shots with either her backhand or her forehand. By the time Connolly was 14, she was the junior (under 18) female champion of the United States. She began competing in adult events shortly thereafter. Connolly won Forest Hills (the amateur-era forerunner of the US Open) just before her 17th birthday in 1951. In 1952 Connolly won both Wimbledon and Forest Hills. She didn't enter the French or Australian championships. In 1953, however, Connolly entered all four major championships and took them all, becoming the first female to achieve the calendar Grand Slam--a feat that's only been equaled twice in all the years since. In capturing the Grand Slam, Connolly lost just a single set in the four tourneys (to Susan Chatrier in a quarterfinal match in Paris). Entering the 1953 Wimbledon final, Connolly had only dropped eight games in five matches! At the Australian Championships, Connolly only lost 10 games in six matches before the final! Connolly began 1954 just as strongly. She successfully defended both her French and Wimbledon titles. Sadly, about two weeks after her third successive Wimbledon triumph, Connolly was badly injured in a horseback riding mishap when her horse was spooked by a passing cement truck. Her right leg was so badly fractured that it was nearly amputated. She was not quite 20 years old but her tennis career was over. In her nine Grand Slam singles finals, Connolly dropped just one set--and that was in her first one. Shortly after announcing her retirement from competitive tennis in 1955, Connolly married Norman Brinker, who had been a member of the American equestrian team at the 1952 Olympics. They had two daughters. Connolly was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1966. She battled the disease for three years before succumbing to it on June 21, 1969. She was just 34 years old.
Tags: tennis  Maureen  Connolly  grand  slam  champion 
Added: 17th September 2017
Views: 1220
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Posted By: Lava1964

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