The six-day bike race, better known to saucer fans of the metropolitan area as the “grind of the century” every time it pulls into the Garden, will have two Jewish entrants on the lists for the second time in cycle history at the famous sports plant.
The same Jewish team that was paired in the last six-day event in New York will be together again when the pedal pushers line up for the start of their speedy, bone-breaking, gruelling, nerve-wracking 146-hour classic. Although this team did not come through in their last race at the Garden track, they hope to place in the money next month because of their added experience, and greater pedal ability.
Bob Silver, the bicycle boy from Brooklyn, and Lou Cohen, the Newark flash, hope to come through for their first big victory and they have already gone into strict training for their specialty which will begin at the Garden on December 2.
The two Litvacks have different methods of training. “I just loaf for about ten days before every race,” Cohen related to your sports scribe some time ago. “Then by the time the race starts I’m fed up with loafing and I get down to work. “
“And I train by hopping on my bicycle to deliver herring and salmon all over Brownsville,” Silver said.
MADE GARDEN DEBUT IN MARCH
The Hebrew bike team made their Garden debut last March although they had competed in six-day grinds in other cities. Both riders went into the pedalling business against the wishes of their parents, yet the two boys are home lovers (so they say).
Cohen is only twenty-two and Silver is twenty-four and already the pair have competed in six-day specialties in New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Toronto and Montreal. They haven’t won first money in any six-day grind as yet but both chant â€” “We’re still young.” Perhaps they’ll realize their ambition next month.
When we met these two lads last March during their big push we learned that between fitful periods of sleep, which never total more than three hours during the entire twenty-four, Silver worried about his father’s fish business.
“I find that a little worry helps to keep me awake,” he explained, “but about the time the sprints are announced I forget all about the herring gescheft, because you can’t think of fish and steal a lap at the same time. I found that out. “
During a breathing spell in the wee hours of the morning before they dropped out they explained in turn that they ate the food served in the Garden “like horses,” that they were on friendly terms with the German team of Wissel and Schom, that they were glad no swastika flew over the Garden with the flags of other nations and, when they were asked what they were doing, they said in chorus, “We’re doing all right.” Their push gave out on the third day.
Despite all their enthusiasm they couldn’t stand the terrific gaff longer than three days. At the end of the seventy-fifth hour, both boys admitted that they were licked. Silver went back to peddling fish in his Brownsville market and Lou pedalled his way through the hinterland. Lou told us recently that he had to use his bike to get from town to town inasmuch as the saucer fans in the provinces believe a bike rider is just a publicized Western Union boy.
FORD FRICK SAYSâ€”
Ford Frick, former professor of English and one of the greatest baseball writers the game has known, has been moved up to the presidency of the National League. That Frick was the proper man for the job was proved by the unanimous vote of the club owners at the recent election. Emil Fuchs, the only Jewish big league magnate was enthusiastic over the choice of Frick as president. “Ford is the best man we could have gotten for the job. His work as manager of the service bureau of the National League fits him for this work admirably,” he said.
Frick recently wrote us a letter. “Your telegram of good wishes has pleased me more than I can say. Out of a lot of mail that has come in since my appointment was announced, it’s the comment from the fellows in my own profession that pleased me most. It’s easy for outsiders to say ‘Good Luck’ and all that sort of thing, but when the fellows you have worked with take time to say it, you know they really mean it.
“I don’t know how successful I may be as president of the National League. If enthusiasm counts for anything, I think that I can put it over, but whether I succeed or fail, I at least am happy in the knowledge that you are pulling for me. Sincerely, (signed) Ford Frick. “
SLAPSIE MAXIE CALLS HIMSELF SLUGGER
“Slapsie” Maxie Rosenbloom, in an interview with this department said he really didn’t mind the fact that he was called the “clown of the ring.” “They call me ‘Slapsie’ but everybody knows that I’m a slugger. I won my title by fighting my way up to the top and I intend to stay there by fighting. All this talk about me being a playboy is just a lot of beer suds. They don’t mean a thing. This guy Olin better watch out. He’s in for the licking of his life this Friday night. “
Incidentally, “Slugger” Rosen-bloom, who has reigned more than four years, will stake his light heavyweight laurels against the foremost challenger of the day, young Bob Olin, of Brooklyn.
In four titular defenses the Slugger turned back Mickey Walker, Adolph Heuser, the German; Bob Godwin and Joe Knight. He dethroned Jimmy Slattery on June 25, 1930. He gave Slats a return match and beat him again.
In his long fistic career the Slugger has squandered his ring earnings, more than $200,000, in gay living, night clubs and the Broadway hot spots. Because of his love for night clubs and the night life of the cities, critics have called him the greatest playboy of the ring. Due to his antics in the ring he has been monickered the “Slapsie Champion. “
Both Maxie Baer and Maxie Rosenbloom are running a close race for the booby prize offered annually to the nuttiest guy in the ring. At this time, Maxie Baer, king of the heavyweights, is way out in front.