Sidney Heitner, former table tennis champion of the country, is trying a comeback. He hopes to defeat Solly Schiff, the tiger of table tennis tournaments.
Sid scoffs at the ferociousness of football or lacrosse. He laughs at the rigors of rugby or hockey. And it is with a sneer that he condescends to speak of water polo or wrestling.
This chap, who has earned the name of the “Amazing Austrian,” is a tall, twenty-three-year-old Jewish lad who came to this country from Austria twelve years ago. He has the well-built body of the table tennis player due to years of strenuous practice at this man-size game. Sid has weathered the first two nights of competition and hopes to meet Schiff at the Downtown Athletic Club tomorrow night in the finals.
HEITNER VERY CONFIDENT
Every inch the fighter and sportsman, Heitner is confident he will repeat his victory of 1933. I never was in better shape, he said, and we can very well believe it. The rigorous and gruelling training grind he undergoes in order to reach the pinnacle of physical perfection is well-nigh incredible.
A month before a table tennis tournament starts Heitner, who is an insurance agent living in the Bronx (which is quite a grind in itself), begins the monotonous and ardous routine to which he attributes his excellence on the table courts of America.
He retires each night at the unseemly hour of ten, sleeps alone and touches not the filthy weed nor the jocund fruit of the grape. He rises early and after an ice-cold needle shower, sprints for the subway and a seat. It is on the ride down town that Sidney, instead of reading a paper, devises new strategems for use on opponents.
‘ALL DUE TO CLEAN LIVING’
Heitner says of his training routine: “It really is important. I have played lawn tennis and I think the mental strain of the outdoor game is nothing compared to table tennis. If I don’t win this tournament Schiff will probably repeat. But I wouldn’t bet on Schiff’s chances.”
A friend, evidently quite close to Heitner, told your reporter: “Yes, his success on the tennis tables of America is all due to clean living and right thinking.”
There are 128 other contestants in this titanic table tennis tournament. The Downtown A. C. is the scene of action and the sessions are crowded to capacity.
One can readily believe that the showmanship of a Tex Rickard is the inspiration for such a stupendous sporting event. Twelve specially-constructed tables line the floor and the speed of bouncing balls makes one wish he hadn’t taken that last drink.
In spite of all the talented table tennis aces, only a small number were seededâ€”evidence to the fact that discretion is the better part of valor.
“Tigerman” Schiff, defending champion, is chopping his way through all opposition. “Marvelous Marcus” Schussheim is fighting hard to hold his lead. Abie Berenbaum and Jimmy Jacobson, Sammy Silberman and Max Rushakoff, they’re all there… and yet people talk about hard times in Kansas City.
New York University’s varsity basketball team opens its schedule tonight against the Alumni quintet at the Heights gymnasium. The Violet outfit will engage in twenty court contests before the season’s finale on February 27.
A senior, three juniors and one sophomore are in the line-up for tonight. All five of these boys are Jewish. Sidney Gross and Leonard Maidman probably will start at the forward posts, Turgesen at the center position and Willie Rubenstein and Milton Shulman at the guard spots. Gross is the senior, Turgesen the sophomore and the other three are juniors.
Gross, Rubenstein and Irwin Klein are the three Jewish lettermen who saw service on last year’s crack quintet that handed City College its only defeat of the season.
NOTES ON THE N. Y. U. SQUAD
Nat Machlowitz, captain-elect of the 1935 football team and N. Y. U.’s outstanding football player this past Fall, hopes to have an equally successful basketball career. The Violet back, who led in scoring with thirty-six points, was awarded the Madow Trophy for “stellar performance in the Fordham game” is a guard. He is one of the cleverest defensive players to graduate from the plebe ranks. Machlowitz also plays baseball and was last season’s heavy hitter and star infielder.
Shulman was a member of the strong frosh court combination in 1932. He was prominent in athletics at Evander Childs High School. Despite his weight of 160 pounds, he is a good floor man and should see plenty of action this year.
Sid Gross played forward last year and wound up the season with a total of 106 points, behind Hagan Anderson and Willie Rubenstein. He is a steady, cool-headed and clever player with lots of power. He is the only senior on the first five.
Rubenstein, center of the freshman five three years ago and leading scorer in 1931, dropped out of school for a year and came back to win a regular post as a forward. He is shifty and can shoot with either the left or right hand.
CITY COLLEGE AFTER FOURTH STRAIGHT
The fast-moving C. C. N. Y. quintet will meet Loyola tomorrow night in the college gym and attempt to add that school to its list of victims. City has already won its first three games this season.
Led by Captain Sam Winograd, the husky six-foot forward, the City five has displayed exceptional speed and power this year, averaging thirty-five points per game. Coach Nat Holman expects his five to beat the Loyola outfit and also expects the sledding to get tougher in the next few weeks, when his boys play three teams in as many nights.
SPORTING CALENDAR MADISON SQUARE GARDEN BOXING TONIGHT
The fur is expected to fly tonight in Madison Square Garden where Promoter Jimmy Johnston has scheduled an all-star card of “fighters who fight.”
Tony Shuco meets John Henry Lewis, colored Coast sensation, in a ten-round affair, while Sammy Fuller takes on Eddie Cool in the second of the main eventers. Lew Feldman, only Jewish lad on the bill, tackles Leonard Del Genio in an eight-rounder. The other eight-round scrap will present Jo Tei Ken against Richie Brandi.
ICE HOCKEY TONIGHTâ€”COLISEUM
The Van Cortlandt puck chasers make their season debut to the Bronx Coliseum fans when they face off against a clever Sands Points sextet tonight.
Sands Point lost to the Bronx team at their first meeting but a renovation of the Long Island ice squad has strengthened their lineup considerably.
Immediately after the game, the Coliseum management has arranged for the hockey fans to enjoy the rink facilities and to skate free. This policy, which the Coliseum tried some seasons ago, proved most popular with the fans.
BOXING TOMORROWâ€”MECCA TEMPLE
Mecca Temple, the only sports arena in the metropolitan area where the bouts are held on the stage, offers a boxing dish for fistic enthusiasts tomorrow evening.
Yustin Sirutis, the City College boy who made good, meets Roy Lazar of Paterson in the feature eight-rounder. Billy MacMahon faces Teddy Loder.