Mike Powell, with his record-shattering jump of 29 feet 4 1/2 inches, joined a prestigious lot.
Sure, Powell added his name to that of Bob Beamon as the only record-holders in the event in more than 23 years. But both may have something in common with the Father of Our Country.
Norris McWhirter, a Briton known through the 1950s as an avid track and field fan, and recently affiliated with the Guinness Book of World Records, found evidence that George Washington not only was fond of track, he may once have held the unofficial world record in the long jump, formerly called the broad jump.
McWhirter, in 1957, found a reference in one of William Makepeace Thackeray’s works to a Col. George Washington who could jump 22 feet 3 inches. The earliest recognized 22-foot broad jump didn’t occur until 1869.
Jimbo for sale: Among items to be auctioned in today’s Sports Fantasy Auction at the Sports Club in West Los Angeles are tennis lessons with Jimmy Connors.
The milling field: Defensive coordinator Sonny Lubick of the University of Miami has a plan to counter Houston’s no-huddle offense in their game Thursday night:
“They don’t get in the huddle, but they mill around and look to see what you’re doing, check to see how you’re lining up. If they mill around, we’re going to mill around. When the play clock gets to about 10 seconds, everybody starts running to their position.
“You’ll see a lot of milling around. Our scout team should be happy this week--they’ll just mill around. That’s what they do best.”
Trivia time: What jockey holds the North American record for winning the most races on a single card?
Fun while it lasted: Kenny Harrison, new world champion in the triple jump, on walking the streets of Tokyo, site of the recent World Championships: “I can’t go unnoticed. One person will spot me, and pretty soon, I’ll have a crowd around me asking for my autograph. I try to go incognito, with a hat and sunglasses.”
Harrison, back in his hometown of Emeryville, Calif., near Oakland, has been able to ditch the hat and glasses without any problem.
Mayor Greg Harper, when told of Harrison’s accomplishment, said: “You’re kidding! The world champion triple jumper here?”
On this date: On Sept. 7, 1974, pitcher Nolan Ryan of the Angels had a pitch officially clocked at 100.8 m.p.h. in a game against the Chicago White Sox and became the first to break the 100-m.p.h. barrier.
Boys will be boys: Bill Walton, asked to name the most memorable moment of his basketball career, cited the championships his teams had won as most important--and a practice session as most memorable.
It was in 1986 at Boston Garden, when Walton went one on one with Kevin McHale.
“We were going at it pretty good when (Coach) K.C. Jones called us down to the other end of the court where everybody else was,” Walton said. “Walking down, we started talking trash at each other. I mean really talking trash.
“So K.C. said, ‘OK, guys, let’s settle this thing once and for all.’ He cleared off the court and told us to pick a referee. We picked Dennis Johnson. Well, here I was, 34 years old, near the end of my career and playing on bad feet. But I kicked his . . . “
Piece of America: A flannel baseball jersey worn by Lou Gehrig fetched a record $220,000 at a San Francisco auction, making it the most expensive non-card sports item ever sold.
Mark Friedland, the 34-year-old owner of a sports memorabilia store in Aspen, Colo., bought Gehrig’s gray 1938 New York Yankee jersey and likened it to “a cultural icon of American history.”
Trivia answer: Hubert S. Jones, who finished with eight winners on June 11, 1944, at Caliente Race Track in Tijuana. Five of Jones’ victories were photo finishes.
Quotebook: Cecil Gray, offensive tackle, on Randall Cunningham’s injury, which elevated Jim McMahon to starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles: “Randall was our meal ticket before. Jim’s our meal ticket now. Same meal, different ticket.”