A Day to Remember
Said world record holder John Landy, the startled loser: "You ran a 3:58." Jim Bailey glared at him with unsteady indignation and shouted, "Bullswool."
By Paul O'Neil, Sports Illustrated
Saturday, May 5. A day for the dramatic, the spectacular; a day for magical and magnificent events. The feel of spring was in the warm and sunny air—an almost tangible crackle of excitement. Great crowds flowing into race tracks felt it; so did vast throngs in stadiums; so, too, did picnickers listening to portable radios in the shade of new-leafed trees and men at home who opened windows wide and relaxed in front of television sets. A day in which anything could happen in the wonderful world of sport.
At Los Angeles, Jim Bailey, a University of Oregon student, ran the Mile in 3:58.6—and beat the nearly invincible John Landy. In Louisville a bay colt named Needles floated down the backstretch in 16th place, then thundered home in one of the most thrilling finishes in 82 years to win the Kentucky Derby. At Durham, Dave Sime, the red-haired Duke sophomore, flashed over the 220-yard low hurdles in 22.2 to beat the all-time world mark. At Jamaica Race Track, Nashua stumbled at the start, then won the Grey Lag Handicap to move to within $8000 of Citation's record $1,085,760. In Salt Lake City, Parry O'Brien put the shot three inches past his own world outdoor record of 60 feet, 10 inches. At Baltimore, an almost unknown left-hander named Ferrarese struck out 13 Cleveland batters in his first major league start.
It was indeed a day to remember. But first, the Mile...
While 40,000 spectators roared with incredulity along the vast, sunlit walls of the Los Angeles Coliseum last Saturday afternoon and while something like 40 million more stared with equal incredulity at their television screens—two gasping Australians, who had just raced each other through the first 4 minute Mile ever run in the U.S., tottered toward each other amid a shouting press of photographers and track officials.
"John," panted the amazed winner, black-haired and handsome Bailey of Sydney's St. George Athletic Club—and the University of Oregon track team—"I was just trying to help. I wanted to frighten you to more speed."
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