Seven-Foot Singer: Digging through some old magazines, I came across a 1960 issue of Sport magazine which featured a story on Wilt Chamberlain. Long before Shaquille O’Neal, Wilt cut a record. It was called “By the River,” and he even went on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand to lip sync the song.
Then with the Philadelphia Warriors, it was a short trip for Wilt to Clark’s tv studio to make his appearance. Clark appraised Wilt’s singing by saying, “He’s got a good voice . . . I think he could make it as a pop singer.”
I listened to the song on You Tube and somehow it didn’t sound like Wilt’s voice to me. If you should hear it, please make a comment and tell me if you agree with me or not–also let me know if you thought the song was any good!
Pittsburgh Pirates Note: That same issue of Sport featured pre-season predictions for the 1960 pennant races. A poll of 151 players and managers selected the Yankees to win the A.L. flag and the Pirates to finish FOURTH behind the Braves, Giants, and Dodgers. They felt Mickey Mantle would cop the MVP in his league and Hank Aaron the trophy in the N.L. Their choices for the best pitcher: Frank Lary in the American League and Sam Jones (not eventual Cy Young winner Vernon Law) in the N.L.
I recently interviewed Law for a book I’m working on dealing with the ’60 season and he said of the Bucs stunning World Series win, “On paper the Yankees were a better ball club than we were—no question about that, but we had 25 guys who wanted to win, too. We scratched and fought and did everything we could. Of course, Harvey [Haddix] pitched a couple of great games, I was adequate enough to hold them down—I think my ERA against them was around 3.20, or something like that [it was exactly 3.44 with two wins and a no decision] and held them good enough to give us a chance to win and that’s the way it turned out.”
Law said the Pirates, who were blasted by scores of 16-3, 10-0, and 12-0 by the Bronx Bombers, said that no matter how bad a thumping they took, a loss is a loss. “You’ve got to put it out of your mind and go after them.” They did, winning it in seven.