Once Upon a Time in the Vest

Monday, August 31, 2015

V 5 N. 83 Ray Malott RIP

Raymond A. Malott

1917 - 2015 | Obituary  
Raymond A. Malott Obituary
Raymond A. Malott PALA- Ray Malott, age 98, died peacefully at his home in Pala on August 3, 2015 due to age related causes. He is survived by three children: Ingrid Shattuck (James) of Montecito, Andrea Malott of Seattle, and Rex Malott (Celeste) of Topanga. He is also survived by five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. His wife of 67 years, Marion, predeceased him in 2007. Ray was born in 1917 in Bakersfield and grew up in a La Mirada oil camp. He graduated from Stanford University in 1938 with a Petroleum Engineering degree. Ray was one of the world's best runners. He was coached by the great Dink Templeton at Stanford and helped by his lifelong friend and college roommate, Hilmer Lodge. He won many AAU, NCAA and international championships. In 1938, he was the captain of the AAU team that toured Europe where he won 61 of 64 races including a legendary race in a packed Berlin Stadium against the German champion, Rudolf Harbig. After college, Ray worked for 43 years for Shell Oil Company. He began as a roughneck in West Texas, became a driller and then ran a toluene plant during World War II making the principal ingredient in TNT. After the war, he advanced through a variety of roles at Shell and was involved in many significant projects, including the development of underground nuclear test wells and the first commercially successful offshore discovery developed from a drilling vessel. Ray obtained several patents for directional drilling techniques and he eventually became chief of drilling operations before retiring from Shell in 1982. After retirement, Ray and Marion moved from Houston back to California and raised avocados and citrus in Pauma Valley and Rainbow. One of Marion's favorite stories was that Ray married her for her money, as when they married in 1940, she had just enough money to pay for a train ticket from Santa Ana to Lovington, New Mexico and Ray had just enough to drive there from West Texas. They paid $12.00 for the ceremony and began married life in a canvas-curtained boarding house in Denver City, Texas. He lived a great and long life filled with many adventures. He will be missed by his family and his many friends.
Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on Aug. 30, 2015

V 5 N. 82 August 1965


If your favorite baseball team wins two out of three on the road, you have to be pleased. That isn't the case in track and field if your “team” is the USA and the road is Europe, specifically the Soviet Union, Poland and West Germany.

Let's go back to the LA Coliseum in July of 1964 where the US administered a whipping to the Russian team, 139-97. Remember that high school kid, Gerry Lindgren, running away with the 10,000, the ten 1-2 sweeps, both relay wins, Fred Hansen, Mike Larabee, Bob Schul, Dallas Long? The Russians were flat. Our guys were ready and we were playing to a home town crowd. Butterflies fluttered and birds sang. It was all lollipops and rainbows. Those were the days, my friend. We thought they'd never end.

Well, they did and it was a screeching, jarring halt. The score was 118-112. Let's give credit where it is due. Last year the Russians were as bad as they could be. This year they were as good as they could be. Why the improvement? They meet is in Kiev, so they are home team. They are stinging from the shellacking they took last year. They were pointing for this meet, unlike last year when the emphasis was on the Olympics. Whatever the reason, they were better.

And we were worse? Not really. True, many of last year's stars had retired or weren't able to compete for other reasons. Losing Henry Carr, Fred Hansen, Paul Drayton, Jerry Siebert, Hayes Jones, Bill Hardin, John Rambo, Ira Davis, Fred Hansen, Al Oerter, Hal Connolly and Dallas Long makes a difference. That said, as well as the US performed last year, we would have lost to the marks put up by this year's Soviet team 116.5 to 113.5. Bottom line: we got beat, our first loss in seven dual meets with the USSR.

That is not to say we couldn't have won if illness and injury hadn't taken their toll. Jim Hines now has a leg injury which results in a fourth place finish in the 200. The four places are scored 5-3-2-1. Adolph Plummer wins so the US takes the event 6-5. But if Hines runs to his capacity and places second, we would have an 8-3 advantage which would make the score 116-114.
Bob Schul has a cold and a bad tendon. Gerry Lindgren is coming off a bout of the flu. Billy Mills has tonsillitis and doesn't compete. Schul doesn't have his patented kick and is edged by Pyotr Bolotnikov in the 5000. Bolotnikov is a great runner, so we can't assume a healthy Schul would have won, but he is the defending Olympic champion. 

A somewhat more detailed description of that 5,000 is told by our friend John Cobley of racingpast.ca  Racing Past is probably the best blog on history of distance running out there.   Be sure and spend some time on that site.

Ron Larrieu, Bob Schul, Orentas, and Pytor Bolotnikov
5,000  Olympic champ Bob Schul was up against another Olympic champ—Pyotr Bolotnikov, who had won the 10,000 in 1960. Neither runner was in top form as both were dealing with injuries. But there was an exciting race, at least in the last lap. The runners were together at the bell, when Bolotnikov made his effort. He had 3-meter lead on the back straight, but then Schul and Ron Larrieu went after him. Schul took the lead with 200 to go, but when he slowed after feeling a tear in his calf on entering the straight, Bolotnikov was able to regain the lead. Schul, however, did not give up. He slowly pulled back the Russian and made a desperate dive for the tape. Despite this, the tough Bolotnikov was able to hold on for a narrow victory. Larrieu got very close to his team-mate on the exciting run-in.

1. Bolotnikov 13:54.2; 2. Schul 13:54.4; 3. Larrieu 13:54.8; 4. Orentas 14:00.8

I talked to Bob last year approaching the 50th anniversary of his great 5,000 win in Tokyo.  He related that this race in Kiev was one of his finest moments in track and field, because of his injury and his fighting through the pain of the muscle tear to go down to the wire with Bolotnikov.  However he was equally moved after the race because of the warm reception he was given by the Ukranian fans in the crowd.   After the race he  thought they were exceedingly kind by their applause for his effort despite the obvious injury.   An anonymous person came to help him get back to a bench in the infield and then helped him with getting off his shoes and finding his sweats.   It's one of those kindnesses we have from a complete stranger and don't know how to thank them afterward.  Bob said he hoped if that person was still alive and happens to see this report that a big thank you goes out to him.   

One other thing that Bob also related in that conversation last year was his desire that the IOC would help former Olympians to re-unite at future games sites.   He's not suggesting that plane tickets and  seating be given freely, but that if former Olympians decide to attend a later games that there be some sort of reserved seating alloted to them where they can encounter their former adversaries..  gb

Lindgren runs faster than he did in winning last year's 10,000 but is left a half lap behind by Dutov and Ivanov. No what ifs there. Mills doesn't run. Put the Olympic champ into the equation and you have a meet changer. Let's be ultra conservative and say he gets second. That changes the event score from a USSR 8-3 advantage to 7-4 and ties the meet at 115.

Dave Weill wins the discus, but Jay Silvester who has thrown 210 feet this year, can only manage 188 for third. Another two feet and our 7-4 margin would have been 8-3, giving us a 116-114 edge.

Morgan Groth has the fastest half mile of the year but is injured and finishes last in2:17. George Germann runs a brilliant 1:46.8 to win but our 6-5 should have been 8-3. Two more for us, two less for them. We have now reversed that 118-112 score.
Oh, and as long as we are having a pity party, let's mention Russ Hodge's injury in the decathlon which dropped him from a likely third to fourth. Now we win 119-111. See how easy that was?

But forget all those “supposed to”s and “shoulda been”s, the meet hinged on one event, the 400 relay. We are disqualified for a pass out of the zone. As the relays are scored 5-0, this decides the meet. Take five off the Russian total and put it in our column and we win 117-113.

Here's the problem: We weren't winning. Had we made that pass cleanly, the Russians would have won anyway. They put together smooth passes for a 39.3 win. As a measure of whether we would have run faster, we managed only 39.5 in both the Polish and West German meets.

Bottom line, we got beat. The Russians took it to us and deserved the victory. Time to put it behind us and start planning how we right the boat for next year.
A week later, August 7-8, we have licked our wounds and are in Warsaw for our dual meet with Poland. The Poles have some excellent individuals, but as one would expect, not the depth of the US. We take 13 of the 20 events and win easily 118-93, a surprising margin considering that Darel Newman, Silvester, Groth, Willie Davenport, Schul and Jim Grelle are out with injuries.

Tom Farrell subs for the injured Groth and wins the 800, edging his buddy, Germann, in 1:47.6 for both. Jim Ryun takes the measure of the dangerous veteran Witold Baran in a strategic 1500. Lindgren returns to form with a 13:45.4 5000 win and Mills cruises to a 29:10.6 victory in the 10,000.

Polish sprinters run surprisingly well. Marian Dudziak clips off a 20.7 200 to leave Plummer and Hines two tenths back.
Marian Dudziak, Jim Hines, Adolph Plummer, and possibly Marian Foik

Andrezj Badenski delights the crowd by winning the 400 in 45.6, the fastest time in the world this year.
Andrejz Badenski

Speaking of delighting the crowd, the Polish 400 relay team gives our boys another lesson in baton passing. The Dudziak anchored team leaves our squad of Don Owens, Hines, Plummer and George Anderson three tenths back with a national record of 39.2. Oh, where is Bob Hayes when you need him? Catching passes in the Cowboys' training camp, that's where. Bet he's sorry he gave up track.

Three days later we are in Augsburg, West Germany for a 142-91 win over West Germany. The highlight of the meet is Billy Mills 28:17.6 national record at 10,000 meters. Two individual races stand out. Ron Whitney out-leans Olympic champ Rex Cawley in the intermediates in 50.2 for both. Gerry Lindgren tries to pull away from Olympic third place finisher Harald Norpoth with three laps to go in the 5000, only to pay the price as Norpoth powers by on the last lap for a convincing 13:47.8 victory.

The dual meet tour which began with a whimper, ends with a bang as the final race, the 1600 meter relay, is the most exciting race of the tour. For just half a country, the West Germans are pretty darn good. Lynn Sanders, Jay Luck and Don Owens need a 45.7 anchor from Rex Cawley to hold off German anchor Manfred Kinder as both teams clock 3:04.8. Wonder if anyone made it to the local beer garten after the meet?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

V 5 N. 81 Some Stories about Marty Glickman

Many of you may remember Marty Glickman, radio and TV sports announcer way back when, and you probably know that he along with Sammy Stoller were the two Jewish sprinters who went to the 1936 Berlin Olympics to run on the 4x100 relay.  They were taken off the team at the last minute due to pressure from the Nazis and kowtowing of US team managers and coaches.      We recently received the following stories from the New York Times from our friend Stephen Fisher, now living in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.   Steve once wrote sports for the Times, and interviewed Filbert Bayi in Swahili after Bayi's  appearance at Madison Square Garden.   Steve said he was looking up articles by Arthur Pincus one of his colleagues at The Times when he found these stories about Marty.  The Times stories were actually found on a WILI radio   website.  WILI covers UConn basketball and football games.

Marty Glickman and Sammy Stoller

Glickman in his broadcasting years

By Arthur Pincus
Copyright New York Times Company Aug 10, 1986
WHILE others marched, Marty Glickman, Sam Stoller and 381 other American athletes sauntered into Berlin's Olympic Stadium on Aug. 1, 1936, in the parade of nations opening the Games of the XIth Olympiad. For Glickman, Stoller and all the athletes, the Olympics proved that the practice time and the games of youth were worthwhile, a chance to meet and maybe beat the world's best.
Perched in his box, wearing his gray storm trooper's uniform, Adolf Hitler looked on and the Games began. There were 120,000 people in the stands; overhead the Hindenburg sailed in an overcast summer sky. Richard Strauss led an orchestra and a chorus of 3,000 in a new Olympic hymn that Strauss had written for the occasion.
The Summer Games of 1936 were to be a testament to German recovery from the devastation of World War I, a chance for the Nazis to show their industrious face to the world.
The stadium was the centerpiece of a huge Olympic complex; the grass on the infield was clipped to perfection; the red clay track contrasted brilliantly with the arena's gray concrete. Although the months preceding had brought talk of an American boycott to protest German persecution of Jews, the Americans were there that day.
Teams enter the Olympic stadium alphabetically; the host nation comes in last. So the German language put the United States (Vereinigten Staaten) just before the Germans. The Americans' lack of military precision in their stride and their tradition of not dipping the Stars and Stripes to a foreign leader brought hoots and catcalls.
The track and field competition began the next day; when it ended a week later, Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller, the only Jews on the track team, were the only members of that team who hadn't competed. On the day they were to begin trial heats in their event, the 400-meter relay, they were pulled from the competition. Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe replaced Glickman and Stoller, and the Americans won the relay in record time. But they would undoubtedly have won anyway had Glickman and Stoller been allowed to run; there were no super runners for other teams.
The pain of his chance denied still singes the memories of Marty Glickman, whose voice is so well-known to New York sports fans for his years broadcasting college basketball, the Knicks, the Giants and the Jets but whose athletic skill has faded in memory. He was back in Berlin last summer for the first time since 1936, serving as a consultant for the Jesse Owens invitation track meet this weekend.Despite having talked about the incident many times over the years, Glickman was unprepared for what happened that day he returned.
''My anger was overwhelming,'' says Glickman, now 68 years old. ''When I walked out of the tunnel under the stands I began looking around, looking at this powerful place, looking at the box where Hitler sat. And then I started to shake, found myself wanting to shout out at the people who took away my chance and Sam Stoller's chance to win an Olympic gold medal. I almost passed out with the rage.''
There were nine Americans in a bungalow in the Olympic Village in Berlin on Aug. 8, 1936 - two coaches, seven athletes. The coaches had made a decision and were letting their sprinters know that the American 400-meter relay team was being changed.
Glickman, born in Brooklyn to Rumanian immigrant parents, believes that their religion was the reason he and Stoller were denied their chance. The switch enabled Owens, a black American, to win his fourth gold medal.
''We thought we were going to go over the order and strategy for our race,'' Glickman recalls. ''But Lawson Robertson, who was the head coach of the track team, said he had been hearing rumors that the Germans were hiding great runners to stop us in the relay.
''Well, Jesse had already won the 100 meters and the 200 meters; Ralph Metcalfe had finished second to Jesse in the 100 and Mack Robinson had finished second to Jesse in the 200. How could the Germans have any runners to beat us?''
Glickman, about to enter his sophomore year at Syracuse University, and Stoller, soon to be a senior at the University of Michigan, were stunned. They had finished fifth and sixth in the United States Olympic trials, and tradition said that the first three sprinters in the 100 at the trials would compete in the Games in the 100; the next four would make up the 400-meter relay team.
That was the assumption after the trials; that was the assumption as the team traveled to Europe on the luxury linerManhattan; that was the assumption as they trained throughout those days of pomp and circumstance in Berlin. Stoller and Glickman had practiced in the relay with Foy Draper and Frank Wykoff, both products of the University of Southern California, where the coach was Dean Cromwell, who was serving as Robertson's assistant.
In a practice 100-meter race to set the relay team, Stoller was first, Glickman second, Draper third. It seemed that if anyone needed to be replaced it was Foy Draper.
When Robertson announced his decision, Owens, who had already won the 100 and 200 meter dashes and the broad jump, stood up to speak.
Glickman recalls him saying: '' 'Coach, I've won three gold medals. I'm tired. Let Marty and Sam run. They deserve it.'
''Cromwell pointed his finger at Jesse and said 'You'll do as you're told.' ''
That was the end of it. Owens and Metcalfe replaced Stoller and Glickman on the 400-meter relay team. They won by 15 yards with the Germans third. They set a world record despite having the two faster runners, Owens and Metcalfe, run the first two legs and the two slower runners, Draper and Wykoff, finish the race. Owens and Metcalfe were black; Draper and Wykoff were white.
Mack Robinson, the only other person at that meeting still alive, wonders, too, about the motives. ''They had the two fastest runners in the world, Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe,'' he said in a phone conversation from California. ''But Wykoff ran across the finish line. What does that tell you?''
Two days before the meeting in the bungalow, Robertson had been asked who would make up the relay team. Would Jesse Owens get a chance to win his fourth gold medal and the little oak tree seedling given to each winner?
''Owens has had enough glory and collected enough gold medals and oak trees to last him a while,'' Robertson had said.
Then Robertson named his relay team: Marty Glickman, Sam Stoller, Frank Wykoff and either Foy Draper or Ralph Metcalfe. So what happened? Were the American coaches forced to make a change to keep two Jewish runners from the victory stand in Berlin? Did the change also enable a white American to flash across the finish line and take a little of the sting away from the Nazi hosts? They had already seen Owens win the broad jump, the 100 and the 200. There were other black American gold medalists: Cornelius Johnson, Archie Williams and John Woodruff.
For what purpose were Marty Glickman, an 18-year-old from Brooklyn, and Sam Stoller, on his 21st birthday, denied the chance they believed they had fairly won?
Stoller seemed more serious than Glickman. Photographs of the two together from 1936 show the difference. Glickman was a wavy-haired 18-year-old who had experienced almost nothing in his life to stifle the ever-present wide-mouthed grin. Stoller's look is determined, almost grim.
''This is one day in my life that I'll remember to my dying days,'' Stoller wrote in a diary that he shared with William O. Johnson in Johnson's 1972 book, ''All That Glitters Is Not Gold.'' Stoller, who died in May 1985, called the incident ''the most humiliating episode in my life.''
The Olympic Games would never be the same after Berlin. They became an opportunity for nations to prove something to the world, even if that proof came in so simple a form as who won a foot race.
There had been questions whether the United States would even take part. The Germans had adopted the Nuremburg laws in September 1935, limiting Jewish citizenship rights, and in the States there was a call to boycott. The dispute centered on whether the Germans had accepted all the Olympic codes for their grand show, including a guarantee that all athletes could compete for a spot on their teams.
Avery Brundage, president of the American Olympic Association, praised the German methods and accepted their propaganda. He said he was given assurances that ''there will be no discrimination against Jews.''
But there was. The best women's high jumper in Germany those years was a 21-year-old named Gretel Bergman. On June 30, 1936, she tied the German high jump record at 5 feet 3 inches; that height would have earned her a silver medal in the Olympics. But she was Jewish and she didn't compete.
Brundage cast pro-boycotters as radicals with ''Communistic antecedents.''
When the American Olympic Association met in New York in December 1935, Brundage carried the day, albeit by the slim margin of 58 1/4 votes to 55 3/4.
Dean Cromwell, the assistant coach who Glickman believes was the instigator in the change, came in for criticism just weeks after the Games when in a speech he made a complimentary reference to Hitler that was taken seriously by many. But, according to Cromwell: ''It was all said with a laugh and received in the same mood. If I referred to Hitler as that 'handsome boy,' it was poetic license and jovially received by my listeners as such.''
Was it Brundage who forced the hand of the American coaches? Or did Cromwell act on his own? In effect he was running the American track team as the assistant to Robertson, an older man in ill health.
The day after the relay team won the gold medal, Glickman was walking across the immaculate lawn of the village, which was to become housing for Wehrmacht troops. He heard someone call.
''I turned and saw Lawson Robertson lumbering towards me,'' Glickman says. ''He walked with a cane and moved very slowly. He came up to me and said, 'I just wanted to apologize to you. We have caused a terrible injustice. I'm sorry.' ''
Stoller's diary recalled a conversation he had with Robertson on board the Roosevelt on the trip home: ''Coach Robertson came up to me today on board ship and very apologetically admitted that he had made a terrible mistake not letting me run -in place of Metcalfe!''
But Robertson had given neither man a reason for the shift.
Glickman watched the 400-meter relay heats and final from the stands and from the press box. There he told the American press his story, saying politics and favoritism for the two Southern California sprinters was the overriding reason for his removal.
''I told the coaches there would be a big stink over Sam and me being pulled since we were the only Jews on the track team,'' Glickman says.
''Cromwell said: 'We'll worry about that.' ''
But there was virtually no furor. The reporters were more interested in covering the event than the people involved. The only non-competition story that got much mention in the American press during the games was Eleanor Holm's removal from the swimming team by Brundage. She had been seen sipping champagne on the voyage to Germany.
Sam Stoller left Berlin saying he would never run again. But in fact he did, competing for Michigan and winning the college sprint championship. He had a fling at the movies, known as Singing Sam Stoller, and became a broadcast executive.
Owens became an American hero. During a ticker tape parade in New York, someone ran up to him and pressed an envelope into his hand. Hours later he opened it and found $10,000. He brought his seedlings home to Ohio.
Glickman figured: ''I'll show these guys in 1940.'' But by 1940, World War II had begun and the Games, scheduled for Tokyo, were canceled. In the fall of 1936 he returned to Syracuse where he became a football star. One day a local haberdasher asked him to do a radio program sponsored by his clothing store, hoping to cash in on the football player's notoriety, and Glickman became a broadcaster. Over the years he became the most familiar voice to New York sports fans. He maintains the tightly wound athleticism of his youth by skiing and sailing. His home is filled with mementos of his success as an athlete and broadcaster; there is no Olympic medal. He remains a consultant to HBO as well as NBC Sports.
''I still firmly believe the Olympics is one of the most important methods of bringing together the youth of the world to know each other, to love each other and understand each other,'' Glickman says. ''I did that. But Sam and I became the unfortunate object of bigotry.''

By Bud Greenspan
Copyright New York Times Company Aug 9, 1981
FIVE years ago today, Jesse Owens won his fourth gold medal at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games when he led off the victorious 400-meter relay team that included Ralph Metcalfe, Foy Draper and Frank Wykoff. It was a race Jesse Owens was not supposed to run.
Forty-five years ago today, Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller, both Jewish, lost their chance to win an Olympic gold medal when they were told in a meeting before the qualifying heat of the 400-meter relay that they could not run. The meeting was called by the United States Olympic track coach, Lawson Robertson, and his assistant, Dean Cromwell, who was also head track coach at the University of Southern California. All six sprinters involved attended the meeting.
Much has been said about what transpired during that prerace meeting. The most dramatic story was that the president of theUnited States Olympic Committee, Avery Brundage, along with Robertson and Cromwell, had bowed to pressure from Nazi officials to remove the Jewish runners so as not to embarrass Adolph Hitler's regime.
For many years, stories circulated that the Nazi minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, had appealed to the American officials not to enter a relay team that consisted of two black and two Jewish runners. The fact that Brundage later became associated with the America First Committee, a group that many believed was sympathetic to Hitler and the Nazi regime, only added strength to the reports.
Glickman vividly remembers the Berlin meeting. Over the last decade while filming ''The Olympiad'' television series, I also interviewed Owens, Metcalfe and Wykoff for their recollections of the circumstances.
''We were told,'' says Glickman, ''that the first three finishers in the 100-meter final tryout at Randalls Island in July 1936 would run the 100 meters in Berlin. We were also told that the runners who finished fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh in the 100-meter final tryout would make up the 400-meter relay team in Berlin.''
Owens, Metcalfe and Wykoff confirmed that this was their understanding, too. ''Owens, Metcalfe and Wykoff finished 1, 2, 3 in the final Olympic tryout,'' recalls Glickman. ''Foy Draper was fourth, I was fifth, Sam Stoller sixth and Mack Robinson, Jackie's brother, was seventh.''
Glickman maintains that only he, Stoller and Draper were certain to run on the relay team because they were not competing in the individual events.
Owens should have been the last of the seven considered. He would have to run four races in the 100 meters, four in the 200 meters, and do extensive jumping to qualify in the long jump. In order to reach their finals, Metcalfe and Wykoff would each run four races in the 100 and Mack Robinson would have to run four in the 200. Owens, Metcalfe, Wykoff and Robinson made it to the finals in their events.
Metcalfe died in 1978. In his interview with me, he said: ''Marty Glickman is right: You'll recall that in the 1932 Olympics, when Eddie Tolan, George Simpson and I each qualified for both the 100 meters and 200 meters, the coaches reasoned that it would be better to have four fresh sprinters run the relay who would have the benefit of practicing their baton passes while we were running the individual races. Neither Tolan, Simpson or I were even mentioned about running in the relay in 1932.''
Glickman, Stoller and Draper appeared certain to run the relay. It was assumed that Wykoff would be the fourth runner even though he was competing in the 100 meters. Wykoff was on the previous United States Olympic 400-meter relay teams that won gold medals in Amsterdam in 1928 and in Los Angeles in 1932.
This belief was confirmed by an Associated Press dispatch in The New York Times on Aug. 5, three days before the qualifying heats of the 400-meter relay.
On Saturday morning, Aug. 8, a few hours before the qualifying trials of the 400-meter relay, the pre-race meeting was held. ''Lawson Robertson announced that because of the rumors that the Germans were hiding their best sprinters in preparation for the relay, Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe would replace Sam Stoller and me on the relay team,'' recalls Glickman. ''We were shocked. I remember saying, 'This is ridiculous, how is it possible to hide world-class sprinters?' ''
Before he died last year, Owens told me that he felt terrible for his friends Glickman and Stoller. Glickman confirms Owens's recollections of the meeting.
''Jesse was magnificent,'' says Glickman. ''He said, 'I've had enough. I won three gold medals. Let Sammy and Marty run.' '' Glickman remembers that Robertson and particularly Cromwell were adamant. ''Cromwell would not accept Jesse's offer,'' says Glickman. Glickman and Metcalfe have different versions of Metcalfe's participation in the meeting.
''Metcalfe was fairly quiet,'' says Glickman. ''He had two silver medals in the 100 meters in both Los Angeles and Berlin. Apparently he was hoping for a shot at a gold medal.''
However, Metcalfe reacted angrily when recalling his reaction to the 1936 meeting. ''I thought at the time it was terrible,'' he said. ''It was unjust to leave two athletes off the team just because they were Jewish.''
Wykoff, who died in 1980, said: ''We hadn't worked with Jesse or Ralph at all. I think that if Glickman and Stoller had run, we would have had just as fast a time, if not faster.''
''The decision to keep the only two Jewish athletes on the United States team out of the competition was made by American Nazis,'' Glickman says, ''Both Avery Brundage and Dean Cromwell were members and supporters of the America First Committee who were sympathetic to the Nazis.''
I spent five years researching the 1936 Games for my film, ''Jesse Owens Returns to Berlin.'' The United States came close to boycotting the Berlin Games because of Hitler's Nuremberg laws, which deprived German Jews of their citizenship and protection under the laws of the Third Reich. The anti-Olympic feeling forced Brundage to make a pre-Olympic visit toGermany. His conclusions decided the matter. He reported that Germany had fulfilled all the obligations required under the Olympic charter. So sensitive were the Nazis to the protests from the United States that they bent over backwards to quiet stories of Jewish persecution in the months preceding and during the Games. Several Jewish athletes competed for Germanyin the 1936 Olympics.
The real culprits in the Glickman-Stoller affair appear to be Robertson and Cromwell, in deciding to eliminate the two qualified Jewish runners, and then, in giving the shameful explanation that their decision was made to protect an American victory against a mythical superteam of German sprinters.
Glickman, who was an 18-year-old freshman at Syracuse University in 1936, later gained national fame as a sportscaster. He'll never forget Aug. 9, 1936.
''I remember watching the 400-meter Berlin final,'' Glickman says, ''and I still have a feeling of frustration and sadness that I was not out there, was not running. Something I had pointed to all my young life. When they mounted the victory stand and they played the National Anthem, I thought, I ought to be out there, I should be out there ... and I wasn't ...'' 

Bud Greenspan won an Emmy Award for ''The Olympiad'' television series. His production, ''The Heisman Trophy,'' will be shown in December.

Another view on the same story about the selection process for the 4x100.   This comes from Tom Trumpler.
In the above accounts, Glickman or the writer claim that in 1936 it is was standard operating procedure  to take a number of extra sprinters ie. 5th and 6th in the trials) to make up the 4x100 as the US had done in 1932 which would argue the case for Marty and Sam.  However in modern times we know that the relay is generally made up of the top three in the 100 and the fourth finisher in the trials.  There would be no 5th , 6th 100 meter runner making the trip. Saves on plane fares or boat cabins.   If necessary extra sprinters would be recruited from the ranks of the 200 meter runners.  A further question left hanging then would be why did Lawson Robertson , the head coach, apologize separately to both Glickman and Stoller?
Anyway, here is Tom's view.


Much is made about Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller being left off the 1936 Olympic 4x100 relay team because they were Jewish.
This makes a good story for those who want to feel victimized, however, Glickman and Stoller were just alternates who only finished fifth (Glickman) and sixth (Stoller) in the Olympic trials 100 meters trials.

Dean Cromwell, the coach at the University of Southern California, selected the 4x100 relay team, and he selected, no surprise here, the top four finishers from the Olympic trials 100 meters:
1) Jesse Owens, 2) Ralph Metcalfe, 3) Frank Wykoff, and, 4) Foy Draper.  This foursome set the world record in the 4x100 in winning Berlin Olympic gold.  It also didn't hurt the chances for Wykoff and Draper (no surprise here) that they ran for Dean Cromwell at U.S.C.  Cromwell not only had his two runners help set a world 4x100 relay record and win Olympic gold, he also had his boy Wykoff run the final leg and break the tape in glory.

If Glickman and Stoller wanted to be guaranteed a place on the relay team, they could have earned it by finishing in the top four at the 100 Olympic trials. 

Excepts from the NY Times article:

Stoller and Glickman had practiced in the relay with Foy Draper and Frank Wykoff, both products of the University of Southern California, where the coach was Dean Cromwell, who was serving as Robertson's assistant.

Or did Cromwell act on his own? In effect he was running the American track team as the assistant to Robertson, an older man in ill health.

''Owens, Metcalfe and Wykoff finished 1, 2, 3 in the final Olympic tryout,'' recalls Glickman. ''Foy Draper was fourth, I was fifth, Sam Stoller sixth and Mack Robinson, Jackie's brother, was seventh.''

Also, if interested: 
In the 1935 AAU national championships, the results in the 100 meters placed:  Eulace Peacock first, Ralph Metcalfe second, and Jesse Owens third.
Unfortunately Eulace Peacock injured his hamstring early in 1936 and he wasn't able to compete in the Berlin Olympics. There is a strong likelihood that a healthy Peacock would have challenged Owens and Metcalfe, but, as the history of the Berlin Olympics played out, Jesse Owens became a legend.

For some history of Eulace Peacock and Jesse Owens:

A follow up from Tom Trumpler
Gents -

- Conspiracy or he said vs. he said:  The claim that Owens was generous enough to offer his relay slot to another athlete is irrelevant.
Since when have Olympic track coaches ever let the athletes hold veto power over their choice for relay teams?  Never.
- Who could imagine Dean Cromwell, then the coach at U.S.C., not selecting his top four sprinters to run in the NCAA championship 4x100, let alone the Olympic championship 4x100.
- Who could imagine coaches Robertson and Cromwell both passing up a chance to have the U.S.A. set a world record in the Olympics 4x100 just so a "number 5 and a number 6" runner could run. The Olympics aren't AYSO, sorry not every one gets to play.
- There are two considerations for the relay order of Owens-Metcalfe-Draper-Wykoff.
  - One is, who was the fastest sprinter out of the blocks? If it was Jesse Owens, then it's a no-brainer, Owens has the baton to start and every one else has a running start to their relay legs.
  - Second is, who was the slowest? That was Draper, so another no-brainer, Mr. Draper runs the third leg.
  - So that only leaves the choice for Metcalfe and Wykoff to run either leg two or anchor. Flip a coin, or maybe Dean Cromwell wanted his U.S.C. runner to anchor. Doesn't make much difference. What does make a difference was that the U.S.A. set a world record and took home Olympic gold.

---  Tom T. (the other Tom!)

Another Comment:

Wow, this piece has stirred some discussion

From Thomas Coyne:

I'm inclined to believe there is more truth than fiction to the Glickman/Stoller claims.  This is not a new story. I've been hearing it since before I started running track in 1947.  I  don't know about Cromwell but Avery Brundage had the reputation of being a petty dictator in sports and he led the fight to keep the United States from boycotting the 1936 Olympics and was an America First member.  

I guess I would focus on what Owens and Metcalfe said happened.  They were there. They said they wanted Glickman and Stoller to run and were overruled.  Why either one of them was not picked to run the anchor leg is also a good question.

Lastly, Glickman and Stoller were the only athletics who didn't get to run but they were the ones practicing handoffs.  With all the talent on the United States team they probably could have left both Owens and Metcalfe off and still won but I can certainly understand why Metcalfe wanted to go home with a gold medal.

The sports historians will be talking about this long after we are gone...................along with, did Al Sal use doping techniques or not and would Tiger Woods have broken Jack Nicklaus's major tournament record if his sex scandal had not erupted.

Can't keep a good conspiracy theory down.

Take care,


From Bill Schnier, U. of Cincinnati Track and Field Coach ret'd.
   Attached is my induction "notes" of Sam Stoller into the Greater Cincinnati Running Hall of Fame two years ago.  He was a graduate of Cincinnati Hughes High School and the University of Michigan.  My research pretty much paralleled that of the writers you featured on your blog which makes me feel good.  Viewing the story using today's standards, the top four at the Olympic Trials would run the 4 x 400 relay with five and six serving as alternates but possibly running in the prelims.  In 1936 they did not allow alternates to run in the prelims and others to run in the finals.  Living in 2015, we would question using Sam Stoller and Marty Glickman instead of Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe so the story appears to be Jewish sour grapes.  However, in 1936 the tradition was to have the 4 x 100 relay comprised of four athletes who would devote themselves to handoffs and relay precision.  Even though we tend to get the four fastest runners in the relay these days, we often drop the baton and fail to finish the race, hence the rationale in 1936.
   I am quite convinced that Lawson Robertson and especially Dean Cromwell caved into Nazi pressure to replace Stoller and Glickman.  I am also convinced their bias towards blacks was much the same as their bias toward Jews since they put Owens and Metcalfe in the first two positions and Draper and Wykoff running three and four, allowing a white man to finish the race and be in all the pictures from then into eternity.  Furthermore, Draper and Wykoff were coached at Southern Cal by Dean Cromwell, another example of favoritism.
   It is interesting to note that Charles Lindbergh was an avid supporter of the America First movement intended to keep America out of the war but also rubber stamp the Nazi's persecution of Jews.  Many in America thought Hitler was going down the right road but faded into silence once the war began.  History is just as fascinating from a distance and once the story is over.  In that respect we can see the entire picture without having it clouded by current bias as well as lack of knowledge.  The problem is often the players are dead and cannot comment.       Bill


When Jackie Robinson was elected into the National Baseball HOF . . . . .
What about Sam Stoller?
Champion & Runner-up
Olympian & non-Olympian
Athlete & Singer
High School: Ohio – Hughes, East Tech
College: Michigan Ohio State
I’m the fellow you see in the movies of Jesse Owens’ footraces
And in second place . . . Raced 20 times, always very close, Stoller won once
1936 Olympic Trials – Randall’s Island – NYC – very hot
Prelims (1st) -- No semifinals, Stoller (only a few minutes to warm up, usually took 10 minutes).
Owens, Metcalfe, Wykoff, Draper, Glickman, Stoller, Glickman, M.Robinson
Based on the convention of the time: 4 relay men: Stoller, Glickman, Draper, Wykoff
They were on the boat, promised they would run
A good idea? LSU (38.38) -- 5th in the 2008 Beijing Olympics
USA -- Men & Women – dropped the baton
Race in Berlin to determine order: Stoller, Glickman, Draper
August 8, 1936 Sam’s 21st birthday, Meeting: Lawson Robertson, Dean Cromwell, 7 US sprinters
Germans were hiding their best sprinters, Owens & Metcalfe would replace Stoller & Glickman
Glickman: You can’t hide world-class sprinters
Owens: I have my 3 gold medals, I’m tired, Let Sam & Marty run
Cromwell: Pointed finger at Owens, you do as you’re told!
4 x 100: Owens, Metcalfe, Draper, Wykoff
US 4 x 400 relay: Did not include 1st & 2nd (400 M.) 1st (400 Hurdles)
1st place, WR, 39.8 Won by 12 yards. Owens: we would have won with Sam & Marty
Sam Stoller did not go to the Stadium, did not see the race, vowed never to run again.
Ironically: German Olympic team (2 Jews) US Olympic team (no Jews)

Avery Brundage – Along with Charles Lindbergh, founder of the “America First Committee
Oliver Cromwell – Member of the America First Committee in California.
Avery Brundage: 1936 Benched Stoller & Glickman Athletic competition
1936 German embassy – NYC – Brund. Comp. Conflict of interest
1968 Sent Tommie Smith & John Carlos home Patriotism
1972 Insisted the OG continue (Israel wrest) Olympic spirit
1970s Kept US athletes down (S. Prefontaine) Amateurism
(Justice is served) Late in life, younger woman, swindled him out of his money
Like most of us: Angry, would never run again
Like the best of us: Ran his senior year at Michigan; Big Ten & NCAA Champion (100 Yd.)
Tied the WR, 60. Yd.

After the NCAAs -- Singing & movie career as Singin’ Sammy Stoller
Color broadcaster, Washington Senators
Radio executive in Florida

Died in 1985 – 69 years
USOC, Gen. Douglas McArthur Award, to make up for the injustice at the 1936 OG.

Was it his running ability or his fascinating story? Both
SAM STOLLER: Hughes HS, U.of Michigan, 1936 Olympic Team, Big 10 champ, NCAA Champ, WR

BROTHER: Harry Stoller, (Peggy) Would like to say a few words.

From Richard Mach:

The mirroring of what was taking place in the US around the black minority and what was taking place in Germany at the same time with the Jewish minority was unmistakable.  One could make a case that Jesse Owens "saw" the tremendous impact a win along with Metcalfe, Glickman and Stoller would have had on both spheres, the synergism, if you will, each could have on the other in the press and with the public.  And for all the right reasons.  If the Americans were on paper that superior to the rest of the world, perhaps Owens wasn't really taking all that much of a chance.  But it seems T and F was under the thumb of so many men -- at least in the US -- who were finally getting validated as powerful persons after having been -- at best -- second tier athletes.  Power corrupted.   This was so clearly the case within the AAU during the 50s and 60s.

From George Brose

Guys:  Thanks for all your fervent and heartfelt commentaries on this story.  I had no idea the response would be like this.   Our readership spiked for a few hours because of it.  I guess that's where the term in journalism states,  "It sells newspapers" comes from although that may be a bit anachronistic now.     I would like to add some more of my own comments  for you to analyze if you care.   

One,  the system seems to have evolved since 1936.  There was some precedent in place from the 1932 Olympics where 'reserves' were used in the 4x100. 
Bud Greenspan interviewed Metcalfe in the article above:

(Metcalfe died in 1978. In his interview with me, he said: ''Marty Glickman is right: You'll recall that in the 1932 Olympics, when Eddie Tolan, George Simpson and I each qualified for both the 100 meters and 200 meters, the coaches reasoned that it would be better to have four fresh sprinters run the relay who would have the benefit of practicing their baton passes while we were running the individual races. Neither Tolan, Simpson or I were even mentioned about running in the relay in 1932.'').  Greenspan

One of the contentions in our stories is that this was a 'coaches decision'.    I would speculate that this was probably not a coaches' decision but instead came down from Avery Brundage.   Brundage was in bed with the Nazis and warmly snuggled.   Lawson Robertson, old and in ill health and Dean Cromwell, a relative newcomer, could easily have been influenced by Brundage with threats or promises of better things to come for them.   Who will ever know?  Cromwell, along with many others of good intentions in the 1930's became a member of America First.   These people fell under the spell of the Nazis and/or were concerned about another American entry into a European conflict.  In any case the America First gang either wittingly or unwittingly served the Nazi cause.  

Coaches in the upper echelons of world track and field are not very powerful when the decisions are to be made as to who will step on the track and  who will be removed from competition.   It's not the coaches who decide, it's the 'officials'.     Furthermore, the national team coaches seem to be more figureheads than actual coaches at any international gathering. It's an honorary title more than a coaching assignment.  It is the personal coach of the athlete who is on the sidelines consulting with their protege, especially during field events.  Also can you see the national coach telling a  runner he or she has never worked with how they are going to run their race?    The national coach is there more as a manager.   I've heard indirectly that in 2008 at the Beijing Olympics, the selection process prior to the women's 4x400 went down to the wire with athletes' personal agents  involved to the point that at least one of the runners did not know if she was running in the finals until an hour before the event.  This year (2015) it was not a coach's decision to remove Nick Symmonds from the team.   In 1936 Brundage personally kicked a young swimmer off the team for drinking champagne on the trip overseas.   Why he didn't kick Louis Zamperini off the team for stealing a Nazi flag from the street is anybody's guess. it wasn't a secret.   Brundage was instrumental in  taking down Tommie Smith and John Carlos in 68 and Wayne Collett in 72.  And he was the deciding force  in keeping the Games going after the massacre in 1972.   A lot can be read into that decision with the victims being Israeli and the hosts being German.  

How true or not it is, Phillip Kerr in his series of novels about Bernie Gunther a fictitious half Jewish detective in Berlin in 1936 takes Brundage to task.   Kerr's research on modern German history seems to this amateur reader to be thoroughly authentic, claiming in the first book March Violets  that the Nazis knowing that Brundage was an avid collector of Asian art, presented him with objets d'art confiscated from Jewish families, and after the Olympics awarded Brundage's construction firm the contract to build the new German embassy in Washington.  For more on this fascinating series of novels see:  http://berniegunther.com/.

Anybody remember Jesse Owens running again in the US after the Berlin Olympics?  Didn't happen.  After the Olympics he was told by 'officialdom' that he would be going on a European tour to run races.  What they didn't tell him was that expense money for food would be a pittance.  After a few weeks of this Jesse jumped ship and went home.   For his insubordination, he was banned from competing again by the AAU.  I'm not sure who made that decision, but you can be pretty sure Brundage had some role.  That's when Jesse started racing horses for money, doing vaudeville, and other stunts.   I recall seeing him once in an all black cowboy movie and an ad touting cigarettes.   Accounts of this can be seen in an OSU made documentary at Jesse Owens.  That part of the story can be seen at the 15:00 minute mark of the doc.  Also at 10:19 you can see a brief clip of Louis Zamperini and Jesse Owens standing together.

From Mike Solomon:
Hope you are fine.
you remember when avery brundige kicked wayne collett out of the olympic village in the 72' olympics?
wayne, about as conservative guy ( later became a lawyer ) as you get was on the medals stand and daydreaming when the national anthem was being played.   So brundige kicked him out of the village for supposedly being disrespectful.
he competed the same year as me in high school....won the california state 440 his junior year and later ran for ucla.
passed away a few years ago from cancer.... Great Guy.

From: Stephen Morelock, former Oklahoma hurdler:
George –
A personal note about Marty Glickman, having nothing to do with track. I knew him when he was an executive at Manhattan Cable, which televised the events at Madison Square Garden.  These included the home games of the 1970 NBA Championship, won by the Knicks.
I was the Account Executive on Wheaties at the time, and of course we sponsored a lot of sporting events, so I was invited to Glickman’s apartment to watch the Knicks’ home games, with other sponsors and sports celebrities. It was a great experience.
It was also a magnificent NBA Championship Series that went to the seventh game, with Willis Reed, Dave DeBuschere, Bill Bradley, Dave Barnett and Walt Frazier for the Knicks, and an L.A. Lakers team that included Jerry West Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor.
What I remember most about the series happened in game seven. Reed was injured, and not even expected to play, but he limped onto the floor at tip-off, to thunderous applause scored the first two baskets, and the Lakers were completely psyched out. By halftime, the game was over.

If there is a belief that injustice will be followed by some consequence or retribution, one could see some hope when Brundage's much younger golddigging European princess wife took him for most of his fortune a few years before he died.  Amen.


V 11 N. 3 "Quicksilver: The Mercurial Emil Zatopek" by Pat Butcher, a Book Review by Paul O'Shea

When we come across books to review, we know that there is a particular skill set needed to be fair and honest and at the same time literary...