Steeplechase—(Penn State) AAU champion 1951,1953,1956; Olympic Games 1952: 3000-meter steeplechase—Gold Medal [Cross Country All American 1949-51, James E. Sullivan Memorial Award 1952, U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame 1975]
Horace "Nip" Ashenfelter sent me this cartoon illustrated article by Bob Richards chronicling his 1952 Olympic experience. He corrected some errors in the story. "As Curt [Stone] observes--this tale is not quite 'the way it was.' I took the lead in the 2-4th lap and held it until the back straight of the last lap with Kazantsev (K) running right on my shoulder. (He ran wide, to my right and outside for at least 4-5 laps.) K passed me at the start of the last back stretch and held lead into last W.T. but he faltered coming out and that was the end for him as I 'kicked' from there to the finish. The only 'falter' on 'stagger' was off the last hurdle which I hit. I had misjudged my steps because I was going so fast then (prob tired as well), but I had 30-40 yds on K. and made a quick recovery. . . Richards added a lot of 'color' to these stories. There is one about me with gross inaccuracies." The signed photo of Ashenfelter is from a 1950 track program kindly given to me by Browning Ross.
Middle Distance Runner—(Villanova) US Indoor Mile champion 1950, Olympic Games 1948—Irish team
Barry was one of the fastest men in the world in the late 1940s and many people expected him to be the first to run a mile in less than four minutes. On 28 June 1949, he attempted to break the mile record at Glasgow Corporation Transport's Helenvale Recreation Ground in Parkhead. Sadly for Barry it was Roger Bannister who won the race to run the first sub-four minute mile, in 1954. In 1992 Browning Ross kindly gave me a 1950 track program which contained photos and autographs of many of the track stars in attendance, including this autograph of John Joe Barry.
Middle Distance Runner—(North Carolina) Olympic Games 1960 [U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame 1990]
In the 1963 New York A.C. meet in Madison Square Garden, I was ready to break my own world indoor record in the mile. Before the race, he [coach Mihaly Igloi] told me to run easily and just run to win. But the Garden was sold out and I could feel the electricity. I said, “Coach, I think the crowd came to see a world record in the mile and I'd like to give it to them.” He looked at me for a few seconds and didn't say anything. Then he said, “I changed my mind.” He changed the lap times and the race plan. I wanted to seize the moment, and I did. I set a world record of 3:58.6.
Jim Beatty autographed this 1964 Tom Paprocki cartoon. In his 1996 note, Beatty wrote "I was also a fan of Paprocki!"
Watch a video clip of Jim Beatty in a 1963 California track meet. Watch a video clip of Jim Beatty competing in a 1962 U. S. vs. Russia dual track meet. Watch a video clip of Beatty winning the mile at an indoor meet in Los Angeles in 1961. Watch a video clip of Beatty competing in the mile at the 1963 California Relays in Modesto.
Middle Distance Runner—(Ohio State) NCAA 800 meter champion 1936, US Indoor 600 meter champion 1939
Charlie Beetham autographed this 1936 Art Krenz cartoon. Beetham was a leading candidate for the 1936 Olympic team, but was tripped in the final of the 800 meters in the final tryout meet.
Middle Distance Runner—(Oregon) Olympic Games 1960: 1500 meters—6th place; Olympic Games 1964: 1500 meters—5th place; Pan American Games 1959: 1500 meters—Gold Medal [American Record 1500 meters 1960, American Record Mile 1960, 1961]
I never ran for time. I always ran to win.
Dyrol Burleson autographed this 1964 Tom Paprocki cartoon in November 2009.
Middle Distance Runner—(Dartmouth) NCAA mile champion 1943, US Indoor 1000-yard run champion [All American 1943]
Don Burnham autographed this 1944 Jack Sords cartoon.
Sprinter—(Colorado) National Junior AAU 220-yard dash champion 1944, U.S. team member on 1st Pan American Games in 4x400 relay 1951
I always liked to see somebody in front of me, so I could lean and catch them at the end. That's what I was known for. I felt very comfortable doing that. I covered a little more ground than the other guys and I had great arm action.
Don Campbell autographed this 1949 Alan Maver cartoon.
Distance Runner—(Georgetown) NCAA/IC4A cross country champion 1952-53, AAU 3-mile champion 1953, Olympic Games 1952: 5000 meters—7th place in his heat [All American 1952, New York Athletic Club Hall of Fame 2009]
Dream of wondrous things, do your best, win or lose, its love that really matters.
Charlie Capozzoli autographed this 1952 Tom Paprocki cartoon in November 2009. He also sent me a signed copy of his inspirational autobiography published in 2007 entitled Run to Win: Love and Sacrifice. It contains an illustration of this and many other sports cartoons of him that appeared in newspapers during his running days.
Watch a television interview with Charlie Capozzoli talking about his life.
Middle Distance Runner—(Iowa State) US Indoor 1000-yard run champion 1928-31 [Drake Relays Hall of Fame 1965]
People in the crowd all threw their hats onto the track when Conger won
on the 1929 upset of Paavo Nurmi
in the Wanamaker Mile
Ray Conger autographed this 1929 Jack Sords cartoon.
Watch a video clip of Ray Conger in an upset loss in the mile in a 1931 indoor meet in New York.
Marathon — (Slippery Rock) Olympic Games 1956: 20th place
John Kelley and I were considered the favorites [in the Olympic Trials] and I knew I was going to make it. There was no euphoria. It was just like another day. Because I had worked so hard it almost came naturally. I wasn't overconfident, but I expected it. Right after the 1955 Boston Marathon, the hemorrhoidal veins ruptured and I was losing blood almost twice a day for a year. I should have had an operation, but I didn't have it until 1957. I lost some big, big places because of these G---d hemorrhoids. I came back [to the Shenango Valley] like a thief in the night. I didn't want any reception. I was demoralized because of my condition. I believe I could have gotten a medal, at least a second or third. Everything was going good until about a year before Olympics, then it started to nosedive.
Nick Costes autographed this 1956 Bill Peveer cartoon. He wrote, "Resurrecting this cartoon brings back floods of memories. You are a connoisseur of antiquity." Yes, I live in the past.
He was buried in Bethel Cemetery, Butler County, Alabama.
Middle Distance Runner—(Fordham) Olympic Games 1956: 800 meter run—Gold Medal,4x400 relay—Gold Medal [U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame 1978]
It was a new kind of agony for me. My head was exploding, my stomach ripping and even the tips of my fingers ached. The only thing I could think was, "If I live, I will never run again."
after finishing the 800 meter run at Melbourne
Tom Courtney autographed this 1956 Tom Paprocki cartoon in November 2010. He also sent me this 4x6 autographed B&W photo.
Middle Distance Runner—(Penn State) Olympic Games 1924: 3,000 meter run—Bronze Medal
Bill Cox autographed this 1928 Jack Sords cartoon. He wrote, "Best wishes Mel from the 1924 teamate at Paris Olympics. Bronze medal winner in the 3000 Meter Team Race. I was one of the 3 High School boys to make the trip to Paris that summer. 1925 at Penn State College I made a New Worlds 2 mile Record after winning the Mile and 880 yds runs in the interscholastic. In Chicago 1925 the worlds schoolboy One Mile 4.22.2."
Middle Distance Runner—(Stanford) US Indoor 1000-yard run champion 1961, 1964
Ernie Cunliffe autographed this 1961 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
Sprinter—(Seton) Olympic Games 1948—Australian team, Olympic Games 1952: 400 meter 5th Place
That was the highlight of my career. Running against famous men like [Arthur] Wint, McKenley and [Malvin] Whitfield, 100,000 people at Wembley, sent a chill up my spine.
Morris Curotta, on running in the 400 meter final in the 1948 London Olympics
In 1992 Browning Ross kindly gave me a 1950 track program which contained photos and autographs of many of the track stars in attendance, including this autograph of Morris Curotta.
Distance Runner—(Pennsylvania) 1928-32, Inter-collegiate 4A Cross Country Champion 1931; Olympic Games 1932: 5,000 meters—7th place
It was always my ambition [to be an Olympic champion], but I never thought I was good enough. It was the high point of my life to make the Olympics. After that was over, I never really ran again.
Dean wrote: "Thank you for your 8-9-90 ltr. Don't know how you managed to track me down, but glad to answer your request for my autograph. Not too many of us former athletes still living from that era and I'll be 82 in a few months. The year following my IC4A cross country championship (1931) I made the U.S. Olympic team and qualified for the finals in the 5,000 meter run which was of the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. As I recall, I finished 7th in the 14 man field, but didn't win a medal. It was a great experience and one I'll always remember and with pride representing my country in the Olympics. I did it again ten years later, but as a Naval officer in the 2nd World war for four year's duty. I often wonder about Ralph Hill from Klamath Falls, Oregon who was our #1 5,000 meter man contestant and who was robbed of 1st place by a Finn who kept cutting in front [of] him in the home stretch to make him break stride and not pass him. He should have been disqualified, but wasn't, unfortunately for Ralph. Is he still living?"
Dan Dean autographed this 1931 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
Middle Distance Runner—(Villanova) Olympic Games 1956: 1500 meters (Ireland)—Gold Medal
When runners win a big race these days, they get a car. When I won a big race, I got a ride.
Ron Delany autographed this 1962 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
Distance Runner—(Oregon) Olympic Games 1964: 5000 meters—Bronze Medal; Coach—Oregon [U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame 2000, National Distance Running Hall of Fame 2001]
[He] was probably the greatest coach at developing American distance talent. He had seven Americans under 13:20 in the 5,000 20 years ago. He was ahead of his time.
Bill Dellinger autographed this 1959 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
Sprinter—(Stanford) Olympic Games 1932: 400-meter run—Silver Medal [U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame 2006]
I was darn surprised. I just wanted to run. I knew it was fast, but I had no idea.
on beating existing world
440 record in March 1932 by
more than a second (46.4 seconds)
Ben Eastman autographed this 1936 article and Tom Paprocki cartoon.
Sprinter—(Penn State) NCAA champion 100-meters/200-meters 1940-41; Olympic Games 1948: 100-meter run—Silver Medal, 200-meter run—Silver Medal, 4x100-meter relay—Gold Medal [U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame 1986]
Barney was a coach's dream. He was a whole track team in himself. By the time he had a chance to go to the Olympics, he was a little past his prime. He would have cleaned up at the one before.
Barney Ewell autographed this 1948 Alan Maver cartoon.
Middle Distance Runner—(Wisconsin) US Indoor Mile champion 1940 [James E. Sullivan Award runner-up 1939, world's record indoor mile run 1940 (4:07.4)]
Don't forget Glenn Cunningham beat me 17 times in a row before I nailed him.
Chuck Fenske autographed this 1941 Jack Sords cartoon. I have three other signed cartoons: 1940 Sords, 1940 Art Krenz, and a 1941 Alan Maver. In his 24 February 1991 letter, Fenske wrote: "I was pleased to receive your letter and will send along some additional information, including a recent article in our paper. The "New Mile Monarch" was published following the Madison Square Garden world record mile of 4:07.4 on February 3, 1940. I also ran 4:07.4 on same track on February 17, 1940 and 4:07.9 on the Chicago Relays track in March, 1940. (the 4:04.4 time referred to was made in a paced effort on the Dartmouth Univ. track which is approximately twice the size of the Garden and other standard board tracks of 11 laps to the mile; It was a fine record but not a comparable one.) I had not seen the "Chuck May Change His Luck!" drawing from 1941; it was probably published in late January. Other information: Born on September 18, 1915. Started running when I was a Senior in High School at West Allis, Wis. Graduated from Univ. of Wisconsin in 1938 (Ph.B degree in American History), and had two years in Graduate School (B.S. in Education 1939 and completed all work except for thesis on MS in 1940). Was awarded Big Ten Conference Medal in 1938 and was runner-up for the James E. Sullivan Award in 1939. Volunteered for Military duty in February 1941, and was inducted in March 1941 as a Private, and was separated in February 1946 as a major in the Army Air Corps. I was fortunate to meet my wife while I was in the service and we'll celebrate our 48th wedding anniversary this year. We have a fine daughter living in California. Worked for Oscar Mayer & Co. almost 34 years--a great company."
Watch a video clip of Chuck Fenske beating Glenn Cunningham in the 1940 AAU Indoor Championships. Watch a video clip of Fenske beating Cunningham in the mile in the Knights of Columbus indoor meet in New York on March 13, 1940.
Middle Distance Runner—(Wisconsin) US 1,500 meter champion 1948, NCAA champion mile run 1949, 1950, US Indoor 1000-yard run champion 1952, Olympic Games 1948: 1,500 meters—7th place
Don Gehrmann autographed this 1949 Alan Maver cartoon. He also signed three other cartoons for me: 1949 and 1950 (entitled "King of U.S. Milers") Alan Maver and a 1951 Tom Paprocki. He thanked me for letting him know about all these drawings.
Sprinter—(Villanova) Olympic Games 1948: 400-meter run—Bronze Medal, 4x400-meter relay—Silver Medal
In 1992 Browning Ross kindly gave me a 1950 track program which contained photos and autographs of many of the track stars in attendance, including this autograph of George Guida. For an explanation of his note, see the entry for Jimmy Reardon (below).
Hurdler—(Eastern Michigan) Olympic Games: 110-meter hurdles—1960 Bronze Medal, 1964 Gold Medal [US Track and Field Hall of Fame 1976]
Hayes Jones autographed this 1961 Tom Paprocki cartoon. I also have a Jones-signed 1964 Pap cartoon.
Distance Runner—(Kansas) 1947-50, 2-time Cross Country All-American, Athletic Director Drake University 1968-86, Drake Relays Director 1956-69 [National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Hall of Fame 1987, Drake Relays Coaches Hall of Fame 1988, Iowa Track Coaches Association Hall of Fame 1985]
Bob Karnes autographed this 1950 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
Boston Marathon: 2-time winner (1935,1945), 61 starts/58 finishes, second place 7 times; Olympic Games: Marathon—1936 18th place, 1940 games cancelled, 1948 21st place [U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame 1980, National Distance Running Hall of Fame 1999]
People thought I was a running machine, but far too often I ran with my heart, not my head. If I only could have controlled my emotions I’d have been alright. A runner needs good sense and emotion. But it’s water over the dam . . . .Running is a way of life for me, just like brushing my teeth. If I don’t run for a few days, I feel as if something’s been stolen from me . . . . I’ve had a good life. If it gets any better, I think I’ll bust.
John A. Kelley
John Kelley autographed this 11 March 1936 newspaper article.
He is buried in Quivet Neck Cemetery, East Dennis, Massachusetts.
Boston Marathon: winner 1957, second place 5 times; Olympic Games 1956: 21st place [National Distance Running Hall of Fame 2002]
Many people think I’m his [”Kelley the Younger”] father. People still come up to me all the time and ask, “How’s your son?” He gets the same thing. “How’s your father?” We’re no relation; we’re just good friends.
John A. Kelley
This 1956 cartoon autographed by John Kelley is one of two drawn by Tom Paprocki in my collection. I also have a signed 1956 Bill Peveer cartoon.
Sprinter—(California) 1933, 1932 Olympics: Gold Medal 4x100 Relay
The crouch starting position is far superior to the standing start. I'll give any standing starter three yards and catch him in four by using the crouch.
In 1990, Kiesel wrote: "We have lost track of Dave Muir. Charlie Borah was U.S.C., and I believe deceased. I was awarded an Olympic Gold as a starter on the 1932 4x100 metre Relay Team. Other members were Emmett Topzine, Loyola, New Orleans (deceased) Hector Dyer, Stanford, Frankie Wycoff, U.S.C. (deceased)--Time= 40 sec. flat, a new Olympic and World Record. I held the Cal.-U.S.C. 150 yard record for 48 years, either 9.5 or 9.6 (?). Used to run the hundred consistently in 9.5; had a couple of 9.4s but with starting blocks--then illegal. Ran the 220 in 20.2-20.4. Held the IC4A 200 meter record (1934) for many years(?)." This 1932 Jack Sords is one of two drawn by that cartoonist that Bob Kiesel autographed. The other is a 1934 Sords cartoon.
He is buried in East Lawn Memorial Park, Sacramento, California.
Distance Runner—(Indiana) 1936 Olympic Games [James E. Sullivan Memorial Award 1938, USA Track and Field Hall of Fame 1995]
He runs away up on his toes like a sprinter. It defies orthodox distance form, but I'm not going to argue with that.
Don Lash autographed this 1939 Jack Sords cartoon. I also have a Lash-signed 1937 Tom Paprocki cartoon and accompanying article.
Watch a video clip of Don Lash getting beat in a very close race by Archie San Romani in a 1937 Princeton track meet.
Distance Runner—(Fordham) Olympic Games 1932: Bronze Medal, 1936, 2-mile indoor/outdoor IC4A champion 1931-32, won 15 AAU championships in steeplechase, 2-mile, 3-mile, and 6-mile between 1930 and 1946 [US Track and Field Hall of Fame 1996]
I don't think I had as much ability as some others, but I put more into it. When you can't stand at the end of a race, you know you've given everything. I ran a lot of races when I couldn't stand at the end.
Joe McCluskey autographed this 1932 Tom Paprocki cartoon. He wrote, "Tom Paprocki sent me the original of this drawing which I have in my scrapbook Am competing again. I got a first place in Conn. Senior Championships on June 2, 1991."
He is buried in St. James Cemetery, Manchester, Connecticut.
Sprinter—(Illinois) Olympic Games 1948: Jamaica team captain, 400-meter Silver Medal; Olympic Games 1952: 100-meter Silver Medal, 400-meter Silver Medal, 4x400-meter relay Gold Medal
In 1992 Browning Ross kindly gave me a 1950 track program which contained photos and autographs of many of the track stars in attendance, including this autograph of Herb McKenley. For an explanation of his note, see the entry for Jimmy Reardon (below).
Middle Distance Runner—(New York University) 1939-42, NCAA mile champion 1940-42, NCAA 880-yard run champion 1941, NCAA cross country champion 1939-41, AAU mile champion 1941,1946 [James E. Sullivan Memorial Award 1941]
I think eventually I could have run four minutes, but we weren't thinking about that then. We never trained as hard as we might have. We didn't know enough to do that. But all in all, I'm very happy with my running career.
Leslie MacMitchell autographed this 1940 Tom Paprocki cartoon. He also signed three other cartoons for me: a 1939 Pap, 1941 Alan Maver, and 1939 Jack Sords.
Middle Distance Runner—(New York University) 1947-50, AAU 600-yard champion 1950, US Indoor 600-yard champion 1950-51
I was raised in the Olympic tradition to run in the zone. It is a respect for a sacred place, for the running and for the friendship. You have to forget about winning or losing. You have to have the friendship or respect for the other competitor. If you run for someone else, it puts on an added pressure. Those burdens don't help you run better.
This 1950 cartoon autographed by Hugo Maiocco is one of two signed Tom Paprocki cartoons in my collection.
Sprinter—(City College of San Francisco) Olympic Games 1952: 400 meter—bronze medal, 1600 meter relay—silver medal
It was not a lot of fun. I was so young, you know? I didn't know what I was doing, and I didn't run in my best events — the 100 [meters] and 200. I won a bronze medal in the 400 and a silver medallion on the 1,600 relay. I was the best of all the runners there, but my philosophy was to do what's best for the United States, and I'm proud to say that I did.
Distance Runner—(Kansas) Olympic Games 1964: 10,000 meters—Gold Medal [U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame 1976, U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame 1984, National Distance Running Hall of Fame 1999]
My dad used to say how you have to find the passion within you and follow it. I learned how to find that passion in some harsh ways. I had to deal with anger within me, along with hatred and jealousy. Taking those emotions and realizing how they would destroy me, I had to look deeper below them. That's where the dreams lie. The dream for me at that time became a gold medal. Graduating from Kansas and becoming commissioned by the Marine Corps were dreams, but the main priority was fulfilling the ultimate dream of winning the gold medal. When I got to know myself, I started understanding my dad's words from so many years before. My dad used to tell me that if I followed his teachings, someday I would have the wings of an eagle. When the German runner opened the lane, it was so empowering for me. I kept saying to myself, 'one more try, one more try, one more try.' As I passed the German, I glanced over and on the middle of his singlet was an eagle. For me, it was spiritual, the wings of an eagle as my dad taught me. After the race, I realized my win was God-given. I found the German runner and there was no eagle on his singlet. However, there was one on their warm-ups. So, when I passed him during the race, I either saw the eagle in my mind, knowing it was a German runner, or I saw it through the magic of my dad and his secret of how dreams come true. That's when I knew the win was God-given, which was very humbling. I have made many, many mistakes in my life, but I've learned that the truth frees you. That is what has changed my life. The gold medal has not changed my life.
This 1965 Tom Paprocki cartoon is one of two from that year autographed by Billy Mills in my collection.
Hurdler—(Cornell) Olympic Games 1952, 400-meter hurdles—Gold Medal, 4x400-meter relay—Silver Medal [U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame 1999]
This 1950 Tom Paprocki cartoon was autographed by Charlie Moore in November 2010.
Sprinter—(Abilene Christian) Olympic Games 1956, 100-meter run—Gold Medal, 200-meter run—Gold Medal, 4x100-meter relay—Gold Medal [James E. Sullivan Award, 1957, U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame 1975, U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame 1989]
It's important to be loose in the sprints. You don't have to get all worked up to run fast. It's like shifting a car into overdrive. You're not slowing the car down, you're just letting the engine run faster.
This 1957 Tom Paprocki cartoon was autographed by Bobby Morrow.
Distance Runner—(Manhattan College) 1941, New York City Marathon Golden Age Champion 1989-90
Neidnig wrote on both sides of the 3x5 card: "Born July 3 1919 New York City. Graduated Manhattan College 1941. Spent the next 5 years in the Army in World War II. Competed in many races during the war and after the war until the age 50. Ran Boston Marathon many times. Finished 9 & 11th in two of them in 49 & 50. After I stop competing I kept running for my self and at the age of 60 started to compete again. The last 2 years I have won the N Y Marathon in my age group (70). I am now 72 and will try once again."
Andy Neidnig autographed this 1941 Tom Paprocki cartoon. He wrote, "The past has caught up with me."
Middle Distance Runner—(Loyola) AAU 1500 meters champion 1964
If I had a rival, Tom was it. He was a great runner and is a great guy. I'd win the major high school races by out-kicking him at the end. We got to train together and became good friends. He went to Loyola [University], where he became the world indoor-mile record-holder and Olympian in 1964. I was so proud of him for that.
Tom O'Hara autographed this 1964 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
Watch a video clip of Tom O'Hara competing at the California Relays in Modesto, California, in 1964.
Sprinter—(Southern California) Olympic Games 1948, 200-meter run—gold medal, 4x100-meter relay—gold medal [U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame 1985]
It was a funny thing. I never threw up after the 100 and I threw up after the 200 if the time had been 20.7 or less. My stomach seemed to know before the timer did. If I had run a 21-second race I was all right. Anything under that and I had to run under the stands right away.
Mel Patton autographed this 1948 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
Middle Distance Runner—(Manhattan College) 1939-43, 5 national AAU relay championships, Junior National 600-yd. champion 1939 [Manhattan College Hall of Fame 1987]
John Quigley autographed this 1941 Tom Paprocki cartoon. He also sent me a signed 1940 Pap cartoon from his scrapbook.
Middle Distance Runner—Olympic Games 1948—captain of Irish team
In 1992 Browning Ross kindly gave me a 1950 track program which contained photos and autographs of many of the track stars in attendance, including this note written by Jimmy Reardon. Ross wrote: "I found an old program of a meet in Chester, Pa., in 1950. The athletes signed their autographs for my wife (a month before we were married)." On this note, Reardon wrote: "To the future wife of the greatest of them all, and indeed his Photo does him no justice. His sartorial spleandour is lacking greatly here." To see the photo that Reardon was commenting about, see the entry for Browning Ross (below).
Sprinter—(Manhattan College) Olympic Games 1952: 100 meters—Gold Medal, 4x100 meter relay—Gold Medal
The day of the Hartford parade I was put into an open Cadillac convertible. I was seated on the back of the convertible, above the seat and my mother and fiancé were with me. We proceeded to go down Main Street past my home to the Times portico where the reception was to be held. Thousands of people were there and I waved to many, many friends along the way. I was greeted there by Gov. John Lodge, Abe Ribicoff, and Councilman Dan Camilleri, who was chairman of Lindy Remigino Day. They presented me with the key to the city of Hartford and the city medallion which, at that time, was only given to two other people, Charles Lindbergh (whom Lindy was named after) and Gen. John J. Pershing. I remember how nervous I was because all these people had given great speeches and I wasn't used to giving public talks. I was sweating and I didn't know what to say. When I did get up, I said, “When I stood up, my speech sat down.” Here I was facing 80,000 people at the Olympic games and not being a bit nervous, but when I saw all those people waiting for me to speak, that was a different story.
Lindy Remigino, upon
returning home to a hero’s
welcome in Hartford, Connecticut
Coach/Distance runner — (Brigham Young University) 1940,1946-48, Olympic Games 1948—5,000 meter run; U.S. national team—Europe tour 1949, BYU track coach 1949-1989 [US Track Coaches Hall of Fame 2002]
I realized I couldn't hold the pace and when I couldn't, I shut it down [on why he dropped out in his heat of the 5,000 meter trials in the Olympics] . . . . I was not mentally prepared. The other runners were so much better prepared and I just didn't feel like I belonged there. I was almost a beginner compared to the others. I hadn't won national titles. I didn't have experience in big races. But if I had said to myself, I've got enough raw talent that I'm going to get into the finals, I would have made the finals. I just didn't fight when I should have.
Clarence Robinson autographed this 1948 cartoon. I also have a Robinson-signed 1955 Ev Thorpe cartoon.
Steeplechase—(Villanova) Olympic Games: 3000 meter steeplechase: 1948—6th place, 1952—did not qualify for finals; 1951 Pan Am Games—1500 meter champion; NCAA steeplechase champion 1948
In 1992 Browning Ross kindly gave me a 1950 track program which contained photos and autographs of many of the track stars in attendance at the meet including his. For an explanation of how these autographs were obtained, see the entry for Jimmy Reardon (above).
He is buried in Woodbury Memorial Park, Clarksboro, New Jersey.
Middle Distance Runner—(Kansas) World Record 3:51.3 (1966), 3:51.1 (1967-75); Olympic Games 1968: 1500 meters—Silver Medal [James E. Sullivan Memorial Award 1966, U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame 1980]
I couldn't make the basketball team, and I couldn't make the track team. I was too slow for the sprints. I tried the high jump and bruised my hip. The only thing left was the 440, and I never officially made it to a meet.
The archives/library where I work was weeding this photo from its collection. On the reverse was penciled "Jim Ryun and Mormon boys." I took it and sent it to Ryun to be signed.
Distance Runner—(Kansas) 1951-54, Olympic Games 1952: 5000 meters—did not qualify for finals, Pan-American Games—1500 meters—Silver Medal 1955, indoor/outdoor 1500 meters champion 1955, world record (1954) 1500 meters (3:42.8) [U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame 1975]
No where in the rulebook does it say you can't do what I set out to do [make the 1952 Olympic team in the 5000 meters and the 1500 meters]. When I was second in the 5000 meters I was the happiest kid on the team. I was on the Olympic team! I go home and eat my steak, take my walk and get ready for Saturday. But come Saturday they won't let me run. I still don't see how the officials could reason me away from competing. They said it would be too many races for me. Another race or two for me? Hell. I was running four races on a weekend. I grew up on a farm and worked hard. Running was play for me. What was the big deal? I should have been in that race and I should have won.
after he was forbidden to compete in his
best event--the 1500 meters--at the Olympic Trials
Wes Santee autographed this 1953 Murray Olderman cartoon.
Watch a video clip of Wes Santee winning a mile race in 1954.
He was cremated.
Distance Runner—(Miami, Ohio) Pan American Games 1963: 5,000 meters—Gold Medal, Olympic Games 1964: 5,000 meters—Gold Medal [U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame 1991]
Bob Schul autographed this 1964 Tom Paprocki cartoon in May 2011.
Watch a video clip of Schul's 1964 Olympic 5,000 meter gold medal victory.
Hurdler—(Arkansas/Navy) Olympic Games 1948: 110 meter hurdles—Silver Medal, 1948; NCAA 110 meter hurdle champion
[He was] a brilliant hurdler and one of the best backs the Southwest [Conference] has ever known.
Earl H. "Red" Blaik
Distance Runner—(Yale) NCAA 10,000 meter championship 1969, U.S. National 5,000 meter championship 1970, U.S. National 10,000 meter championship 1970-71, 1974-75, 1977, U. S. National Cross-Country Championship 1971-73; Pan American Games 1971: 10,000 meters — Gold Medal, Marathon — Gold Medal, Olympic Games 1972: Marathon—Gold Medal, 10,000-meter run—fifth place; Olympic Games 1976: Marathon—Silver Medal [James E. Sullivan Award 1972, U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame 1989]
Frank Shorter autographed this 1973 Alan Maver cartoon in April 2011.
See brief footage in this video clip of Shorter's 1972 Olympic marathon victory.
Sprinter—(Duke) Olympic Games 1960: 100 meters—Silver Medal
Dave Sime autographed this 1956 Bill Pevear cartoon. I also have a signed 1956 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
Watch a video clip of Dave Sime, regarded as the "World's Fastest Human."
Middle Distance Runner—(Pitt) NCAA 800 meter champion 1954, 1956, AAU 800 meter champion 1955-56, USATF Indoor 800 meter champion 1955-57, 1959, Pan Am Games 1955: 800 meters — Gold Medal, Olympic Games 1956: 800 meters — 4th place
Arnie Sowell autographed this 1956 Alan Maver cartoon in April 2011.
Distance Runner—(Penn State/Rhode Island State) NCAA 2-mile champion 1943,1947, NCAA cross country champion 1946, AAU cross country champion 1947, AAU 3-mile champion 1947-48,1952, AAU 6-mile champion 1951-54, Olympic Games 1948: 5000 meters— 6th place, 1952, 1956
The signed photo of Curtis Stone is from a 1950 track program kindly given to me by Browning Ross. The signed Tom Paprocki cartoon is from 1950.
Hurdler—(Northeast State College) [current world record holder 200-meter low hurdles set in 1960]
Dave and Don Styron autographed this 1961 Tom Paprocki cartoon in June 2011.
Middle Distance Runner— Olympic Games 1956, Hungarian team : 1500 meters—4th place, 5000 meters—6th place; World Records—1500 meters 1955, 4x1500 meter relay 1953-54, distance medley relay 1960 [Paavo Nurmi Coach of the YearAward 1979, Hungarian Hall of Fame 1995]
I was not athletic in school. We just chased each other around, listened to the radio, or stole fruit from somebody's backyard. I was not running until I was eighteen years old. One day in the spring of 1948, when I was seventeen, I did a 2-mile race, 3 kilometer. It was a run on boat docks, on a riverbed, on the streets, and on the dock again. There were 50-60 people in the race. I didn't train. I'd been training my whole life. And I beat the second place by like 400 meters. It was a surprise for me. After the first kilometer, I found myself alone, and I was so scared. I was scared somebody would catch me and I'd be losing, so I ran faster. I didn't know nothing about running. Prior to this, I had looked in one of the windows at the store of the town and saw the medals for the race. The first place was a silver, shining little medal, about the size of a 50-cent piece, maybe the size of an old silver dollar. It was on a ribbon. I can't remember the color. And I thought, "Boy, it would be nice to have that medal."
Laszlo Tabori autographed this 1957 Tom Paprocki cartoon in December 2009.
On May 28, 1955, he became only the third man in the world to run a sub-four-minute mile (3:59.0). After the Olympics, he and his coach defected from war-torn Hungary to the United States.
Hurdler—(Georgia) Olympic Games 1936: 110-meter hurdles—Silver Medal [U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame 1976]
He was one of the most competitive people. It is hard to realize how somebody can be so competitive in track and field without physical contact. Every race he ran he would get wound up before. He was very competitive and he did not like to get beat. It looked like if somebody made a high hurdler they would have made Spec Towns. He had the body and the natural ability. He had never run hurdles until he was a freshman at Georgia and he was about 10 times better than me. He had the greatest form. He was effortless. He seemed to pick it up so easy. It just came natural to him. I figure he was the first UGA athlete that ever won in the Olympics and then set a world record that lasted for how many years. He is synonymous with Georgia track and field, and if you are talking about track and field, you have to be talking about Forrest "Spec" Towns.
Forrest Towns autographed this 1938 Jack Sords cartoon.
Middle Distance Runner—(Pennsylvania) US Indoor Mile champion 1932, US Indoor 1500-meter champion 1933, 1936
Gene Venzke autographed this 1935 Jack Sords cartoon, one of two by that cartoonist in that year in my collection. The signed portrait drawing dates from 1934. I also have a Venzke-signed 1936 Sords cartoon.
Watch a video clip of Gene Venzke beating Glenn Cunningham in the invitational mile at Boston Gardens at the 1940 VFW meet. Watch a video clip of Venzke beating Cunningham in the 1500 meter run at the AAU championship in 1933 in Madison Square Garden in New York. Watch a video clip of Cunningham beating Venzke in the indoor mile at the 1933 Millrose Games in Madison Square Garden.
Middle Distance Runner—(Yale) 1946-50, mile run—intercollegiate record 1950: 4 min. 10.3 sec.
George Wade of Yale, my rival in the Yale-Harvard match, was one of the best American milers of that time. I always feel anxious, even uncomfortable when I meet an opponent for th first time. I find it almost impossible to relax, because the fierceness that I shall need for the race rises unbidden inside me. My anxiety was greater than usual when I first saw Wade. It was the first time I had been confronted with someone of my own height, weight and physique. I had the uncanny feeling that I should be running against my own shadow, or mirror image. My physique had changed from school days. It just happened that by now my build, with a stronger body on long legs, was almost ideal for middle-distance running. So I had more reason to fear running against my 'double.' I won the race on 20 June 1949 in 4 minutes 11.9 seconds. I might not have defeated Wade if he had not flown to Los Angeles the previous week for the American championships--perhaps he had not completely recovered.
George Wade autographed this 1950 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
Sprinter/Middle Distance Runner—(Ohio State) 1948 Olympic Games: 800-meters—Gold Medal, 4x400-meter Relay—Gold Medal; 1952 Olympic Games: 800-meters—Gold Medal, 4x400-meter Relay—Silver Medal [James E. Sullivan Award 1954, U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame 1974, U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame 1988]
Winning the race is the only important thing. I don't look for the record.
Mal Whitfield autographed this 1952 Tom Paprocki cartoon. I also have a Whitfield-signed 1953 Phil Bissell cartoon.
Distance Runner—(Indiana) 1948 Olympic Games: 10,000 meters — 11th place, 1952 Olympic Games: 10,000 meters — 21st place [James E. Sullivan Memorial Award 1950, U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame 1981]
With most runners, the best way to coach them is to let them run. There are too many things being coached that should never be coached at all. It's almost never necessary to “teach” an athlete the perfectly natural act of human locomotion known as running. Leave 'em alone, and they'll do it right. There's no such thing as perfect form in running, and no two athletes run exactly alike. Many coaches try to correct apparent faults that aren't really faults at all. If something's wrong with a person's form, a lot of running at reasonable speed will straighten it out in a hurry, because the body will follow the path of least resistance.
In 1992 Browning Ross kindly gave me a 1950 track program which contained photos and autographs of many of the track stars in attendance, including this autograph of Fred Wilt.
Middle Distance Runner—(Bowling Green) NCAA 1,500 meters 1972, NCAA Mile Run 1973; 1972 Olympic Games: 800-meters—Gold Medal [U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame 1982]
Dave Wottle autographed this 1973 Alan Maver cartoon in May 2011.
See exciting video clip of Dave Wottle winning Gold Medal in 800-meter final at 1972 Olympics at Munich.
Sprinter—(Abilene Christian) 1960 Olympic Games: 1,600 meter relay — Gold Medal
I think the biggest thrill I ever received in track was just making the Olympic team in Palo Alto, California. I always felt the pressure of making the team and going to Olympics was much more than that of actually competing in them. Something that would rival that is when you're standing on the top podium of the Olympic medal stand and hear them playing your national anthem. That's something that you'll remember all of your life.
Earl Young autographed this 1961 Tom Paprocki cartoon.
Distance Runner—(Southern California) 1936 Olympic Games: 5,000 meters — 8th place
I practically ate my way to Germany [on board ship] and by the time I got there, I probably had eaten myself out of a medal.
Lou Zamperini, who
gained 10 or 12 pounds
and ended up placing 8th in the 5,000 meters
Lou Zamperini autographed this 1939 Jack Sords cartoon. He also sent me a signed 1943 Alan Maver "Stars in Service" cartoon and a 1940 Ripley's "Believe It or Not" cartoon. I also have several notes and letters from him. Zamperini should have died when his plane crashed in the Pacific Ocean during World War II, killing eight of the 11 men on board and trapping him under the wing. He should have died during the 47 days he floated in a life raft, strafed by Japanese fighter planes, catching whatever he could to eat. He should have died during the 21/2 years he was a prisoner of war, subjected to unspeakable torture by Japanese prison guards, who seemed to take particular pleasure in their cruelty. Instead, he lived, somehow surviving in an unbelievable test of inner strength and will. "I had a refusal to give up," Zamperini said with a twinkle in his eye. "It's part of your training as an athlete." In 1944 he was presumed dead and his family was sent a death certificate. When the war ended, he weighed 67 pounds. Before he became a World War II hero, Zamperini was a world-class runner. In 1934, he broke the 18-year-old interscholastic record for the mile in 4 minutes, 21.2 seconds, a mark that would stand for 20 years. Then, running for Southern California, he won NCAA and IC4A titles in the mile and traveled to Berlin for the 1936 Olympics. He remembers an immaculate city, one crowded with Nazi storm troopers, an ominous hint of what was to come. Zamperini enlisted in the Army before Pearl Harbor. "I chose the infantry," he said. "I liked to hike." He hoped to become an infantry officer, but in a mix-up of paperwork, he volunteered instead for bombardier training. "I didn't like flying," he said. "I was totally disoriented." But he decided not to try to correct the error when he discovered during training that fliers were being invited to off-base parties and soldiers were not. Shipped to the Pacific theater, Zamperini and his crew were dispatched to search for a downed B-25. Their plane, called the Green Hornet, was a lemon, he said, and mechanical failure sent them hurtling into the ocean. It was the start of a harrowing odyssey of survival.