SI Vault
Edited by Franz Lidz
July 29, 1985
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July 29, 1985


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When the number of balls lost to foxes got up around 400, DeFries thought it was time to call for help. County officials hired a professional trapper. He didn't get just one fox—he bagged 16 in two weeks.

For now the thievery has stopped. But somewhere along the Longview course, a cache of 400 or so hot balls remains unrecovered. And that number could start to grow again; in recent days foxes have reappeared around the fairways.


It wasn't exactly like father, like Sonny, when an unknown middleweight from North Carolina calling himself Sonny Liston Jr. recently made his professional boxing debut at the Tropicana Hotel in Atlantic City. He said he was the son of the late heavyweight champ.

"Let's just say he got absolutely creamed," says Jim Taylor, the bout's publicist. "No, let's say he was the worst fighter I've ever seen."

Liston lost on a third-round TKO to a New Jersey pug who had been defeated in his only other pro fight. Until young Sonny appeared on the scene, nobody knew the old man had a son, real or alleged. Taylor says Little Sonny sort of resembled the former champ, but certainly not in the ring. Somebody once said of Big Sonny that he looked like the meanest bouncer in the world's roughest nightclub. When he pounded on a body bag it looked like he could punch down oak trees.

Young Sonny barely got a jab off. "He was incredibly awkward," says Jim Wiley, who claimed to have "discovered" him in West Virginia, where he was fighting on an amateur card. He told Wiley his mom and Sonny had trysted in St. Louis. "He didn't look too bad, so I figured maybe I'd train him a bit," said Wiley, who runs a stable of fighters in North Bergen, N.J. "Spent twenty-five hundred bucks on him. Gave him a shot because of a name. Guess he didn't check out too strong, huh?"

Guess not. Young Sonny boy broke down and cried after the bout, and Wiley packed him off to North Carolina.


Steve Butz is armed and dangerous. The 15-year-old, who pitches for Central Catholic High in Lafayette, Ind., can fire 'em in any way you want 'em, lefthanded or righthanded. "I guess I pitch a little harder with my left, but my right has better control," the switch-pitching Knight told SI's William Barnhardt. "And it's comforting to know that when my left gets wild, I have my right to fall back on."

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