Imagine you are one of the Brooklyn Dodgers back in 1955, still trying for your first World Series title and doing it against the New York Yankees who beat you in five previous fall classics. Then, in the middle of Game Seven, the Yankees quit, their players saying they don't feel well enough to continue.

That's no way to win a championship, but that's what happened to tennis player Helen Jacobs against her nemesis, Helen Wills Moody, at Forest Hills. What happened that day was debated for many years. It's a good thing Mrs. Moody wasn't around to be analyzed by television's talking heads.

Syracuse Journal, August 15
FOREST HILLS (INS) — Helen Jacobs of California promised to break tennis tradition today by playing in shorts, as she started defense of her title tournament.

“I talked to mother on the coast by telephone and she said it was all right,” said Miss Jacobs, who claimed the abbreviated costume would improve her game. She said she had lost many points through her racket catching in her skirt.

Tennis officials may upset the champion’s plans to wear shorts, as it was understood they have been under ban at Forest Hills for some time.


Syracuse American, August 27
FOREST HILLS, New York (INS) — The sturdy legs of Mrs. Helen Wills Moody, which for years carried the world’s greatest woman tennis player to victory after victory, gave out today and Miss Helen Jacobs retained her crown, women’s tennis champion of the United States.

Mrs. Moody, champion of all nations save these United States, was forced to default in the third set of one of the most bitterly contested matches ever played at Forest Hills. The score at default was 8-6, 3-6, for the first two sets, and Miss Jacobs was leading, 3-0, when Mrs. Moody quit.

Helen Mills Moody was regarded as the best woman tennis player in the world. Her rivalry with Helen Jacobs was bitter, but one-sided in Mrs. Moody's favor. Jacobs, sensing she was finally beating Mrs. Moody in an important match, was very unhappy at the way it ended and suspected her opponent had defaulted rather than give Jacobs the satisfaction of victory, her only one in a series that would continue.

This would have been uncharacteristic of Mrs. Moody, a highly competitive person, but one who kept her emotions in check, earning her such nicknames as "Little Miss Poker Face" and "The Garbo of Tennis."

Jacobs, by the way, did wear shorts at Forest Hills, but they were extremely modest by today's standards.