LAKE CHARLES BOY MAKES GOOD
CITIZENS OF LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA WILL APPRECIATE YOU PLACING ALVIN DARK'S PICTURE ON FRONT PAGE OF YOUR MAGAZINE.
GULF NATIONAL BANK
LAKE CHARLES, LA.
FOR THIS WEEK'S COVER WE SUGGEST ALVIN DARK, NEW YORK GIANT CAPTAIN. DON'T SEE HOW YOU COULD OVERLOOK THIS GREAT BASEBALL PLAYER ANY LONGER.
GEO. W. CLARKE, TERRELL
WOOSLEY, C. A. STORER JR.
LAKE CHARLES, LA.
GREATLY APPRECIATE YOUR CONSIDERATION PLACING ALVIN DARK ON COVER.
CALCASIEU MARINE NATIONAL BANK
M. J. DUGAN
LAKE CHARLES, LA.
A NEW DIMENSION
As a subscriber from Volume One, Number One, I was glad that SI avoided the cheap gimmick, used everywhere else, of so-called he-man fiction pieces. I was glad because I myself doubted whether a really good fiction piece could be a weekly feature of any magazine. And I'd rather see no fiction than the stuff ground out every week or month by the hacks of the outdoor-writers fraternity.
October 18, 1954
Imagine my pleasure when I came across "Brooklyns Lose" in SI, Sept. 20. A first-rate story in the unassuming and pleasant manner of Irwin Shaw (pre-Riviera days) but more than that, a really fine piece of reporting. It has the flavor and ring of authenticity and your line drawing helped a lot. A napkin dispenser on the drug store counter, yet. Things like that add a dimension which sole preoccupation with facts, the batting averages and the scores misses.
Now let's have more, shall we? No need to hunt for shrinking Hemingways because the Hemingway days are over. Every hick small-town columnist (I should know, I was one myself for six years) has that delightful inner feeling that after all, yesterday's humorous, yet moving piece on "Slob" McNulty's, the town's only former pro athlete (semipro fighter in a small coalmining town 42 years ago), death was just about as good as Mr. H. ever penned. There are plenty of good, honest writers who, if properly handled, will turn their talents and thoughts to sports and away from contemplating their own shrunken navels.
A well-written fiction piece, and I mean well-written, can often tell more than the best piece of straight reporting. Just as "Brooklyns Lose" told more of that in equal parts noble and despicable borough than New York sportswriters have been able to do for 20 years, barring the great Red Smith.
St. Johns, Canada
THE JOY OF DYING
What a joy to laugh over "Brooklyns Lose." And to be able to laugh while my dear Dodgers were dying!
Do give us more such lightness in SI. Thank you and Mr. Heuman for the fun.
I liked the idea of fiction in your magazine. Do it again—and again.
W. A. BROWN
Crown Point, Ind.
GOOD AND CLEVER
The clever way of making average ball games into a fiction story is terrific.
"Brooklyns Lose" is something new and very good. Let's see more of it...
I'm happy to see that you're finally running fiction now. That gives the magazine real balance...
As a person who has been connected with...sports for the past forty years...I am interested to see that you are including fiction articles. In my judgment, this strengthens the magazine's general appeal.
J. H. NICHOLS, M.D.
THEM'S MY SENTIMENTS
Just a note to let you know how much I enjoyed Bill Heuman's short story, "Brooklyns Lose."
Being a rabid Dodger fan this story expressed my sentiments perfectly when my Bums lose.
Also, I would like to extend my congratulations on your fine magazine. It is tops.
L. E. SCHROEDER JR.
I am a long-time Dodger rooter, and that story you had in about "Brooklyns Lose" was too real to seem very funny to me. I liked all the baseball stuff in that issue, and hope you print more baseball stories.
IN MY BOOK
The way it looks now your first piece of fiction is turning out to be strangely prophetic. The "Brooklyns" lost. But, certainly SI is not losing. In fact, with the current issue you're far ahead of the game in my book. Speaking of fiction, though, I for one think there should be lots more of it in your fine magazine. You never can tell, you might come up with another Damon Run-yon or Philip Wylie.
JEROME W. STEIN
FILLING THE GAP
Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your fiction piece, "Brooklyns Lose." Not only was it a fine and entertaining story, but I think it filled a real gap in your otherwise excellent magazine. It's hard to find good sports fiction in the general magazines and I know I, for one, looked forward hopefully to reading some truly good stories in SI. "Brooklyns Lose" certainly answered my hope, and I trust we can look forward to more and more frequent appearances of fiction.
"Brooklyns Lose" was terrific. The use of fiction rounds out SI and makes it perfect. I hope we'll see lots more stories on all phases of sports. I hope also to be able to see more SI on newsstands.
POP AND PITT
As a player under Pop Warner at Pitt, 1917-1920, I read with particular interest your excellent tribute to Pop and the interesting photographs in SI, Sept. 27. Of particular interest to me, of course, was the photograph showing Pop with five of his Pitt players, with the caption featuring Bob Peck as one of Pop's All-Americans.
You may be interested in knowing that the man at the left-guard position is Jock Sutherland, who later was head coach at Lafayette College and then succeeded Pop at Pitt in 1924. Next to Jock is Tiny Thornhill, later an assistant coach to Warner at Stanford and then head coach for a period of a few years. In the backfield, directly behind Peck, are George McLaren, an All-American fullback, and Red Hastings, one of Pitt's greatest halfbacks. The 1916 Pitt team was one of Pop's and Pitt's greatest.
Scholastic Coach Magazine
...In one of your more recent issues (SI, Sept. 20), a possible speed of 30 miles per hour is assigned to a Sailfish. These are quite sporty little toy craft, but except on a trailer and towed by a motor car, they could no more attain such a speed under sail alone than I run a hundred yards in five seconds. I never have heard of any sailing craft making such a speed. The most extreme double bilgeboard Inland Lake scows do at times, usually only for short spurts under ideal conditions, get up into the middle twenties but in spite of the exaggerating propensities of Middle Westerners, I have never heard them claim any thirty miles per hour. It is an utter physical impossibility for any such small craft as a Sailfish to make it.
...On the other hand I thought SI's article on Leggie Knapp Brickell Mertz most excellent and not in the least exaggerated. Personally, I might have been even more fulsome in my praise.
C. SHERMAN HOYT
•SI is glad to be set straight by one of America's best-known yachtsmen and a naval architect of repute. Maximum speed of Sailfish is apt to be nearer 15 mph.—ED.
Thanks for your superb article, "How Fit Are Our Kids?" (SI, Sept. 20). I hope it does some good, although I doubt it. I think some of the people who let me down most when I was a kid were my great physical education teachers. I think what I wanted most was to be in the thick of sports like the other kids. I was shy and got left behind in the shuffle, and just never managed to catch up. Did my nice, friendly, smiling physical ed. teacher have an encouraging word for me? Nope. But he had plenty of disgust-filled sneers coming in my direction. The smiles were for the football and baseball stars. Well, maybe we'll get some new people in our schools who will help the weak, small and uncoordinated, as well as the wise-guy diamond and gridiron stars, who don't need it as much. Hoping your article and more like it will influence exercise for all our kids.
Ft. Riley, Kans.
CONSCIENCE AND COURAGE
I have read and reread the Father Hesburgh article on "how we try to do it at the University of Notre Dame."
As a non-Catholic sports follower, never particularly friendly toward Notre Dame teams—I am wondering if there is a president of another major university (especially one of those in football ratings) that could have penned such an article.
Is it possible that what intercollegiate athletics needs is more character, conscience and courage at the highest academic levels?
Congratulations! There will be many thousands of interested parties discussing this article for months to come.
Now let's hear from the other extreme and ask Chancellor Kimpton of the University of Chicago how he feels about this subject.
LEONARD WM. HIZER
•Better still, see page 34 for a discussion of college football by Robert Maynard Hutchins, Dr. Kimpton's predecessor at the University of Chicago.—ED.
The following is with reference to an article on S. S. Sayres in SI, Aug. 23.
To be brief, I am the man that designed, developed and engineered the building of Slo-Mos III, IV, and V. Furthermore, I did all the test driving and the race driving in 1950 and 1951...
I have been designing, building and racing boats since 1927. I have designed or redesigned boats for such racing figures as Eddie Meyer, Bill Cantrell, Jack Schafer, Lee Shoenith, Chuck Thompson, John Cobb, and many others. I have given talks on race boat designing in most of the engineering clinics held in various parts of the country. I held the Northwest Racing Championship for 18 years. Mr. Sayres has yet to operate a boat in competition. The A.P.B.A. records will bear me out on this, or check with any racing driver in the country.
Sayres and I had an agreement prior to building the Mos that I would have the only say on anything that went into the boats...
...My desire now is that you, in your magazine, rectify this error in as conspicuous a manner as you printed the erroneous information. This is important to me as it is all I have to show for my efforts...
Thanks for listening.
TED O. JONES
Kaw Kaw Lin, Mich.
•Says Slo-Mo owner Stan Sayres: "I never claimed credit as the designer of the Slo-Mos, nor have I ever posed as a designer. Jones always has fully and publicly received credit from me as the designer. I regret exceedingly that the article failed to make that clear."
SI had no intention of slighting designer Jones who, however, errs in claiming to have done all test and race driving in 1950 and '51. Driver Lou Fageol won the 1950 Harmsworth Trophy (while Jones was nursing a broken hand) and the 1951 Gold Cup. Ted Jones is correct in stating that Stan Sayres has yet to operate a boat in competition. But "Jones seems to have forgotten," says Sayres, "that on Sept. 2,1951 he and I competed against each other in a match race at Vancouver, Jones driving the Slo-Mo IV in the first heat, and I taking it over for the second. His time was 90.8 mph and mine was 99.4." Sayres continues: "Most misleading are Jones's statements bearing on the contract between us. It is flatly incorrect to say that the agreement gave him 'the only say on anything that went into the boats.' "—ED.