The articles by Robert Creamer and Red Smith on the American and National Leagues are worthy of the highest commendation. I would like to know their choices for the final standings on both leagues.
You sure chose talented photographers when you went into business!
•Each using his own crystal ball, our Messrs. Smith and Creamer came out swinging with these predictions, which SI readers are invited to paste in their hats.—ED.
Cleveland New York
Your story on the fine points of the double play (SI, April 25) carries an illustration which shows a right-handed first baseman taking the throw with his left foot on the bag.
By the time this reaches you, that first baseman must be on his way to Class D.
C. BARNES WALBRIDGE
•If he is on his way to Class D he'll have a lot of bona fide major leaguers going with him. While it certainly is to the advantage of a right-handed first baseman to keep his right foot on the base when taking a throw (it enables him to stretch further with his left, or gloved, hand), nevertheless the circumstances of the moment dictate which foot to use. On a double play such as that illustrated in SI, the first baseman plays deep, has to race in at an angle toward the base to receive the throw from the pivot man at second. If he has time to set himself, he'd use his right foot. If he hasn't, he'll jab the base with the left foot, which is nearer. Happens every day.—ED.
I CAN HEAR LIPPY NOW
The question of breaking up a double play by getting hit by the ball will settle itself.
When sizzling grounders crack a few shinbones and pulverize some kidneys—and star players are wrapped in casts or listening to the games from hospital beds—managers will jolly well tell the boys to get the hell out of the way.
In fact, I can hear leather-lunged Lippy snarling, as he finger-jabs the air, "What's more, any you numbskulls get hit by a ball, an' it's $100 off the paycheck, see?"
A LITTLE FRIENDLY RIBBING
Fred Haney's HOTBOX comment (SI, April 25), "[The Pirates] could be the best last-place team in the league's history," reminds me of the first grader who attended a school where the reading classes were grouped by levels of reading ability.
When asked how he was getting along in school he said, "Oh fine, I'm the smartest kid in the dumbest class."
It gives me great pleasure to deal out a little friendly ribbing because (1) being a Pirate fan (2) being from Slippery Rock, Pa., I absorb more than my share.
DALE H. ADAMS
VP vs. SNOOK
Vice President Nixon's recent fishing escapades in the Florida Everglades (SI, April 25) are a poor testimonial to the fishing around here.
If those snook the Veep is holding are "large," then the bigger snook Florida fishermen have been catching for years are literally small whales.
Guessing conservatively, those snook Mr. Nixon is holding weigh about eight pounds, more or less. A friend of mine recently landed a 38-pounder with no trouble—he didn't even fall out of the boat once.
HARRIS H. MULLEN
•Oh well, if you're not even going to fall out of the boat....—ED.
Last winter (SI, Nov. 1, '54) Ted True-blood wrote an article on elk.
We intend to hunt elk in Idaho this year for the first time, but we are at a loss where to go. Also we don't know what might be necessary as far as equipment goes. We have had lots of advice but it doesn't match up.
We would like to get the name of the packer that took T.T. in, that is, if he was satisfactory.
Also he mentioned making an elk call out of a five-eights-inch galvanized pipe. We can't seem to locate any pipe of this diameter. Will anything else do?
•Each year the state of Idaho is divided into small areas, each with a different season on elk. Additional areas are set aside for a limited number of hunters who pay a $5 fee and receive a special elk tag. E. Kliess Brown of the Idaho Fish and Game Department (518 Front St., Boise, Ida.) will send you an elk map and additional information. One word of caution if you plan to hunt late in the season: within the last few years elk hunters from Arizona to Canada have been trapped by snow storms and blizzards and had to rely on their emergency food and clothing.
Ted Trueblood's packer is C. C. Horn, who can be reached care of Johnson Flying Service, McCall, Ida. The two-month season for elk, bear and deer begins Sept. 15. Horn generally meets his hunters on the Forest Service landing strip in Chamberlain Basin, which you can reach by charter plane from McCall. He will, if desired, provide all necessary equipment except high-powered rifles, sleeping bags, clothing and binoculars. As for that homemade elk call, you can use half-inch conduit, obtainable from any electrical supply house.—ED.
THE HUMAN RACE
In keeping with the rest of the human race, I am often disturbed when someone says something that doesn't agree with my way of thinking. Too often I just quietly sit down and fume. It has happened when I've come across certain opinions expressed in the 19TH HOLE. It is rare indeed, however, that I become furious enough to write a letter. But the time has come: I am now completely furious.
I see in your April 25 issue that four folks from our Southern states were shocked when they saw a picture of Mrs. Leo Durocher, a human being and a United States citizen, with her hand on the shoulder of Willie Mays, another human being and likewise a citizen of this democratic country.
Now I don't want to get into racial controversy with these folks. No doubt their ideas are, unfortunately, far too imbedded in their minds to be pried loose by me or anyone else. But I would like to say this: surely, if our own great world of sport is to be subjected to the tumult and the shouting of prejudiced fools, we have a truly fearful problem in trying to have the rest of the world play fair with us and with one another. I would like to know what other readers think on this issue.
Salt Lake City
•As we go to press, 278 citizens from all parts of the country, including the South, have joined Mr. McKay in protest against the letters of Messrs. Odom, Webb, Dunn and Mrs. Kelso. Twenty-one readers followed the latter in objecting to SI's April 11 cover of Willie Mays and the Durochers. A Californian, protesting the original letters of condemnation, took a mock-serious stand on yet another cover (see below).—ED.
WITH A SMALL "i," SIR
To paraphrase the delightful emanations from the deep South that appeared in SI, April 25:
Up until now I have not found anything in particularly bad taste in your magazine, but, by dern, when you print the picture of a Sherpa tribesman on the cover of an American magazine (SI, April 25), it's shocking, positively shocking! Sir, the greatest blow ever struck at this country was the conquest of Everest by an indian (with a small letter) native villager. Your cover was an insult to decent white mountain climbers everywhere. It makes SI part of a monstrous conspiracy to undermine the mountaineering sport in this country. Sir, examine your position!
San Fernando, Calif.
OUR NERVOUS FRIEND
OUR FRIEND ED CROWLEY PROBABLY WAS SO NERVOUS HE DIDN'T KNOW WHETHER HE WAS FIRING A SHOTGUN OR A FLINTLOCK WHEN HE KILLED THAT TEXAS-SIZE TOMCAT. BUT THE GUN IN THE PICTURE LOOKS LIKE A 30-30 RIFLE AND NOT A SHOTGUN. REGARDS.
J. G. TAYLOR SPINK
•The distinguished editor of the baseball-wise Sporting News is more than right. Friend Crowley admits to "hardly knowing which end of the gun fired." Fact is, he did get his quarry with a 12-gauge shotgun but later borrowed the rifle as a prop for the picture.—ED.
DENIED A VOICE
As secretary of the National Intercollegiate Boxing Coaches Association, I want to thank Budd Schulberg for his revealing article on collegiate boxing (The Bengal Bouts, SI, April 4).
Mr. Schulberg points out a difference between professional and intercollegiate boxing which the outspoken critics of intercollegiate boxing fail to see. That is that boxing, as conducted in college, "is a great, basic and undeniably competitive sport."
There are many Nappy Napolitanos (the boxing coach at Notre Dame) throughout the country who must sit back and see their sport maliciously attacked in the physical education literature simply because they are denied a voice.
Keep up your campaign against the seamy element in professional boxing and let's have some more facts on intercollegiate boxing to refute the erroneous allegations of our critics.
WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR CORRECTING STATEMENT ON TOM COURTNEY OF FORD-HAM UNIVERSITY (SI, MAY 2). HE WAS NOT THE ANCHOR MAN ON THE TWO-MILE WORLD'S CHAMPIONSHIP RELAY TEAM. THE WORLD'S RECORD IS HELD BY SETON HALL UNIVERSITY, ANCHORED BY CHET LIPSKI IN THE COLISEUM.
REV. JAMES CAREY
South Orange, N.J.
•Sorry. Chet Lipski led teammates Luciano, Rainier and Fletcher to the indoor record of 7:33.9 in New York City, March '42, but no indoor record can qualify for a world record. Fordham's Foley, Tarsney, Persichetty and Courtney set the world's record of 7:27.3 outdoors in 1954. Previous record: 7:29.2, set by the U.S. team of Ashenfelter, Pearman, Barnes and Whitfield in London in 1952.—ED.
I WAS NO FADDIST, BUT...
What memories SI's May 2 YESTERDAY on the Bunion Derby brought back to me.
I was no physical faddist but I certainly could count as a screwball. I was 16 when they announced the caravan would pass through my home town, Giltgulch, Arizona. I ran home, put on my best suit of clothes and waited at the far end of town. I always wanted to go to New York and this seemed a good way to get there. When I got my first look at the fagged-out, moth-eaten, soggy crew that straggled through town, I thought for sure I'd beat them all to the big town. It was not to be, but I kept the name of Bingham the Bunion for 15 years.
When I saw the April 11 issue of SI, I was very pleased to note that professional wrestling had found a spot in this fine magazine. But imagine my pleasant surprise when I read the article and found the excellent mention which I received in your opening paragraph. I am grateful for same. My wrestling honoraries, Lord Blears, Lord Layton and Captain Holmes, as well as myself, send along our sincere thanks and out best wishes.
No other celebrities or sports figures have as many fan clubs organized in their honor as do the professional wrestler. And we presidents work hard for our clubs; enrolling members from all parts of the world; answering fan mail; writing publicity letters and articles for the various wrestling publications, to do our part toward keeping our honoraries' names and pictures before the public. A fan club president is a very busy person, but I wouldn't give it up for anything.
•Hm! Every knock is a boost.—ED.
SPORT IN A GOLDFISH BOWL
Shame on the first-day anglers who turned out at Catharine Creek (SI, April 18). Now no one has to feel bad any longer if caught fishing in his goldfish bowl.
How can these people classify as sports! Hooking trout in the belly, fishing in water ankle deep—they should have stayed home and done the weekend washing.
E. T. JONES
I want to pay a tribute, in my humble fashion, to one of the finest sportsmen I have ever had the honor of knowing: Ray Amm, a professional road-racing motorcyclist, who died Sunday, April 17 from injuries sustained in a crash during the Golden Cup Race in Imola, Italy.
Ray was 27 and the leading member of the Italian MV Augusta works team. He was born in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia, where he had successfully competed in many amateur races. In 1951 he decided to try his hand at the really tough professional racing game in Europe. It was no bed of roses, for he found himself competing against the best racing men from the world over. But he was determined and he was good, and he soon earned a permanent place on the Norton works team, a position yearned for by all independent racers. Since then he had won three Isle of Man Tourist Trophy races, the most grueling and most important race of them all. This race is run in seven laps, making it a 264-mile race. During each lap you negotiate 219 turns, pass through three towns, reach sea level three times and cross a mountain which is 1,400 feet high. Ray set the record for the circuit at an amazing 97.41 mph.
There were no airs about Ray, and his wonderful sense of humor and infectious smile made him one of the best-liked men in all European motor sports.
The paddock will seem very empty with Ray gone.
THEY ARE NESTING AGAIN
I wish to thank you most heartily for the story Flamingos at Home by Mr. John O'Reilly (SI, March 7). The pictures are very beautiful.
It will interest you to hear that the flamingos are nesting again this year on Bonaire. At this moment there are about 3,000 birds on the island.
L. D. GERHARTS
Bonaire, Dutch West Indies
A GREAT FOCUS OF GAME
I have just seen a copy of your March 28 issue with its fine article Deer Among the Ammo.
I was particularly happy to note that you gave credit for the fruition of the game refuge program at the McAlester depot right where it is due, to Mr. C. D. Johnson. It has been his dream for years, one that he has worked for quietly and effectively.
I last visited the depot in November, 1954, and Mr. Johnson showed me around. His enthusiasm and happiness over the way the wildlife was taking to the area were inspiring. In a few years the station should be a great focus of game for all that part of Oklahoma.
Only one thing seemed to bother him—he had no prairie chickens, birds that used to be abundant there but were exterminated in that region about 1915. They are evidently very hard to transplant. I trust he's gotten some by now and that they are on the way to repopulating what used to be one of their finest natural habitats.
M. F. SCHOEFFEL
Rear Admiral, USN (ret.)
•Superintendent Johnson tells us with satisfaction that he began stocking greater prairie chickens two weeks ago and expects to have over 50 birds planted by July. "Success is assured," he says optimistically.—ED.
MY WIFE IS SOLD
I enjoyed your article on the Tewksbury Foot Bassets (SI, March 14) very much, especially the pictures. I've never seen one but I'm a 100% basset fan. I've sold my wife on the idea and now we are trying to locate one. Could you please give me the name and location of the nearest basset kennel to Charleston, S.C., which is my home.
LUCIAN W. PINCKNEY
•There are two kennels within a day's drive of Charleston: Coral Kennels, Box 1017, Southern Pines; and the Greymount Kennels on Route 9 in Greensboro.—ED.