THEY RAVE AND RANT
I thoroughly enjoyed the article which Mrs. Dreyspool prepared for SI, July 11 on our manager, Walter Alston.
I feel that Mrs. Dreyspool has come closer to capturing the true Alston than any regular writer. Writers are so accustomed to the ravings and rantings of our previous managers that they cannot understand a manager who speaks softly and lets his players speak for the team by their play on the field.
It is a sad commentary on major league baseball when a manager is judged by the amount of noise he makes rather than by his ability to run the club.
Alston is using the same tactics and policies which he pursued in 1954. This year he has better tools and consequently he is winning more games. A well Campanella, a grown-up Newcombe and the addition of Roebuck have made Alston appear in a better light.
Congratulations to Mrs. Dreyspool and your magazine for this story which will show the baseball fans of our country the type of fellow who handles "The Bums."
SAY IT AIN'T SO, BOB
Robert Creamer's contention that the New York Giants are through, dead and buried with little more than half the 1955 National League pennant race completed (SI, July 18) certainly simplifies things for Walter Alston, Stan Hack and Charley Grimm—if these gentlemen attach as much importance to one poorly played Giant game as does Mr. Creamer. The Giants now give every indication of becoming increasingly tough on the opposition in the stretch run. A 15½-game deficit would appear insurmountable to most managers and most ball clubs, but Durocher has repeatedly used the element of surprise to defy the percentages. His record proves conclusively that he is the most imaginative and daring manager in the game today. Leo still has at his command a very sound club that is at its best when the pressure is greatest.
The letdown the Giants have experienced these past few months is a natural follow-up to their spectacular successes of 1954. They should not, at this stage of the race, be relegated to the also-rans.
Mr. Creamer has gone way out on a limb with what I consider a rash and unwarranted appraisal of a great ball club. Should the Giants repeat the miracle of Coogan's Bluff—but then it can't happen! Can it, Mr. Creamer? Are you really sure?
ALFRED J. O'FARRELL
New Haven, Conn.
•SI's Bob Creamer is a lifelong Giant fan and he fervently hopes his own appraisal will turn out to be wrong.—ED.
PREACH AND THE GOOD BOYS
We certainly cannot believe that this one pitch of Mr. Roe's (The Outlawed Spitball Was My Money Pitch, SI, July 4) enabled him to compile the fine record he had with Brooklyn. The Preach was a fine control pitcher, with a good curve, change up and an occasional fast one to keep them honest. Regardless of what he or any pitcher throws, the ball still has to come over the plate within the strike zone. It isn't logical to assume that only two or three players in the entire league were capable of hitting the wet one. The truth is that there are darn few good hitters around today. Everyone is swinging for the fences. There is only one player in the entire National League who can be counted on to get a hit once out of every three times at bat. The American League is twice as good since they have two men batting over .333.
It is getting so that if a player bats .300 for the season he is mentioned as a Hall of Fame candidate.
Let them throw wet ones or dry ones; the good boys will still get their bingles.
JAMES R. FARRELL
Livingston Manor, N.Y.
A TASTE OF THINGS TO COME?
'Tis odd, but as SI's July 11 issue, which had a story of Ty Cobb's 16 total bases in one game, was being read around the country, Earl Averill Jr., son of the former Cleveland all-time great, tied that record.
Earl, catching for Nashville (Southern Association AA) in a game against Chattanooga, got five for five—three homers and two doubles. They would have gone for homers in practically all of the parks in the majors—so scouts say who were present. It took Ty six times at bat to get his 16-base total—it took Earl five.
Could this be an indication of things to come for Cleveland fans whose ball club, the Indians, owns his contract?
JOHN T. HOLLOWAY
•Hank Greenberg, the Indians' General Manager, says, "We have a number of youngsters on our farm teams who make our future look bright. Earl is certainly one of the finest prospects and we have good reason to hope that some day he may become a Cleveland star like his father before him."—ED.
THE LINE FORMS...
Would it be possible for a charter subscriber to SI to get a guest card to Happy Knoll Country Club?
GEORGE D. COMBS
Ft. Worth, Texas
I would like to receive a guest card for the Happy Knoll Country Club....
Wichita Falls, Texas
Please send me a membership card....
Would you please send me a guest card to Happy Knoll...?
R. C. MORGAN JR.
Forty Fort, Pa.
I would like to apply for guest membership at Happy Knoll....
PETER J. COCCARO JR.
Chevy Chase, Md.
I wonder if guest cards are available....
Happy Knoll probably has more guest-card holders than members by now, but I wonder if I....
Bowling Green, Ky.
If you would be so kind as to sponsor me as a prospective guest of Happy Knoll....
WILSON G. WALKER
•SI is happy to announce that the Happy Knoll Board of Governors has acted favorably on the applications of Messrs. Combs, Eubanks, Hayes, Morgan, Coccaro, King and Walker.—ED.
Since Mr. Jerry Conklin-Litts of the U.S.A. is the first to receive a guest card to Happy Knoll Country Club (19th HOLE, July 11), may I be the first outside the U.S. to receive a guest card? I do not consider myself just any Tom, Dick or Jerry.
Pembroke Park, Bermuda
HAPPENED TO NOTICE...
If Happy Knoll guest cards are actually available, may I have one? I have no Cadillac, but I will keep my 1955 Buick well-polished to minimize comments from Hard Hollow members who will notice that a guest's car "doesn't have whitewalls...not that it makes any difference, of course—just happened to mention it."
•Like those of virtually every other country club, Happy Knoll's Articles of Incorporation (Article III, Section 4) limit membership to men, although their families are granted club privileges. Nevertheless, the Board of Governors never underestimates the power of a woman: request granted.—ED.
I noticed in the July 11th issue that Mr. Jerry Conklin-Litts received the first guest card to Happy Knoll Country Club. I think that's fine, but I'm afraid I fit more in the category of the Hard Hollow Country Club members because, like them, I don't own a new Cadillac (or even a used one, for that matter). They need new members, as has often been stated, and I'm sure that Happy Knoll would like to keep alive the friendly rivalry.
•As J. P. Marquand said (SI, June 27), "The fellows at Hard Hollow are a swell aggressive bunch and we Happy Knollers believe in cards face up and no throat cutting—not in this community. Still, they do need new members desperately at Hard Hollow."—ED.
OH, HAPPY, HAPPY DAY
It was something of a shock to hear from Roger Horlick that Happy Knoll once again found itself in the red ink (SI, July 11). I am not too unhappy, however, about that breakage bill which apparently contributed to the deficit, since breakage, especially of fragile chairs, is invariably preceded by brisk business at the bar, which keeps clubs from even greater deficits.
What quite frankly worries me is that this deficit might lead to the suspension of Happy Knoll and thus of Happy Knoll stories in SI. Since I am looking forward to a long summer of cooling off with SI's Happy Knoll communiques, I feel that I must do the handsome thing, however painful. Here is my check, which will cover this year's deficit.
But let me tell you this: you won't get another penny out of me and I won't care next year if Happy Knoll's newer elements burn the place to the ground with an impromptu display of July 4th fireworks in the coeducational bar.
R. C. CRANDELL
Oyster Bay, New York
A PLACE TO MAKE FRIENDS
Under your Current Week and What's Ahead section (SI, July 11) you made reference to "This means Siberia! Back to the Salt Mines!" cries from the British audience when the UBC-Vancouver Rowing Club defeated the Russian rowers. It is unfortunate that you did not see fit to mention also that the two teams mingled freely, and that the first words of the Vancouver cox, Carl Ogawa, after the race were "I've got to go and shake hands with those Russians."
As the stroke of the crew, Glen Smith, is from Grand Forks, we take pride in the VRC's sportsmanship and its efforts to make friends with Russian athletes and all others at Henley.
They did not make it a cold war victory; they saw it as one good team beating another. International sports should provide a place to make friends, not an opportunity to report the trite and overworked phrases you saw fit to print.
The UBC-VRC rowers were able to make that trip because of public contributions. Our town of 1,700 raised $450. This is the answer to subsidized athletes.
Grand Forks, B.C., Canada
SENTIMENT OF THE MEMBERS
As President of the Bulldog Club of New England Inc., and one who enjoys the thrill of owning a young son of Kippax Fearnought, I would like to compliment SI for the manner in which it handled the "Brave Bulls" feature story of July 4.
I feel certain that I am expressing the sentiments of all member breeders, owners and fanciers in stating that the article leaves no room for improvement in factual research and accurate description of a bulldog's temperament.
ALFRED M. FREEDMAN
SI really went overboard on the subject of the English bulldog. The cover and article in the July 4 issue must have warmed the cockles of the hearts of bulldog men from coast to coast and undoubtedly also in England. It was a magnificent article and the cover photograph was out of this world.
AM I WRONG?
Enjoyed your baseball color in SI, July 11th issue, but would like to correct an obvious error you made in the Kansas City-Yankee picture caption. You stated that it is Bob Turley backing up Andy Carey on a throw from the outfield. The pitcher in the picture is a lefty and Bullet Bob throw them from the right side. My guess is that it's Eddie Lopat. Correct me if I'm wrong.
East Lansing, Mich.
•Lopat it is. So far 91 other readers have written in to say so.—ED.
In Jimmy Jemail's HOTBOX in your June 27 issue Jimmy Kilroe, Belmont Park's handicapper, says that most show-horse riders are women. I disagree with him. In most of the big stakes there is a men's class, a women's class and an open class. There are just as many, if not more, men in this class as there are women. The three top show-horse riders, Kenneth Carson, Earl Teater and Owen Haly, are men.
JOHN RINGLING NORTH II
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey
Combined Shows Inc.
IN WHISPERS ONLY
The wendigo (SI, July 11) may be "an Indian version of the Lorelei" whose "mysterious voice entices happy warriors from their wigwams and leads them deep into the forests in quest of the unknown."
So Algernon Blackwood pictured it in the best fiction yet written about the legend.
But his version (and SI's) bears little resemblance to the wendigo I have heard whispered about around campfires in northern Minnesota, Manitoba and Ontario—by men who profess to know the creature.
Would any SI reader in those parts care to comment?
Pound Ridge, N.Y.
•The wendigo legend has many forms. To Algernon Blackwood, writer of weird tales of the supernatural, the wendigo was a woodland voice calling men to adventure and death. But the Indians of Manitoba describe wendigos as huge, ugly, baby-eating women with enormous feet for walking easily on snow. The Algonquin Indians of Ontario believe the wendigo is a lost hunter who, having turned cannibal to keep from starving, becomes an evil spirit and an enemy of men. And there is the anthropology professor in Minnesota who used to tell his students that he was once caught in a wendigo's cannibal clutches but managed to escape. Others have made similar claims, but they are never backed by witnesses because wendigos show themselves only to people alone in the woods. SI welcomes additional wendigo tales from its readers.—ED.
I never thought the day would come when I would write a letter to the "Readers Take Over" section, but I have to comment on your article about Blaise D'Antoni (SI, June 27). It was really funny. He doesn't care about money! He loves the poor. Well, I'm a poor bum. Tell the big boy to shoot me up a couple of grand and maybe I can be generous too. What a colossus! What a giant! Phooey!!!
P.S. I only signed my initials because anybody that admires Frankie Carbo scares even me.
THANKS FROM THE MOOSE FRATERNITY
The Loyal Order of Moose takes great pleasure in presenting this Distinguished Service Citation plaque to SI for its outstanding service, not only to this fraternity, but to all other organizations and services which rely on the great publications of our nation to inform the general public of their aims and purposes.
In this small way the Moose fraternity expresses its thanks to the staff and management of SI for opening its columns to our story of aid and assistance to children who have lost one or both parents, to the dependent aged and to unfortunate and needy children everywhere (The Mighty Orphans, SI, Nov. 22).
In sending this plaque to your magazine, the writer extends the best wishes of all of the Moose Supreme Lodge officers and nearly 1¼ million members of the fraternity and its auxiliary.
In 1952 and part of 1953, I was a crew member of the schooner Landfall II owned by Dr. W. F. Holcomb of Oakland, California. Skipper Holcomb and his wife Marilyn, along with two crew members, sailed from San Francisco Bay in 1953 for a leisurely round-the-world cruise.
So far, Mrs. Holcomb has sent back about 65 typewritten pages relating their adventures. After reading your very interesting article Windjamming Round the World (SI, July 4), I recall seeing the name Yankee in the Landfall's log. This comes from the log covering the Holcomb's voyage from Floreana Island in the Galapagos.
"Mr. Irving Johnson of the Yankee has called into Pitcairn several times on his world cruises and the people are most grateful to him for his generosity and kindness. He has taken them to Henderson Island on a couple of occasions so that they might put in a wood supply and has won their affection and admiration."
The log also goes on to say:
"On his [Johnson's] last visit to Pitcairn a few months before our arrival, we were told that the seas were exceedingly rough and that the Yankee could not anchor, but had to keep sailing up and down in front of the pass, which it did for almost a week. It seems that they had been forewarned by the islanders that it was not advisable to return to their ship one evening, but Mr. Johnson said he wanted to return anyway. They loaded up the long boats with cameras, foodstuffs, laundry, etc., and had not gone more than 50 yards from shore when a huge wave came in and swamped the boat. They, of course, had to return to shore for the night and make another attempt at leaving the following day which proved successful."
HOWARD L. SIMON
Mill Valley, Calif.