SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR: THE PATIENT CHAMP
If SI's Sportsman of the Year is to be judged on courage, skill and sincerity, then please let me nominate Carmen Basilio, world's welterweight champion. He has exhibited all of these qualities in his patient waiting for a crack at the champ, and then by whipping him decisively in their first bout here in Syracuse. Only three days ago he proved his greatness by knocking out DeMarco again, after taking the best blows Tony could dish out.
OTTO THE GREAT
In my estimation Otto Graham should be '55's Sportsman of the Year. Graham, the great Cleveland Brown quarterback, came out of retirement from a profitable business when the Browns' hopes looked dim. And as usual, he led the Browns to the championship. Without doubt Otto the Great deserves it.
NO ONE BUT...
In my mind there can be but one choice for SI's Sportsman of the Year. That is Ohio State's outstanding All-America, Howard (Hopalong) Cassady.
ROGER LAUREN LUNDBLAD
THAT RELAXED AMATEUR
To me a sportsman is by definition not a man who gains his livelihood from sport. Sportsman and amateur are synonymous to most of us, which is one reason we applauded your choice of Roger Bannister last year. Let me nominate (it appears to be a reader's privilege) my own sportsman: Billy Joe Patton, the wonderful amateur golfer. True enough, Billy Joe did not set the course on fire this year, but just watching the man at play and reading about his relaxed attitude has meant more to me than all the sawdust heroics of the pros.
December 26, 1955
If Marciano isn't going to be SI's Sportsman of the Year, you deserve to be put in the ring against him.
Congratulations on your Grey Cup pictures (SI, Dec. 5). To a transplanted Scot in this lusty Canada it was heartwarming to see its major sporting event receive some southern recognition.
On Saturday, November 26, two great football games were played in North America. One was the Army-Navy classic and the other was the Grey Cup game. Your magazine gave a wonderful coverage of the former but all that was to be seen of the latter were some pictures of the various curvaceous cuties and colorful characters that viewed the cup (WONDERFUL WORLD, Dec. 5).
Your subscribers might like to know just where such American greats as Tom Dublinsky, J. C. Caroline, John Bright or Bill Albright are playing now. They might like to know of Sam Etcheverry who completed 30 out of 39 passes in the Grey Cup series to set a new record.
Yes, football has become a great game in Canada and we feel we were slighted when there was no write-up in your magazine.
MASTER SERGEANT B. HARRISON
The writer assumes that SI has wide circulation in Canada and under the circumstances it was logical to anticipate a good description of the annual Grey Cup football game which is Canada's greatest sports event.
Unless the eyesight of the writer is badly impaired he observed no mention of the game nor any description of it except by a double page spread of the Mardi gras surrounding the event.
The Grey Cup might well be regarded as the greatest and most dominating influence in Canadian unity, knitting the East and the West through "playing the game."
Canada is still talking Grey Cup and it is not too late, even at this hour, for SI to make amends.
•"The Grey Cup," a cynic once said, "was donated by an Englishman and is played for by Americans." But this year Canadians proved as never before that the squat, 46-year-old chunk of silverware, the symbol of Canadian pro football supremacy, has become the focus for one of the most exuberant, boisterous and exciting football weekends on the North American continent.
This year's game was played in Vancouver, the first time in Grey Cup history that a city west of Ontario was chosen. After 36 hours of memorable high jinks, over 39,000 spectators, the largest sporting crowd in Canada's history, jammed Vancouver's Empire Stadium to watch Montreal's Alouettes, the champions of the East, square off against Edmonton's Eskimos, the western champions.
What they saw was a north-of-the border image of the Army-Navy game: a great backfield sparking a controlled ground attack that was finally able to overwhelm a famous passing team. The first half was close. First touchdown went to Edmonton when Jackie Parker, the Eskimos' shuffle-footed quarterback and No. 1 asset, passed 25 yards to Halfback Earl Lindley on the Edmonton 50. From there the Eskies moved steadily on the ground and in 11 plays sent Normie Kwong over from the one-yard line. Montreal, relying mainly on the superb passing of Sam (The Rifle) Etcheverry and the receiving of Red O'Quinn and Joey Pal, quickly moved to the Edmonton one-yard line. Pat Abbruzzi, Canada's most valuable player for '55, went over to even touchdowns. Then, with only a minute's play remaining in the first quarter, Montreal's Jim Miller recovered an Edmonton fumble and Etcheverry once more passed for 39 yards to Patterson, who went into the end zone with Montreal's second touchdown.
It was not until the second quarter that the Eskimo backfield, the most versatile Canada has seen in many a year, came into its own. Relying on solid ground plays punctuated by Jackie Parker's short, strategic passes, Normie Kwong, Bob Heydenfeldt and Johnny Bright twisted and plunged their way through the Montreal line again and again. The most spectacular play came when Bright raced Parker's reverse hand-off 42 yards for a touchdown. Minutes later both teams scored again as Quarterbacks Parker and Etcheverry found their receivers with 15-yard passes. At half time Montreal led Edmonton by the slimmest of margins: the single point gained by Korchak's wide field goal in the first four minutes of the game.
Parker and his Eskimos were in full command of the field during the second half. The pass combination of Sam Etcheverry to Patterson never really got going again and when Eskimo End Bob Heydenfeldt broke up the last great Montreal attack by intercepting a long Etcheverry pass on his own 35-yard line, Montreal's spirits seemed to break. With the final score 34-19 in favor of Edmonton, a great quarterback who managed to complete 30 out of 39 passes for 508 yards was beaten by a team that drove 440 yards on the ground. Football conservatives who maintained that a controlled ground attack is the only offensive system had witnessed a classic.
Edmonton Eskimos—Ends Prank Anderson, Oklahoma; Rupe Andrews, Stanford; Fullback Johnny Bright, Drake; Center Kurt Burris, Oklahoma; Tackle Bob Dean, Maryland; Quarter (second string) Don Getty, U. of Western Ontario; Tackle and Guard Don Glantz, Nebraska U.; End Bob Heydenfeldt, UCLA; Fullback Bob Kimoff, U. of Toronto; Halfs Normie Kwong; Earl Lindley, Utah Aggies; Tackle Dale Meinert, Oklahoma; Half Rollie Miles, St. Augustine's, N.C.; Quarter Jackie Parker, Mississippi State; Guard Walker, Michigan; Quarter Ray Willsey, U. of Calif.
Montreal Alouettes—Fullback Pat Abbruzzi, Rhode Island State; Halfs Jacques Belec, U. of Western Ontario; Bill Bewley, U. of Toronto; J. C. Caroline, U. of Illinois; Quarter Bruce Coulter, U. of Toronto; Tackle Tex Coulter, U.S. Military Academy; Half Sam Darragh, McMaster U. (Hamilton, Ont.); Quarter Sam Etcheverry, Denver U.; Guard Jerry Hogan, McGill; Center Tom Hugo, Denver U.; Half George Klein, McGill; Flying Wings Joey Pal; Bud Korchak; Guard Mike Kovac, U. of Western Ontario; Center Bob MacLellan, McGill; Tackle Al Makowiecki, Florida St. U.; Ends Doug McNichol, U. of Western Ontario; Jim Miller, McGill; Red O'Quinn, Wake Forest; Hal Patterson, Kansas U.; Tackle Jim Staton, Wake Forest; Half Alex Sulyok, McGill; Guard Herb Trawick, Ohio State U.; Half Johnny Williams, UCLA; Quarter Joe Zaleski, Dayton U.—ED.
Now is the time for all good sports to come to the aid of the party—the Olympic party—and here's a buck toward getting 'em over there—or is it down there?
Anyway, put me on the roster of the Happy Knoll group of noncombatants and send along proof so I can use it as a credit card with the bartender.
W. D. ASKIN
•Others who have made this a merry Christmas week for Happy Knoll's Olympic Fund are: Peter Van de Water, Upper Darby, Pa.; F.M.I. Hjertberg, Falls Church, Va.; Barbara Enderlin, Roxbury, N.Y.; Bill Lancaster, Chula Vista, Calif.; Michael Kelly, Bronx, N.Y.; Mr. and Mrs. John Widmyer, Lancaster, Pa.; Gerald Marlatt, Chicago; Ralph Brit-ton, Jacksonville, Fla.; Kenneth Nelson, Wills Point, Texas; J. R. Cunningham, Redlands, Calif.; J. H. Fultz, Moses Lake, Wash.; T. H. Garrison, Tampa; James Spencer, Montreal; Henry Caldwell, Rockford, Ill.; H. Magoon, Buffalo, N.Y.; Harold Carlo, Batavia, N.Y.; Bernard Peyton, New York.—ED.
I cannot understand why Traffic Judge was rated above Saratoga in the poll for the best 3-year-old colt (SI, Dec. 5)....
Traffic Judge has been able to overpower the rest of the meager competition in the 3-year-old division only since Saratoga was eliminated from competition as a result of an accident. In their only two encounters Saratoga was undoubtedly the better. While forcing Nashua to set a track record in the Preakness, Saratoga soundly beat Traffic Judge by seven lengths, and in the Choice Stakes at Monmouth, Saratoga, conceding four pounds, scored a decisive victory over Traffic Judge. The latter's current rating, in my opinion, is due to a lucky break only.
DAVID J. CALLARD
•Perhaps what swayed expert opinion in favor of Traffic Judge were his outstanding performances in the Arlington Classic, where the 3-year-old colt finished only one-half length behind Nashua, and in the American Derby where Swaps beat him by a length. Both races were run after the Preakness.—ED.
EVEN A GREAT HEART MUST EAT
The University of Eighth Avenue by A. J. Liebling is great! What interested me especially was the writer's paragraph about our own Boston Tar Baby, Sam Langford.
When Sam was in training at the Red Hill Inn at North Reading, Mass. for a Boston bout with Gunboat Smith, Harry Gath and I went to see him. At some previous time Harry had been connected-with Sam either in a managerial or business way, and they had not seen each other for some years. Mr. Liebling can appreciate the tearful bear hug Harry received from this great heart. There is one thing I will never forget. On leaving, Harry said, "Sam, I'll be placing a little bet on this fight." Grinning broadly, Sam replied, "Not this time, Harry. Next time."
Sam Langford could have beaten any one he wanted to. Jack Johnson knew that Sam beat him and of course never fought him again. "Old Great Heart" could flatten Stan Ketchell in the first part of Round 1 but Sam had to eat, and to eat he followed the rules now used in wrestling, and if you will excuse me, I suspect in the boxing game.
HAROLD D. MAGOON
FRAMMIS FOR NEW YEAR'S
Once this thing bites you, it's pretty hard to get off the hook. In all due respect to Mr. H. L. Chace, who seems to be leading the pack, I have composed, in a manner which I believe befits the season, a little verse of my own:
Shot alder quaint aunts beef or gut,
An new fur broader mine.
Shot alder quaint aunts beef or gut,
An daze off fold hang sign.
JAMES M. FULCOMER
Upper Montclair, N.J.
FRAMMIS IN THE NURSERY
For what it's worth:
Marietta ladle em
His freezes wide us know
Endeavor war damn airy vent
Deal em assured echo.
Miry Grits Mass under
Hep Pie Knew Your.
WILLIAM C. WALLACE
•For more yule tidings in frammis, see page 8.—ED
PER ARDUA AD ASTRA?
Perhaps you have had enough and would like to cry halt to letters regarding the recent article (SI, Nov. 21) Charlie and the Boys.
I know of no racing class of sail boats from Sailfish up to Twelve-Meters that does not or has not fulfilled a proper purpose in the sport of yachting. Far be it from me to decry any class because I am sure they all have topnotch skippers, good sportsmen and ardent followers, each of whom no doubt thinks his class is the best in the world or the best for his particular circumstances or locality.
However, I was particularly struck with the last paragraph of Garry Hoyt's letter in your recent issue. He said: "Thus, success in the Star class has only limited validity as an index of sailing skill...Should Champion de Cardenas care to discover where he really stands he might try some races without the high-priced help of Kurush V. My suggestion would be that he step from the Stars down to earth and some peasant dinghies where the emphasis is on the sailors and the boats are all the same."
Having read this statement over the weekend I noted with some interest in Monday morning's New York Times the heading "O'GORMAN SCORES IN DINGHY REGATTA AT LARCHMONT." The article says: "Pat O'Gorman—a Star class stalwart during warm weather—gained a 5-point victory sailing Pamela assisted by his wife Alice..." There were 36 entries, and I looked over the summaries and noted the following: Pat O'Gorman, the winner, was 2nd in the Star North American championship this year and he won the spring championship a couple of years back. Alice, his crew in the Stars as well as dinghies, is Fleet Secretary of the Central Long Island Sound Star Fleet. Other current or former Star skippers in the Larchmont summary are: Arthur Knapp, who took 4th, formerly Star world's champion; Corny Shields and Howard McMichael, both well known in the Star class; Brud Farrand, current Atlantic Coast Star champion and Howard Walden Jr., winner of the Captain's Island Star Race last year and member of the Star judiciary board.
A bit of Olympic history in the dinghies shows that Star skippers have stepped most successfully "down from the Stars to earth" as Mr. Hoyt suggests they do....
Charlie de Cardenas has had vast experience all over the world and is no newcomer to the sport. Twenty-five years ago when he started racing Stars he was also racing Six-Meters. It has taken a quarter of a century of hard plugging for him to reach the top in the Star class. He therefore knows how tough it is and might easily be pardoned for holding a private opinion that nothing else can match it for tough going.
Star sailors verily do come down from the Stars to earth. Some people might consider they also go up (which of course no Star sailor would concede). Witness Arthur Knapp, International One-Design class champion for years as well as dinghy champion at Larchmont Yacht Club—Woody Pirie, former Star class world's champion, famous for cleaning up the southern circuit of ocean racing with Hoot Mon, assisted by Star crews such as Charlie Ulmer—Luis Vida√±a, Star skipper in Havana and prominent ocean racer—Harry Nye, former world's champion in the Star class, many times winner of the Chicago Mackinac Race and now just elected Commodore of the Star class—ad infinitum.
PAUL H. SMART
Class Yacht Racing Assn.
I would like to take issue with Messrs. Garry Hoyt, Dexter Thede and John Rose who presumably feel the strength of the Snipe class sailor's superiority is by virtue of their numbers and lower investment per boat (19TH HOLE, Dec. 12). However, size of class is not necessarily indicative of the quality of the skippers. The only positive way to prove relative superiority is by comparison of skippers sailing in similar boats. That is why we have the Mallory Cup Series for the North American sailing championship which you covered very well (SI, Sept. 19). This series is open to sailors in every class of sailboat in the U.S. Entries must work up through a fair series of regional eliminations so that no one class of sailors is favored. Oddly enough, out of the 10,000 Snipe sailors none have shown up well in the finals. The present champion of the Mallory Cup happens to be 20-year-old Bill Buchan Jr. of Seattle who could place no higher than 15th in the Star class North American championship at Rock-port, Mass. in 1954. Incidentally, Buchan and his father built their own Star boat which probably cost them about $1,500 with sails and not $4,000.
It may be of interest to note that in the Star class world championship in Havana, Cuba this year there were three ex-Comet class national champions who had each won this title at least two times and as many as four times. The Comet class numbers more boats than the Star class and is much younger. Howard Lippincott, four-time Comet title holder, was only able to place 10th while the other two Comet sailors placed 16th and 35th in a fleet of 37 boats.
These facts should help to prove that the Star sailors have plenty of competition to offer in their class. The Star class is also one of the few classes of sailboats which will race in the Olympics in Australia next year.
JOHN K. TODD
WHAT A MEET!
In SI, Dec. 12, you brought forth the challenge of the Monza, Italy racing director, to the Indianapolis racing fraternity.
I am very much interested in seeing this challenge become a reality. What a race this would be! It also would tend to settle the arguments as to the superiority of either the American or European racing cars.
However, in my estimation, Indianapolis would come out second best, even with their 275-cubic-inch engines compared to the 152.5-cubic-inch unblown, engine limit in force for Formula I, Grand Prix cars, under FIA ruling. And if Mercedes-Benz would re-enter racing for this one, what a meet. Fangio, Moss, Trintignant, Hawthorn, Gonzales, Taruff, Behra, et al. on such cars as Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, Lancia and Maserati against the best drivers of America on the best that Meyer and Drake can put into a Kurtis-Kraft chassis.
Please keep me and the many other readers of SI, who are racing fans, advised on the outcome of this very interesting challenge.
JONATHAN L. JOHNSON JR.
Master Sergeant, U.S. Army
INVITATION TO THE WOODS
When I read your Dec. 5 issue I had just returned from a week and a half in the Michigan north woods where I had been deer hunting. I was getting the usual enjoyment from the 19TH HOLE until I read a letter from Mr. D. L. Stofle of Palo Alto, California. When he made the statement that no reasonable man can argue that hunting is a sport I started a slow burn. Particularly when he referred to deer hunting.
Let us look at the deer hunter and the deer. On one hand we have the hunter, who, at most, gets two weeks of hunting every year. He is completely out of his natural element in the heavy woods, thick swamps, hills and mountains. His only previous training is his hunting trips of the years past. He has only his own initiative, stamina, quick thinking and sense of sight to rely on. I am assuming that he is a real hunter who tries to match wits and skills with the deer by tracking and stalking, not by sitting in a blind or letting other hunters drive the deer to him.
On the other hand we have the deer. A truly intelligent, wild and cautious animal with keen senses of sight, sound and smell. He is in his natural element. He has the ability to move quickly and quietly or to stand perfectly still and unnoticed. He can travel miles and never be out of familiar surroundings or he can travel in circles so small it soon becomes a question of who is following whom.
If, Mr. Stofle, you are still not convinced that hunting, especially deer hunting, is a real sport then you have an open invitation to visit Michigan next November and match wits, experience and skills with a wily Michigan white-tail buck. I'll even buy your license for you.