My congratulations to SI and to your Herbert Warren Wind for his superb serieson Bob Cousy. Mr. Wind's golf coverage, particularly his lengthy account of theMasters tournament last spring, was the best I have ever read anywhere. I waspleasantly surprised to find him a basketball expert, too, writing with as muchknowledge and insight on basketball as he does on golf. His job on Cousy,indeed, was also a history of the evolution of basketball, and I thought waswritten with unusual care. As to Cousy, he is to basketball what Babe Ruth,Feller, DiMaggio and Williams have been to baseball. Surprisingly, too manysportswriters still regard basketball as a minor sport, and Cousy is not nearlyas well known (particularly here in the Midwest and in Chicago where we arewithout a professional team) as he deserves to be.
•Although HerbWind is best known for his golf reporting, he has been writing on sports ingeneral for the past 20-odd years. Herb grew up in Brockton, Massachusetts, abasketball hotbed where high school teams are famous for their records andbackyard courts as ubiquitous as in Indiana. He was a member of the '35 and '36Yale teams and has played the game in such unlikely places as South America andChina.—ED.
I have just finished your article on Bob Cousy and must say this story isexceptional even for your high standards. I had never realized what a wonderfulman Bob is, on and off the court.
I think SI isgrowing better every issue.
January 30, 1956
WHERE WAS THE29TH?
I have just finished the second of your articles on the number two basketballplayer in the game today.
There are 28great names mentioned, including the "Original Celtics," but I have yetto run across the name of the greatest of them all, Tom Gola.
I hope that Mr.Wind realizes that in five seasons the Celtics have had mediocre seasons led byBob Cousy, and in just one half of a season Tom Gola is leading his team to achampionship.
•It was not SI'sintention to mention in the Cousy articles every player, coach and official whohas contributed to the growth and development of basketball. Many more, ofcourse, would necessarily be included in any truly comprehensive study; to namejust one: Frank Keany, the coach of Rhode Island State and the chief offire-engine basketball. SI may even have failed to elaborate on thecontributions of some mentioned in the articles. For instance, the imaginativestyle of basketball played by Cousy and his teammates at Holy Cross wastestimony to Coach Doggie Julian's ability to recognize that his talented squadwould be far better off if not chained to restricting formal, patterns. Julian,to be sure, is a progressive coach and deserves considerable credit forrecognizing Cousy's great instinctive abilities and aiding theirdevelopment.—ED.
A PROPOSAL AND ATHOUGHT
Here is a rather unorthodox suggestion for overcoming the excess height problemin basketball. How about placing a restriction on the total number of inches ofplayers any team could have in a game at one time. Thus, if it were agreed uponthat the average height of players should not exceed 6 feet 3 inches (75inches), then a team would be permitted five times this figure, or 375 totalinches of players at one time. Then if a team such as Kansas with WiltChamberlain (7 feet 2 inches) wished to play its giant, it would have to limitthe height of the other players in the game to allow for the larger man. InChamberlain's case, he being 86 inches tall, his teammates would be left with289 inches to divide among themselves (an average of a little over 6 feet perman). This would actually not be difficult to administer. I might add that itis just as unfair to ask a 6-foot 5-inch man to contend with a seven-footer asit is to ask a light-weight to box a heavyweight.
In Jan. 16 19THHOLE, Allison Cook, of Tallahassee, Florida, decries SI's integration ofsociology with sports. It would seem to me that the two are interwoven inessence. Is not the intermingling of the French and English speaking people atthe Montreal Forum on Saturday nights just as much a part of the glamour of LesCanadiens as is the play of Richard & Co.? Can the same not be said aboutthe spectacle of seeing an entire town turning out to watch the local highschool team do battle? Wouldn't Montreal hockey and high school basketball bemuch less appealing to real sporting fans if the sociology were not there to goalong with the sport?
•We agree on thelatter point about sociology, but the 375 inches to a side in basketball issomething else again. When we half close our eyes we see a team with four menone foot tall, led by a captain over 27 feet tall in his stocking feet.—ED.
In your article on Hobey Baker (YESTERDAY, Jan. 16) you state that the St.Nicks won the Ross Cup. This is not in accordance with the facts. The articleyou quote from the Montreal Press appeared the day after the first game of theseries, played in Montreal, which was won by the St. Nicks 6 to 2. In this gameBaker gave the finest performance of his spectacular career. The next twogames, played in the much smaller St. Nicholas Rink, resulted in a 2 to 2 tieand a 2 to 1 victory for Montreal. In both these games the Stars did everythingto Baker but shoot him. According to the rules a tie was counted as a victoryfor the defenders. The Ross Cup stayed in Canada.
If it will easeyour conscience I might add that the tie game really was won by the St. Nicks.In the closing minutes Baker caged the puck for what was apparently the winninggoal. However, the goal umpire at that end of the rink, a Montreal man by theway, had his head conveniently turned the other way. By the time he decided tosee what was going on, the puck was out of the cage and the goal was notawarded.
ROBERT W. WOOD JR.
•Correct. SI isgrateful to be let off so lightly by Mr. Wood, a friend of Hobey Baker and adevoted student of amateur hockey.—ED.
It was my good fortune to have seen many games played between Princeton andHarvard during those years Hobey Baker was at Princeton, and my brother Bub (H'15) was on the ice against him. The finest thing I remember Bub's saying ofHobey was that he had never been in the penalty box and was, in his mind, thecleanest player who ever graced the ice.
Another thing Ishall always remember is the Boston Arena filled to overflowing for a H-P game,and the Princeton team, led by Hobey Baker, skating out on the ice. The entirearena stood on its feet and gave its finest ovation to the greatest of themall.
Nor should weforget Lev Saltonstall (now Senator), who won a H-P game with a goal after thelongest sudden-death playoff on record, Pete Sortwell and Harry Gardiner, whodid so much for the game as coached by Ralph Winsor (H '01).
Thank you forbringing back to our memories that very fine and true sportsman, HobeyBaker.
ROGER S. PHILLIPS
West Falmouth, Mass.
•SenatorSaltonstall's moment of athletic glory was recalled by several readers inletters to SI. One of them, an eyewitness to that game on January 24, 1914,offers the following vivid reconstruction: Harvard and Princeton were stilltied 1-1 after the 10-minute overtime period and the game went into thesudden-death period. After 20 more minutes of furious play with neither sideable to score, exhaustion overtook the Harvard team, and Hopkins, the Crimson'sbest player, who had been covering Hobey Baker, had to leave the game. Only onesub remained on the Harvard bench: Lev Saltonstall. He was a very poor playerby his own admission and no one knew how he even made the squad. Lev chargedonto the ice and promptly fell down. Harvardman Paul Smart (see 19TH HOLE, Dec.26), who later abandoned hockey for Star boat racing, was charging down the icewith the puck. Saltonstall, too slow to keep up, flopped energetically behind.Smart took the puck down alone and fired a shot from the inside half of thePrinceton side of the ice. It hit the top of the Princeton cover-point's hockeystick, bounced high into the air and almost fell on Lev Saltonstall, stilllumbering over the ice. Lev shoved the puck forward and it somehow got byPrinceton's goal-guard Winants. End of game and end of the Senator's hockeytriumph.—ED.
A NEW INTEREST
The article on the Christmas bird censuses by Tex O'Reilly and accompanyingpaintings by Roger Peterson (SI, Jan. 16) are certainly very fine, and it isnice to know that there is now sufficient interest in bird watching to warrantthe publication of such features. As a matter of fact, I had planned to go onthe Florida census myself but arrived in that state a day too late.
Lamont Curator of Birds
American Museum of Natural History
I was surprised to note that the titmouse or Florida chickadee was omitted fromthe list of birds observed.
These littlebirds are quite common in this area, and some of your readers may be glad toknow that they are easily tamed to feed from the hand. Also, if there is nofood on the feeder for them, they will go from window to window, until theyspot us inside the house and will then cling to the screen until noticed.
I have also seena pair of them alighting on an old tomcat who was sleeping in the crotch of atree, and then plucking hairs from him and carrying them off for use in theirnest.
A GOOD THING
The write-up of the bird count was excellent and the paintings unmatched. It'sgood to see this sort of thing in a sports magazine.
Let's have less caviar of sports like bird watching and more of the plain meatand potatoes.
FRANK E. O'NEIL
•But why notdessert after your meat and potatoes?—ED.
THE CALL OFDUTY
GOVERNOR MCKELDIN DOES HIS DUCK SHOOTING EARLY, 7 TO 9 A.M. HE WAS NOT SHOOTINGWHEN AIDES HELD PRELIMINARY MORNING TALKS WITH MARYLAND ATHLETIC COMMISSION ONPROPOSED TRANSFER OF TV BOXING SHOWS FROM NEW YORK TO BALTIMORE (SI, JAN. 16,1956). HE WAS CONDUCTING OTHER IMPORTANT STATE BUSINESS IN HIS ANNAPOLIS OFFICEAND IN TOUCH BY TELEPHONE WITH HIS BALTIMORE OFFICE WHERE TALKS WERE UNDER WAY.HE TOOK FULL CHARGE OF THE INQUIRY THROUGHOUT THE AFTERNOON AND IN THE EVENINGMADE THE DECISION THAT BARRED THE DISPUTED BOUTS FROM BALTIMORE.
ALBERT W. QUINN
Assistant to the Governor
•A hearty pat onthe back to Governor McKeldin.—ED.
AN INVITATION FORHARVEY
Your January 9 CONVERSATION PIECE: Subject: Harvey Schur has aroused muchaffirmative head-nodding out here in California. Why? First, we're teen-agers,too. Second, we're going off on a summer jaunt similar in spirit. Not to theAfrican plains or jungles but to the coral and clear waters of the CaribbeanSea. Instead of pith helmets we're taking snorkels and spear guns. We're goingafter less dangerous game—fish—but, we think, in a more colorfulenvironment.
We have bandedtogether and are financing a sort of five-week beach trek of 10 Caribbeanislands this July and August: Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Trinidad, Tobago, St.Thomas, St. Croix, Haiti, etc. These names raise our hackles even faster thanthe name Angola raises Harvey's.
We're a group ofhigh school, college prep and college students under competent guidance andtutoring in this area. We still have room for anyone else who has the wide-eyedand breathless enthusiasm that Harvey Schur shows for his bailiwick and we forours. In fact, we have room for Harvey Schur, himself. How about it, Harvey?
THOMAS O. PERIPAT
Santa Barbara, Calif.
•Harvey Schur,roused from a mental trip into the veld, said: "It's a nice invitation, butunfortunately I've got to go to school until June. When that's over, I'm goingback to Africa again. I won't be free for a long time."—ED.
TWO YARDS AND 41YEARS BACK
In the Jan. 2 19TH HOLE you considered a 63-yard field goal kicked in 1923 byMark Payne of Dakota Wesleyan to be a world's record. I believe that theworld's record is held by James T. Haxall of Princeton, who booted a 65-yarderin 1882.
•Mr. Muncie and12 other historians of the game who set SI straight are correct.—ED.
FEET ACROSS THESEA
So far as I know, the world record drop kick, although it was made in anEnglish rugby football game, belongs to Dr. Leonard Stokes (Oxford, Guy'sHospital, England), who drop-kicked a goal from the 80-yard mark playing rugbyfor England in an official International Match in the early 1880s.
I.W. BOARDMAN MILLIGAN
Palm Beach, Fla.
About the lost art of drop kicking, George (Bruin) O'Donnell, playing forBillings, Montana High School in 1918 and 1919, drop-kicked 95 points aftertouchdowns without a miss, and was deadly from any angle and distance up to 40yards.
I got a kick out of the picture of the Adams family (WONDERFUL WORLD, Jan. 9)showing them, not in Quincy, Massachusetts, but of all places, in Los Angeles.They got as far from Massachusetts as they could in the continental U.S.
They areapparently not too unlike most American families who have no particular lovefor their birthplace and would just as leave be in Timbuctoo if there was adollar in it as anywhere else.
•Mr. Gates isconfusing his Adamses. The Quincy, Massachusetts Adamses are the CharlesFrancis Adams family, direct descendants of the sixth President of the U.S.through his son Charles Francis. Until his death in 1954, Charles FrancisAdams, head of the far-flung Adams clan, Secretary of the Navy under Hoover andfirst citizen of New England, lived in dingy and unfashionable Quincy, the homeof his ancestors, often walking the 12 miles to his Boston office. One of theworld's great yachtsmen, Charles Francis Adams skippered the Resolute in thesuccessful 1920 defense of the America's Cup against Sir Thomas Lipton'sShamrock IV. The ancestors of the J.Q. Adams pictured by SI in histrophy-decorated den have not lived in Massachusetts for three generations. Mr.Adams' father, Nelson C. Adams, was born in Wayne, Illinois; his grandfatherlived in St. John, Kansas; his great-grandfather died in Wayne, and hisgreat-great-grandfather was Steven Adams, another son of President John QuincyAdams.—ED.