FAT AND FEARED OPERATOR
The article on Babe McCoy of the Los Angeles Olympic Auditorium (SI, April 2) was appreciated. This fat oaf has been getting away with murder in southern California for many years. He has been a power and a feared individual in professional boxing for the past 10 years....
I always said that the second Jimmy Carter-Lauro Salas fight was a McCoy-inspired fake fight, and revelations of California Governor Knight's great investigating committee make me think I may be right....
Committee Chairman James Cox has done a wonderful job of bringing to view the rats, the wolves, the predators and the preyed-upon in professional boxing. It also shows up an inept, useless state athletic commission which can't do the work it is supposed to do. In face of the fake fights McCoy has been accused of maneuvering into the country's boxing rings, we wonder if the California State Athletic Commission will let McCoy operate further in California?
El Paso, Texas
Congratulations to SI on the excellent and constructive effort to clean up the smelly mess in California boxing.
April 16, 1956
All fair-minded, sports-loving people are with you in this crusade and hope that you will continue the good work. The boxing commission should be forced to appoint fair and competent officials and to drive out hoodlum managers and promoters.
JOHN E. SAUSSER
REALITY IN SAN FRANCISCO
Stupefaction is the word that best describes the feelings of most fans out here on learning that Hal Lear of Temple had been voted by the sports writers as the most valuable player in the NCAA basketball tournament (SI, April 2).
I have no wish to detract from Lear's feat of scoring 48 points in his team's final game, but it is only realistic to note that it was accomplished in a consolation match under comparatively little pressure and had the effect merely of assisting Temple to gain third-place ranking in the tournament.
So this was valuable? To whom? To what? Again without decrying Lear, who was obviously under orders to take more than his usual share of shots, it seems to me that an award based solely on an individual's achievement, without regard to the degree to which it may have advanced his team's fortunes, is an endorsement of "showboat playing" and an invitation to more diligent grandstanding in the future.
Our local pride in the USF basketball team is due not only to its record victory string, but also to the manner in which it was accomplished. Despite the presence on the squad of two All-Americas, K. C. Jones and Bill Russell, each game was played as a team enterprise, and each member willingly subordinated himself at all times to the team effort....
WHERE WOULD THEY BE WITHOUT HIM?
You implied that Hal Lear won the MVP honor only on the basis of a 48-point performance against Southern Methodist. I'm sure that if you look at the records, you will see that he really did deserve it. He earned 26 points against Holy Cross, 40 against Connecticut, 14 against Canisius, and won the game for Temple by sinking two free throws in the last five seconds. He also scored 32 against Iowa in a losing game.
•The games against Holy Cross, Connecticut and Canisius were in earlier rounds of the NCAA playoffs, and only performances in the finals at Evanston, Ill., March 22-23, counted toward the MVP award made at that time.—ED.
DO ME A FAVOR
Just a word of thanks to SI and to Writer Roy Terrell for the fine basketball articles and pictures you gave us during the past season.
Speaking for the West Coast basketball fans, would you please do us one favor? Don't ever again use the Associated Press writers' poll as a basis for judging teams. Their results just don't seem to qualify them as unprejudiced experts.
At the end of the regular playing season USF had a two-year record of 51 straight wins, including four tournaments. Coaches and experts claimed they were the best college team in basketball history. To show how ridiculous the AP poll is, although they managed to come up with USF on top, there were exactly one half (66) of the voters who thought some other team was the best in the nation. Two experts voted for Kentucky Wesleyan as No. 1 throughout most of the season, another had USF 10th, and we know of another who didn't even have them in the first 10 during the last month of the season....
Don't spoil your basketball department by using this poll. Let your own experts, such as Roy Terrell, handle it....
C. A. JOHNSON
•The Associated Press compiles its weekly poll of the top 10 basketball teams from ballots submitted by over 200 sportswriters, most of whom have a first-hand knowledge only of their local teams. SI, a member of AP, published the poll to give readers an opportunity to learn the opinions of sports-writers throughout the country. However, in defense of the AP poll, it should be noted that the extent of USF's greatness was not truly tested until they romped through the NCAA tournament with as little effort as through their regular, and not overly taxing, schedule.—ED.
AL WIGGINS' FEET
SI has gotten to be a favorite on my corridor of the dorm at Ohio Wesleyan. I'm a swimmer but enjoy everything in SI. I am puzzled about the pictures of Al Wiggins (SI, April 2). Is he using an illegal kick or have the rules been changed? Frames two and three appear to show Al using a flutter kick as part of his stroke. Does he?
•SI's pictures are not a sequence strip of the full breaststroke, but individual underwater studies of each component of the breaststroke. In the pictures questioned by Miss Arnold and other readers, Al Wiggins' legs are hanging free as he demonstrates the arm movements.—ED.
CABO BLANCO MARLIN
I was very interested in your article on Cabo Blanco (SI, March 19). Last May when I was there I took the enclosed picture of this 1,230-pound black marlin, caught by my cousin, Mrs. David Bartlett.
REGINALD BOARDMAN JR.
Palm Beach, Fla.
THE HELD JAVELIN
In SI June 6, Herman Hickman mentioned in his track column the Held javelin. He said at that time there were only a few being marketed. Do you know if there are now more of these available and, if so, where I could obtain one?
MRS. CLARE HOMAN
•Bud Held, formerly a Stanford track star and now an ordained Presbyterian minister, has covered a lot of ground with his revolutionary javelin since SI first described it 10 months ago. About 18 Held javelins are produced each day by brother Richard's Lakeside Supply Company at El Cajon, Calif. It is now supplied by meet committees to all competitors in AAU championships, and two world records have been set with it. And last week in London the International Amateur Athletic Federation approved the stubby, blunt-tipped javelin for use in the Summer Olympics, although the final decision is up to Australian meet officials.—ED.
"PENNY-A-DAY" FOR MELBOURNE
Enclosed is a check for $258.75 which we hope you will forward to the U.S. Olympic Committee. This money is the result of a nine-day "Penny-A-Day" campaign organized and run by the student government of Massapequa High School.
The idea was fostered by SI's coverage of the Winter Olympics and the articles concerning the coming Olympic Games in Australia. Many of our 2,500 students are fans of SI, and therefore eagerly contributed their "Penny-A-Day."
The students of our school, having proved their interest in a worthy cause, renew our faith in the youth of America.
Massapequa High School
•Our thanks to the students of Massapequa High School, and thanks also to the following, whose cash contributions have been forwarded to the U.S. Olympic Fund: Louis Orlopp, Orosi, Calif.; Joseph Skinner, New Orleans; Robert Winters, Wichita, Kans.; L. S. Calvert, Wilmington, Ohio; James Davis, Springfield, Pa.; Amvets, Turner Roehm Post No. 4, Mt. Vernon, Ill.; Donald Ackerman, White Plains, N.Y.; William Conway, Wellsville, N.Y.; Jerome Underwood, Fort Carson, Colo.; Francis Wilson, San Francisco; Audrey Magee, Trenton, N.J.; Dick Butzen, Fond Du Lac, Wise; P. E. Smithback, Lackland AFB; Margaret Locke, Montevallo, Ala.; John O'Neill, Tucson; Barbara Gruner, Allentown, Pa.; H. Seeley Funk, Delmar, N.Y.; William E. Mullen, Djakarta, Indonesia; L. W. Flynn, Medicine Hat, Alta.; Mrs. Robert Harris, Klamath Falls, Ore.; Mrs. Richard Bowler, San Luis Obispo, Calif.; Dr. Jason Boe, Reedsport, Ore.; Robert Witt, New York; Jerry Judge, Port Hueneme, Calif.; Mrs. Frederic Gustafson, Hampton, Va.; Arthur Johnson, Westchester, Ill.; Greg Brown, Studio City, Calif.; Larry Cooper, Waukesha, Wise.; George Phillips, Cleveland; A. C. Blaine, Portland, Ore.—ED.
OLD MAN HUDSON
I have just read your article on Bermuda College Week (SI, March 26), in which you refer to the Chauncey M. DePew as an old Mississippi River steamboat. How could your editorial staff make such a blunder? I'm sure that Mark Twain must have turned over in his grave. The Mississippi River steamboat was a shoal draft paddle-wheel boat, whereas the Chauncey M. DePew is a deep draft propeller steamboat suitable for coastwise service where rough water is often encountered.
Actually the Chauncey M. DePew was built in Bath, Me. in 1913 and named Rangeley. She was built for the Maine Central Railroad to carry summer visitors from their railroad terminal at Mt. Desert Ferry on the Maine coast to Bar Harbor and other way stations on Mt. Desert Island. As this traffic decreased by reason of the automobile and improved highways, the Rangeley was sold in the mid '20s to the Hudson River Day Line, her name being changed at that time to Chauncey M. DePew. After many years of operation on the Hudson River, and after being taken over by the U.S. Government during the war, she finally found her way to her present passenger excursion service at Bermuda.
In spite of your erroneous description of her, I enjoyed seeing the excellent picture of the Chauncey M. DePew as she appears at the present time, even though she is not as beautiful as in her early days when her forward deck was closed in up to the level of the second deck and her hull and superstructure were painted a glistening white.
JOHN I. DAVIDSON
Royal Oak, Mich.
•Mr. Davidson, a member of the Steamship Historical Society of America, is correct and so are the half-dozen nostalgic passengers who wrote SI.-ED.
KNOWLEDGE AND TALENT
Thank you for the excellent article about the Sebring sports car race. All enthusiasts enjoy reading a factual report that displays not only writing talent but also a knowledge of sports cars.
JOE GILLESPIE JR.
Is there any significance attached to the No. 4? I noticed that there was no entry with either that number or 13 on the official entry list for the Sebring Race (SI, March 26).
Loma Linda, Calif.
•Starting positions are assigned on the basis of engine displacement, the big cars starting in front. The three Class C Corvettes were given positions 4, 5 and 6. John Fitch, the Corvette team captain, decided to replace one of the Class C entries with an over-5-liter Corvette which became eligible for Class B and drew the first position, leaving the No. 4 slot open.—ED.
OF MEN AND MACHINES
SI'S NEGATIVE OPINION OF THE VALUE OP THE SEBRING COURSE AS A TESTING GROUND FOR DRIVERS' SKILL IS IN COMPLETE VARIANCE WITH OPINION OF MAJORITY OF DRIVERS. FANGIO, CASTELLOTTI, TARUFFI, STIRLING MOSS, PARNELL, PETER COLLINS, JEAN BEHRA, HARRY SCHELL, CUNNINGHAM, FITCH, O'SHEA AND OTHERS, WHEN ASKED IF THEY WANTED COURSE STREAMLINED AND SIMPLIFIED, UNANIMOUSLY INSISTED THAT NO ALTERATIONS BE MADE OTHER THAN NORMAL SURFACE IMPROVEMENTS TO ROAD PORTION OF CIRCUIT. ALL AGREED THAT THIS SPORTY COURSE IS A REAL CHALLENGE TO THE ABILITY OF MAN AND MACHINE.
CLERK OF COURSE
R. S. SMITH
•Drivers and works racing directors questioned by SI over the past two years agree that Sebring is a real challenge to man and machine, but because of its flat, short and multicurved design is a lesser test of pure driving skill than many European courses.—ED.