NOW COMES THE BELMONT
Even this not too discerning reader found the answer to Whitney Tower's question Can Anyone Beat Needles? (SI, May 21). By pointing out that the Preakness is 110 yards shorter than the Derby run and that Needles was trailing Fabius by one length 110 yards from the Derby finish line, Mr. Tower served up a nice, though cautious, bit of touting.
Now comes the Belmont at a mile and a half. It is my confident prediction that this one will go to Needles in the tradition of Twenty Grand and Middleground. All three horses were winning Derby favorites, ran second in the Preakness but made (or will make) the Belmont distance handily.
What does Mr. Tower say?
FREDERICK B. LONIGAN
San Fernando, Calif.
•See SI, June 18.—ED.
June 3, 1956
I was surprised to see by your Triple Crown chart (SI, May 21) that Johnstown, the great '39 Derby winner, failed in the Preakness. I have always believed he ran third. What happened in that race?
H. J. HEIDENREICH
•Johnstown, owned by William Woodward Sr., led the pack to the top of the stretch on a muddy track, then faded badly to come in next to last in a field of six. Challedon was the winner, with Gilded Knight second. Said Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons, who in part judges a horse's greatness by his ability to win over any kind of track: "Johnstown came back tired, so I guess he can't run on a slow track."—ED.
CHANGE FOR THE WORSE
I think it is a pity that W. Smithson Broadhead chose to remove Mr. and Mrs. Woodward from his magnificent canvas of Nashua, Mr. Fitz and Eddie Arcaro (SI, May 28). This seems in keeping with some of the silly talk that Nashua brought "bad luck" to the Woodward family. Mr. Woodward's devotion to and handling of Nashua is a shining chapter in the history of the turf and to me it seems a piece of tasteless banality to treat him in this cavalier fashion.
C. C. WHEAT
CORVETTE AT CUMBERLAND
IN CUMBERLAND SCCA WRITE-UP (SI, MAY 28) I WAS DISAPPOINTED YOU FAILED TO MENTION THE IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCE OF THE 1956 CORVETTE IN THE SEVENTH RACE. TWO CORVETTES PRESSED THE LEADING MERCEDES ENTRIES FOR MOST OF THE RACE ONE ACTUALLY LED THE RACE BRIEFLY. THIS WAS THE EAST COAST DEBUT FOR THIS CAR. THE WINNING POTENTIAL OF THE CAR AGAINST ALL COMERS IN PRODUCTION CLASSES WAS DEMONSTRATED AND WAS ONE OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF CUMBERLAND.
J. KENNETH KNAUS
•The Corvette's winning potential should come as no surprise to SI's readers, who have followed the development and performance of this car from Bring On the Hay Bales (SI, Jan. 16) to Leadfoot and Lightfoot (SI, April 2)—SI's report of the Corvette's fine performance at Sebring. SI did not totally neglect the Corvette but the news this time (at Cumberland) was made by Jaguar and Porsche.—ED.
This is to inform you of the obvious misspelling (in your May 28 issue) of Frank (Trader) Lane. We, as Cardinal fans, feel that Frank (Traitor) Lane would be more appropriate.
F. T. FLEISCHER
WHAT ARE THE REDBIRDS DOING?
I was actually shocked when I read of the trade between the Phillies and the Cardinals in which Haddix, Miller and Flowers were exchanged for, of all people, Murry Dickson and Herm Wehmeier.
What are the Redbirds doing? Are they building an old age club?
It surely seems that way, with Dickson, Surkont, Kinder and Cooper. Any idea what they have up their sleeve?
L. E. HILL
Travis AFB, Calif.
•For Frank Lane's ideas see The Gaudy Ones, SI, May 28.—ED.
IF I WERE STENGEL
Your story about Don Ferrarese's great two-hit pitching stint against the New York Yankees (SI, May 21) has given Don nothing but praise. It seems to me, however, that Don was quite lucky in reaching the ninth with a no-hitter and finishing the game with a shutout.
In the eighth inning Elston Howard rocketed a shot that almost landed in the seats, tying the game. If Elston had pulled the ball it would have been an easy home run. In the ninth Andy Carey led off with the Yankees' first base hit. Stengel sent up Billy Martin to hit for Bob Turley. In my point of view, he should have put Phil Rizzuto up to sacrifice. Then Hank Bauer's base hit might have scored Carey from second. If Bauer's hit were not enough, a sacrifice fly could have scored Andy.
JOHN S. DAY
Hudson Falls, N.Y.
Your recent story about Al Kaline and Harvey Kuenn of the Detroit Tigers overlooked the "pivot man" in the Tigers' signing of Kaline (SI, May 14). At least, that's what some Tiger officials call Murray Wieman, a Baltimore Evening Sun reporter, who was working as a sub-scout for the Tigers at the time of the signing.
Kaline needed no discovery. His talents cried for attention. Selling the Tigers to him was a job on which Wieman was able to work the year around, since he was in such close contact with Kaline 12 months of the year.
JOAN BROOKE WEITZ
•Tiger officials say that Murray Wieman was indeed a big help.—ED.
IS EVERYTHING UP-TO-DATE IN K.C.?
I am a baseball fan and enjoy your column on baseball immensely. In your May 21 issue you stated in X-RAY that Gus Zernial led the Kansas City Athletics in batting with a mark of .306, but Enos (Country) Slaughter had a mark of .357.
Kansas City, Mo.
•As of May 12 Enos Slaughter had been at bat 43 times. It takes 50 times at bat to qualify for SI's X-RAY.—ED.
I like your X-RAY of the major leagues, but I think I've spotted a mistake in it. For the rookies in the American League (May 21) you list the highest average as .228 for Rance Pless of K.C., but as of Monday, May 14, Lou Aparicio of the White Sox is hitting .265, with 13 for 49.
•Mr. Bittner is correct, see X-RAY, May 28.-ED.
THE HAVES AND HAVE-NOTS
...In pointing to McMillan and Philley as the worst home-run hitters so far this season (X-RAY, May 21) aren't you overlooking those players who have not hit any home runs? The two you listed as being worst had hit one each.
RALPH L. HORTON
•To qualify for X-RAY'S H-R department, a player must have hit at least one home run.—ED.
You say Yale was pretty tough when Frank Merriwell played there—fictionally of course (E & D, May 7). No doubt the Elis would have been with Dick Merriwell also hanging around, just in case. It's been a long time, but didn't Frank ply his wares at Harvard, and a few years ahead of Dick?
C. W. HEINMILLER
•Gilbert Patten, father of the Merriwell brothers, sent both his brainchildren to "democratic" Yale, because "Harvard and Princeton cater to the upper classes."—ED.
THE GOOD EARTH OF FLORIDA
Dr. Ralph Ferguson of Miami in his answer to Jimmy Jemail's query on the popularity of jai-alai (HOTBOX, May 21) makes the statement, "Actually, Dade County, with the pari-mutuels, keeps Florida going." He should reconsider that statement. He is forgetting the jai-alai fronton in Tampa, the dog tracks in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Jacksonville, Daytona, Pensacola and others, plus the race track at Oldswear. He also disregarded the citrus industry of central Florida.
Like many other residents of Dade County, my colleague is overlooking that long stretch of Florida to his north.
HENRY L. WRIGHT, M.D.
SI is the best sports magazine I have ever read. My only gripe is so-called cartoons like "Self-Golfing Golf Bag" (SI, May 21). This stuff, if it's really considered suitable for publication, belongs in some comic book. That two-page spread could have been put to much better use.
Honestly, what do you think?
ROBERT R. HUTCHINSON
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
•Honestly, we liked it.—ED.
...MEET MRS. GREYE
I need one of Rowland Emett's Self-Golfing Golf Bags for my husband—who handles every phase of the game magnificently, except the actual playing.
What a wonderfully funny drawing!
MRS. HARRISON GREYE
THE POWER OF NEGATIVE THINKING
Paul O'Neil's article on John Landy (SI, May 21) was a sensitive, perceptive piece of writing. But Mr. O'Neil has overlooked one of the most amazing things about the agile athlete from the antipodes—he has accomplished more, with an inferiority complex, than any man in the history of sport! Think of what Landy might have done—and may still do—if he really had confidence!
•In the opinion of those who know Landy, the great miler does not suffer from an inferiority complex, but rather from the artist's eternal dissatisfaction with anything but perfection.—ED.
BAD NEWS FOR THE BROOKIE
I found your article on the brook trout (SI, May 14) very interesting, but you neglected a few good brookie flies. In the streamer line, Warden's Worry, Dark Edson Tiger, and the Black and White Bucktail are very productive. Additional drys are Quill Gordon, Dark Deer Fly, Seth Green, Grizzly King—and March Brown is also good.
Similar wet flies are also good, especially in June.
H. E. JOHNSTONE
•The brook trout will strike at almost anything. In SI's article, The Brookie: an Early American, Bob Elliott listed only his own favorites.—ED.