THE BASIC DIFFERENCE
It is not my custom to write to the editor, but I would like to express to you the deep sense of satisfaction that your magazine has given me.
Your May 14 issue is a good example, but almost any issue would provide equal evidence of the unique appeal of SI. Let me cite several of the features, large and small, that struck me as way above average in quality:
John P. Marquand's letter about the Derby was, of course, outstanding. For years I have read newspaper and magazine coverage of the Derby, and I did not think it possible for any writer to make an entirely fresh approach. Marquand did, superbly.
The Joan Flynn Dreyspool article on Babe and George Zaharias was poignant without being sloppy. I was going to pass this up, but I started reading and went all the way through.
June 17, 1956
Horace Sutton's discussion of the Russian Riviera was done so well that I would like to take off for a visit, if there weren't so many Russians around.
The three paragraphs about the proposal to name a park for Bernard DeVoto illustrate the catholicity of your coverage. The more of that the better, from my viewpoint.
Edith Blanchard's little poem, Game Postponed, left me with a prolonged smile.
Your cartoons deserve more superlatives than I can readily call to mind. Dedini's "Positively No Intrigue In Camp" is the kind of thing that one would see more often if editors weren't so preoccupied with adolescent oldsters. Mr. Caper is in a class by himself, far removed from the mold of stereotyped cartoon art, consistently offering grown-up humor.
And that leads me to what I have concluded is the basic difference between your magazine and others in the sports field: editorial maturity. The fact is, I suppose, that anyone interested in sports is half man, half boy, give or subtract a few percentage points either way. The average sports editor caters to the boy, offering a slim diet to the man. You are operating on the flattering theory that your readers have come of age. You assume that we have sufficiently developed taste to take Marquand, Ajay and the rest of your high-level contributors. I hope you are right and I think you are.
JOHN K. ROSS-DUGGAN
Long Beach, Calif.
Whitney Tower's article Beating the Races (SI, June 4) was the most sensible that I have ever read. It should be reprinted in all editions of the Form and the Morning Telegraph.
YOU CAN BEAT THE RACES
Mr. Tower is the usual sour grapes when he states the races "can't be beaten." He is right, in that I have never found a way to beat them at the track, where there are too many temptations. He is wrong, however, in another sense, because by playing "spot plays" at illegal off-track sources, and by wagering on all tracks listed in the Racing Form, I, and many others, have been able to make a consistent profit. The only fly in the ointment is the "illegality" of making off-track bets. As any confirmed horse player knows, it is getting tougher and tougher to find a bookie. So I say we must have some form of legalized bookmaking. The Nevada system, with its 10% tax on all wagers, is ridiculous. Certainly some sensible legislation could be set up with a one percent or at the most 2% tax on wagers. Believe me, then you'd see how much tax money you could raise and get a true inkling of off-track betting.
Back to "you can't beat 'em." Ninety-nine percent of all horse players don't use their heads at any time. They can't take strings of consecutive losers and don't stick to good systems. I have at various times bet some 33 straight losers and still beat the meeting. And anytime the editors of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED refuse to believe the races can be beaten, I will gladly give them my system for free. I know enough about horse players to realize that none of them would stick to any method.
•The editors await the system.—ED.
Your SPORT IN ART article and the four pictures from our sporting art collection in the June 4 issue have created quite a bit of interest among the members. Although the pictures have been hanging in the club since late 1921, many members seem not to have noticed them, particularly until now!
You might be interested to know, too, that already we have received several letters from art lovers as far away as the state of Texas.
MENDELL F. RICE
The University Club
Cleveland is an American League town, and our local newspapers carry only meager information on National League doings. Last week in a wire service report I read that a Cubs pitcher had fanned four batters in one inning. I promptly assumed it to be a typographical error. Now SCOREBOARD (SI, June 4) says the same thing. Please tell me how come. Why was not the inning over when the third man fanned?
•The Cubs' Jim Davis did indeed strike out four men in one inning, but Hobie Landrith, his catcher, dropped a third strike, allowing St. Louis' Lindy McDaniel to reach first. St. Louis won the game 12-2.—ED.
The Countess of Ranfurly can have her 338-pound blue-fin tuna fish any day—I'll take Sam, the boat's mate (Tuna Island, SI, May 28). What a hunk of man!
The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce is being very lax in not advertising Sammy as a tourist attraction. Ummm.
CAROL B. MONTGOMERY
•Samuel Leo Cardarelli (see picture) has been something of a tourist attraction around the southern ports that cater to the big sport fishing boats for the last two years. But Sam was reared in Providence, R.I., one of a family of 15, whose 12 surviving children are scattered widely around the country. Sam comes by his muscles honestly. All his life, easygoing, good-natured Sam has been a physical fitness fan (weight lifting, judo) and an enthusiastic, if somewhat absent-minded, athlete (baseball, football). At the University of Rhode Island Sam ruined his chances to make the football team when, in the freshman game against Brown, an opposition back ran 66 yards for a touchdown over Sam's side. Sam, dreamily warming the bench, had forgotten his coach's orders to get in the game.—ED.
CORPUS CHRISTI TO N.Y. TO L.A.
Track fans in Bobby Morrow's home town of San Benito, Texas depend largely on the Corpus Christi Caller for their day-to-day sportsfare. Consequently a lot of us were somewhat resentful when writer-rich SI took Roy Terrell, the Caller's sports columnist, away from south Texas.
My resentment disappeared when I read Roy's classic description of the rain-soaked dash in Des Moines. On reading Superman in Spikes (SI, June 4) I am now downright grateful.
Being a Northwestern U. man, a redhead and a San Benitan, I get torn when trying to choose the winner among Golliday, Sime and Morrow. However, I am inclined to favor the Texan over the young man from New Jersey when they meet in a duel in the sun. Whatever the outcome I want Roy to tell me about it.
E. I. BUCKLIN
San Benito, Texas
•Roy Terrell admits feeling one twinge of professional reluctance at leaving his native Texas to write for SI: less opportunity to watch a great young sprinter named Bobby Morrow, whom Terrell had been writing about since the Olympic hopeful was a junior in San Benito High School. But it turned out well: Terrell not only found Dave Sime but will get to see Morrow again. When the two get together this June 16th weekend Terrell will be there—and will tell Mr. Bucklin all about it in SI, June 25.—ED.
WILL OWNER PLEASE STEP FORWARD
En route from Bishop to South Pasadena, Calif. last Saturday, June 2, a car drove past us and out tumbled a bundle, which we believed at first to be trash. It turned out to be a new glove, wet, with two baseballs in the pocket—all tightly bound with a cord √† la Berra's recipe (SI, April 9).
Question: can SI play the role of lost & found department by printing this information? Perhaps the boy who lost this glove will read about its recovery and we can return it to him promptly.
Once we had discovered the true nature of the "bundle," we notified the police in Lone Pine, and we tried to chase the vehicle but it was too late.
With three Little Leaguers in my family you can imagine their interest in the outcome of this search!
Congratulations on maintaining the high quality of sports accounting you established at the start of your publication. We feel rewarded in being a charter subscriber.
MR. AND MRS. ROBERT K. WARNER
South Pasadena, Calif.
•SI is glad to play lost & found department, and hopes for a speedy recovery of the now well-seasoned glove by its rightful owner.—ED.
NEITHER RAIN NOR SNOW...
Are the Smith twins seen in HOTBOX (SI, May 14) the same boys who, when the then Army Air Corps was flying the mail, were called to active duty and assigned to a mail route north from Chicago?
WILLIAM L. DAVIDSON
•Les and Lee Smith did indeed fly the mail on that Chicago-Minneapolis-Fargo route 22 years ago and recollect that sometimes there was more ice on their wings than mail in the hold.—ED.
AN OPINION FROM KENTUCKY
In HOTBOX of April 30 the question who would win if the last 10 Derby winners were matched, brought out some very peculiar answers.
Robbie Brown must have been absent-minded when he stated that Swaps would have broken Whirlaway's record if he had been pushed. Didn't Nashua run at Swaps in the stretch, in fact pull almost head and head? He was pressed plenty but had enough left to come on again. And speaking of Swaps being extended, what time would Whirlaway have posted in if he had been pushed? He won by almost eight lengths in 2:01 2/5. He could have put the record further out of sight if something had run at him like Nashua did Swaps.
The only reason Walter Jacobs picks Count Turf, in my opinion, is the fact that he runs a restaurant as did the owner of Count Turf, Jack Amiel. Don't let it ever be said that all bartenders don't stick together.
In reading your HOTBOX question ("How would you compare lacrosse to football?" SI, May 28) I am sorry you overlooked the only man that I know of who was both an All-America football player and an All-America lacrosse player. He is Reddy Finney who made both of these All-America teams at Princeton in 1950-'51.
CHAS. H. WATT, JR., M.D.
•Says Reddy Finney (see picture), now a teacher at the Gilman School in Baltimore: "Lacrosse is a much simpler game. Any good football player can pick up the fundamentals of lacrosse and become a reasonably good player. The reverse is not true because of football's complexity." But since his college days Finney has turned to a new sport to the exclusion of all others: Reddy Finney and his very new wife are ardent golfers.—ED.