VIVA EL TORO
Two years of "the best in sports reporting" by SPORTS ILLUSTRATED hasfinally induced me to write—you're great!
This is an article from the Aug. 20, 1956 issue
The story onTravesty in Tijuana (SI, Aug. 6), really prompted my note. I felt a momentarysadness for the theatrically fearless matadoras. Then, I recalled through myown experience and your account the tortures inflicted on the bull. Greatreporting, I agree—Viva El Toro!
Travesty in Tijuana was obviously written by a man, even if you had not put hisname to the ridiculous article.
To considerbullfighting open only to the male of the species is both a puerile and aprejudiced idea, and the statement "women somehow seem not made to moldthemselves in plastic grace with a bull" is the epitome of asininity.
A few hundredyears ago they thought a man was not graceful enough to be a ballet dancer, andyet today this art unites both sexes in grace and perfection.
Perhaps, the manoa mano did become a travesty (eliminating, of course, the prejudiced innuendoesof Mr. Lozano), but I salute Pat McCormick and Bette Ford for both theircourage and their foresight, and I feel confident that they or their sex willon day redeem themselves in this sport.
ONE NOVICE TOANOTHER
I must agree with Se√±or Lozano, it was a Travesty in Tijuana.
I was one of thethousands that drove down to Tijuana to see my first bullfight on a beautifulSunday afternoon, it came close to being my first and my last.
Miss McCormickand Miss Ford are passing up a good bet in this Olympic year, the way they ranfrom the bulls I'd say their chances in making the team in the dashes are verygood.
If a"novice" spectator is permitted to pass along some advice I'd like tosay to Miss Ford: "Bette, please go back to modeling while your featuresare only marred by a dislocated shoulder"; to Miss McCormick: "Pat,isn't one goring enough!"
"TRAVESTY IN TIJUANA" IS THE MOST UNFAIR AND BIASED REPORTING I HAVEEVER READ. I AM SURPRISED THAT A MAGAZINE OF YOUR CATEGORY WOULD PUBLISH SUCH AVINDICTIVE ARTICLE OF CHARACTER ASSASSINATION.
ORETT A CARUTHERS
If Delgado Lozano is a purist then he is the most foul-mouthed and lying puristI've ever had the misfortune to meet. I was there and met these two obnoxiousmen (Correspondents Delgado and Oulahan): they had all other news peoplewanting to take pokes at them.
Outright lies (toname a few) in the article:
1) Pat McCormickis a Catholic. If he had bothered to ask or refer to her autobiography he wouldsee that she belongs to the Episcopal Church.
2) Bette gave noparty, did not even plan to give a party after the bullfight. They came to herroom while I was attempting to get her out of her fighting clothes...she washysterical, her manager had just suffered a severe heart attack (he is still ina hospital in Tijuana) and the room was full of people. They made such utterasses of themselves that Roy Nickerson of the Arizona Star requested theyleave.
3) Both girlsfight bulls with shaved horns, which they would know if they had checked—Bettefought much larger bulls in the Plaza Mexico which they could ascertain bysimple checking with Dr. Gaona. The girls did not meet to sign the contract.They had never met in person prior to Tijuana—excepting briefly in Cd. Juarezbefore Pat's September 1954 goring.
There is no needto be so vindictive or to lie in order to prove that they don't approve ofwomen in the ring. I am surprised at SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for allowing suchsloppy, slanted writing....
Representing Bette Ford, first lady of bullfighting
•SPORTSILLUSTRATED'S Delgado and Oulahan admit to one error: the girls did notevidently confront each other for the signing, though their reactions were asreported. Otherwise they reply:
"1) Pat toldus in answer to direct question that she is Roman Catholic.
"2) Affair inBette Ford's hotel suite after fight might not be technically termed party, butit was festive occasion, with perhaps dozen friends chatting, laughing anddrinking. As to Bette's appearance and manner, Agent Bond must have us confusedwith two other guys. When we entered suite Bette was seated on couch smilingand gaily greeting friends. She was not undressing, and if she was hystericalher performance was most remarkable cover-up we have ever witnessed. She wascalm, gay, almost flippant. She was dressed in comely frock, her arm in chicpink sling. She claimed that shoulder was broken ("My first brokenbone," she informed us in completely playful manner). We thought at timestylish sling was peculiar way to treat broken shoulder.
"Wequestioned Bette briefly, then left of our own volition. Neither Roy Nickersonnor anyone else asked us to leave. At time, Manager Bilbao was not sufferingheart attack. He was under doctor's care in own room down hall, suffering highblood pressure. Heart attack occurred much later that night.
"3) Sure,Bette Ford fights bulls with shaved horns, fact we did not deny, but untrue incase of Patricia. Substitute Bull No. 82, which belonged to another breeder andwhich almost gored Patricia, was definitely not shaved or otherwisedoctored—fact which assuredly reflects credit on Patricia McCormick. Ourrecords show Bette Ford did not fight larger bulls in Plaza Mexico. She andJuanita Aparicio carefully selected bulls weighing 225 to 250 kilos (100 kilosless than standard novillero bulls, 100 kilos less than Tijuanabulls)."—ED.
On page 54 (SI, July 30), in a story by Alice Higgins, you set the words"Morgan Bred" in a beautiful but unusual type. We would like to usethis type....
The Farm Quarterly
•The name of thetype is 48 point Horizon Light, and can be secured from Bauer Alphabets, Inc.,235 East 45th St., New York.—ED.
SOME MAN FROMVERMONT
Your article Morgan Bred was great. When I was a boy in Exeter, N.H., my fatherhad four or five Morgan horses. Morgans were very common. Doctors used them formaking calls, they pulled the Macks (cabs) and grocers' delivery wagons.
Have you seen theaccount of a man in Vermont who bought up a number of Morgans when they werenearly extinct and developed some 150 of them. Then they were bought by theU.S. Government. I have tried to find the information, but have beenunsuccessful—I remember reading it a year or so ago in some nationalmagazine.
CAL G. TYLER
•The man fromVermont was one Colonel Joseph Battell, who spent the better part of his lifeand fortune collecting Morgans in order to perpetuate them as a separate breed.The true Morgan blood was diffused by being absorbed in other light breedsuntil Colonel Battell started his farm of some 400 acres in Middlebury, Vt. Heestablished Morgans as a properly registered breed. Then in 1907 he donated hisfarm and stock to the U.S. Government, which continued to maintain a stud offrom 60 to 100 head of purebreds until 1951 when possession of the farm wastransferred to the University of Vermont. The article which Mr. Tyler has inmind is probably the one by Harland Manchester on Justin Morgan which appearedin the January 1955 issue of American Mercury.—ED.
In my opinion, the Braves have the best pitching staff of any team in themajors. Don't be amazed when you watch the Braves beat the Yankees in the WorldSeries. They're running away from the rest of the N.L. now. If anyone beats theBraves for the pennant, I'll buy a five-year subscription to SPORTSILLUSTRATED.
•You mean if theBraves win we lose?—ED.
Gil Stratton's article (SI, Aug. 6) concerning the modern outlook of a baseballumpire is remarkably good.
About the onlyimprovement one could offer is Bill Klem's stock rejoinder to any and allcomplaints—I've never made a wrong call. The utter simplicity of Mr. Klem'slogic is often overlooked by persons who assume hastily that it is merely anarrogant statement of a rather pugnacious man. Only a real baseball aficionadocan appreciate the Tightness of his statement; I think Mr. Stratton's pieceamply demonstrates it....
C. EVERETT CHILTON
•And then therewas the time when John McGraw, having just been thrown out of the game by Klem,yelled: "I'll have your job for this!" Klem answered: "If it'spossible for you to take my job, then I don't want it."—ED.
DETROIT PAPERSPLEASE COPY
Paul Richards' engrossing narration to Roy Terrell on the fortunes of theBaltimore Orioles and his principles regarding trading and the handling ofpersonnel (SI, Aug. 6) is as logical an explanation of winning baseball as Ihave encountered. I only wish that you would forward a carefully delineatedcopy of the aforementioned to the officers of the Detroit Baseball Company.Better yet, send the Wizard of Waxahachie himself.
Umpire Stratton'sunique story is just another in a long line of controversial articles that yourmagazine has published. This courageous gesture should endear you to manyprofessional arbiters. It should also help the average fan who longs to knowmore of the inside of the game of baseball, and, if digested intelligently,make a better fan of him.
More articles ofthis nature and published views of officials and players of the game would tendto put your magazine on an even higher plane of profound sports reporting. Yourreporters' various styles are fine, but their material is usually somethingless than new, like a review. But material like this, plus others such as theBratton and Roe stories laced into the entire pattern, produces a magazineembracing the entire field of athletics, competitive and otherwise. I am surethis is the ultimate you are striving to attain, and I assure you that you aresucceeding.
R. JOSEPH HEAGANY