Congratulations on your second anniversary issue. In just two years you have become America's No. 1 sports magazine.
Your crusades for cleaner sport in football, boxing and the rest are well known and are beginning to do some good. Your various sports editors have proven that they know their subjects well and know how to write about them just as well. As for your photographs, they are unsurpassed.
Now for a complaint. The COMING EVENTS page is missing. I used to follow this page faithfully every week, particularly for radio and TV reference. I would very much like to see this page restored.
•More than 132 letters and telegrams and countless anguished telephone calls cannot be ignored. See page 6 for COMING EVENTS.—ED.
September 9, 1956
This is the first letter of congratulations I have ever written.
I have been reading your magazine regularly since it began with the Bannister issue. You are not only doing a reporting job but also an educational job, and I use the word educational in the broadest and most alive sense possible. You have gone beyond mere reporting or, paradoxically, maybe you are reporting in the truest sense of the word. You allow the whole character of a man to come through. Branch Rickey, the whole man (SI, March 7, 1955) is far more interesting and meaningful, even to the baseball fan, than Rickey the baseball wizard with no roots, no philosophy, no motivation beyond being a baseball wizard. Life is a lot more than facts, statistics and objectivity without a viewpoint. It takes art to describe an art: you have that art.
The editorial feeling of the magazine is above praise. I feel here a true amateurism, a love of good sport which transcends any single sport and which is truly international. I think your magazine has something which appeals very much to my idea of what a magazine should have.
Congratulations on your second anniversary issue! It was your finest issue in two years of magnificent work in giving the American people its first truly great sports magazine.
I look forward to every new issue.
STEPHEN C. ADLER
These are sincere congratulations on the occasion of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's second birthday from one charter subscriber. In my humble opinion, each successive issue has shown improvement over the one that went before.
I think you are handling a fascinating field in a superbly intelligent and sensitive manner and am confident you will enjoy the full success that such journalism deserves.
PAUL C. SMITH
President Crowell-Collier Publishing Co.
Thank you muchly for providing sports fans with not just another sports magazine but one which far exceeds our fondest hopes: pages overflowing with those things which are.dear to all lovers of sport, intelligent, interesting writing.
Without further comment, suffice it to say, "Hurry up with that next issue."
THE SUFFERING FANS TAKE OVER
I want to congratulate you on The Case for the Suffering Fan (Anniversary Issue).
Most businessmen, and I am no exception, can benefit from several rereadings.
FRANK G. HATHAWAY
President Los Angeles Athletic Club
Beverly Hills, Calif.
You took the words right out of our loud mouths and put them right where we hope the right persons read them! Hooray! Murray for President!
I was greatly thrilled when big league baseball came to K.C. a year ago.
For the first game my wife and I attended, we went to the ticket window and asked for two good box seats (cost, $3 each). Lo and behold! they were in the farthest right-field corner in the second row. Couldn't see anyone well except the right fielder. We vacated them and went to the bleachers.
About two weeks later we decided to buy reserved seats in advance in order to get good seats. And what happened? We wound up right behind a large post, where we seemingly got nothing done but passing drinks, hot dogs and change for the vendors. When one of the vendors spilled some drink on my wife (and it ruffled her some) he merely stated, "If you don't like it here why did you come?" That was in April, and we have not attended a game since.
H. P. HOUK
Arrived at Ebbets Field at 12:30 to see the Dodgers play the Braves. Went on line in a pushing, howling mob to get my reserved ticket. After getting knocked and kicked, punched and pushed for 60 minutes I arrived at the ticket window. They had just sold out. After waiting another 20 minutes I got a general admission ticket.
When I went in I was sent away by attendants who said there was no room left. I went to another section which had about 20 seats left. It was just being closed off by an attendant. When I told him there were seats left he said, "Watch out, wise guy, or you'll get kicked out." I finally settled for a seat on the stairs. It was only the fourth inning. When Furillo and Campanella hit home runs, you had to see them running around the bases to know they were home runs and look at their numbers to see who hit them. The day's outing cost me $3.50. It's TV for me these days.
(a former Dodger fan)
Rockville Centre, N.Y.
Attending games at Connie Mack Stadium, I have discovered that all the remarks made in the article are true.
It is high time that someone made the type of editorial report on ball park conditions in this country which your Mr. Murray has so ably done. I sincerely hope that this small document may be the means of awakening many major league owners and municipal or civic groups to thoroughly investigate and do something about this contributing reason why attendance has been falling off at major league games despite the fact that our population is increasing.
W. J. MILLER
It's high time the fan got something for his money—in addition to a rain check. It was not long ago we in Cincinnati had an obsolete team and park. Now we have a team, but we are still cursed with an obsolete park. Here's hoping your article helps get the wheels in motion.
EARL RAYMOND KINLEY JR.
Baseball, like patients that have cancer, just looks healthy. Your article on the suffering fan was a desperate intervention chirurgicale to save it.
I can imagine the courage you have, to give us an article like that about the game you love.
DR. JACQUES MATTEAU
TED WILLIAMS AND THE PRESS BOX
While none of Ted's sympathizers will condone his spitting (Anniversary Issue), it is deplorable that an athlete of his stature and skill should be expected to reply to a barrage of insults, foul names and pop bottles with a grateful smile and doffing of his cap.
Here we have the most unusual situation of sportswriters siding with the rowdy element in our national pastime. The next time you go to a ball game in Boston, leave the kiddies and your wife at home and sit in that part of the bleachers where you can hear the flow of choice billingsgate from those leather-lunged "sportsmen."
JOHN E. SAUSSER
Commendations to you and your fine magazine for giving Ted Williams the opportunity of presenting his side of the current feud with the Boston writers.
It's something of a first to read Ted's side of the story.
I understand the Honorable James Condon, Democrat of South Boston, is trying to pass a bill which would prohibit cash-paying baseball fans a right they have enjoyed since baseball began, the right to razz a ballplayer.
To get to the heart of the matter, Ted Williams has as much a right to spit at sportswriters, fans or what have you as the fans have the right to razz the great Williams....
It was good to see you print some of the "bush" remarks of "big league" sportswriters....
Some of those fans along that left field line and some of the sportswriters in the press box up in Fenway Park should have their mouths washed out with arsenic....
JAMES T. SMITH JR.
Many Boston sportswriters often claim the pro-Williams letters are meaningless, being from East Nothing, N.H., unsigned, etc. Considering the job the writers try to do on Williams, some of his supporters may be afraid to state their names and whereabouts, fearing that such information might result in most unpleasant publicity from these gentlemen of the press.
P. A. MACPHERSON
I humbly admit to being one of those California nonentities that Frank Lane referred to in a recent interview (Cardinal Fans Put Lane on the Spot, SI, Aug. 13) and should probably therefore confine my remarks to minor league activities such as the Los Angeles ball team. With apologies to Mr. Lane. I feel compelled to protest the harassment levied on Ted Williams by the fans and sports writers of Boston.
I say that Boston should give thanks for being fortunate enough to have the great Ted on their team and should stop being sorry for themselves because he doesn't personally thank each one for being so gracious as to come to Fenway Park.
•All spitting aside, Ted Williams is to be congratulated on a remarkably thoughtful and loyal following. The 100-plus letters from all parts of the country received by SPORTS ILLUSTRATED on Williams' act of defiance unanimously support the slugger.—ED.
HOLLAND'S MASTER THESIS
There is no other description of Gerald Holland's amusing thesis (Anniversary Issue), The Age of Sport, than "great."
BRUCE B. BREWER JR.
Kansas City, Kansas
Branch Rickey Buckmeister Jr.'s thesis on the Age of Sport was wonderful. He no doubt received an A and his M.S.S. degree.
Can't wait for next week's SI.
BRANCH RICKEY BUCKMEISTER:
PLEASE WIRE COLLECT COMPLETE WITH BLINDERS ONE BRACE OF TWO-HEADED HORSES FOR ENTRY IN ADDED FEATURE AT YONKERS RACEWAY, "THE DOUBLE-HEADED DAILY DOUBLE."
CYRUS HAMBLETONIAN TIPLADY
•It takes two-headed fans to bet on two-headed horses in a double-headed daily double.—ED.
My compliments to you on your lead editorial on tennis, "Western Approach" (Anniversary Issue). As a former secretary of the United States Lawn Tennis Association, it makes me, and I am sure many of my friends of the last 30 years in national tennis officialdom, feel good to see a magazine of your great influence and standing take up the battle for making the USLTA a truly national organization in government, in uniform court surface and in geographical distribution of championships and Davis Cup matches—away from the overwhelming influence of grass courts on which not 5% of the tennis of the country is played.
Your article on the American Zone Davis Cup finals at Rye states a few basic truths about the Westchester Country Club which can be properly appreciated by the unfortunate tennis fans who were there. I had come all the way from Georgia, but I never shall go again. I paid for the most expensive box seats in order to have my back to the sun, only to find it shining squarely into my eyes. I was ordered out of the dining room after having, by hard work, found someone willing to direct me to it, because my escort was not wearing a coat and tie. The tennis was fine, but it was obscured by the pompous umpire's bickering with the untrained ball boys.
An event as important as a Davis Cup zone final deserves a little better treatment. Thanks to Billy Talbert for his fine writing, as well as his fine management of our Davis Cup team.
SIRES AND SAILS
The Sires and Great Champions pictures (Anniversary Issue) were most beautiful color photographs of Thoroughbreds I have ever seen, and the magazine's selection of those 12 great racers was excellent indeed.
Corpus Christi, Texas
Allow me to present you with the accolade of the year for your splendid color pictures of former champions of the turf. They almost look like oil paintings.
Also a pat on the back for those fine pictures of plastic hulls and the designs built like birds in flight. Exquisite.
North Pelham, N.Y.
Your article Building Boom for Fiber Glass (Anniversary Issue) was just as interesting and as beautifully presented as your article on Carleton Mitchell's Finisterre (SI, June 18). I should like to add a little information on both larger and smaller plastic hulls. The Anchorage Corp., Warren, R.I., has built in addition to the three 40-foot Coast Guard patrol boats two large plastic sailboats. The Arion, built in 1951 from designs by Sidney Herreshoff, is a 42-foot auxiliary ketch now owned by the Coast Guard Academy at New London, Conn. She participated in the Newport-Annapolis ocean race three years ago. The Vega, a 33-foot keel auxiliary sloop with 5,500 pounds of outside ballast, built in 1953 from designs by Warner, is mine.
As for the smaller hulls, you might be interested to know that Anchorage has produced thousands of Dyer dinks and dhows of all sizes. Of the record fleet in the recent Bermuda race, over 85% carried Dyer dhows as lifeboats. During the war, thousands of Navy craft carried these same plastic dhows for the same purpose.
Fiber-glass construction is certainly the coming thing for boats both large and small.
BYAM K. STEVENS
CASEY IN ANGUISHLAND
I have just finished reading the poem entitled "Casing Adder Bet" (Anniversary Issue). I can honestly say that I have never been more puzzled, or more delighted when I could finally decipher the words.
I feel that again SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has come up with a first.
Can you tell me when the first copies of the book will start appearing in the bookstores, as I don't want to miss it?
•Howard Chace's Anguish Languish, at $1.95, is now on the market.—ED.
Wants akin inner SPURTS AN LUSTER ATE IT ewe half hitter check putt.
I practically killed myself with laughter when I read "Casing Adder Bet."
However, there is one part I was unable to translate, at the very beginning of the story:
"Heresy borsch boil starry a boarder borsch boil gam plate lung, lung a gore."
C. J. TOTTENHAM
Port Hope, Ont.
•We won't spoil your fun. As we said in our introduction, Anguish Languish must be read out loud to be understood.—ED.
Suture bag cork whey gut form yore auricle "Casing Adder Bet." Whey larfed an larfed tell door tars cam tour ice.
Sins whey dint half door upper to knit toreador starry "Ladle Rat Rotten Hut," weed appear sheet use four wood ink hiccupy off yore furs tissue ore tar shed off door starry.
Mut chub lodged.
•Hiccupy offer furs tissue as honest weigh due Rudder Shameful.—ID.