THE BLACK SOX
Congratulations to you for finally producing the story of the 1919 World Series right from Chick Gandil's mouth (Baseball's Blackest Secret, Sept. 17). It was fascinating, and particularly so because he says that the Black Sox tried to doublecross the gamblers and win the Series. This I never suspected.
When I returned from the war in 1919 I made a slight bet of $25 on Cincinnati with a friend of mine. When the story exploded I refunded the money, as I wanted no part of the shenanigans of Messrs. Rothstein, Sullivan and Abe Attel. Thanks to you I will now get that money back where it belongs—in my pocket.
There remains only one thing more. It is to find out from Eddie Cicotte where the $10,000 went after he had removed it from under his pillow. I recall that in his confession Cicotte said that "he did it for the wife and kiddies." Gandil says he didn't get a cent. How about the others? Come on, give us the lowdown.
ROBERT W. WOOD JR.
•The only thing Gandil claims to know about that $10,000 is that he never took any of it. Gandil saw Cicotte put the money under his pillow and after the Series fled Chicago for a small Texas town where he visited his in-laws, had an appendectomy and waited for things to cool down.
September 30, 1956
When Gandil began to realize the enormity of the public scandal he had helped to create he decided to forego his share of the payoff in hope that this would exonerate him. In the meantime, Gandil and his wife had set up a home in California. Gandil never again saw any of his teammates except Fred McMullen, in 1919, and Swede Risberg, who paid him a brief visit in Berkeley in 1925.—ED.
I strongly believe that your article on the Black Sox scandal was a fascinating and a rewarding piece of writing. My hat is off to Chick Gandil not only for telling a very inspiring tale but also for having enough courage to present us with the actual facts of the scandal.
HARNESS RACING: ROCHESTER DECLARES WAR
If SPORTS ILLUSTRATED erred in its handling of the harness racing as practiced at Rochester's Batavia Downs, it was only on the side of altruism (War Is Declared, Sept 10). It would have been possible to sell several thousand additional copies that week: copies of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED were as scarce as hens' teeth in a matter of half an hour after they appeared on the newsstands.
Possibly this was not caused entirely by regular public response to the harness story. There is a feeling here, substantiated by magazine dealers and stand operators, that Batavia Downs may have been so impressed that it dispatched emissaries into the field to buy up all copies in sight.
If this is so, it is a great pity, because Mr. Tax's disclosures of the backgrounds of Messrs. Marra, Wishman and Provenzano were most enlightening, These men, of course, run harness racing at Batavia and, while it was not entirely news to us, the way the story was handled brought everything into sharp focus and gave the whole unsavory situation a new impact.
•Never underestimate the alertness of Rochester's citizens, for a sample of whose opinions see below.—ED.
I am pleased and relieved to think that someone has finally started a course of action against the harness racing situation as it now exists. I marvel that it has continued as long as it has.
HARNESS STORY EXCELLENT. GET RID OF USELESS CZAR. WANT MORE.
If more honest people would get behind this movement, maybe we would get a decent break and better racing at our tracks.
RALPH P. HINE
Most fans know the circumstances, but it takes articles like yours to get the mess cleaned up. Keep it up and thanks again.
It's about time a magazine like SPORTS ILLUSTRATED did something about those undesirables.
WILLIAM J. TOBIN
It is men like Mr. Tax who help keep it clean, and Batavia sure needs cleaning.
I am glad you had the nerve to bawl out those operators at Batavia Downs.
I think if you continue to report and explain the wrongs, the racing commission will have to rectify itself.
Compliments to your Mr. Tax for his "bombshell" on harness racing. More of these "bombs," and the horses can really find out how well they can run.
A word of congratulation for your unbiased, factual and highly informative word picture on the harness racing situation in New York State.
Undoubtedly it will stimulate the writing of many similar sincere pieces throughout the state.
Mr. Tax's column should go a long way toward helping eliminate the "unsatisfactory conditions" to which E. Roland Harriman, president of the Hambletonian Society, had reference when he announced the harness classic was being moved from Goshen to DuQuoin, Ill.
MR. CARBO'S GOLDEN BOY
Your article concerning Art Aragon was a dilly (E & D, Sept. 10). Every time I see that guy I get disgusted. If he's ranked No. 5, I sure wonder what poor slobs are farther down the line. It's about time that strutting peacock got his phony feathers plucked.
Is there a peacock plucker in the house?
I just had to let you know that the article "Art the Great" is terrific. As a charter member of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, I can not recall having read any sports article that was more entertaining. It is classic.
Kansas City, Mo.
I am surprised that a magazine of your caliber would publish such an unfair and prejudiced article as the one I have just read about Art Aragon. Even though Aragon is associated with F. Carbo and company, I'm sure that he couldn't be listed No. 5 in the ring ratings if he is as bad a fighter as you say.
I hate to beef about your usually fine magazine, but I also think that SPORTS ILLUSTRATED could have put something about the National Junior Golf Tournament in the magazine instead of a diagram of Mickey Mantle's brain.
Johnson City, N.Y.
THE TORBAY TO LISBON RACE
In July this year there was a race of 21 "tall ships" from England to Portugal (SCOREBOARD, July 23). Being a seaman who was trained on a "square rigger" before World War II, I am very much interested in the results of this race, but I was unable to follow it closely as I was at sea.
•The 800-mile handicap race from Torbay, England to Lisbon, Portugal was won by 15 first- and second-term cadets from the University of Southhampton School of Navigation who guided the Moyana, a 58-year-old ketch, to victory.
The unofficial list of entries and corrected times: Moyana (British), 152 h. 2 m. 57 s. (126 h. 21 m. 37 s.); Christian Radich (Norwegian), 157 h. 57 m. 16 s. (127 h. 24 m. 6 s.); Ruyam (Turkish), 140 h. 46 m. 21 s. (127 h. 34 m. 26 s.); Falken (Swedish), 152 h. 19 m. 11 s. (134 h. 46 m. 41 s.); Gladan (Swedish), 155 h. 16 m. (137 h. 43 m. 25 s.); Flying Clipper (Swedish), 150 h. 42 m. 5 s. (142 h. 21 m.); Creole (British), 143 h. 30 m. 20 s. (143 h. 30 m. 20 s.).—ED.
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's Sept. 3 PAT ON THE BACK for Newport's Tennis Pageant: this looks mighty like George Peabody (Peabo) Gardner, Harvard 1910, to me and not Beals C. Wright as captioned! "Peabo" was incidentally an eight-letter man while at Harvard—hockey '08, '09, '10; tennis '10 (captain); track '08, '09, '10, and baseball '10.
JOHN C. RICE JR.
•It was indeed Peabo.—ED.
After three straight one-putt greens, I promised my daughter, who was playing with me, that if the fourth putt from about six feet went down I would subscribe to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for three years. It did, thanks to Art Wall's idea of throwing his right palm "into" the hole (TIP FROM THE TOP, Sept. 10).
HENRY H. HILL
George Peabody Teachers College
LOST & FOUND
Thank you so much for putting COMING EVENTS back in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. I have been lost without it and have kicked myself for missing events on radio and TV.
PATRICK A. NUTT