HOT STOVE: FEET FIRST
Your Hot Stove League program is the best thing since the Sox got Nellie Fox for Joe Tipton. It is really good to be able to read about trades, even if they are dreams, or unworkable, or even illogical at times. Being a rabid living-room league-shuffler, I have to jump in feet first.
This is an article from the Dec. 17, 1956 issue
First, let me tell Edwin S. Mayer (19TH HOLE, NOV. 26) that he can't have Pierce for Newcombe. We have to beat the Yankees too often in our league, and Pierce is better at this than Newcombe. However, he can have Dropo for Newk, because Big Don could platoon nicely with Jackson at first base.
Now, if some of the crummy teams had the guts, they could trade their great players for enough good players to fill the holes and become contenders, more or less. For instance, the Giants could get Crowe and Burgess for Antonelli and plug two holes. For Willie Mays they could probably get O'Connell, Bruton, Buhl, Jay and Covington or Pendleton. The Giants would then have Bruton, Schoendienst, Burgess, Mueller, Crowe, O'Connell, Spencer and Covington to hold out until Brandt, Kirkland and White get back from the Army.
The Cubbies could give Rush for Burgess and Davis for Crowe or Thurman, and give Banks for Spooner, Gentile, Demeter, Neal and Amoros and line up a lot better than they do now.
How about the Senators giving Ramos and Sievers for Kubek, Martyn, Turley and Richardson or Lumpe. Yost and Courtney would bring Lepcio, Throneberry and Norm Zauchin from Boston.
Detroit could probably trade Kuenn and Maxwell for McDougald, Skowron, Turley and Carey, strengthening first and pitching without appreciably weakening short. Kaline, Tuttle and Small play the outfield.
The Kansas City A's could shrewdly move the White Sox closer to the pennant by giving Ditmar, Power, Lopez and Simpson for Dropo, Rivera, Donovan, Hatfield, Battey, Philley, McDonald, Howell, Dahlke and Staley. They would have better pitching, gain defensively with Hatfield and Rivera, and Dropo would like that left field wall.
Notre Dame, Ind.
HOT STOVE: COOL AND COMING
What makes Mr. Taubenheim (19TH HOLE, Dec. 3) think Cincinnati cares to part with either Messrs. Bailey or F. Robinson? They're both young and real comers.
And my boss should be so cool on me as Brooklyn is on Newcombe—$30,000 worth.
As for Mr. Saperstein (19TH HOLE, Nov. 12), I am swapping him for any beat-up Giant fan.
K. T. MEYER
HOT STOVE: AMPUTATION
Messrs. Saperstein and Mayer in their so-called trades included Ken Boyer. They must be kidding. I believe Mr. Lane would rather part with his left arm.
HOT STOVE: MEAT AND POTATOES
I wish to advise Mr. Saperstein that this Pirate fan would not trade Messrs. Virdon and Friend for the whole 1956 Dodger team. These two boys are our meat and potatoes, and after such a long famine here in Pittsburgh, we will not be likely to give up two staple products for a few quick-energy articles from which the vitamin loss is becoming noticeable.
HOT STOVE: SEE IT NOW
Before reading the elaborate trade intentions of Messrs. Saperstein and Mayer, I thought myself a rare bird indeed while drawing up my own large-scale deals involving the Dodgers. But since this trade craze appears to be a defense mechanism in general use by Flatbush fans to help us forget what usually happens every October, who am I to fight a trend? See if this player scheme doesn't top everything you have heard to date.
Hodges, Furillo, Craig and Robinson to the Giants for Mays and Spencer; Campanella, Gilliam, Zimmer, Lehman and Jackson to the Pirates for Friend and Thomas; Erskine, Thomas, Spencer and Amoros to the Braves for Mathews.
The awesome Dodger lineup would read like this: Fernandez, ss; Neal, 2b; Snider, cf; Mays, rf; Mathews, 3b; Demeter, If; Gentile, 1b; Rosboro, c.
Fort Polk, La.
HOT STOVE: ASTOUNDING TRADES
I am about to join the growing list of self-appointed general managers.
Here are my astounding trades. The Pirates need a catcher and the Phillies need infielders, so trade Dick Groat, Bob Skinner, Spook Jacobs and Jack Shepard to the Phils for Stan Lopata. The Pirates get a good catcher while the Phils get a good shortstop, a first baseman with great potential (even toward the close of the season Bragan still said Skinner was his best hitter but he couldn't find a place to play him as his fielding didn't compare with Long's), another infielder and a fair catcher. As the Phillies have more than once expressed vivid interest in Groat and Skinner, it's possible they might have to include another player, as, for example, Granny Hamner. If this fell through, it's possible the Red-legs' interest in pitching could lead to a Vern Law for Smokey Burgess and Hal Jeff coat deal.
Most will agree I have been general manager too long. So now, under pressure, I resign. Though I have probably created dissatisfaction in many areas, my own particular wigwam is heated to satisfaction.
PHILIP G. LEE
TRACK: A WISE MAN'S VALUES
Thanks for your article on track coach Stampfl (SI, Nov. 26). It comes as a pleasant surprise to read of such a truly wise man. So much has been sentimentally spoken and vaguely written about the value of sports in character building (in the face of much evidence to the contrary) that it is amazing that this one article can make it again seem plausible.
Stampfl's formula appears to be simple, honest and direct rather than "mysterious," as described in your title, and I believe it applies to much of life's race other than track events: be genuinely interested in the person, encourage him to set high goals for himself, show him the way, insist that he accept his own responsibility and watch him go! How better to rear children? How better to develop business subordinates? How could schools follow a better policy?
I find it easy to believe that this type of coaching will have a long-term effect on the character and happiness of Hewson, Bannister and the others, which will far exceed the glory of running a fast mile.
SCOREBOARD: THE VARE TROPHY
It's always good to see the girls in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, but, for the record, and to give proper credit to one of golf's greatest competitors, I would like to correct SCOREBOARD's Nov. 26 report that Marlene Bauer Hagge took "the Vare trophy for lowest average (74.57) for the second year." That average and that trophy belong to Patty Berg, this year and last year. Marlene led the women golfers in money winnings, but trailed Patty with a 74.74 average in competition.
Wilson Sporting Goods Co.
HOTBOX: THE BEST OF THEM ALL
Jim Lee Howell is quoted in HOTBOX (SI, Dec. 3) as saying that John Mellus was "missed" by the experts who select All-America grid teams.
Unless my memory is playing tricks, Mellus did make at least one All-America team, and that was the one I consider to have been the best of them all. I refer to the honored 11 chosen by the now-defunct New York Sun.
The Sun was almost uncanny in selecting college players who eventually made good in pro ball. Many of its selectees failed to make even honorable mention on some of the better-known and more-publicized All-America groups.
Outstanding example is probably the case of Clyde (Bulldog) Turner of Hardin-Simmons College. In his senior year, he was the Sun's All-America center. I don't believe he was mentioned on any other national "All" team. But, as students of football know, he went on to be one of the greatest centers (Chicago Bears) in pro football.
Another year—I believe it was about 1937—the Sun violated all "rules" for All-America selections by nominating two back-field men from the same college team. They were John Meek and Sam Chapman, quarterback and halfback, respectively, at the University of California. Chapman made several "Alls," but Meek was something of a darkhorse. The point I make here is that the Sun sought the best men for each position and did not permit the taboo of picking two men from the same squad to alter its thinking.
West Englewood, N.J.
TV FOOTBALL: IT LIVES, IT MOVES. IT TALKS
I was astounded to find that nowhere in your painstakingly detailed report on bigtime college football and its coverage (SI, Nov. 26) was the word "news-reel" mentioned.
You showed reporters, still photographers, television technicians—not a single newsreel man. The one "cameraman" who did appear in your press box drawing might be shooting for almost anyone—one of the schools, the conference, a TV show or theatrical subject.
Of course, we should be used to this sort of thing. The press has always turned its back to us. We're still in business, though. Scorned by haughty newspapermen, elbowed by jostling mobs of still photographers bellowing their time-honored cry ("Stills first!"), disdained (sob!) by your august publication, we continue to bring the nation and the world the only living, moving, talking news document there is.
The newsreels will be around for a while.
•And we for one are glad of it. However, any good Movietone cameraman should have recognized Artist Kaufman's rendition of 35-mm. newsreel sound equipment.—ED.
TV FOOTBALL: MISSING CHARACTER
We enjoyed your fine article Greatest Show on Earth. In your cast of characters you have five officials, but in your kickoff picture we think you have omitted the back judge. Shouldn't he be following the kicking team up the field?
•The back judge had moved off SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's page to retrieve his dropped whistle.—ED.
Old Mountain Boy Hickman has never been more droll than when deadpanning Yale into his "Eleven Best." A modicum of explanation is called for. Was it the narrow win over mighty Connecticut, or the heroic loss to those Colgate gorillas that copped the honors?
Others, more callow, will perhaps protest the exclusion of any one of 600 teams, from Michigan to Fenger High, which were stronger in football, but weaker in Ivy. Let me merely mention the pick-up touch team at St. John's of Annapolis.
In line with your rock-ribbed tradition, why waste time with the draft of a few uncouth coal miners' sons into professional ball? Why not devote the space to the draft of the entire Harvard varsity into the State Department? Let's have more articles on ping-pong and truffle rooting. Why not a change of name to something like Endeavour Aristocratic?
•The editors go along with Hickman in believing Yale to be one of the best teams in the country and consider it indeed a pity that they could not meet Michigan or Fenger High.—ED.
DUMMY AND CONNIE IN BUFFALO
I was much interested in your story on Paul Helms (SI, Nov. 19), but would like to point out one error. Helms's uncle, "Dummy" Hoy, is not 91 years old but 94. He was born May 23, 1862, and is believed to be the oldest ex-major league ballplayer.
I am enclosing a picture of the 1890 Buffalo Players' League Club on which Hoy was the center fielder and Connie Mack was the catcher. Although this team finished in eighth place, 19 games out of seventh, it had the distinction of boasting three men who were to be nonagenarians. Mack lived to be 93 and Jim (Deacon) White was just a few months short of 92 when he passed away in 1939.
JOSEPH M. OVERFIELD