IRON LIEGE: KUDOS AND '58
Kudos to your fine magazine. Whatever honors Iron Liege, Hartack, Jones, et al., richly deserve, your selection of the Derby winner two years in advance was the highlight of the 1957 Derby.
Prospects for the remainder of the season are exciting. You can't count out Bold Ruler, or overlook the fast-improving Gallant Man and Round Table. Gen. Duke and Barbizon are definitely the class horses.
Are you retiring with your accolades or can we count on getting the '58 winner?
•Retire? Not on your fetlock. When the time comes, our neck will be farther out than Iron Liege's nose.—ED.
May 19, 1957
IRON LIEGE: OLD ACQUAINTANCE
Iron Liege may have appeared in your "dummy" issue wet behind the ears, but it certainly proves the editors were as dry as could be in their selection of the 1957 Kentucky Derby winner—back in 1954. How many of your "knew him when" staff had him backed up with a $2 bet on his nose?
Stuttgart, West Germany
•Never has one nose done so much for so many.—ED.
IRON LIEGE: FROM THE OWNER'S MOUTH
I DEEPLY APPRECIATE YOUR FINE ARTICLES ABOUT IRON LIEGE. KINDEST REGARDS FROM US BOTH.
IRON LIEGE: EXTRASENSORY CLOVER
Congratulations to you and your staff!
I'm in clover today and know the Calumet champ is too. Do you use a crystal ball?
Rome, New York
•Out of the mouth of a suckling colt a winner was ordained.—ED.
DERBY: HOW YOU, CATHERINE?
In my humble opinion Catherine Drinker Bowen's telling of the Derby weekend (How You, Willie?) was the finest and most convincing horse reporting I have read.
Frankly, when I first read that you had assigned her to the Derby I was afraid that we might come, in for a heavy dose of professional New Englandism, a chronic coloration of the senses that becomes acute when the victim crosses the Milton-Dedham line. I was in error. Mrs. Bowen is a robust reporter with a catching sense of humor. She is right: the Derby Trial hardly ever is a very sincere race. My compliments to Mrs. Bowen and to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
DIZMANTICS: A PRIMER
Your basic primer on Dizmantics (E & D, April 29) was excellent but, admittedly, only a primer. You really should have included "slud" and the fine, often repeated tautology of "preliminary warmup pitches." Credit, too, is due Buddy Blatner for his understanding interpretations and fuller explanations.
And don't forget what Ole Diz himself said, "Lots of people who ain't sayin' 'ain't' ain't eatin'."
JAMES A. BRIGGS
Truly a gem among Deanisms occurred during a brief shower that held up play in one of last season's games. Diz commented as follows: "The grouns keepers are rollin' out the tarpoleon and both teams are returnin' to their respectable dugouts." I have treasured this over the winter months.
BASEBALL: RETURN OF THE SPITTER
It seems to me that since the hitters in baseball are being helped every year the pitchers should also be helped. The fences are being moved in closer and a stop watch is held on the pitcher, thus aiding the hitter. The spitball ought to be legalized.
The spitter isn't any more dangerous than the knuckle ball.
To speed up games and bring back pitching, why not legalize the spitball?
•So say we. Why not?—ED.
As a charter subscriber I protest! Where is TIP FROM THE TOP? Loved Hogan's stuff, but TIP FROM THE TOP must be returned as a weekly feature.
•Betty Jameson gets TIP FROM THE TOP back in the groove May 27, with an assist from a now thoroughly rested Tony Ravielli.—ED.
MURRAY'S LAW (CONT.): REJECTED
It was gratifying to see in the 19TH HOLE of April 29 that six of the seven letters printed regarding James Murray's Fame Is for Winners expressed opinions similar to my own, namely, that this article was a waste of time, not of Murray's perhaps, but surely of his readers', as well as a waste of valuable space in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
The futile effort of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S Ed. in Mr. Murray's behalf was equally wasteful of time and space. Although errors in judgment can and do happen even to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, I hope sincerely that they are kept at a minimum.
In spite of Mr. Murray's article and—ED.'s approval thereof, I shall continue to be of the opinion that places in baseball's Hall of Fame should be reserved for baseball's immortals, such as Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner and their ilk, rather than the Ruths, DiMaggios el ah, who were fortunate enough to have become members of the Yankees during and since the advent of baseball's successor, "slugball," in which most of baseball's finer arts have all but disappeared.
MURRAY'S LAW (CONT.): ACCEPTED
Ever since the arrival of your Special Baseball Issue, I have been musing as to how I could properly comment on the tremendously articulate piece, Fame Is for Winners. I got my inspiration from the comments of readers in 19TH HOLE, April 29.
In case Merl L. Demoll or any of his followers wishes to know, I will take Spud Chandler, Wally Pipp, Arthur Nehf—yes, and Tommy Byrne, Gil McDougald, Hank Bauer, Tommy Henrich and many other lesser stars over Robin Roberts, Bob Feller and other stars with fabulous personal records and achievements.
The classic and ever-present example of this controversy is the baseball club known as the New York Yankees, who win and win and win because they seek, train and cultivate players who play to win—for the club. If they can't live up to this formula, they move on and become individual stars somewhere else. If anyone doubts that the Yankees are great because they have the will to win, will he please tell me why the Red Sox of the Williams, Stephens, Doerr and York era couldn't beat them. It isn't the stars who win; it is ballplayers who have the ability to be "championship players," as Joe McCarthy used to point out. Championship players often show only fair personal records but, when there is a pitch, a catch, or a hit that must be had, they get it. The reverse is usually true of stars.
CHARLES E. GOULD
•The box score on Murray's Law to date is 27 adherents against 113 scoff-laws.—ED.
GIRL MARKSMEN: WILLIAM AND MARY
I very much enjoyed the group portrait of the Denver University women's rifle champions (PAT ON THE BACK, May 6).
About a year ago the College of William and Mary organized a men's varsity rifle team to compete in the Southern Conference. It was supposed to be a men's team, that is, until Josie Toth, a William and Mary coed, talked Sgt. Murphy Davis, the rifle coach, into letting her try out for the team. She did so well that she became the only girl on the varsity team, ranking fourth in competition. The team completed eight postal matches and two shoulder-to-shoulder matches against VPI and the University of Richmond before the authorities decided that having a girl on a man's varsity team might be a violation of conference rules (not to mention convention), and Josie Toth had to bow out. However, Alvin Duke Chandler, president of the college, to whom Josie appealed the decision, has decided that next year, if there is enough interest, William and Mary will field a girls' rifle team, and it may yet be that Josie will compete against the fine Denver girls' team which you recently complimented on winning the IRA collegiate women's championship.
GIRL MARKSMAN: BOSTON UNIVERSITY
Rifle shooting is a sport that has caught on a great deal in women's and coeducational colleges over the past few years. The women's team at Boston University, for example, recently won the National Rifle Association intercollegiate prone championship. One of the team members, Janet Heidtmann, a very line marksman, captured the national intercollegiate individual prone championship, twice scoring 400 out of a possible 400.