DARK HORSE POWER
WITH AUTOMAKERS' BAN ON SPEED AND HORSEPOWER IN ADVERTISING, HOW ABOUT CARTOON OF CAR SALESMAN WITH PICTURES OF CARS AND SPEEDS PINNED INSIDE COAT, LIKE FEELTHY FRENCH POSTCARDS? PUNCH LINE: "SHE'LL HIT 60 IN SECOND GEAR."
•Like this? See below and page 33.—ED.
MOTOR SPORTS: THE REAL MESSAGE
Am I wrong in assuming that manhood is achieved by an individual when he demands as a right the responsibility for his every voluntary action?
The voice of the Vatican and the feeble bleat of Billy Graham (SI, May 27) would indicate the contempt they have for the racing enthusiast's mentality, and while this is annoying it is not unbearable. What fills one with rage is the insolent, cruelly inhuman implication that we are incapable and unworthy of manhood.
June 16, 1957
To hint that the Mille Miglia victims were murdered is to say clearly and unequivocally that they were either lured against their judgment to death or were so dim-witted and lacking in judgment that they assumed they were attending a volley ball tournament....
De Portago's article revealed an intelligent and delightfully witty man, and its real message was that when man stops lusting for adventure and danger he will wither on the vine.
G. M. HOWELL
MOTOR SPORTS: A NOTION OF LIFE
Admittedly, a number of people died at the Mille Miglia. I was talking to Ernie McAfee approximately two weekends before he was done in at Pebble Beach last year, and he made one statement that still lives: "People die in bathtubs, you know." Before Ernie checked out he had accomplished what he set out to do: at Santa Barbara he took the under-l,500-cc event in an OSCA and the over-l,500-cc event in the same Ferrari he died in. He was 42 years old, and he lived all 42 of them!
By the same token I admire the young Spanish nobleman; he certainly did not leave this particular life without having some notion what life was all about.
H. E. McDONALD
Van Nuys, Calif.
MOTOR SPORTS: NO OTHER WAY
The Vatican's L'Osservatore Romano says, speaking of Alfonso de Portago:
"The unhappy man declared that nothing terrified him more than to lose control of his machine."
Unhappy? I don't think so. He was doing what he loved best of all the sports in which he had ever competed, and I'm sure that he would have had it no other way.
Port Angeles, Wash.
MOTOR SPORTS: SPEECHLESS ELOQUENCE
I have attempted to write you a coherent reaction to the letter of Ellen Olivier (19th HOLE, June 3) who says of the tragic events of the recent Mille Miglia, "If death in any form horrifies you, you may be illustrated, but you are no sports." I cannot. I am speechless with horror.
MRS. JOHN W. LINCOLN
MOTOR SPORTS: GREAT REVIVAL
I salute the Marquis de Portago.... He lived well, he wrote well, he drove well and he died well.
H. FREDERIC DOBSON JR.
MOTOR SPORTS: IT KEEPS THEM OFF THE STREETS
I enjoyed the article Speed—and Indianapolis by Ken Rudeen. Racing such as is carried on in the U.S. must never be banned. It proves an invaluable outlet for both fans and participants who would otherwise be forced to vent their speed mania on the public highways.
•The circumstances of De Portago's death have caused some searching of souls among thoughtful people everywhere. The great majority of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S writing readers appear to accept that racing is a sport (as opposed to the "games" of tennis, football, soccer) of which the risk of life and limb is an integral part.—ED.
BASEBALL: UNERRING SCORERS
Reader Weatherford, a stranger, and SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, a friend, presume too readily (19TH HOLE, June 3). I am the official scorer at Yankee Stadium and deny both the prejudice accorded me by Mr. Weatherford and the lack of objectivity by SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
In scoring a hit for Lemon on the Mantle muff, I took into consideration the high wind which caused fly balls to twist-and veer off natural course, a climatic condition particularly evident that afternoon. Three other outfielders in the game stumbled uncertainly under drives and managed to grab them.
I had no intention of favoring Mantle or Lemon. A couple of days earlier, Nellie Fox of Chicago hit an even longer ball to center which Mantle dropped after a run. I called it an error because I believed he had missed the ball. In the Lemon case, I thought the wind swooped it away from him. The Yankee players in the bullpen backed up my views. Mantle, to his credit, would not alibi the play.
Fox, incidentally, screamed that he had been robbed of a triple by me. I sent him, through White Sox publicity man Ed Short, pictures to prove the error.
As for Mr. Weatherford's suggestion about having a person other than a baseball writer do the scoring—bully. I have advocated that for years. But no umpire wants the headache. And as for the $21 per game, I doubt that any baseball writer needs it. I am well paid by the New York Daily News and was buying gas for my Cadillac before I became an official scorer. Scoring is an honor, not a livelihood, sir.
I don't know Mr. Weatherford's business, but I hope that the mistakes he makes and the judgments handed down are not the result of "prejudice" or a "partisan attitude."
President, New York Chapter
Baseball Writers' Association of America
•We agree with Mr. Trimble, a friend, that to be official scorer is an honor, indeed, and assure him that we spoke without prejudice or partisanship, sir.—ED.
BASEBALL: THAT GLORIOUS PRIVILEGE
It is with heavy heart I take up my pen, but I have reached the breaking point. I can endure it when you make disparaging remarks about my favorite athletes or fail to mention them at all. I can treat it philosophically when you, at the beginning of every season, discount the chances of my beloved Chicago White Sox. But when you give not one line, not one pica of print to the best game pitched in either league this year, I am broken. My favorite ballplayer, the light of my life, the best right-handed pitcher in the American League, Dick Donovan, pitches a one-hitter, facing only 28 batters, and your publication is seemingly unaware. Clem Labine gets a song written about him. His team isn't even heading the league.
I know I shall feel like the lowest sort of crawling thing when I get your obviously sincere, completely witty, utterly playing-the-gamesmanlike, terrifyingly nice apology—but anything for my Dickie.
In case you get suspicious when you see the signature, I have not the honor of being related to Mr. Donovan; it is my glorious privilege to regard him with hero worship, write him adoring letters, and become happily enraptured when he is so charmingly kind as to write to me. Being but 14 years old, I am allowed to engage in such insanities.
Falls Church, Va.
•What is there to say but, gosh, we're sorry.—ED.
BASEBALL: NEW FACES
I give you my most profound congratulations on the article about Don Hoak by Roy Terrell (SI, May 27). It's good to read about a new face once in a while.
FRANK M. HOAK III (no relation)
Los Gatos, Calif.
DAME JULIANA: SCHOLARLY SPORT
The Dame Juliana Berners articles (SI, May 13 et seq.) were a masterly wedding of scholarship and sports.
Who can say America is uncultured when a masterpiece like this appears in a popular sporting magazine?
You are to be commended for publishing it, and the authors for producing it.
REV. C. H. BOPP, S.T.M.
DAME JULIANA: CUTE AND ACUTE
Many thanks for the publication of The Lady and the Trout.
It is remarkable that the winds of Old England 500 years ago are like those of Michigan today: when the wind is in the east, fishing is least; in the north, fishermen won't go forth; in the south, it puts bait in the fish's mouth; and in the west, fishing is best.
It would be a fine thing if Dame Juliana's ethics and the cute and acute suggestions of Mr. Wynkyn de Worde were to be adopted by conservationists as a kind of oath of Hippocrates.
DR. ROBERT R. DIETERLE
Ann Arbor, Mich.
HOTBOX: CHANGE OF HEART
I used to like people much better than dogs but after reading the answers to your HOTBOX question (SI, May 27) I have decided I like dogs much better than people.
NEIL C. SPRINGBORN
HOTBOX: MORE IN SORROW THAN ANGER
It is a sad commentary on man when he prefers a dog over a fellow man. No wonder the world is in such sad shape!
The men and women who answered your HOTBOX in favor of dogs need to be pitied more than honored.
MILTON R. CHESTER
HOTBOX: MAN'S VERY BEST FRIEND
Both the question, "Which do you like better, dogs or people?," and the answers were excellent. However, a better question would have been, "Which do you like best, earthworms, dogs or people?"
Earthworms never cause anyone any trouble. They require no special care or feeding, and they never wake you up in the middle of the night by barking and howling. Earthworms never get rabies, mange, measles, neurosis, athlete's foot or paranoia, and, consequently, they never run up large medical bills. I have been bitten several times by dogs and small boys, but never by earthworms. Earthworms are never disloyal to their friends (they don't have any) or to their masters. In fact, many of them are more loyal than some dogs (not every dog would give its life just to get its master a fish). Furthermore, earthworms do not engage in crime, wars or slander, and no earthworm has ever been known to assassinate a president.
So, you see, earthworms are better than both dogs and people.
FITNESS: CONVINCING TESTIMONY
One Town's Secret (SI, May 27), in very lively style, adds convincing testimony in support of the youth fitness program.
Stories such as this contribute a great deal to our program to alert the people of the nation to the need for constant attention to youth fitness. It is a pleasure to thank and commend SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for its interest in and cooperation with the youth fitness program, and to congratulate Miss Stull, who wrote the article, and Coach DeGroat and Miss Anderson.
President's Council on Youth Fitness
FITNESS: PROGRESS IN PRINCETON
Regarding your encouraging report on the physical fitness of some American youngsters, I am delighted to inform you that the secret is out.
Newtown High School may well have recorded the highest score on the telltale Kraus-Weber test among high schools, but certainly the grade schools of Princeton, N.J. are holding their own. In a recent effort, 558 children in grades three to eight took the test for flexibility and strength, and 92.3% of these students passed. If I am not mistaken, this showing beats even the splendid Newtown High mark.
Incidentally, the supervisor of the testing program in Princeton is Irwin W. Weiss, director of the physical education department, a vigorous gentleman from the Harold S. DeGroat school of rugged individualists. At the 50-year mark, Coach Weiss is still a stickler for physical fitness—in himself as well as his charges—and continues to rank as one of the East's top football officials.
ASA S. BUSHNELL III
FITNESS: UP IN MIDDLE GRANVILLE
Sports Illustrated has again performed a service for the advocates of more adequate physical education programs.
Your article on Harold DeGroat's program at Newtown points out what can be done where there are adequate facilities, personnel and time devoted to physical education.
Most communities are all-too unsuccessful in meeting these standards. According to a study which I made two years ago of 26 schools in New York State, which is considered above average, the pupil-instructor ratio was approximately an average of 350 to 1. There were extremes of one gymnasium for 1,400 pupils and one instructor for 900 pupils. Under these conditions it is physically impossible to give an adequate physical education program.
If more schools would give the time to physical education we could soon bring down the failure rate on the Kraus-Weber test from 57.9% to approach the European rate of 8.7%. Newtown, with one hour a day, has only 11.8 and in our own school, with 135 minutes a week of class instruction, which is considerably above average, our failure rate, when the test was administered following SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S feature on the test (SI, May 27), was 21%.
Middle Granville, N.Y.