BASEBALL: NO PRESUMPTION
Your photographer's interesting shot ("The Camera Catches a Thief," SI, July 15), with a 2,000-mm. lens, of New York Giants Catcher Ray Katt flashing the sign to his pitcher is most unusual...in the realm of photography. But it depicts a situation that occurs many times in the average game.
Aren't you presuming a great deal in stating that Batter Lonnett hit his homer because he received a sign from "thief" Base Runner Jones? In situations like this, the catcher will flash several signs so as to confuse any base runner trying to steal the sign and tip off the batter to the pitch. The pitcher and catcher have worked out a system in advance by which they know which of the several signs flashed is the real one.
I'm sure very few batters would dig in and count on the reliability of such "intelligence" as the runner might relay to them in these instances. Like any stolen goods, such signs are too dangerous.
•SI presumes nothing. Catcher Katt's three fingers may have been a sign, part of a sign or a decoy. We don't know. We do know that Jones (he told us so) relayed what he thought was Katt's sign to Lonnett and that Lonnett then hit his first major league home run.—ED.
July 28, 1957
BASEBALL: SHARP-EYED ORIOLE
Mr. Cartier-Bresson's series of pictures, One City One Game (SI, July 8), was certainly appreciated, but how did he ever take a picture of Baltimore Memorial Stadium while wandering around Milwaukee? Telescopic lens, maybe?
RONALD L. BRAY
•Henri Cartier-Bresson's contribution was the black-and-white photographs beginning on page 15. The color picture on page 14 was taken in Baltimore by the distinguished American photographer Mark Kauffman.—ED.
MOTOR SPORT: RUN FOR FUN
Thanks for the article on a typical run-for-fun sports car competition (Weekend Heroes on Wheels, SI, July 15). Carroll Shelby, his overalls and his $11,000 Maserati make good reading—and he's a marvelous driver—but hundreds of men like Bob Kuhn provide the competitive setting in which a star like Shelby can shine. And they provide the minor leagues from which future driving champions will spring.
The future of the sport lies in attracting large numbers of people to enjoy amateur competition in cars they can afford. The hottest modified classes will always be dominated by coveralled rich men in expensive cars. These classes will provide climactic feature events, with high speeds and superior driving. They will attract larger crowds and help to pay for many new road courses.
But public acceptance of sports car racing as a nonfoolhardy way to have a lot of fun will be gained only by showing average car fans that weekend competition is safe and within their financial means...and that they stand a chance of winning now and then.
Your article on Bob Kuhn, with dollar-and-cent estimates of the expenses of competing, helps. Now, how about articles on rallies, gymkhanas and racing—with emphasis on the fact that these are participant sports that almost everyone can enjoy.
Jackson Heights, N.Y.
•For more news of the run-for-fun sports car clan, see page 51.—ED.
TENNIS: OUR GAL SAL
Enjoyed your article New Hope for Hopefuls (SI, July 8) by Bill Talbert very much.
However, I would like to point out that he overlooked the brightest prospect of them all in the junior girls division—Miss Sally Moore, Bakersfield, California.
We like our gal, Sal.
F. W. JONES
GOLF: IN THEIR CUPS
You'll probably have a spate of reports of double holes-in-one on the same day following the July 22nd 19TH HOLE letter, so I figured I had better forward this one.
It happened July 15th on the 8th hole of the nine-hole Elks Country Club course in Council Bluffs, Iowa. In the first round of the club championship, Ed Larsen holed his tee shot on No. 8 on the second nine; his opponent, Frank Weiner, also got a hole-in-one on the eighth. Larsen, defending club champion, finally lost on the 22nd hole.
GOLF: BUSMAN'S HOLIDAY
Jerry Krueger, greenkeeper at the White Bear Yacht Club, who has been moving the cups around as one of his weekly jobs, moved them very well the other Sunday morning.
That afternoon, playing the back nine first, ex-Marine Krueger bounced his four-wood tee shot into the hole on No. 17. Four holes later, on the 141-yard No. 3, using a nine-iron, he scored his second ace of the round, en route to a one-under-par 71.
•And, upholding the honor of the pros, the youthful and popular Don Whitt scored the first hole-in-one of his life. With an eight-iron, Whitt aced the 145-yard 13th hole during a semifinal round of the PGA tournament at the Miami Valley Country Club in Dayton.—ED.
FITNESS: PRUNING WITH PRUDDEN
I read your series on The Art of Race Riding (SI, June 17 et seq.) with a great deal of care and felt well qualified to compete as a jockey. But when I applied at the race track for a job I was disqualified on my physical, being approximately 70 pounds overweight.
Would it be possible for your magazine to next publish a series of articles on weight reduction—preferably not involving any exercise?
R. D. SUMMERS
Kansas City, Kans.
•Can't guarantee jockey job or shedding of 70 pounds without the effort of exercising, but here is a hot tip: in its August 5th issue, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED begins a series of illustrated articles by Bonnie Prudden on How to Keep Fit.—ED.
GOLF: GOOD LUCK, BEN
Seeing in the late news columns of one of our evening papers that Ben Hogan couldn't go to the post in the U.S. Open hurt. Somehow, I thought he was going to notch up that fifth Open this year and become SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S Man of 1957 as well—but, no!—the gods had set the scene much differently.
However, it was great to read Ben Hogan's thoughts on the Open in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (June 24 issue). What a pleasant surprise! Wonderful to hear he will be the man to beat for a few more years. Once again I can see that fifth Open coming his way. Best of luck, Ben, in '58.
Asdee, County Kerry, Ireland
ARCARO: AMONG THE MASTERS
The article on race riding in cooperation with Eddie Arcaro and Bob Riger (June 17 et seq.) is the finest thing of its kind that has ever been done on the sport. I say this without qualification.
The only thing that ever could possibly have topped it is a series entitled How To Train Race Horses by Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons, as told to Ernest Hemingway and illustrated by Rembrandt.
CHARLES H. JOHNSON
MR. AMERICA: HUNK O' MAN
The Senior National Weight Lifting Championships and Mr. America contests have been over for weeks. You haven't reported a word about them.
Weight lifting and archery are two of the fastest-growing sports in the country, with lifting being widely accepted the world over, yet you say nary a word about either. Let's do something about it.
San Anselmo, Calif.
•Winners in the 1957 National AAU Weight Lifting Championships:
Bantamweight: Angel Famiglietti of Panama.
Featherweight: Isaac Berger of Santa Monica, Calif. (Olympic gold medalist).
Lightweight: Joe Pitman of Vero Beach, Fla.
Middleweight: Pete George of Hawaii (Olympic silver medalist).
Light Heavyweight: Tommy Kono of Honolulu (Olympic gold medalist).
Middle Heavyweight: Clyde Emrich of Chicago.
Heavyweight: Norbert Schemansky of Detroit.
Super Heavyweight (over 225 lbs.): David Ashman of Santa Monica, Calif.
Chuck Vinci, Olympic gold medalist in the bantamweight division, didn't compete, has yet to come down to earth from his three-month marriage. Superman Paul Anderson, the Olympic gold medalist, has turned professional.—ED.
NATURE: MINNIE HAS HINNIES
As a former breeder of jackasses (mammoth Kentucky variety) I thoroughly enjoyed A Joy of Donkeys in the July 8 issue. The picture was superb.
However, I cannot let John O'Reilly's mistake go by: if Minnie, the female donkey, is bred to a pony stallion her foal will be a hinny, not a mule!
Still a splendid article.
•Reader Dunham, who breeds pit game fowl and pit bull terriers, is technically correct, although the term "mule" is popularly accepted. The offspring of a she-ass bred to a stallion is a hinny, while that of a he-ass bred to a mare is a mule.—ED.
THE SAGA OF ELWOOD PERRY'S SPOONPLUG
The drawing power of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has just been dramatically proved to us in your story (E & D, July 8) of spoonplugs. Since that issue hit the stands, we have been swamped with mail and phone orders from New York to California. Everyone wants Buck Perry's spoonplugs. Our average mail has contained 500 mail orders per day this week—and there is no letup.
Klein's Sporting Goods, Inc.
For the sake of your readers who have fishing fever, might you mention how Mr. Perry's spoonplug may be obtained?
New Hyde Park, N.Y.
•SPORTS ILLUSTRATED received so many inquiries about the spoonplug that Bob Quincy, our Charlotte, N.C. correspondent, was asked to send us Perry's address (Buck's Baits, Post Office Box 644, Hickory, N.C.) and to let us know how Perry was bearing up under the avalanche of orders. Quincy reported to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED as follows:
"After sweating blood for 11 years," sighs the inventor of the spoonplug, "this looks like this is it. Some days I get a few hundred letters—then there are other days when the mail is real heavy. I'm almost scared to open it."
Forty-one-year-old Buck Perry, a former instructor in mechanical engineering at North Carolina State College, wanders through his two-story white cinder block building near Hickory, N.C, somewhat like a short-order cook at a high school recess. First the telephone rings, then a new shipment of metal arrives, then there is a conference with the foreman of the companion building being constructed beside his old office.
"They keep telling me it's going to be ready in a week," he laments. "They say that every week. I'm so far behind on orders now I hate to estimate the actual figure."
When Perry first hit acceptance with his spoonplug method of catching bass, Klein's in Chicago quickly sold out 18,600 of them. He's trying to supply them with 100 dozen daily, as well as fill other orders.
"That SPORTS ILLUSTRATED piece really did something special," he said. "After it came out, I started getting heavy mail, but I found a good many of the requests were from the executive type—you know, presidents and general managers and fellows of importance. Funny thing about that. Right along with those requests I had bids from a number of quality sporting-goods houses that wouldn't let me in the front door before. Now they want to shake my hand and welcome me into the fraternity. I'm sure the executive type has asked them about my spoonplug and got them busy realizing something has happened."
Perry devised his spoonplug ("It won't catch fish if they aren't there, but if you find them, it's like picking cherries") back in 1946.
"For 11 years I sweated blood and lost money," he said. "Why not quick acceptance? Well, I guess it's the American public's inalienable right to resist a change in thinking," he philosophizes. "I guess it just took guts and push to convince them I had something."
What of the future?
"Not too long back," said Perry, "I had six or seven working for me. Now I've been forced to hire 20—maybe more, I don't even know. When the new building goes up, I'll need even more."
Mrs. Perry stepped in with a large cardboard box of unopened letters and postcards.
"We'll get to them sometime," she said, "but it's going to take time."
Said Perry: "Frankly, I don't know where it's going to stop. When people see what the plug can do if they follow my instructions, their eyes bulge out like a stepped-on toad-frog. I'm almost scared of a follow-up story if SPORTS ILLUSTRATED does one. I don't know which way to turn now."—ED.