L.A. TO N.Y.: THE SEASON CONSIDERED
Well, everyone seems to have had their fun. The New York magazines, sports-writers and newspapers have blown off steam because the Dodgers and Giants pulled up stakes and moved west on Mr. Greeley's advice.
The baseball fan out here in California has been cussed and discussed. O'Malley has been castigated for coming out "in favor of money," the Coliseum has been called everything from Smog Field to the Memorial Cow Pasture, and the short left-field fence (SI, May 5) has been dubbed an annex to Chinatown.
Well, the baseball season is pretty well started now and we should be able to look at a few facts.
Many of us here in California, myself included, did not look forward to the Dodgers. We didn't want a bunch of money-hungry hogs from New York, which is what it appeared at first that O'Malley and his gang were. But since they arrived we have learned that the Dodgers are a darn nice bunch of fellows and a pretty good baseball team. They've given a good show and they're trying with all their hearts. Which is what counts. These fellows are sportsmen. I can understand why New York hated to lose them.
New York apparently still doesn't know what happened, but I think I do. The New York fan won't help keep what he has. If he gave a Chinese home run for his sports, he'd be out to every game the Yankees played. Since New York has only one-third of its baseball left, Yankee attendance should triple, or at least double, over what it was last year.
In the first two weeks the Dodgers have averaged 41,956 fans per game at the Coliseum. The Yanks, in "baseball-mad" New York, have pulled in only 16,378 fans. So the biggest city in the nation, with almost four times as many people as Los Angeles has, contributes only one-half as many fans per game. You people may not be baseball fans, but you certainly have a healthy pair of lungs to yell with.
Why don't you guys quit crying and start supporting your team before California or Oregon takes your Yankees away from you?
Santa Monica, Calif.
N.Y. TO L.A.: REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST
Concerning Mr. Walter O'Malley's letter (19TH HOLE, April 21) criticizing Ravielli's drawing of a baseball, let me submit just this one thought: with the number of baseballs flying daily over the scandalously short left-field wall in the L.A. Coliseum, how could Mr. O'Malley possibly even remember what a baseball actually looks like?
New York City
N.Y. TO L.A.: WHY NOT...
Mr. O'Malley, why not have a screen, say 10 feet high, extend back up into the stands? Thus, pop flies, if they hit into this net (which would be somewhat similar to the type used behind home plate), could be ruled as ground-rule doubles, eliminating the pop-fly homers. Those high, hard liners which the old screen intercepted would skip off this screen if hit hard enough and go up into the stands for home runs. The screen could be terminated at a realistic major league park distance, say 340 feet down the line.
•It's fun, but is it baseball?—ED.
L.A. TO N.Y.: HA, HA, HA
Everyone is having a ball taking sideswipes at L.A. New York's wail of agony and New Yorkerish cracks about our city, our people and our Coliseum just make us laugh out of the right side of our mouths. We got 'em, you synthetic sophisticates, and watcha gonna do about it?
L. B. C. WATKINS
L.A. TO N.Y.: AN INVITE
I notice the Yankees drew a spectacular opening-day gathering of 23,463. The other end of the Coliseum is available if the Yankees should want it.
Long Beach, Calif.
S.F.: PAY-TV (CONT.)
We San Franciscans are supporting the Giants and really like having big league ball here. However, Horace Stoneham (SI, May 5) seems to think we're local yokels. Not only does he prevent any televising of away-from-home Giant games but he has stopped us from seeing the game of the week on TV. Our 49er football team televises its away games and found it stimulates home-game attention. Stoneham and Skiatron, and especially Skiatron, are using the Giants to get pay-TV here. My set will remain off if they manage to force major networks to go along with them.
ANDREW E. HIGHAM
FOREIGN CARS: WHICH ONE? (CONT.)
I note with a great deal of surprise that you picked the MGA Sports Coupe ($2,785 with wire wheels) as the best value in a "reasonably priced sports car" (19th HOLE, April 21). I would like to point out that the Triumph TR3 convertible, which lists for $2,675 plus $110.50 for wire wheels totals nearly the same amount (50¢ more). In the Triumph TR3 you have a two-liter engine developing 100 hp as opposed to the MGA one-and-a-half-liter engine which is rated at 72 hp. In addition to this, the Triumph has disk brakes in the front as standard equipment.
The Triumph TR3 is also available with a detachable steel hard top.
New York City
From your answer to Clarke P. Baldwin's query, I can only assume that you completely missed the Fiat display when you visited the International Automobile Show at the Coliseum.
As compensation for your readers who also lost this opportunity, why don't you run a picture of Fiat's 1200 convertible, one of the handsomest inexpensive foreign sports cars on the American market.
ST. CLAIR PUGH
New York City
In recommending certain foreign cars you said: "Only a fool or an editor would stick his neck out on a question like that."
Although I am neither an editor nor a fool (I am in the motor sales business), I suggest that your readers take a close look at both the Triumph and the Opel before any final commitment.
•See below the choices of Messrs. Allen, Pugh and Lazarus.—ED.
DREAM STREAM: QUINAULT'S INDIAN PETE
I have fished for trout on the Quinault River (Three Dream Streams, SI, April 7) about which Mr. Roderick Haig-Brown wrote, so I enjoyed having my happy recollection of it refreshed by his acute observations.
But there was another part of my fishing trip on the Quinault which was more entertaining and exciting than the fishing. That was the power-canoe handling of our guide, Frank Pickernell of Taholah, Washington, whom Mr. Haig-Brown mentioned. Frank calls himself Indian Pete—the name with which he gained renown in the region as a bantamweight prizefighter.
Indian Pete, a charming companion, got his long, splinterlike, dugout canoe, pushed by a 25-hp outboard motor, up and down the Quinault with incredible dash, skill and daring. To get over shallows and log jams on the way up the river he had perfected a sort of running leap for which he seemed to have the clearance calculated to a fraction of an inch. On the way down he frequently added the full speed of his high-powered canoe to the speed of the water to keep clear of the bank in shooting through some of the heaviest runs of the big river like a bat out of hell.
No one ever built a roller coaster that could begin to provide the thrills that Indian Pete could provide with his canoe when the Quinault is running low.
DEXTER MERRIAM KEEZER
New York City
•Frank Pickernell fought under the name of Indian Pete from 1921 to 1942 all over the Pacific Northwest. A fierce, scrappy bantamweight, he won 42 fights (including 17 first-round knockouts), lost 10 and drew eight. At the age of 32 Pickernell resumed his amateur standing and won 16 more fights, including the Northwest Indian bantamweight title. Today at 65 Pickernell is considered one of the best guides on the river and not illogically is the law enforcement officer of Taholah, Washington.—ED.