BASEBALL: THE FACE IS FAMILIAR
May I extend to you my sincere condolence on your lamentations provoked by the selection of a new manager for the Detroit baseball club (SI, June 23). You write with inadequate knowledge when you refer to Bill Norman as a "faceless man."
I have known Mr. Norman for quite some time and followed his success in the American Association with very great interest. In his capacity as manager of the Charleston, W. Va. club he has done a remarkably good job. Not as colorful as Casey Stengel to be sure, nor as bully-wagging as John McGraw, nor as cantankerous as Leo Durocher—I have lived with them all. My baseball storybook opened a long time ago, when Delahanty roamed the outer gardens of the Philadelphia Nationals and "Tinker to Evers to Chance" was in the making. I knew Honus Wagner and Christy Mathewson. These events carry me back probably to the days before the editors saw the light of day.
FRANK A. SUTER
Charleston, W. Va.
I put in a couple of seasons with this fellow Norman, 1938-39 with Hollywood in the old Pacific Coast League. Only an ankle injury that failed to respond kept this boy from being a Hall of Famer. He was big, strong and fast, with power to burn. I can recall old Bill Norman putting balls 500 feet and better in the Gilmore Stadium.
I write only since no one seems to know this man. Before he leaves the big show, I sincerely believe a great many people will know him. Particularly the American League! This guy is a blood-and-guts ballplayer. Smart as a whip. Never one to look over his shoulder when trouble appears, like some of the present-day boys. He always goes the route.
D. F. SAYERS
July 6, 1958
TENNIS: NEW TALENT
Another year is past and another challenger has bitten the dust, but not before giving Gonzales a run for his money (SI, June 16). Our women are in second place (by losing the Wightman Cup), our men did not win the Davis Cup, but an American still rules the professional world.
But is this enough? In my thinking it is not. Many have preached the same sermon and I would like to join the crowd. The only way to get to the top is to set up a better youth program and to develop new talent. Last year I saw two 10-year-olds, one of whom had great potentiality, turned away because they were told they were too young to play. How can we ever expect to get to the top if we turn talent away? Maybe when we have the top 25 players in the world we can do this.
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
•For a fine start, see PAT ON THE BACK, June 30.—ED.
O'MALLEY'S PRESS BOX
Poor old O'Malley is certainly taking a beating everywhere except at the box office. Enjoyed that "ode" in 19TH HOLE June 30. Here is another item making the rounds in L.A. in the form of a news flash. "It is reliably reported that the press box in the Los Angeles Coliseum is equipped with an abacus for keeping track of the Chinese home runs."
C. A. L. SMITH
HERMAN HICKMAN'S SCHOLARSHIP
The late Herman Hickman's friends at the University of Tennessee have begun collecting money for a Herman Hickman Memorial Scholarship. The proceeds will finance an annual scholarship at Tennessee, given on the basis of classroom excellence, campus leadership and athletic ability. The award will go annually to the senior who has shown these qualities to the greatest extent. The recipient will be known as the Herman Hickman Scholar.
The late Herman Hickman, whose football writings I enjoyed so much in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, was well known as an All-America, as an honor student who graduated at 20, as coach, author, bon vivant, TV and radio commentator. Yet it is entirely likely that, in the long run, he will be best remembered as the originator of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S Silver Anniversary All-America.
•Readers who would like to contribute to the Herman Hickman Memorial Scholarship at the University of Tennessee should send their contributions to P.O. Box 2011, Knoxville, Tenn.—ED.
CHURNED, TURNED AND DUNKED
Reading Joel Sayre's Georgie's Roaring River (SI, June 16 and 23), I couldn't help but remember some similar experiences when I was a boy on the Ohio River. If you have ever ridden the stern waves behind an old stern-wheeler in a rowboat or canoe you'll know what I mean.
The waves, some as high as 12 feet from crest to trough, depend on the size of the wheel and the speed of the boat. Some of the larger ones boil, break, form whirlpools and undertows that defy all efforts to control a boat. Many is the time we were dumped on the first wave and had to paddle a submerged flatboat back to shore, but were ready to go again at the sight of the next steamer. On one occasion I nosed a 12-foot paddle board into the first trough behind the old Duffy out of Louisville, pushing sand barges. The Duffy is a slow-moving tow, but pulls a lot of water up on the wheel, causing deep, close-together rollers. I got churned, turned and dunked in every direction but managed to stay with the board until it finally broke out into smoother water. Need I say I didn't try that again.
It's been a long time since you have told us anything about Jill Kinmont, the plucky youngster from California who was paralyzed in a ski spill.
ANNE B. G. WILLIAMS
•Jill Kinmont, one of the country's brightest prospects for the 1956 Winter Olympics, fell in a trial run at Alta, Utah, broke her back and for a long time lost the use of her arms and legs. Recently Jim Murray, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S West Coast correspondent, saw Jill Kinmont and reports as follows: "As usual, it's a thrill just to talk to Jill, who must be one of the pluckiest youngsters who ever lived. Jill is cheerfully resigned. 'I don't get tired in the wheelchair any more,' Jill told me, 'I used to have to lie down, but I'm getting stronger.' Jill is proud that she can now stand for 30 minutes a day with the aid of braces. She does restitutive exercises, mostly on her legs, in her home at Playa Del Rey, a suburb of Los Angeles. She is still going to UCLA and has just changed her major from business administration to languages, so that when she takes up her job of managing the ski shop at Mammoth Mountain she will be able to make buying trips to Europe. Jill even wrote a letter to Roy Campanella telling him that being confined to a wheelchair was not as bad as it sounded."—ED.
As a physical education teacher in a small Nevada high school I was very interested in your editorial, Leadership Tip from the U.S. Past (SI, June 16). I was especially interested in some of the questions you brought up concerning physical education programs. I personally feel that most people have the wrong conception of what physical education is and the philosophies that are behind it.
I suggest, as a step in the right direction, that you do a series on good programs that are now being offered to boys and girls in different sizes and types of schools throughout the country. This series could feature physical fitness through participation in such diversified activities as modern dance, aquatics, tennis, etc. Then your articles could be studied by parents, teachers and students.
I realize that my profession has a tremendous job in public relations to do. I hope that perhaps you will be able to help us with it.
I was very interested in Jeremiah Tax's Born to Trot (SI, June 9).
All of us have had the chance to get our fingers burned around the running horses, but this gave a beautiful bit of background to an entirely different branch of racing, trotting horses.
R. P. RYAN
OFF TO ROME
I read with interest Invasion of Rome (SI, May 19), concerning the 1960 Olympics.
I cannot find anything in the article concerning the location of the equestrian competitions, which, I believe, are to be held September 5 to 11.
I understand that it will be held several miles from Rome, and if you have any information concerning the exact location I will appreciate it, as I would like to make hotel reservations in the vicinity.
G. A. EBELHARE
•The present schedule for the equestrian events is as follows: Dressage and endurance are scheduled for September 5-7 at Pratone di Nemi, about 19 miles south of Rome. After that, all hoofprints lead back to the city. Jumping takes place on September 8 in the Piazza di Siena, and the Grand Prix de Dressage is held there September 9-10. The Grand Prix des Obstacles is slated for September 11 in the Olympic Stadium.—ED.