19TH HOLE: The readers take over

August 24, 1958

MOSCOW: FACTS AND FIGURES
Sirs:
You recently ran a chart comparing Rafer Johnson with the greatest decathlon men before him, including Jim Thorpe (SI, Aug. 11).

I take exception to your conclusion that Johnson, because of better times and distances, is the greatest ever. I submit that a time-for-time and distance-for-distance comparison without regard for a 46-year time lapse is a poor comparison indeed.

Therefore, I have prepared a chart comparing Johnson and Thorpe with their fellow competitors. I have compared, with the help of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, H. Archie Richardson's Little Black Book and some reporters' calculations, Johnson's best against the current world records and Thorpe's best against the records of 1912. The results show that in six out of 10 events Thorpe's marks were closer to the existing world record than were those of Johnson in Moscow.

I think Rafer Johnson is the greatest all-round athlete in the world today and a credit to his race and his country. But I don't think he is the greatest ever.
JERRY A. BURNS
Santa Monica, Calif.

•Was Einstein a greater natural scientist than Newton? Yes, if the yardstick is man's approximation to the ultimate truth. No, if a man is judged by his times and his contemporaries. There is, as Roger Bannister pointed out last week in his reflections on the Dublin milers, a physiological absolute which, axiomatically, runners will never reach. In our opinion, he who comes closest to that ultimate barrier is by definition the greatest athlete.—ED.

Sirs:
With the tremendous uproar over Rafer Johnson's remarkable performance in the decathlon in the meet with Russia, my curiosity has reached the breaking point. I have never been able to figure out the method of giving points in the decathlon.
BOB PFEIFER
Peoria, Ill.

•The International Amateur Athletic Federation has worked out a "performance curve" applicable to every track and field event. In the running events the curve shows the mathematical relation between actual performances over different distances, expressing the relationship in terms of change of speed per 100 meters. From this curve 78 pages of statistical tables have been worked out covering virtually all possible times and distances of all events. Shown below is that section which shows the relationship among eight running events and the point value for 21 equivalent performance times in each. The table shows, for example, that a time of 3 minutes over 1,000 meters is the performance equivalent of 38.01 minutes over the 10,000-meter distance. Both are awarded 331 points out of 1,500 maximum.—ED.

Sirs:
Why didn't Vladimir Kuts run the 5,000 or 10,000 meters for Russia in the meet with the U.S.?

Will he run in the European championships at Stockholm? How do his 5,000-meter times compare with Thomas' three miles? Next year when the Russians come here will the distances be English or metric?
PATRICK PALMER
Lansing, Mich.

•Kuts was out with a stomach ailment. For the Stockholm games, too, which started August 19, Kuts was similarly unavailable. When he set his record of 13:35 for the 5,000-meter run last October in Rome no official time was taken at the three-mile mark, but observers conservatively estimated the time as 13:10. Thomas' time was 13:10.8. No official plans have been set for meeting at Philadelphia next year, but the distances will probably be metric, as in most international events.—ED.

MOTOR SPORTS: FRISKY FIAT
Sirs:
Congratulations on the story of Lime Rock's Little Le Mans (SI, August 11). It was a wonderfully exciting day for all of us who drove in the race, and all the cars stood up extremely well for the grueling 10 hours.

I had the privilege of driving, as a private entry, a new Fiat 1100 to first place in class B, and I might add that two Fiat 600s placed one and two in class E for the smallest cars. Our finish of over-all seventh was even greater testimony to the ability of the Fiat 1100, since we defeated several factory-sponsored cars with considerably more horsepower.

I thought you'd be interested in getting this additional score on Lime Rock.
WERNER E. JATZKE
Ridgewood, N.J.

A DOG IN THE MENAGERIE
Sirs:
Boston's prime candidate for Virginia Kraft's dog education course (SI, July 14, 21), a collie-beagle named Lassie, was the feature attraction at Franklin Park Zoo this week. The lesson she learned: don't go near the water.

While her mistress, 11-year-old Patricia Murphy, who was visiting the zoo, was trying to fix leash to her collar, the year-old puppy slipped away and, hearkening to a possible retriever trace in her lineage, made a beeline for the zoo lagoon.

Digging her way into the domicile of the ducks, mallards, swans, geese and seals, Lassie let out a thundering yelp and dove into the pond, hot on the trail, and headed straight for the swans. But the latter ducked their heads under water, ostrich-style, a highly unnerving maneuver.

The hubbub had attracted not only a crowd, but also the neighboring seals, who promptly dove through a gap in the restraining fence for a firsthand account of the proceedings. At the first sealy bark, Lassie forgot all about his feathered prey. Here was big game.

One seal flipped up on the center island for a better view and Lassie followed, soggy, dripping, but undaunted. Crouching, she began the stalk, circling warily. The gangly pup charged and the bemused seal somersaulted into the water, poor Lassie right behind her. This just wasn't her day.

In the meantime, to the spectators' delight, the park foreman, a police officer and an attendant arrived on the scene and tried to corner Lassie on shore, to no avail until young Miss Murphy appeared. After much coaxing, Lassie returned through her newly dug tunnel. The crowd cheered.

"In 10 years," muttered an attendant to me, "I never saw anything like this. Praise be she stayed out of the lion house."
ERIK LUND
Boston

TALK ABOUT RECORDS!
Sirs:
I was a little disappointed at not having seen anything about the world's record talker. She is Mrs. Alton Clapp of Greenville, N.C. Mrs. Clapp won the title by talking continuously for 96 hours 54 minutes and 11 seconds, a new record. The object was to win $750 in prizes.
JIMMY WATERS
Greenville, N.C.

•See below for Mrs. Clapp's magic moment.—ED.

[originallink:10485586:41495]

PHOTOMRS. CLAPP TALKS

EVENT

JOHNSON ('58)

RECORD

DIFF.

100 meters

10.6

10.1

.5

Broad jump

23'6¼"

26'8¼"

3 ft. 2 in.

Shotput

48'2¼"

63'2"

14 ft. 11¾ in.

High jump

5'10¾"

7'½"

1 ft. 1¾ in.

400 meters

48.2

45.2

3

110 hurdles

14.9

13.4

1.5

Discus

160'11‚Öû"

194'6"

33 ft. 6‚⅛ in.

Pole vault

12'11‚Öû"

15'8¼"

2 ft. 8‚Öú in.

Javelin

238'1‚Öû"

281'2"

43 ft.‚⅛ in.

1,500 meters

5:05.0

3:40.6

1:24.4

EVENT

THORPE ('12)

RECORD

DIFF.

100 meters

11.2

10.6

.6

Broad jump

22'2¼"

24'11¾"

2 ft. 9½ in.

Shotput

42'5½"

51 ft.

8 ft. 6½ in.

High jump

6'1½"

6'7"

5½ in.

400 meters

52.2

48.2

4

110 hurdles

15.6

15

.6

Discus

121'3‚Öû"

156'1‚Öú"

34 ft. 9½ in.

Pole vault

10'7‚Öû"

13'2¼"

2 ft. 6‚Öú in.

Javelin

149'11‚⅛"

204'5½"

54 ft. 6‚Öú in.

1,500 meters

4:40.1

3:55.8

44.3

1000m min.

1500m min.

1 mile 1609, 34m min.

2000m min.

3000m min.

2 miles 3218, 68m min.

5000m min.

10000m min.

Points

2.58,4

-

-

6.39,0

10.21,0

11.09,8

17.55,0

37.42,0

350

2.58,5

4.48,0

5.12,2

6.39,2

10.21,4

11.10,2

17.55,5

37.43,0

349

2.58,6

4.48,2

5.12,4

6.39,4

10.21,6

11.10,4

17.56,0

37.44,0

348

-

-

-

6.39,6

10.21,8

11.10,8

17.56,5

37.45,0

347

2.58,7

4.48,4

5.12,6

6.39,8

10.22,2

11.11,0

17.57,0

37.46,0

346

2.58,8

4.48,6

5.12,8

6.40,0

10.22,4

11.11,4

17.57,5

37.47,0

345

2.58,9

-

-

6.40,2

10.22,8

11.11,6

17.58,0

37.48,0

344

2.59,0

4.48,8

5.13,0

-

10.23,0

11.11,8

17.58,5

37.49,0

343

2.59,1

4.49,0

5.13,2

6.40,4

10.23,4

11.12,2

17.59,0

37.50,0

342

-

-

-

6.40,6

10.23,6

11.12,4

17.59,5

37.51,0

341

2.59,2

4.49,2

5.13,4

6.40,8

10.23,8

11.12,8

18.00,0

37.52,0

340

2.59,3

4.49,4

5.13,6

6.41,0

10.24,2

11.13,0

18.00,5

37.53,0

339

2.59,4

-

-

6.41,2

10.24,4

11.13,4

18.01,0

37.54,0

338

2.59,5

4.49,6

5.13,8

6.41,4

10.24,8

11.13,6

18.01,5

37.55,0

337

2.59,6

4.49,8

5.14,0

6.41,6

10.25,0

11.13,8

18.02,0

37.56,0

336

-

-

5.14,2

6.41,8

10.25,4

11.14,2

18.02,5

37.57,0

335

2.59,7

4.50,0

-

6.42,0

10.25,6

11.14,4

18.03,0

37.58,0

334

2.59,8

4.50,2

5.14,4

6.42,2

10.25,8

11.14,8

18.03,5

37.59,0

333

2.59,9

-

5.14,6

-

10.26,2

11.15,0

18.04,0

38.00,0

332

3.00,0

4.50,4

-

6.42,4

10.26,4

11.15,4

18.04,5

38.01,0

331

3.00,1

4.50,6

5.14,8

6.42,6

10.26,8

11.15,6

18.05,0

38.02,0

330

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)