SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR (CONT.)
Without a doubt, the selection of one individual as Sportsman of the Year is a herculean task. He must be a proven leader, a star performer and dedicated to his sport. He should be no current flash having a good year. Here in my home town there is just such a champion and sportsman:
Last year he broke his leg at Del Mar. The local writers said that this marked the end of a great career: he couldn't come back. But he did. He was second in winners and stakes victories only to Willie Shoemaker at Hollywood Park. He beat The Shoe and the then proud Round Table in the $100,000 Californian by four lengths.
This summer the annual riding champ of Del Mar again broke his leg. This time, they said, the man who rode Count Fleet to the Triple Crown was surely through. He couldn't come back again.
Well, he is going to. Some may doubt it. Not I. I know him, know him as an athlete whose devotion and proficiency are not just a means of earning a living, but a way of life.
November 17, 1958
My nomination is Johnny Longden, gentleman, horseman, winner of more than 5,000 races, grandfather and always the courageous sportsman.
DON S. BOLLER
Jimmy Brown, the Cleveland Browns' one-man offense, is my choice.
After watching Iowa beat Michigan here at Ann Arbor for the first time in 34 years, I nominate Forest Evashevski, a Michigan alumnus.
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Peter Dawkins? Althea Gibson? Herb Elliott? Bob Turley? Bennie Oosterbaan (19TH HOLE, NOV. 3)? Good grief!
Casey Stengel, of course. And about time.
San Luis Rey, Calif.
I second Bennie Oosterbaan, coach of the University of Michigan football team.
In his many years with the University of Michigan he has consistently been an outstanding coach both in games won and in the character he has built in the young men who have played for him.
LOREN T. ROBINSON
My nomination is the incomparable Bob Pettit. Last season, just recovering from a broken wrist, he went into the final game of the World Series of basketball and almost beat the fabulous Boston Celtics singlehanded, scoring 50 record-shattering points. Because of the Bombardier from Baton Rouge the Hawks are the champions of the world. I think when a man reaches the top of any business he deserves the respect of everyone.
GARY D. FOX
Rock Hill, Mo.
Ray Robinson. His second fight with Carmen Basilio clearly showed that he is the greatest middleweight of all time.
Van Nuys, Calif.
For quality of effort and manner of striving, I nominate the crew of Vim.
Never has anyone worked harder than they in striving for the honor of defending the America's Cup. And yet, after the hard-fought match races, the entire crew of Vim was waiting on shore for the members of Columbia to cheer them and wish them well in the race against Sceptre.
One has only to read the Sept. 22 issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED to know the profound impression this created. Contributing Editor Carleton Mitchell summed it up by writing: "Never had a group more distinguished itself in defeat than the Vim organization." And he concluded with: "Sportsmanship can rise to no higher levels."
RUTH B. SIMMONS
West Barrington, R.I.
McDANIEL: SHOOT WHERE YOU LOOK
Lucky McDaniel might obtain an explanation for his Shooting by Instinct (SI, Oct. 20) from Mr. Robert Churchill, the grand old man of the shotgun in England (not to be confused with Winston) and the sponsor of the XXV (25-inch-barrel shotgun).
Here is what Churchill has been saying for 40 years:
You will shoot exactly where you are looking: "Look at the bird.... Apparently you are shooting straight at the bird, but, unconsciously, you will be making all necessary allowances."
Robert Churchill and Lucky McDaniel arrived at the same extraordinary conclusion. Briefly paraphrased, here are their ideas—and they work:
You have nothing to think about. But you must do your drill and you must have a gun that fits you so that it comes up always in such a way that your eye sees the sighting plane terminating in the foresight.
J. M. KIDD
•Martin Kane made the point that Lucky's technique is essentially that of a good shotgunner, but that his genius lies in the ability to do (and teach others to do) with a rifle and-pistol what is considered topnotch work with a shotgun, which has the big advantage that the length of the shot string and the spread of the shot compensate for small errors in accuracy and timing.—ED.
BRIDGE: I AM FROM CALIFORNIA
Reading Charles Goren's article concerning the meeting of bridge instructors (The Heart That Broke Par, SI, Oct. 27), I was reminded of a phenomenon that I have encountered recently which I simply fail to comprehend.
Certain bridge players in this city (quite a number, in fact), while playing rubber bridge, make use of a bid called Winslow. The Winslow is injected into the bidding during the first round, and the oral bid is, simply, "Winslow." Whenever I hear this my sensibilities about strict and proper bidding are jolted and I become completely unjointed. However, they go on to tell me sincerely that the Winslow is categorized between one spade and one no trump; that the opposing team must bid one no trump or two of a suit to overbid the Winslow.
The Winslow bid means something, I don't know what, to the bidder's partner that is somewhat similar to the short club convention.
I have had this aborted bidding started at a table where I was playing, but I have always refused to recognize the bid, much less let it stand. I have also heard of its being much used in this area.
The people who use it attribute it directly to a Goren instructor here in Wichita Falls and swear that it is a Goren system.
I am from California and simply do not believe that there is any such thing. If there is, my wife and I are going to invent our own system of "dead soldier" or something equally as foolish.
Seriously, I have always blindly believed that the only correct bids in bridge were one, two, etc. clubs, diamonds, hearts, spades, or no trump—period!
Please give me an authoritative statement clearing up this matter that I may carry with me to the next bridge party I attend.
ANTHONY L. STOLZ
Wichita Falls, Texas
•There are only 16 words that can be used in bidding, and Winslow is not one of them.—ED.
You deserve a real commendation for the editorial "Washington Asks for Advice and Gets It" (EVENTS & DISCOVERIES, Oct. 27). This sort of coverage is excellent in bringing to the attention of the public the efforts being made to improve the fitness of our youth. To my knowledge, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is the only magazine available which regularly covers this vital aspect of our present-day life.
I wholeheartedly agree with every recommendation made by the President's Citizens Advisory Committee. Especially excellent was the statement by Chairman Wadsworth. "What I want for my children..." could well serve as a frontispiece for every curriculum guide and course of study in the nation's schools—for any area of the curriculum.
Consultant, Health and Recreation Sacramento
The report to President Eisenhower entitled Fitness of American Youth sounds of value and I would very much like to obtain a copy. Where do you advise I write to secure a copy of this publication?
University of North Carolina
•Educators and others with a pertinent interest in fitness should address their requests to the President's Council on Youth Fitness, 441 G St. N.W., Washington 25, D.C.—ED.
IN THE BAG (CONT.)
In the EVENTS & DISCOVERIES columns of Oct. 27 we of the Detroit Hockey Club read with interest the story concerning the Tea Council's choice of Bill Skowron as Sportsman of the Year.
Our personal nomination would be Gordie Howe, captain of the Red Wings, who has been drinking tea before, during and after every game of his 13-year National Hockey League career.
The reason why the Red Wings are interested in anything to do with tea and sports is that for 22 seasons now tea has been used by our trainers as a pregame, between-periods and postgame refresher and stimulant, at home and on the road.
On road trips, Lefty Wilson, head trainer, includes a gallon thermos bottle, a heating rod and quart-sized tea bags among his equipment. Tea is also used after the daily practice session at Olympia during the season.
The use of tea in the Red Wings' dressing room, which is the only drink allowed—no beer, soft drinks or water—began back in the playoffs of 1936. Detroit and the old Montreal Maroons played a 176½-minute game; it was 2:25 a.m. when the Wings scored the game's only goal after three regular 20-minute periods, five overtime 20-minute periods and 16:30 of a sixth extra session. The contest spanned two days, from March 24 to March 25.
General Manager Jack Adams realized as the game wore on that his players last ate at 4 in the afternoon and were beginning to drag. So to give them something to perk them up, he sent Honey Walker, then trainer, across the street from the Forum in Montreal to get some jugs of tea.
Ever since that night, tea has been a part of the regular training and conditioning procedure of the Red Wings. The players like it particularly during the intermissions, when the warm liquid dissolves the saliva accumulated in the mouth during the action.
GOAL OR BASKET?
In your issue of Oct. 20 you show the late Pope Pius XII congratulating a basketball player. Isn't that a soccer ball?
•It's a European basketball.—ED.
FOOTBALL: FREE RIDE
In your October 13 article on the Block O cheering section at Ohio State (Who's Who at Ohio State) you offered a free subscription to anyone in the picture who identified herself, with two friends attesting. I am one of the 17 girls with sunglasses. I bet I am not the only one you are going to hear from.
•No, Miss Miller, you were not the only one. Here are some others.—ED.
Roberta M. Sturges
Judy M. Kyle
Darrell L. Huffman
June A. Joachim
Mary Jane Wagner
Patty Lynn Day
John T. Paxton
Edward H. Holliger
David A. Parker
Sherwyn G. Long
Mary E. Glessner
Mary Jane Forman
Sandra Kay Crawford
Sue Kay Ridgeway
Jose R. Vassaux
A. J. Bridenbaugh
Ann R. Thompson
John M. Anspach
Dorian G. Lester
Betty C. Powell
Jeanne M. Fay