BASEBALL: THE PUBLIC INTEREST
The originality displayed in Gerald Holland's Commissioner Fels Napier's Plan to Save Baseball (SI, Dec. 22) is overwhelming. It shows everything from a pompous piece of piety to a hilarious note of sophistication. Some of the vocabulary has a strangely familiar ring, and I dare say the satire is bound to take its toll.
Holland's is a climactic story in a long-played-up saga depicting the landlordship of baseball as something other than that which is to be considered desirable in the public interest.
My impression as "a newcomer in baseball" is that the majority of the owners are sincere, sympathetic and greatly concerned over the future of the game. In fact, they are as completely human as the average Joe Fan.
JOHN E. FETZER
Chairman, Detroit Baseball Co.
I read Gerald Holland's account of Fels Napier's Plan to Save Baseball, and I'm still laughing.
Congratulations on a grand piece of satire. It would be even funnier if it were not so true.
THOMAS R. McCUBBIN
Glen Burnie, Md.
My thanks for one of the funniest baseball articles I've ever read. I laughed out loud at every other paragraph. If baseball's big businessmen are really getting desperate, they might seriously consider Fels Napier's plan. Anything is worth a try.
New York City
SILVER ANNIVERSARY: EXPERT JUDGMENT
The Silver Anniversary All-America issue is the best I have read. I wanted you to know that men of sports will so judge it.
EARL H. BLAIK
West Point, N.Y.
I think the article by Martin Kane,...Et Toujours le Champion (SI, Dec. 22) is the greatest sports story I've ever read—it's just fabulous!
C. C. MOSELEY
Beverly Hills, Calif.
The Man Who Wouldn't (SI, Dec. 22) is dangerously seditious. It also is the brightest, most delightful and thoughtful piece of journalism I have seen in a long, long time.
GOLF: THE BILLION-YARD FILL
In my view, no writer can quite equal Herbert Warren Wind in his description of the many facets of the ancient and honorable game of golf. His article (New Course in Puerto Rico, SI, Dec. 22) describing Laurance Rockefeller's fabulous Dorado Beach golf course, built on 1,200 lush acres in Puerto Rico, is no exception.
Mr. Wind's recital of the magnitude of the problems resolved in constructing the course—a planeload of African Bermuda stolons, uprooting and transplanting 4,000 coconut palms—are insignificant details in comparison to the volume of fill involved "to resurrect the depressed swampy area around the lagoon."
Gentlemen, as a mining engineer who has dug his share of divots in various parts of the world, I must tell you that a billion yards of fill represents one of the great earth-moving jobs of this or any other century. If equally distributed over Mr. Rockefeller's entire 1,200 acres, the alleged amount of fill would have resurrected that section of Puerto Rico to a height of 516 feet above sea level. If applied solely to the swampy lagoon, possibly 300 acres in extent, it would have become a 2,000-foot peak and a convenient landmark for local navigation.
In the same issue I note that Mr. Wind also wrote A Gentle Hurrah for Mayor Curley. On matters related to the filling of swampy lagoons in Puerto Rico it is possible that Mr. Wind was carried away by a last hurrah.
New York City
•Hurrah for Reader Wilson. The figure should have been 600,000 yards.—ED.
SKATING: THE JOYOUS ART
I have been trying to find a how-to book on figure skating, and now SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has come to my rescue (The Joyous Art of Figure Skating, SI, Dec. 22 & Jan. 5).
Having enjoyed reading your enlightening articles on skating, I wonder if you could answer a few pertinent questions:
Should the ordinary garden-variety middle-aged male skater choose a figure blade or a hockey-skate blade?
Do high figure-skating boots afford better support to the ankles than low hockey skating boots?
ERIC GORDON, M.D.
New York City
•Don't be a shrinking violet. Try the figure skates and you'll find the higher boot gives more support and that once you get the hang of it figure skating offers infinitely more fun and companionship than hockey skating.—ED.
Maribel Vinson's positions on page 47 (SI, Dec. 22), executing the stop maneuver (lower right-hand corner), should be re-presented and emphasized to the vast number of skiers who are learning or converting to the Wedeln technique. Here you have presented a simple maneuver which is analogous to this new skiing technique, namely, performance of a downhill turn by applying the heel-swinging and reverse-shoulder motion.
Those of us who have skated and are now turning to the ski slopes will recognize Miss Vinson's positions as the single most important issue in mastering this delightful, widely accepted ski turn.
GEORGE I. THOMAS, M.D.
•Reader Thomas will also recall this position as demonstrated by Willy Schaeffler in Swing Turns and "Wedeln" (SI, Dec. 23, 1957; see page 98, fig. 5). The stop maneuver in skating is similar to the parallel short-swing turn in the heel push and the reverse movement of the outside shoulder, but in shortswing the inside hip and inside shoulder are thrust farther forward.—ED.
SPORTS: HEALTH, GRACE AND BEAUTY
Lovely, glamorous, feminine champions! SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has the right approach to women's athletics in this country (Champions in Fine Plumage, SI, Dec. 22). It is surprising how many mothers will not let their daughters participate in competitive sports because of the old idea that they will develop into unsightly amazons. Milton Greene's pictures have captured the representatives of these hard-training young athletes as they really appear. Healthy, graceful, lovely to look at, and certainly feminine.
As a swimming coach who has been closely associated with hundreds of girl swimmers from all over the nation over the past ten years, it has been my observation that not only are the majority of the girls as lovely to look at as those pictured but they also conduct themselves as well-poised, charming young ladies.
By emphasizing this side of our women athletes you help greatly to popularize competitive sports for women.
Swimming Coaches Assn.
MANY LONG YEARS AGO
The song Herbert Warren Wind referred to in his splendid article (On the Veranda with James Michael Curley, SI, Dec. 22), the title of which he could not remember, is At Peace with the World in the Evening with You and, if my memory serves me correctly, Irving Berlin wrote it.
•Reader Lehnard has a long memory. Irving Berlin wrote At Peace with the World in 1926, the year he married Ellin Mackay.—ED.
BRIDGE: HOLIDAY EXPERTS
As usual, I took immense enjoyment from my struggles with Goren's Year-end Quiz (SI, Dec. 22). I wish that you would include a Thanksgiving Day quiz, a Fourth of July quiz and as many others as paper supply will allow.
Being an English instructor, I am particularly sensitive to Mr. Goren's fine phrasing, which I consider to represent the most colorful and imaginative journalism since H. L. Mencken.
I have put my personal yardstick upon the offerings of the didactically arrogant Mr. Goren, as displayed in your special holiday number.
And I know that you will be glad to hear that Mr. Goren still falls within the "expert" tolerance, although, I was surprised to discover, by an all too narrow margin.
ROBERT H. JAMISON
The Dec. 22 issue was simply great, but no better than any other that you have put out this past year.
First, I took Mr. Goren's quiz and was delighted to see how I have improved this year. I do not wish to divulge my score, but I have made considerable progress. The other items of interest were enjoyable, as they are invariably: the bowl previews; Mr. Holland's views on baseball; The Man Who Wouldn't, which was something which could only have been published by you people; and the Silver All-America, which must rank as one of the greatest tributes that could be paid to any man. The accounts of great victories by Archie Moore and the New York Giants will some day be invaluable to a sports enthusiast such as myself.
My Christmas was indeed a merrier one with your splendid gift.
Plymouth Meeting, Pa.