TURF: IT WORKS IN FLORIDA
An ardent admirer of Manuel ("When you speak to me, speak softly") Ycaza, and a horseplayer who has been "fouled out" of a 33-to-1 and a 15-to-1 winner in the past couple of years, I was most interested in William Leggett's More Foul Play Suspected (SI, June 8).
This is an article from the June 22, 1959 issue
I note particularly Leggett's criticism of racing stewards for failing to inform the public of what goes on when a foul claim is lodged.
A feasible solution, I believe, is one instituted at the Florida tracks—Tropical, Hialeah and Gulfstream—last winter.
It began Dec. 20 at Tropical Park. In the fourth race a horse called Garrison, second choice at 3-to-1, broke from the outside. He stayed on the outside all the way around in the mile-and-a-sixteenth race. On the stretch turn, with four horses inside him, Garrison looped his field to enter contention. In a driving finish, he was beaten by a neck.
The boys came back to weigh in and no foul claim was lodged. But suddenly a stewards' inquiry lit the tote board.
Everyone was baffled. Whom was it against? For what? The occupants of the press box had no idea why the inquiry was posted; the bettors in the stands buzzed with confusion.
Finally the red "inquiry" sign blinked off and Garrison was disqualified from second place and moved out of the money. No explanation was given.
Fred Capossela, track caller, announced only that "Garrison has been disqualified for 'causing interference' and has been unplaced by the stewards."
Joe Tanenbaum, racing editor of The Miami News, took the time to look at the patrol films of the race. They showed conclusively that Garrison, right on the stretch turn where no one could see it, had lugged in badly and fouled both Kumsha and Tomike.
The following day Tanenbaum started his campaign in The News and also the Newark Star-Ledger, for which he writes a weekly column, to have the stewards state specifically why a foul is claimed. The fans should be told who has claimed the foul—whether it be a rider or the stewards—and against whom. And, importantly, for what reason. If interference took place, where precisely did it happen? If the stewards are checking more than one horse in the race, they should say so.
Finally, when their decision is made, whether they allow or disallow the claim, they should explain their ruling. Let them give this information to the track announcer.
Officials of the Florida tracks greeted the idea with enthusiasm. It has worked in Florida. Why not everywhere?
Just what it takes to trigger a "crow" is hard to establish.
But we at Harvard challenge SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S statement (SCOREBOARD, May 25): "Harvard, which hasn't had much to crow about athletically in recent years..."
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED recognizes the Ivy League. Last year Harvard led the Ivy League in over-all varsity victories, with 215 wins, 68 losses, and five ties for a percentage of .676. Next in line were Dartmouth, .615; Yale, .615; Cornell, .577; Princeton, .532; Brown, .482; Pennsylvania, .462; and Columbia, .403. Included were the Ivy League hockey championship, the Eastern Intercollegiate baseball title, the Eastern Intercollegiate tennis title, EARC lightweight rowing championship (varsity, jayvee and freshmen).
Let your words always be sweet; you may have to eat them—and sometimes it's crow.
W. HENRY JOHNSTON
•See page 30.—ED.
HALL OF FAME: GOOD OLD DAYS
William R. (Sliding Billy) Hamilton is more deserving of the Hall of Fame (Verdict Against the Hall of Fame, SI, June 8) than any player in it.
Hamilton was a right-handed outfielder with Kansas City (American Association) in 1888-89, Philadelphia (NL) 1890-95, and Boston (NL) 1896-1901.
In lifetime stolen bases, Hamilton led with 937 to the great Ty Cobb's 892; his lifetime batting average was .351. Only Cobb, Hornsby, Jackson and Browning, in that order, topped him. His record of 35 runs scored in 24 consecutive games has never been equaled.
In 1891 Hamilton led the NL with 142 runs; 1894 it was 196, the same in 1895, and 153 in 1897; he led the NL in batting in 1891 at .338 with 179 hits. In 1889 he stole 117 bases.
Until Hamilton makes it, it's a Hall of Shame.
CYRIL J. GREEN
My grateful thanks to Jackie Pung for her TIP FROM THE TOP (SI, May 25). It has been by far the most helpful to me.
Not only does it keep me from swaying, it prevents me from locking my right knee and losing control of my backswing.
When I do as she says—wow!
Mrs. MARGARET PORTERFIELD
White Plains, N.Y.
I know this is all old hat to you by now, but I'd like to commit a little West Coast heresy.
I've been entertained by this hornet's nest you've stirred up out here in track circles and would like to suggest that if my West Coast brethren are still interested in making comparisons, they might compare the winning times in the all-hallowed PCC championships and those of the Big Eight. In the 14 events that the meets had in common, the PCC had best times or distances in three events, the Big Eight in 11. If the brethren don't believe, here it is:
Come, come! Here California is the home of perpetual good weather and lightning-fast tracks, while them poor farm boys is arunnin' on soggy, sloppy cinders all spring. I quote from an Associated Press story:
"A check of the record shows that Big Eight competitors have posted the best marks among collegians in seven of the 16 events this season and rank no worse than third in all but the 440-yard relay, high hurdles and high jump."
As to Kansas' importation of their athletes—over half of the squad is from the Greater Kansas City area, and only three out of 30-odd are from areas outside the Midwest. There are no athletes from foreign countries on the roster.
Oh my—I hear the soft padding of spiked shoes outside my door, so I suppose they've got the stake and the fire ready and are now coming to get me.
FOOD: NO, NO, NO
I have read with interest Charlotte Adams' To the Trout Fisherman (SI, May 25), wherein she advocates the generous use of salt to preserve the trout after properly cleaning them. May I take the liberty of suggesting a much better way to preserve trout or any other species of fresh-water fish.
You will recall that the Spaniards, the Portuguese, the Italians and the British for years sought a shorter route to the spice lands of the Far East. Why? To preserve their meats. Spices were man's first type of refrigeration. How did these navigators of olden times keep their meats palatable for the many weeks it required to go from their starting wharfs to their destination? Well, the answer was not salt, it was pepper.
In the early days of the century it required the better part of three days to go from Buffalo to my camp near Algonquin Park, Ont. by train, boat and wagon.
We never failed to catch many fine specimens of both trout and bass, and to satisfy our ego and show our friends samples of our catch we first thoroughly cleaned the fish, and after completely washing and drying them we covered them with pepper inside and out. Each fish was separately wrapped in birch bark or paper, if available, and the entire catch bundled. Salting fish makes them slimy, and if by chance they are not already spoiled, the excessive washing to remove the salt will do so.
O. H. PETERS
I find no fault with Charlotte Adams' suggestions for the care of trout near the stream, but her recommendations for freezing trout are O.K. for cakes and pies perhaps; but for trout—no, no, no!
This is the proper way:
Buy plastic containers, not bags. All stores sell them in varying sizes. Fillet large fish and place small fish, like trout, whole in large containers. Cover fish completely with water (for salt-water fish, add pinch of salt), cover tightly with container lid and place in freezer. Quick-freeze is not necessary, but refrigerator freezing compartment isn't cold enough.
When ready to cook, simply melt the ice block and dry the fish well. They will be fresh six months or six years later.
It was with sorrow that I read about the death of Jerry Unser at Indianapolis (SI, May 25). Unser was a member of my crew on the U.S.S. McGinty six years ago at Pearl Harbor. He was an excellent racing driver even then, although his eyeglasses and studious demeanor belied his exciting avocation. The blue-and-gold stock car he successfully raced was called the McGinty Special. The car was aptly named. On Friday nights the crew would turn out en masse to cheer Jerry on to victory, and on Saturdays the hat would invariably be passed to buy some replacement or improvement for "our" car.
New York City
120 H. HURDLES
220 L. HURDLES