BOXING: COUP OFTHE YEAR
"YES! THIS IS MY RIGHT!" (Ingo's Right and Floyd's Peekaboo inCollision, SI, June 22) SURELY SPORTS QUOTE OF THE YEAR. CONGRATULATIONS TOROBERT RIGER AND SPORTS ILLUSTRATED FOR THE SPORTS COUP OF THE YEAR.
JOHN B. M. GERBER
I COULD HARDLY BELIEVE MY EYES. DID KANE, RIGER AND SPORTS ILLUSTRATED PUT THEFIX IN? SAY IT AIN'T SO.
B. F. SKINNER
FOR ME THE FIGHT HAS THREE PARTS: YOUR PREVIEW, THE FIGHT ITSELF OVER THE RADIOAND THIS WEEK'S ISSUE WHEN I TRUST YOUR WONDERFUL PHOTOGRAPHERS WILL LET ME SEEWHAT I HEARD.
HERE IS YOUR SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR.
July 5, 1959
IT IS UP TO YOU TO SHOW THE THIRD ROUND. THE RADIO WAS VERY CONFUSING.
C. H. BREMER Atlanta
•See pages 12,13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 28, 29, 30 and 61.—ED.
BQXENG: JUSTBEFORE THE BATTLE, BROTHER...
It seems to me that altogether too much criticism concerning Floyd Pattersonand Cus D'Amato has of late been appearing in the press—and in sports smalltalk I have heard. Of course, by the time these lines in their defense areread, Patterson may have made a monkey of me by losing.
There is a worldof difference between Cus's almost morbid and often foolish suspiciousness ofeveryone in the world of boxing and the lawless and cynical men who controlledthe racket before his advent. Cus has made silly mistakes, such as putting hisfighter's opponent under his tutelage and seeming to dictate managers toanother. His is the uneasiness of the corner candy store owner who suddenlyfinds himself running the A&P chain. Furthermore, the fight game froze Cusand his boy out of action for years, and now that Cus is in, through his ownefforts, he sees no reason, and quite rightly, for thinking all is for the bestin this best of all possible worlds. He should be suspicious—the mobsters arestill there just waiting for him to fall.
Secondly, D'Amatoas a manager. Cus has been consistently criticized and his fighter belittledfor the opponents Cus has allowed to be placed before Patterson. But the worldheavyweight title is a multimillion-dollar commodity and a very fragile one. Itcan vanish in a few seconds. Furthermore, when Patterson succeeded Marciano tothe title he did so only as the least mediocre of a very mediocre bunch offighters. Patterson was very young, very promising and very much an unfinishedfighter. In view of this, and the great prize now firmly in his grasp, Cus verywisely nursed his boy along as carefully as he could. To have done anythingelse would have been foolish and dangerous. And furthermore: Just who are thosetigers against whom Patterson, in the opinion of those who belittle him, issupposed to have defended his crown? I know of no one who is a reasonablecontender.
The spectacle ofa good manager, however nutty, nursing a potentially truly great fighter whocame into the championship through premature inheritance to the day when all ofus who really care about boxing will be privileged to watch a great series oftitle defenses is to me not at all displeasing. I am willing to wait.
You may add this to your list of famous strollers along the Charles River(Spring and a River, SI, June 8):
"On animpulse I closed the book; I was irresistibly prompted to go out into the openair. It was a bleak rainy day, rather warm for the time of year. The slush ofmelting snow formed a deep mud along the banks of the River Charles, which Ifollowed down toward Boston. I enjoyed the cool rain in my face and themelancholy of the scene." (From A Testimonial to Grace by Avery Dulles, sonof the late Secretary of State.)
It was on thisparticular walk that the then Harvard student was struck "with all thestrength and novelty of a revelation" which led to his subsequentconversion to Catholicism.
EDWARD A. CRANE
Former Mayor of Cambridge
DODGERS: NOT FORME
Your portrait of the sweetness and light at the Dodgers' Coliseum games(...Dodgers after Dark, SI, June 15) was touching, but is only a part of thestory. The rest concerns those many baseball fans who were not—and never willbe—at the Dodger ball park.
The lack of daygames you mention is just one small sign of the club's policy, which is thesame as when the franchise shift was made and has admirable singleness ofpurpose: money, avarice, and money. Another telling symbol is the Coliseumitself. Wrigley Field in Los Angeles is a genuine ball park of sounddimensions, although it won't permit the relatively few excessively largecrowds whose admission price the Dodgers cannot resist even for a couple ofyears.
A more seriousresult of this Scrooge-like attitude is that many baseball followers insouthern California, including-numerous ones living miles away from theColiseum, are deprived of TV coverage of all games except the 11 which theDodgers themselves play at San Francisco. A Game of the Week or an AmericanLeague game is never allowed to besmirch the TV screen, though the Dodgers maybe playing 3,000 miles away in Philadelphia. Whoever is responsible, it's apolicy likely to backfire: to discourage general interest in the sport is not,in the long run, the most effective way to force people into attending Dodgergames.
Even Dodger radiocommentators, whose stamina with commercials borders on the awesome, are notexactly frequent in mentioning scores of other games.
It was a sort of busman's holiday for Captain Larry E. Jones when he and hisfamily went fishing in the blue-marlin-infested waters off Hatteras, N.C. lastweek, with the results shown. Mrs. Laura Jones, his wife, stands beside the157-pound, 8-foot 7-inch blue marlin she hooked and boated. Thirteen-year-oldLarry Jones Jr. made a very fine showing for one so young when he brought inthe 284-pounder, measuring 10 feet 2 inches from tip to tip. Captain Jones andRocky Jones made up the cheering section.
It was a busman'sholiday for the group because Captain Jones is owner and skipper of a 42-footJersey-built tuna boat. The sensational run of the giant billfish here resultedby mid-June in a catch only a few short of the total take of 78 blue marlinfrom mid-May to mid-November in 1958.