THE NOT-SO-UNLIMITED DUCKS
As a dedicated duck hunter, congratulations for your accurate and alarming report on the waterfowl situation, Behind the New Duck Stamp (EVENTS & DISCOVERIES, June 29). Bravo for declaring it is "obvious that American sportsmen could make no better investment than paying their $3 for their duck stamp, whether they hunted or not."
Your counsel is very sound, but I most respectfully suggest another obvious and even better investment would be to join Ducks Unlimited, that great, nonprofit organization of American and Canadian sportsmen whose sole aim is to restore and maintain the waterfowl population of this continent. Their success has been duly recorded by SPORTS ILLUSTRATED in the past (SI, October 21, 1957).
Contributing to DU should, of course, not be in lieu of buying a duck stamp, but above and beyond it, in every sense. Helping waterfowl is an international job, but Federal duck stamp money can only be national in utilization. By law, it must be spent in the U.S. Ducks Unlimited funds are as migratory as the birds involved. They cross the Canadian border to improve breeding conditions throughout the continent's major duck factories in the prairie provinces.
•Contributions may be sent to Ducks Unlimited, Inc., 165 Broadway, New York City.—ED.
July 12, 1959
MICKEY AND THE UMP
The picture of Mickey Mantle rounding third base followed by ecstatic youngsters (WONDERFUL WORLD, June 29) is for my money (and I am a charter subscriber to your outstanding magazine) the best sports picture you have ever had.
The touch that really sets it off is the malevolent expression on the umpire's face. He just looks like he was hoping Mickey would run off the line so the ump could call him out—and thus spoil the day for practically everyone.
TRACK: THE RESULTS
I think an apology from Tex Maule is in order for his apparent lack of knowledge as to the ability of the California track powerhouse. A quick look at the results of the AAU championships should suffice (37 Men to Beat the Russians, SI, June 29).
You are putting out a fine magazine, and I enjoyed the track and field controversy immensely.
New York City
•Californians can be justly proud that their state has 14 berths on the team against Russia. The rest of the U.S. put together has 25. Placing each athlete geographically in the area in which he had his high school training, the regional breakdown of the AAU results are: California (including Jack Yerman as a relay alternate) 14; Oregon (Pacific Northwest) 3; the Midwest (expanded, or Maule, version) 11; the East 11; the South 0. Certainly California is a gold mine for track talent; just as certainly, there are athletes who run fast, jump high or far and throw things well elsewhere in the U.S.—ED.
BOXING: THE PAST RECAPTURED
As an avid, inveterate sports fan—and sometime sportswriter—I should like to extend compliments to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for publishing and to Finis Farr for authoring the "story of the year," perhaps of the decade (Black Hamlet of the Heavyweights, SI, June 15 & 22).
Mr. Farr's two-part article is a literary masterpiece, not so much for its superior prose, perhaps, as for its depth of perception, its articulate reportorial accuracy and its scrupulous appraisal of a controversial, internationally admired and maligned figure. Jack Johnson's notable achievements and dissipations antedate my memory, but the obviously meticulous effort made by Mr. Farr to compose a factual yet genuine tribute to Jack Johnson is fitting, "a source both of pride and inspiration" which, in my opinion, applies also to Mr. Farr's literary ability, first in relation to the magazine, second in relation to its readers.
J. R. WILLIAMS
Truly, it is one of the finest articles on this great champion that I have ever read. I can express nothing but praise at your fairness and thoroughness.
Recently, our radio station, KGFJ Hollywood, has conducted a daily series titled This Is Progress, short pictures of "outstanding Negroes who have labored and served to enhance this country's greatness." Jack Johnson has already been broadcast but will be reissued now that we have read your article.
I am sure that your readers everywhere will cherish your story of "...the most discredited athlete of modern times; who dared be born a Negro in a most unfortunate period."
How clearly you have drawn the picture of a tremendous man, whose athletic greatness has been purposely suppressed by little people who resented in him the fighting spirit that made America what it is today.
BOB DE COY
A CHANCE TO LIVE AND WORK
That is a very good piece about my dog, Black Boy XI, that appeared in EVENTS & DISCOVERIES ("Rescued Champion," June 15). As stated, he has won so many field trial honors that I myself have to look up the record, and I am sure that nearly everyone in this sport throughout the country classifies him as one of the alltime great Labrador retrievers.
While it would have given my ego a boost to have your article recite his accomplishments and perhaps assign him a rating in the hierarchy of greats, there are nevertheless many others with great records too, and any alltime comparisons are very difficult and open to argument, just as in golf, boxing, tennis, etc.
Your article accomplishes in a very fine way the main objective which interests me: it publicizes not so much the dog but The Animal Medical Center and Dr. Leighton. So far as I know, Blackie was the first working dog to have a successful surgical repair of this kind, and this success should bring the hope to other working and field dog owners and veterinarians throughout the country that at least one hospital and one great doctor can very possibly give an injured dog a good chance to live and work to a ripe old age.
LEWIS S. GREENLEAF JR.
IN MEMORIAM BRUCE HARLAN
Bruce Harlan, Olympic springboard diving champion, 1948, and the coach of diving at the University of Michigan, was known and respected by hundreds in the world of swimming and diving. His death several days ago, at the age of 33, caused by injuries received in a fall from a scaffold (SCOREBOARD, July 6), is a shock to all of his colleagues and friends.
If you will check his record at Ohio State, you will find that he was a remarkable scholar-athlete, winning varsity letters in swimming and gymnastics as well as representing the track team as a pole-vaulter. A winner of the Western Conference Scholarship Medal; a member of Sphinx, the senior men's honorary society; captain of the swimming team; and the winner of nearly 20 major diving titles who was subsequently elected to the Helm's Diving Hall of Fame, he once demonstrated his athletic prowess and versatility by scoring two firsts in a gymnastics meet and one first in a swimming meet, all in the same afternoon!
A great athlete—whose death certainly deserved more space in leading newspapers and sports magazines than it received.
ROBERT L. CLOTWORTHY
•Mr. Clotworthy took the gold medal in the springboard diving championship in the 1956 Olympics.—ED.
BASEBALL: DRAMATIC PROPOSAL
I see that two ladies have taken an active interest in a third major league (Ladies' Day Is Really Here, SI, June 29). As a pitcher on the Flower Drum Song ball team, I may not qualify as a lady, but since meeting Ford Frick and Governor Rockefeller and being interviewed between games by Mel Allen I enjoy being a girl baseball fan and started rooting for the Yankees when they were in seventh place.
I believe there is a far better, more exciting way to expand the majors to 24 teams than with the dull invention of a third league. Rather than destroy the wonderful natural climax of the World Series, I suggest expanding baseball within the present framework of the two leagues we now have, as follows:
The American and National leagues would each have an eastern and western division of six teams.
Each league's championship would be determined by a short two-out-of-three series between its own eastern and western division winners.
The World Series, now representing 24 teams, would be greater than ever, and the classic battle between the American and National League champions would remain intact in all its traditional glory.
Long live the World Series! Forward with expansion! Down with a third major league!
New York City