BOXING: BOILING MAD
Charter member, boiling mad. It's bad for my health. Reason: Just read Bill Rosensohn's article about the "back of the scenes" game in boxing (Plots, Schemes, Sabotage, SI, Aug. 10). How long can it go on? Thieves have taken Joe Louis, Beau Jack, Johnny Saxton and thrown them on the street when they had no more use for them.
Everybody in the Western world wants to see a rematch between Patterson and Johansson. Are we going to let a couple of characters who have no business to be in any legitimate business block it? I hope Johansson lets them stew till next summer but, like millions of others, I hope he remembers Floyd Patterson is the guy that took that right and deserves another chance to outbox it. And when we have the fight, I hope Charley Black, Velella, Kahn and their ilk aren't allowed in the park.
R. L. MURPHY
Such business monopolies and tactics as practiced by the D'Amato gang have in the past been most unpopular with our Justice Department.
It seems to me that Ingemar Johansson, or some European successor, could keep the title locked up for years in his disgust with American fight promoters.
C. G. CRAVEN
August 23, 1959
Congratulations to you for getting my wife interested in sports—something I couldn't accomplish in the last four years. But this Rosensohn-D'Amato-Black-Velella thing has got me hotter than hell.
I can't understand why the boxing commission allows wolves in sheep's clothing to take over the boxing game as they do. No one man controls football, basketball or hockey, so why should D'Amato think he can become the Little Caesar of the boxing world? It is a shame that such a wonderful athlete as Floyd Patterson has to be associated with the likes of D'Amato and Black. Do these people think that money can buy the glory of the young Swedish champion or the heart and guts of a great fighter like Carmen Basilio? Things like this cannot be bought with money; they have to be obtained through hard work.
I can understand now why everyone in the know is saying: "It is the greatest thing that happened to boxing when Johansson won the title."
From what I have read in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Cus D'Amato's name might just as well be James Norris. I used to admire both him and Floyd Patterson very much for the good I always thought they had brought to boxing. Now I just admire Floyd.
If there is another side to this story, I would like very much to hear it, but right now it looks like he is just another black eye for boxing. I would very much like to believe otherwise but right now I don't.
JOHN T. JERRARD
Oak Park, Ill.
With regard to the Rosensohn picture on page 18 and the Grosscup picture on page 74 of the August 10 issue, please advise whether:
1) Rosensohn and Grosscup have the same artistic taste for drapery or
2) Grosscup was present at the meeting which frazzled Rosensohn's nerves or
3) Rosensohn is a chess master and also a photographer for your magazine, who doubled as Grosscup's chess adversary and who snapped the picture during Grosscup's concentration.
For a publication which prides itself on reporting the facts it would appear that there is a prima-facie case against you for staging the said pictures in the same room. Tsk, tsk.
MARTIN H. SCHWARTZWALD
•Not so. During the week that the pictures were taken by SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S photographers, both Rosensohn and Grosscup were staying at the Hotel Manhattan in New York.—ED.
BASEBALL: PAST AND PRESENT
As a longtime and long-suffering Giant fan I was somewhat disturbed to read of the poor support we had given Mr. Stone-ham's hired hands here in New York (A Fine Romance with Some Hisses, SI, Aug. 3). I think that there is no group of baseball fans with a deeper feeling for its team than the Giant fans. Through the great drought between 1937 and 1951 the Giants drew reasonably well with no special inducements from the management such as several of the midwestern clubs featured. In 1957 a team that wallowed in the cellar most of the year and finished with a great spurt to come in sixth drew over 600,000 fans, which together with the television receipts kept the team in the black. There is no question in my mind that the 1958 and 1959 teams that were in the thick of the pennant fight would have drawn far more people into the 55,000-seat Polo Grounds than they did into the 22,900-seat Seals Stadium.
I would like to close with a quote by Ogden Nash from The New Yorker that conveys the depth of real feeling at Coo-gan's Bluff as against the volatile anger on Bedford Avenue. "The candle's out, the game is up;/Who has heart for a stirrup cup?/Farewell Giants and Horace Stoneham;/De mortuis nil nisi bonum."
To show just what we have to suffer here, we have a mayor who would not spend a penny to keep two (2) genuine major league teams here but is willing to spend some $13 million for the synthetic major league team that Mr. Shea and his cohorts are pushing.
New York City
For some time now there has been quite a bit of talk about the lack of rivalry that exists between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers in comparison to the defunct New York and Brooklyn teams.
Of course, there never again will be such a colorful challenge as between the two boroughs, but many people, especially those existing on the eastern seaboard, fail to acknowledge the possibility of a special exuberance between the population centers of northern and southern California.
For many years, competition between the 49ers and the Rams has had no equal anywhere. I frankly can't remember when a game between these two has failed to draw capacity crowds, with many more thousands turned away.
Feelings between the large northern universities—California and Stanford—and their southern counterparts—UCLA and USC—have always prompted memorable athletic classics.
With both clubs this year in a tight pennant race, West Coast fandom awaits its climax with expectation.
JIM H. GREENWOOD
Walnut Creek, Calif.
BASEBALL: COINCIDENTAL SPORTSMEN
Going back to your bounce standings, that titillating tabulation of umpires' thumbing activities (EVENTS & DISCOVERIES, Aug. 19, 1957, et seq.), why not a similar survey—with the focus on the players—showing which team has the fewest players ejected for sassiness?
In other words, which clubs have the fewest soreheads and violent squawkers and which one, in effect, rates as the most sportsmanlike?
For 1959 my calculated guess—based on a close following of the big league scene—is that the team giving the arbiters the fewest headaches is the Chicago Cubs. Coincidentally, my favorite team.
West Englewood, N.J.
•Not so. As of Saturday, Aug. 15, the number of personal evictions for each major league team (managers and coaches included, but not counting thumb-outs for rough-housing), runs as follows:
AMERICAN LEAGUE—Washington 4; Boston 3; Baltimore 9; Cleveland 10; Chicago 4; Detroit 0; Kansas City 1; New York 4.
NATIONAL LEAGUE—San Francisco 9; Los Angeles 2; Philadelphia 3; Cincinnati 9; Pittsburgh 9; Chicago 6; Milwaukee 2; St. Louis 15.—ED.