BASEBALL: IMPETUOUS GENIUS
Congratulations on your tremendous story on Larry MacPhail (The Great MacPhail, SI, Aug. 17 et seq.). Like all your other colorful stories on famous sports personalities (Aly Khan, Jack Johnson, to name a few) it was fascinating.
I have read other articles about Mr. MacPhail, but this one—Well, he should be pleased with what Gerald Holland has done to him.
Parkersburg, W. Va.
I just got around to reading your Larry MacPhail piece. It's a hell of a story, one of the best I've ever read. Congratulations!
Mutual Broadcasting System
New York City
GERALD HOLLAND HAS DONE GREAT JOB ON THE GREAT MACPHAIL. I WAS WITH MACPHAIL IN PRESS ROOM OP EBBETS FIELD LISTENING TO BROADCAST OF GAME BEING PLAYED ON DIAMOND THERE THAT NIGHT WHEN MEDWICK WAS HIT BY PITCHED BALL. WE WERE BOTH FANNING AND LISTENING TO GAME DRINKING FRONTENAC ALE. MACPHAIL IMMEDIATELY RUSHED TO ELEVATOR WHEN HE LEARNED OF MEDWICK BEANING. ELEVATOR IS OF LIMITED CAPACITY AND SLOW-MOVING. DOOR WAS AN IRON ONE FOR FIRE PROTECTION, BUT NEVERTHELESS WHEN ELEVATOR MAN DID NOT ANSWER QUICK ENOUGH FOR MACPHAIL HE THEN KICKED AT THE DOOR, HURRYING TO GET ACTION. JUST AS SOON AS IT WAS OPENED HE DASHED IN AND OUT TO SEE MEDWICK. HE WAS NOT SEATED IN PRESS BOX BUT IN PRESS ROOM WHEN HE HEARD NEWS. THIS REPORT IS MERELY A FILL-IN AND NOT CORRECTION SO FAR AS ABLE STORY BY GERALD HOLLAND.
J. G. TAYLOR SPINK
Publisher, The Sporting News
September 6, 1959
MacPhail rushed from his box on the Brooklyn side of the field through the grandstand to a vantage point very close to the Cardinal dugout and, leaning over the low railing, shook his fist at the Cardinals, publicly praying for them, while many of the Cardinals came to the top of the dugout and prayed right back.
And who could blame MacPhail? Only a few days before, he had got up a fortune for the purchase of Medwick from the Cardinals. In those helmetless days Bowman's pitch, after striking Medwick and cracking like a pistol shot, rolled all the way out past third base in foul territory. Medwick hit the ground, his whole body jerking in spasms; then he lay there like a dead man. There were not a few of us in old Ebbets Field that day who thought he just might have been killed.
J. F. MURRAY
MacPhail is a tremendously interesting character and truly a genius. But in the same breath let me say, "You can have him." I'll bet that Gerald Holland was glad to get his assignment finished.
EARL B. COYLE
•Writer Holland enjoyed his assignment, is convinced that the world needs more MacPhails.—ED.
BOXING: DAY OF RECKONING
After reading about the corruption in boxing, I hope and pray Ingemar Johansson, a foreigner, will be the means of Americans' seeing that corruption does not pay and that the mess will be cleaned up. There is always a reckoning day. The crime of today seems to be not in doing wrong, but in getting caught. I will sign off with this quote from the Bible (Galatians 6): "For what a man sows, that he will also reap."
FLORENCE M. BRIGGS
I would like to offer my suggestion for the next world heavyweight championship fight.
Let's have Ingo fight 10 rounds apiece against D'Amato, Black and Velella; and Patterson 10 rounds each against Rosensohn, Kahn and Norris; then have the government give each fighter $500,000, give the rest of the money to charity and boxing back to the public.
•See page 22.—ED.
FOOTBALL: SUCCESS AND FAILURE
Congratulations on Private Life of a Forward Passer (SI, Aug. 10), a new and novel approach to the field of sports. I read the letters with increasing interest. However, as the pages unfolded, I became disturbed, irritated and mad. What is wrong with our universities that they allow a student who appears to be mentally above the average to drop out of school in his senior year? I am not too happy with Murray Olderman and Jack Curtice and the part they played.
Grosscup will regret quitting college all his life, no matter how successful his career.
The university, Olderman and Curtice did a poor job in not pointing out in a convincing manner that football fame is a bubble reputation which, like an almost burned-out candle, flickers and is seen no more.
Grosscup should know by now that an incompleted pass is for nought. Yet in his first major undertaking, his college career, he failed. That is a fair indication of things to come. Let's hope not.
Thanks for printing the wonderful and amusing letters of Lee Grosscup. Now I realize football players feel and act like the rest of us.
Grosscup's talent goes far beyond his passing ability.
If Mr. Grosscup is serious about writing, he should find a better subject than himself to write about, if he can. He uses the word "I" 320 times in his short diary.
The truest statement in the whole article was, "Success is spoiling 'Rock Grosscup.' " Perhaps the teen-agers who read this article will not believe that the typical All-America football player attends three different colleges to suit his football and therefore does not graduate because of lack of credits from moving around. On the other hand, perhaps they will get this impression and then attempt to follow this questionable pattern themselves.
REV. L. Y. SIEBERT JR.
I think Private Life of a Forward Passer by Lee Grosscup is just terrific.
EDITOR'S WORST FRIEND
Your recent article about talking dogs (EVENTS& DISCOVERIES, Aug. 10 )is ridiculous. When my dog read it he just laughed hollowly and closed the magazine.
Las Vegas, Nev.
GOLF: ARE WE COMPLAINING?
We've had five years of interesting articles. Joan Flynn Dreyspool's treatise on women's golf, "It's a Mad World and We Love It" (SI, Aug. 17) is a perfect gem. As it is 10 a.m. Saturday morning and the homemaker is out avoiding "psychiatrists' bills," I shall leave the August J. 7th issue, opened to this article, on the kitchen table wrapped in the used wax paper which covered my sandwich (Saturday's lunch). Naturally, I'll be out playing when she returns. Just a couple of short hours before reading this piece the writer was awakened at 7:30 a.m. by another homemaker calling to check on the meeting time.
Are we men complaining? You bet not! Playing in mixed Scotch foursomes or in alternate-shot events with the sandwich makers is more fun than any other type of match.
BASEBALL: EVERYONE A STAR
If we must have two All-Star games, why not have a whole mess of them, like one each week? We could have a left-handed All-Star game, a rookie All-Star game, a first-division All-Star game, a right-handed All-Star game, a Negro All-Star game, a sophomore All-Star game, a white All-Star game and a cellar-dweller All-Star game, plus many more.
This may sound ridiculous, but is it any more so than having two such events, a system that considerably cheapens both?
The strip of caricatures of those men involved in the Patterson-Johansson squabble were simply priceless. The art of caricature has almost disappeared. Congratulations to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and Marc Simont for these outstanding examples of a dying art.
HARRISON J. COWAN
New York City
DOGS: IN PRAISE OF RETRIEVERS
A statement made by Mr. Stymiest in his article concerning the training of pointing dogs (Field Training: The Pointing Dogs, SI, Aug. 3) prompts me to write. He said that when the dog was well-trained and experienced he could be taught to retrieve, but the job was not expected of the dog.
This brought to mind the big difference I have found in pointers trained in my home country and those trained here in Kentucky. I am originally from Mississippi, having been born and raised there, and have been in Kentucky only two years. When I first came to Kentucky I was struck by the fact that the dogs here didn't retrieve. It was the exceptional dog that did and that always prompted much praise. As far back as I can remember, all the dogs I have hunted with and owned in Mississippi were retrievers and were expected to retrieve. In some of that Delta country you would have had one hell of a job finding a dead bird if they didn't retrieve. After hunting 'with dogs trained both ways I still choose the retriever and intend to continue to teach my dog to do it.
Your series of articles on the training of hunting dogs has been excellent and very enjoyable.
JERRY ADAMS, M.D.