NOW HEAR THIS
Your May 30 FOR THE RECORD column carried a line which merits some attention. I refer to the statement that John Kelley, Gordon McKenzie and Alex Breckenridge were "virtually assured" of becoming representatives in the Olympic marathon run.
For the record, the U.S. Olympic Committee has ruled that the three highest finishers in two runs, the Yonkers (NAAU) and Boston marathons, would constitute the Olympic team. Pursuant to this rule, Robert Cons of Culver City, Calif., along with McKenzie and Breckenridge, are the Olympic marathoners in fact. John Kelley, undoubtedly one of America's finest marathon runners, failed to finish the Boston Marathon and, according to the AAU rule, is thereby disqualified from an Olympic team berth in this event.
A number of eastern AAU officials are quietly "pulling strings" to put Kelley on the team and to take Cons off. Cons has had to overcome extremely difficult problems to become the champion he is. He was badly wounded in Korea; he had to compete in the cold climes of the East when used to southern California's warm sun. The Olympic team berth should not be taken from him when he has rightfully won it.
For the record once more, Bobby Cons' friends in southern California—most of them Olympic team contributors—stand ready to fight any move which would keep him from wearing the U.S. emblem in 1960 Olympic marathon run competition.
RUSSELL D. JONES
Culver City, Calif.
June 12, 1960
•Although the marathon runners have not as yet been officially selected, it seems certain that John Kelley, the record-setting winner of the NAAU run and the U.S.'s best marathoner, will be placed on the team to give the U.S. the strongest possible chance for a gold medal.—ED.
Thieves descended on a playground at Fairmont, Minn, and made off with home plate as well as the pitching rubber. So bizarre thievery on the sport front continued in this state where the Wirth public golf course in Minneapolis recently lost part of its sixth green (SCORECARD, May 30).
NO HURRY IN HAWAII
It was stated in your SCORECARD of May 23 that in either Honolulu or California (you did not specify where), Herb Elliott ran a half mile in 1:59.4, winning by 70 yards. This means that his nearest competitor did not cover the distance in anything under 2:10, a slow time for even the average high school runner. Who were Elliott's opponents? In California 2:10 is considered a qualifying time for class B kindergarteners.
•Four University of Hawaii runners were recruited for the occasion. Elliott's time was slow indeed: 6.2 seconds over the best high school mark set in 1959 and 7.1 seconds over Don Bowden's national high school mark. But Elliott was suffering from an inflamed tendon, and the track was suffering from a near cloudburst.—ED.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Roy Terrell's remark about the "once deadly Braves" is uncalled for (Pittsburgh's Gang of Pesky Heroes, May 30). I hope and I think by the end of the season any writer who pans the Braves will have to eat his words.
FRANK J. MARKELC
It is too bad that your writer Kenneth Rudeen finds that most topflight American tennis players are not honest-to-good-ness athletes (Little Man with a Big Wallop, SI, May 16). Obviously, he would define an honest-to-goodness athlete as someone who has "broad shoulders, thick biceps and the wrists and hands of a blacksmith...who would stand out in almost any sport." I myself have such thick biceps that I sometimes frighten myself, yet I would not subscribe to his definition.
Tennis happens to be a game where agility, reflex speed and speed of foot are rewarded, while brute strength alone is invariably thwarted. Why are these men thus endowed any the less athletes than your muscle man? Is the violinist more of a musician than the trombonist or the flutist?
As for versatility, the record books of every strenuous sport are full of the achievements of ectomorphs—Albie Booth, all the Four Horsemen, Davey O'Brien, Wee Willie Keeler, the Waners, Sam Rice. But who ever heard of a weight lifter who was good for anything but weight lifting?
•The agile athletes of the past cited by Reader Uberman, and most of today's tennis players, are primarily mesomorphs: well-muscled, aggressive, outgoing men, though not necessarily tall. The terms endomorph (fat, lethargic), mesomorph and ectomorph (thin, withdrawn) were coined by Dr. William Sheldon of Columbia, who saw a link between physical constitution and temperament. According to Dr. Sheldon, everybody is a mixture of these three basic types.—ED.
After reading Inside to Alaska (May 9 & 16) I feel that when my ship comes in I'm going to take it and cruise to Alaska.
SHIP TO SHORE
I certainly agree that Penn's Ellie Chance deserves your PAT ON THE BACK (May 30). But you should know that all college sailors do not share the stuffy Easterners' mixed feelings about coed skippers.
On the Pacific Coast a number of girls have sailed very creditably against male competition, and two—Jean Hammond and Lea Johnstone—have been commodores of the sailing club at my alma mater, the University of California at Santa Barbara, in recent years. A couple of years ago Occidental's Sue Exley consistently beat the socks off most of the men in the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate Yacht Racing Association.
Postrace parties are, of course, another matter; a girl's a girl for a' that, and since a day of sailing is likely to peel off the most polished social veneer, any romances which may emerge will probably be singularly lacking in illusions. More than one successful marriage (mine included) has had its beginnings at an intercollegiate regatta.