Let's put the blame for the basketball fixes (SCORECARD, May 8) where it belongs. The "guilty men" are the players who took the money and the parents who think their coach is working them too hard because it's only a game.
I coached a Babe Ruth baseball team three years ago, and it was the most disappointing experience of my life. The majority of the kids seemed to regard playing on the team as a favor to me worth doing only as long as it did not require too much effort. They thought that winning was something that the law of averages made you do in time.
Well, what the hell is the object of any game? It is to win. I didn't ask my kids to play dirty ball. I only asked them to give the game every ounce of their hustle, skill and mental capacity during the practice sessions and games. That is something that develops pride and will to win. Playing that way is hard work and sometimes the rewards are small, but no one who does it could possibly be talked into shaving points or throwing a ball game. The only people who can keep sports honest are the people who play them.
A serious look at the recruiting policies and scholarship programs of our universities is in order.
JOHN A. RADEBAUGH
May 28, 1961
Would it not be better to either drop all aid to college athletes or else admit they are professionals and treat them as such?
WILLIAM F. RAMBO
I suggest you stick to sports and leave the moralizing to those qualified, like college presidents.
LIEUT. JOSEPH W. SLOAN
Shaw AFB, S.C.
Agreed, the guilty players have wronged and deserve punishment, but why portray one "dumper" as the stereotype of all (Portrait of a Fixer, May 8)? Aren't the other players of equal guilt? Aren't their expulsions from school, familial disgraces and realizations of their own moral and ethical shortcomings punishment enough?
GEORGE L. SALINGER
The title of this article should be Another American Tragedy.
JOSEPH A. CONCELLO, M.D.
How could you fail to cover in wider detail than FOR THE RECORD (May 15) the effects of the U.S. All Stars' venture into Russia? You didn't even give due credit to the coach of this integrated unit, Johnny B. McLendon, who went to Russia already acknowledged by just about everyone as the country's top amateur basketball mentor. Not only did his team stop a much-stronger-than-the-1960-Olympics Russian five (according to Ohio State's Jerry Lucas, who played against them both times), but they were undefeated in seven contests against the Russians and one against a Swedish team. But you can make friends by doing a piece on him real soon.
GEORGE J. DUNMORE
Those rare Armenian trout that Diplomat Charles Thayer (Long Search for a Russian Trout, May 15) sought without luck in Lake Sevan arc named, in Armenian, ishkhanadzuk, or prince fish.
Legend has it that an ancient Armenian king once offered to swap his kingdom for a mess of these succulent and special trout, and his mountaineers more than took him up on the deal.
Could be those crafty trout, still smarting from that trade in which they weren't consulted, learned their lesson well enough to trust hook, spoon or net no longer.
For many years, about 40, I had been wondering what did happen to the great Jimmy Winkfield, especially when we other former Russian czarist officers and horsemen would get together and start talking about the glorious past of old Russia. And then came your most wonderful article (Around the World in 80 Years, May 8).
For us Russian horsemen in the days before the revolution the name of Winkfield was like Shoemaker, Arcaro and Longden—combined in one.
The brothers Lazareff and Léon Mantacheff, for whom Winkfield rode, have been very good friends of my father and, of course, I knew them all personally very well. Winkfield also rode a few horses belonging to my father, Ivan K. Davidoff, in Moscow's race track.
Don't let Jimmy ever think that he is forgotten; he was one of the greatest, and the King of all jockeys in Old Russia. We all remember him, admire him and wish him well. Thank you very much for "bringing Winkfield back alive."
CAPTAIN K. I. DAVIDOFF
I thoroughly enjoyed your story, To Atlantic City by High-speed Bus (May 8). Phipps Piper's tale brought to mind thoughts of my father, Harvard '04, and his mother. Dear Dad was married at 51—shortly after Grandmother died.
CHARLES P. HAMILL JR.
The letter from Phipps Piper, Harvard '14, was priceless. I am anxiously awaiting Bayard Ashcroft's reply.
DAVID W. LEE JR.
A correspondence much too good to let die. Let's have more.
Louis B. WELLS
Riviera Beach, Fla.
If King Hussein's fiancée had been wearing proper protective clothing when racing her kart, she might not have that scar on her hand "as the result of a crash" (The Royal Heave-ho, May 15).
In all organized kart races in the U.S.—and there are over 100,000 karters—gloves and heavy long-sleeved jackets are worn as necessary protective equipment. Due in part to these measures the two largest kart clubs in the world, Go Kart Club of America and Grand Prix Kart Club of America, have never had a fatal accident in organized racing. In contrast, bicycling causes 400 to 500 deaths every year, yet bicycling is considered nothing but harmless fun.
New Rochelle, N.Y.
I enjoyed your article on the chess match (The Young Botvinnik, May 8). However, it might have been of interest to the readers that Botvinnik is the first man in chess history to win the world championship three times. Alekhine and Anderssen won it twice, but all the other world champions were unable to regain the title even once after having lost it in a match.
New York City
The frank and honest story of the 87th Kentucky Derby as reported by your Whitney Tower (The Man Who Was Absolutely Right, May 15) was one of the most exhilarating accounts I've read.
Perhaps some of the experts would be wise to cop a lesson from Carry Back's proved achievement: that many are champions regardless of breeding or stature. This applies to the human race as well as the horse race.
MRS. JACK R. WESTWOOD
Lodge Grass, Mont.
Take a look at Carry Back's bloodlines: nothing much in the first two generations on the male side. But his great-grandsire was Equipoise, and the sire of Equipoise was Pennant, both horses with exceptional records for speed and stamina. He also has Hyperion and Gainsborough blood. Now glance at the dam side: again nothing in the first two generations, but his dam's grand-sire was Blenheim II, and his sire was Bland-ford, the great English champion. She also has Phalaris, Teddy and Sir Galahad III blood in her veins. Great Scott! Enough speed and stamina in all to take care of a dozen Thoroughbreds, and a great part of it, for reasons the breeders don't know, concentrated in little Carry Back. Nothing perplexing about that.
KENNETH R. PYATT
Congratulations on the story of Warren Spahn's second no-hitter (The Masterpiece in Milwaukee, May 8). My nickname may indicate favoritism for another NL team, but as long as you keep printing baseball stories of either league it will be appreciated.
E. (DUKE) SNIDER
Fort William, Ont.
Congratulations on Walter Bingham's great story on Lavagetto (Not Such a Tough Cookie, May 15)—a masterpiece.