As one of the three members of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission who voted unanimously to license Charles (Sonny) Liston as a professional boxer, I would like to set the record straight on what motivated myself and my colleagues, Jim Crowley and Paul G. Sullivan, in that action (Will Floyd Fight Sonny?, Feb. 12).
We were well aware of Liston's past record—prisonwise as well as pugilistic—and after mature consideration and a very thorough investigation we concluded that in the ring he could make something of himself, whereas, if he were to be denied an opportunity to make a living in the field in which he was obviously best qualified, the frustration, disappointment and disillusionment that would follow would smash his morale and might possibly cause him to retrogress. The Pennsylvania commission has been strict in its standards of licensure, but this strictness has, I'm proud to say, been tempered with compassion for the individual. We do not believe that because a man has been in prison once, or even twice, he should be forever damned and ostracized by society.
Finally, as to Liston himself. I have probably had more opportunities to observe Liston in person and to be in personal contact with him during these past eight or nine months than any other boxing commissioner. What I have seen justifies in my own conscience my affirmative vote in favor of granting his license. I believe that one of the fundamentals of good sportsmanship is giving the underdog a sporting chance. One of the things wrong with boxing today is that it's no longer as much a sport as it is a business.
ALFRED M. KLEIN
OLD MASTER'S MISS
I thoroughly enjoyed your untimely article on Kentucky Coach Adolph Rupp. (The Old Master Has a New Winner, Feb. 19). Now, as partial retribution, I suggest you give equal space to Mississippi State's most personable, unassuming and knowledgeable Coach Babe McCarthy.
GRACE S. POMEROY
State College, Miss.
What happened to Kentucky's "Old Master" and his illustrious Wildcats at home February 10? Mississippi State 49, Kentucky 44!
As an old Arcadia resident, from 1916 to 1959, who attended the opening day of Santa Anita Race Track in 1934, I enjoyed reading The Beast of Santa Anita (Feb. 19).
Some newcomers may not like the corrosive truth about Lucky Baldwin, but it checks with what we oldtimers know about him.
BOBO AINSWORTH HAWKINS
Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Thousands of G.I.s, including this one, slept in the whitewashed stables during World War II. I think we had the most beautiful training camp of all. And if other veterans who were there read Dolly Connelly's article it will surely make them relive those happy moments when they were off duty and could enjoy the beautiful surroundings. I think I even saw Lucky Baldwin's ghost one night.
Walnut Creek, Calif.
The design of Architects Webb and Mitchell is exactly the thing I have been seeking (The Perfect House on the Water, Feb. 12). But you have left me still at sea. Are the plans and specifications available? If so, how may one get them?
WILLIAM B. MAHONEY
•For plans and information write Peter W. Webb, 6 Main Street, Ridgefield, Conn.—ED.
FIT TO HELP OLD LADIES
I am sick and tired of you sports magazines saying that American youth is unfit. In a recent issue you stated that a cub scoutmaster was surprised to find that his charges were not used to strenuous exercise (SCORECARD, Feb. 5). Either his charges are weak or the average American youth is extremely strong. This bunch of kids, I believe, are not typical of American youth. Most children play sports regularly and hard. I myself play no less than 10 hours of basketball a week. Such organizations as PAL and little baseball and football leagues are flourishing, as are school sports.
You and President Kennedy have confused the minority with the majority to make American youth look sick. We aren't!
Niagara Falls, N.Y.
We at American Machine & Foundry Company were particularly interested in The Triumph of the Square Knot (Feb. 19) since we were directly associated with the youth and fitness activity of the Greater New York Boy Scout councils' recent exposition at the New York Coliseum.
One of the elements of AMF's contributing effort in this connection was a wall chart carrying out in words and pictures the West Point fitness program for Explorers. With cadets as models for the exercises, the chart depicts 25 different steps by which Explorers (in the 14-18 age group) can improve their own fitness. We would be happy to provide your readers with copies.
WILLIAM N. MCDONALD
New York City
I have been a scout since I was 8 years old and can attest to many wonderful experiences in growing "physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight." Thank you for the wonderful article.