Walter Bingham's story on baseball's colorful "hot dogs" (Players withMagic, April 30) made me smile in full agreement. The paragraph about BobbyBragan reminds me of an incident that shows how much the trend towardconformity has advanced in recent years. After Bragan had his run-in with theumps and was fired for having the temerity to clown things up a little, I wrotea sports column for the Rochester (Minn.) Post-Bulletin in which I praisedBragan for providing a little color. The boom was promptly lowered on me.Judging by the reaction from the top echelon, I was practically advocating theoverthrow of the great national pastime. What a lousy conforming world this hasbecome. I wouldn't walk a block to see Harmon Killebrew hit a homer but I'ddrive 75 miles to see Vic Power in action at first base.
Thanks for thegood reading.
I agree 100%. I have been a baseball fan since I was knee-high to a stuntedduck (I am now 68 years old) and I really miss the colorful players. Whoever isresponsible has taken something valuable away from the game.
R. J. NORENE
You have hit upon the key to baseball attendance. I wish the commissioners,managers, and front-office people would read this story and become more lenienttoward players who make the game more interesting.
ELKAN M. KATZ
The article referred to the pantomime Gil Hodges put on for the people ofJapan. I would like to bring to your attention the fact that Gil deliberatelyput on this act as a diplomatic gesture. A Dodger was called out on strikes andthrew his helmet at the dugout in frustration. Because players rarely arguewith the umpire in Japan the people were horrified. The Dodgers would have losttremendous face if Gil hadn't done what he did. Please print this to show whata great man he truly is.
A great many Phillies fans will remember Harry (The Hat) Walker. No one who sawHarry will ever forget the ritual of first touching the tip of the hat, thenthe button and, finally, stepping into the batter's box. If the pitcher wasalert enough he might get the ball in, but if not Harry would be out of the boxand fooling around with his hat again. I say hats off to ballplayers likethis.
Now that Minnie Minoso has suffered grave injury because of his collision withan outfield wall (BASEBALL'S WEEK, May 21), isn't it about time the ownersstarted to hang pneumatic cushioning in their parks?
Pads could bemade of rubberized fabric (like aviation life rafts) and hung from hooks on theoutfield walls. They would prevent costly injuries.
AUSTIN C. DALEY
•That tirelessold innovator, Branch Rickey, padded the fences at Ebbets Field in 1942 to keepPete Reiser, a habitual wall-bumper, from killing himself. Most park ownershave contented themselves with gravel paths around the outfield to warnimpetuous fielders of impending danger.—ED.
After reading Roger Williams' report on Whitney Reed (Hallelujah, He's the No.1 Tennis Bum, May 7), I was swept with a violent wave of nausea. If this is theNo. 1 product of the U.S. amateur tennis system, I submit that the explanationfor our international tennis fiascoes of recent years is readily apparent. Whenthe motivation of our top tennis player is no more than a desire to capitalizeon his ranking, then the system is certainly to be indicted.
It seems logicalthat the Davis Cup will return to the U.S. only when we upgrade and rigidlysupervise the moral standards, physical training and motivation of our tennisplayers. Let's stop this lallygagging with these playboys and get down to theserious business of producing American tennis players worthy of mention in anational sports magazine.
RICHARD R. RILEY, M.D.
Roger Williams' article is a well-written caricature of America's ideals asrepresented in her top-ranked tennis player. How proud we can be of theleadership of the USLTA!
As a male I am disappointed in the males who run SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
As a rule you dowell by golf tournaments. The coverage you gave the Masters at Augusta, ArnoldPalmer's "charge" and Gene Littler's comeback was commendable. But whathave you done now? Like many other males you decided to ignore Mickey Wright's"charge" at Augusta when she shot her three-under-par 69 to wrest thechampionship of the women's Titleholders tournament from Ruth Jessen, who shota par 72.
I was so impressed with Mickey Wright's article on How to Hit as Far as a Man(Feb. 19). Why don't you follow it up and have Mickey give instruction on theirons?
MRS. M. EDEY
Bravo! It's about time we heard something about Gene Littler (Loud Noise fromthe Quiet Man, May 14).
ROOM AT THETOP
Concerning your article on track (The Battle to Win the Thinking Man's Race,May 14), we feel that you made a serious and unforgivable omission in yourlisting of America's top nine college mile-relay teams. Your oversight ofVillanova's freshman mile-relay team as one of the best only slightly exhibitsthe lack of knowledge of your track editors. But the omission of Villanova'svarsity adds a mockery to the article. If you are planning to count this teamout, we suggest that you refrain from making any predictions at all as theymight prove quite embarrassing.
PAUL W. CHIPELLO
WILLIAM P. BRENNAN
You're at it again. On the eventful day when Oregon defeated USC (A Long ThrowSnaps a Long String, April 30) there was another track meet—UCLA vs.California. Granted UCLA won hands down but a sophomore. Gene Johnson ofBerkeley, high-jumped seven feet. He is the fifth man in the U.S. to clear thatheight and the first to do it using the difficult and outdated western roll.Did good ol' SPORTS ILLUSTRATED say one little word about it? You did not. Ifit wasn't for the fact my husband is the subscriber I'd cancel.
Newport Beach, Calif.
I would like to congratulate Roy Terrell on his fine article about Oregon. Itis about time someone recognized Bill Bowerman's great ability as a coach.Anybody who can produce runners the caliber of Dyrol Burleson and Jim Grellehas got to be the best.
Lake Oswego, Ore.
The thrill of landing a fighting "Brookie" out of a crystal-clear,spring-fed mountain lake and subsequent enjoyment of its delicious pink fleshpan-fried in butter has been irrevocably marred by your article The TumorousTrout (May 14).
You have injecteda note of apprehension into the sport of fishing, man's last trouble-freerefuge in this anxiety-ridden world.