OF TIME AND THE PLAYOFF
Considering events of the last three weeks we await apologies from all self-appointed detractors of baseball, whose major complaints are that baseball is dull and consumes too much time. Was anyone bored by the Giant-Dodger playoff or the World Series? Did anyone turn off the second playoff game because it ran four hours and 18 minutes? A consensus in the bar in which I watched that epic contest was that another four hours and 18 minutes would have been completely endurable.
JERRY C. DAVIS
Falls Church, Va.
The National League pennant winners barely had time to celebrate their pennant victory prior to being thrust into the ensuing World Series contest.
Shouldn't the exhausted San Francisco Giants have been granted at least a day or two to recuperate before engaging a fresh and rested New York team for the world championship?
•SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S Roy Terrell asked the same question of National League officials and—surprisingly enough—found that neither players nor management had any complaint. When the problem first arose each league decided how it would break a pennant tie: the NL chose a two-of-three-game playoff; the AL, a one-game sudden-death decision, which, in a case like this year's Giant-Dodger playoff, would have provided at least one day of rest. However, in 1957 the AL, too, adopted the best-of-three series.—ED.
October 29, 1962
PRICE TO PAY
Mr. Jack Price's conduct after the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in Paris was, I thought, in very poor taste (Poor Jack, His Horse Ran Out, Oct. 15). After fraudulently representing Carry Back as the American champion and predicting a five-length victory he had the nerve to blame Australia's leading rider, Scobie Breasley, for bringing his horse in 10th. Other owners in other years have kept silent when they had much more cause to complain. Breasley did as well as could be expected, riding the horse for the first time. Mr. Price should either have gotten an American jockey who knew the horse to ride him, or kept his mouth shut.
To combat the posse of turf scribes out to hang Scobie Breasley by the heels for his ride of Carry Back in the Arc, let me, as an Australian, say a word in his defense. Breasley is the foremost exponent of the shortest way home—via the rails—and he is a hands rider, often using the whip only in the last few yards when necessary to win by the barest margin—which he does about 150 times a year in England.
Without firsthand knowledge of the Carry Back affair, I may be sticking my neck out, but to one who knows Breasley's ability. Jack Price's caustic criticism leaves a sour taste. It's admitted that there are big differences between American racing and the sport in England, France and Australia. But there is an old maxim that may be worth recalling: a good jockey doesn't really need instructions. There obviously was a misunderstanding between Price and Breasley, but if Scobie had been left to ride the horse in his usual style, I doubt that the job could have been done better—by Sellers, Shoemaker or anyone else you disgruntled Americans would care to name.
A slanted eyebrow for the Gung Ho P.R.O.s at West Point for their Chinese Bandits, coolie hats. Oriental rabble-rousers, etc. (SCORECARD, Oct. 8). Really!
Perhaps they could adapt this mouthwatering yell, used with great success when I was a schoolboy (1920) in Corning, N.Y.:
Strawberry Shortcake! Huckleberry Pie!
Are we in it? Well, I guess.
Corning Free Academy—YES! YES! YES!
HARRY E. BATTIN JR.
United States Army—Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek commanding!
The thought occurs that the Ole Miss Rebs could really get fired up if Coach Johnny Vaught would name his three football teams Kennedy's Kingpins, Barnett's Battalion and Meredith's Marauders.
VOLNEY H. CAMPBELL
LAW OF NATURE
Barbara Heilman's article about the game warden and his work awoke a vivid memory (Long Hours and Low Pay, Oct. 15). For years I was closely associated with a local game warden, the late J. D. Hopkins, who was without a doubt a dedicated man. He was a small man, and not very strong, but he did an almost unbelievable amount of work. He claimed to have gone no farther than the third grade in school, but we have had him lecture on conservation to our university students and he did as good a job as our regular university professors.
He tried to learn everything there was to know about wild life and he had an uncanny knowledge of human nature. Once a fisherman protested loudly that he had left his license at home. To prove it, he gave the number of the license. Hopkins replied, "Nobody remembers his license number. You come with me."
RAYMOND F. BELLAMY
If I had my way, I'd keep every single lawbreaker locked up until he couldn't remember the sounds and beauty of nature.
On reading John Underwood's article on Sonny Gibbs and the other outstanding quarterbacks in the country (Country Boy with a Country Pass, Oct. 15), we were stunned at the absence of one man from this list. How could Mr. Underwood not have included Pal McCarthy of Holy Cross, the All-East quarterback and second in the nation in total offense in 1961?
Arkansas' Billy Moore is acclaimed the best quarterback in the Southwest since Doak Walker, and you failed to mention his name.
PORTER RODGERS JR., M.D.
Little Rock, Ark.
The best quarterback in college ball today is without doubt Northwestern's Tom Myers. I have seen him play three times, and he is simply sensational. He runs well, as South Carolina can testify, he is most difficult to catch back of the line, as Illinois can testify, and with 20 of 24 completions in his first game he beat anything Otto Graham did at Northwestern.
W. A. CURRY
Excellent quarterbacks all, but the very best of the crop may well be Ole Miss's Glynn Griffing, already drafted by the New York Giants, who is throwing touchdown passes again for the Rebels just as did his All-America predecessors, Charlie Conerly and Jake Gibbs, on two other championship Mississippi teams.
CALL OF THE CANARY HIDE
I enjoyed your editorial comment on George Shabay's letter (19TH HOLE, Oct. 15) concerning the "ol' canary hide" for baseballs. But why not a yellow jacket for golf balls? It would certainly help one to keep his eye on the ball and follow a shot all the way. How much easier to find a lost ball and how much more enjoyable for both player and spectator to follow a shot from tee to green!
WILFRID T. KEARNS
Ozone Park, N.Y.
As the pappy of the "ol canary hide," I was delighted to see that George Shabay of Graham, Texas has raised his voice in hopes of a further break with tradition in baseball—for the sake of improving the game.
As you reported, tests did prove that the yellow ball was easier to see, but they could not have been conducted without the help of Ford Frick, then head of the National League. In that position he was interested in anything that would help the game, help the fans enjoy it and help the players play it.
It was through the efforts of MacPhail and Frick that the yellow ball was legalized as an "optional ball" but, as you pointed out, in order to get it used managers had to request it, and they never did.
Why? I suspect the main deterrent was the thought of interference with "tradition."
Since that time traditions have been broken all over both leagues. Ten teams instead of eight; helmets to protect batters, increased schedules have all made their way into the game, so now why not the ultimate in a high-visibility ball?
Every time a player is hurt by a pitched or hit ball, every fielding error, every questionable call by an umpire should be a reminder that an easier-to-see ball would improve the quality of this sport.
FREDERIC H. RAHR
New York City