I am heartily ashamed of you! You yourselves have become the prime example ofwhat you were talking about regarding the moral crisis in sport (May 20).
In your coverageof the Indianapolis "500" (Close Call for a Jones Boy, June 10) youtake the position that Chief Steward Harlan Fengler was justified in notblack-flagging Parnelli Jones for the sole reason that Jones was leading therace at the time. I quote: "He presumably would have black-flagged theJones car if it had been out of serious contention."
The black flag isnot intended to help the leader win nor the laggard lose; it is intended solelyto safeguard all of the contestants, regardless of position. As Jimmy Clarksaid, "I would much rather be second than dead." Fortunately, in thisparticular case the resulting spins were not fatal (except perhaps to those carowners' pocketbooks), but the fact remains: a safety flag's use should be basedsolely on the matter of safety and not be decided by an impromptu tracksidelobbying session—in this case by the leading car's owner!
GORDON HARVIN GLASS
Newport Beach, Calif.
Sour grapes to Kenneth Rudeen. In one breath he strengthens the position of awishy-washy track official (Steward Fengler) and then adds gross insult toinjury with some sentimental slop about not depriving Parnelli Jones ofracing's richest plum for just spewing oil all over the track.
June 23, 1963
Then Rudeenfollows with a coup de grace of circumlocution and rationalization by saying,in effect, the Lotus-Fords finished higher than anyone thought they would inthe first place, so why gripe?
To summarize,Rudeen castigates Eddie Sachs as a very emotional driver, placates the veryfine Chapman-Clark team and raises high the pedestal for Parnelli Jones, winnerby virtue of a double standard.
WILLIAM T. BATES
Do you also believe that a fighter who happens to be leading on points shouldnot be penalized for a foul blow?
Throughout the article it is repeated that it would have been a shame if Joneshad been black-flagged. Sports fans feel it is a shame to see many thingshappen in their favorite sports. I am sure Met fans are sorry to see their teamlose, and feel that it is a shame it had to happen. However, I am positive thateven the most die-hard fans would balk at seeing their team stretch the rulesin order to win.
•Hidden behindall this exhaust smoke is the fact that Chapman and Clark, who stood to losethe most, concurred with Steward Fengler's decision not to black-flag Jones'scar, and Lotus-Ford's Benson Ford told Fengler he made a "finedecision."—ED.
I thought your readers might be interested in the identity of one of JimmyClark's wheel changers—the one shown in your picture with the upraised arm,indicating that he had completed his part of the pit procedure in 20 seconds,12.3 seconds ahead of the others. Had the other pit attendants done their workin 20 seconds, Clark would have emerged 1.3 seconds ahead of Jones.
The lad is JimGardner, former Duke football star who played in the Orange Bowl and wasdrafted by the Cleveland Browns. Jim is an expert mechanic and has worked atIndianapolis for five years (mostly on the Novis during the time Lew Welch wasbuilding them). Jim comes by his interest in the Indianapolis races naturallyand follows in the footsteps of his father, "Radio" Gardner, who wasone of Lew Welch's mechanics for some 20 years and who is responsible for anumber of time-saving procedures in the pits.
P. G. PETRY
A few issues back you published California Architect Bill Ficker's plans forthe "Ideal Yacht Club" (April 22). Here is a photograph (left) of aclub I designed and built (together with Architect Jes√∫s García Collantes)along very similar plans, although on a different scale and with differentbuilding materials. It is now the headquarters for the Club Nàutico Mexicano ofValle de Bravo, Mexico, about 100 miles southwest of Mexico City.
This club differsfrom Ficker's in that it is built on Styrofoam floats, because the water levelin this lake varies 100 feet, and in that the boats (in this case FlyingDutchmen) can be winched out of the water for storage in a matter ofseconds.
It has, on themain floor, 24 boat spaces, a surrounding walkway, benches with lockers underthem and a central clubhouse. On the second floor it has men's and women'sdressing rooms with showers, etc. and a card-playing room.
VICTOR DE LA LAMA
Harvardman Tom Mayer's article on lightweight oarsmen (The Cadences of Crew,June 10) was so realistically written that I could feel myself trying to followthe stroke right along with him. The diets, the prerace tension, the"garbaging up" after the race, were all described by a true oarsman.Thank you for the wonderful story on rowing.
My "shirt" to Tom Mayer, to Harvey Schmidt for the flow and rhythm inhis rowing paintings, to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for its fine coverage.
Beverly Hills, Calif.
THE GOOD AND THEBAD
After reading its significant articles for a second time I have come to theconclusion that your June 3 issue is an extremely fine one. Coming hard on theheels of persistent evidence of the moral decay in the world of sport, it is amost encouraging tonic, renewing faith in mankind.
Three articles inparticular are notable: l) the fine article by Sargent Shriver (The Moral Forceof Sport) points out government's role in sport, so often dismissed asinsignificant, and notes the advantages and successes, politically as well ascompetitively, that can be achieved; 2) Jack Olsen's story of Bob Hope (AllKinds of a Nut about Sports) typifies the type of support the world of sportthrives on, combining love for man with that for the game; and 3) Tex Maule'sstory on Peter Snell (A Spirit that Wrecked a Computer), which exemplifies thereal meaning of what is good in sport. Snell's spirit of competition and driveis, after all, the best possible example of what it is that keeps men runningfaster—or climbing higher—driving harder and winning.
KARL H. HUTZLER
Sargent Shriver's report was truly notable in that it exemplified what sportshould be—but isn't.
However, nomatter what degree of good our Peace Corps volunteers achieve, the Americanpeople will be apathetic. Pitifully and disgustingly apathetic. We have lostall concept of what sport stands for, just as we have lost all concept of whatanything not related to the dollar sign stands for.
In 1964 we willlose the Olympics. Not because of inferior athletes, but because Americans justdon't support amateur athletics or the Olympic Committee as much as theysupport professionals. So, in effect, if we do lose, it will be by default.
What the remedyto the situation is no one knows. There probably is none—at least, not untilthis society of ours detaches itself from its current concepts and practices.For the present it is a comfortable feeling knowing of the work SargentShriver's "scrappers" are doing.
Recently, here in Rio de Janeiro, the world championship basketball tournamenttook place. The details and results of this competition are heralded innewspapers throughout the world; winning this tournament is more highlyregarded than the coveted gold medal in the Olympics. In 1959 it was won byBrazil. The U.S. placed second with a fourth-rate service team.
This year thehardheaded American organizers tactlessly, eliminated us from the running. Welost to Yugoslavia, Russia and finally Brazil, and each time the crowd of over20,000 booed our players from the court.
The U.S., dueeither to its NCAA-AAU war or its conceit in sending poor players and coachesto represent the "King of Basketball," as the U.S. is called, has justthrown away at least $5 million worth of' Alliance for Progress prestige. Wegracelessly tore down what had so carefully been built.
Where is ourpride? And chiefly, where is our image? I can give no more excuses. I know whatwe possess in the U.S., but what does the world think when we are so shamefullyrepresented?
ARTHUR E. BYRNES
Rio de Janeiro
First in 1961 SPORTS ILLUSTRATED said that the pitchers were getting clubbedfor all those homers because they were throwing a "lively" ball. Now in1963 you say the hitters are being stymied by those same pitchers because theyare throwing the spitball (The Spitter Is Back, June 3).
If all goesaccording to schedule, during the 1965 season you will accuse Cletis and KenBoyer, Bobby Richardson, Nellie Fox, Ken Hubbs and many other fielding stars ofputting a new magnet in their gloves to rob hitters of base hits. Ford Frickshould outlaw the curve ball because it's hard to hit.
As intrigued as we were by the 1,003rd use for "Vaseline" PetroleumJelly (we already have 1,002 classified and unclassified), we must takeexception to the incorrect usage of the "Vaseline" trademark in yourarticle, The Spitter Is Back, where it was used generically.
We stand ready,willing and able to ship carloads as required to any and all ball clubs in bothleagues. Maybe even make it radioactive for umpire detection under blacklights. Possibly even impregnate cloth with it to give the poor pitcher abreak.
But, please,please, "Vaseline" Petroleum Jelly, O.K.?
RICHARD K. VAN NOSTRAND
New York City
ANGEL ON HIGH
After reading your magazine for about a year, my vigilance was finallyrewarded. I'm referring to your article, Albie Pearson: The Littlest Angel (May27).
I'm probably oneof the many L.A. Angel fans who can afford a box seat but prefers thecenter-field bleachers.