FOR WANT OF MANTLE
Bob Creamer's article, For the Want of a Warning a Pennant Was Lost (June 17), is an insult to the intelligence of baseball fans everywhere and is especially an insult to the capabilities of the other Yankee players.
In his hysterically emotional outburst, Mr. Creamer completely ignores the facts. In the first place, the Orioles took advantage of nothing. It is a matter of record that they have beaten the Yankees with Mantle in the lineup. In the second place, every major league team suffers injuries to key players, who are just as important to their clubs as Mantle is to the Yankees. There is nothing sacred about either Mantle or the Yankees.
If the Yankees do fail to win the pennant, as Mr. Creamer implies, simply because they cannot do without the services of Mickey Mantle for less than one-quarter of the total baseball season, then they most certainly do not deserve to win it.
JAMES I. RANDALL
It is a sad story that Robert Creamer tells about the breaking of Mickey Mantle's foot. However, like the Baltimore fans, I, too, cheer.
When have Yankees ever been easy on their opponents? The Yankees weren't very sad when Herb Score got hurt. Just why should anyone pity them now?
MILTON E. STILES
If this is the kind of fan Baltimore has, they don't deserve ending up in 10th place, let alone first. We all realize winning is the important thing, but it's better to beat a healthy team than a crippled one.
My vote goes to Mantle and the Yankees, for the pennant and the Series.
Mahanoy City, Pa.
It would be more accurate to say that "a "few of" the crowd cheered. No mention was-.made of the standing ovation Mantle received that lasted the entire time it took to carry him from center field to the dugout.
Unless you just prefer to think the worst of Baltimore's baseball fans, why not give them the benefit of this doubt:
Most baseball players—and Mickey Mantle in particular—have such stiff upper lips that they'll stay in a game if barely able to stand upright or, failing that, will limp off the field, as nearly under their own power as possible. The ordinary-garden-variety fan sitting in the grandstand therefore imagines the worst kind of calamities when his heroes are carried from the fray on litters.
Having thus been left for three full innings to imagine that Mantle might have sustained anything from a badly broken ankle that would bench him for the season to some career-ending nerve or back injury, the Baltimore fans were, I believe, expressing relief that Mantle had only sustained the fracture of a very small bone.
I read with much interest your story on Cassius Clay in Britain (C. Marcellus Clay Esq., June 10). It was my opportunity during the past 10 days to talk informally and casually with Cassius, with particular reference to my mission as chairman of the California Emergency Committee for Safeguards in Professional Boxing.
My talk with Cassius came by chance. Staying at the same hotel with him, the Piccadilly, I found him either in the lounge or at breakfast, relaxed and himself—Cassius offstage, not the onstage master exhibitionist. I found him intelligent and imaginative, friendly and warm, shrewdly charting his course for a sensational and spectacular success—something a supersalesman might well envy.
Cassius has a passion, real and relentless, to become the youngest heavyweight champion who ever lived. He wants to meet Liston after the Patterson fight to achieve that end. He may run into crucial conflict with older, wiser heads. In any event, he feels he is a boxer of destiny, not only in the title that awaits him, but in the restoration of popularity and prestige he can bring to the manly art. He wants to help create boxing clubs for youth in New York, and he wants to humanize boxing without destroying it as a spectacle.
He feels, too, he has a mission—that of becoming an enlightened and effective fighter for his people's rights.
Last, but not least, he has under consideration the acquisition of a library of choice poetry and prose that should give him a new posture in the humanities.
I thought you would like this bit, accidentally gathered.
ON THE RIVER
Tom Mayer's is the first under-the-skin exposition of 150-pound crew I have ever read (The Cadences of Crew, June 10).
So often overshadowed by their counterparts, the heavies, the lightweights are seldom recognized for their equal and sometimes surpassing dedication, anguish and relative ability and power.
We admire the prologue but not the conclusion of the following exchange about Cornell's boathouse in your rowing story:
"The boathouse...is clean, new, big. Lots of linoleum and glass and stainless steel. Much nicer than our boathouse.
" 'It doesn't smell like sweat,' someone notes, sniffing happily.
" 'They have state money,' someone else says."
A Harvard man ought to know that Cornell University is a privately endowed institution. It does conduct certain academic programs for the State of New York on contract. There are no state funds for athletics.
Mr. John L. Collyer, Cornell '17, former stroke oar of championship Cornell crews and retired president and chairman of the board of the B. F. Goodrich Company, donated his own private funds to build the beautiful edifice that bears his name.
ROBERT J. KANE
Director of Athletics, Cornell University
I am one of many who enjoyed your recent articles on college rowing. As a prep-school oarsman at the Choate School in Walling-ford, Conn., I naturally read these in hopes that I may someday hold a seat in a college eight; however, I feel I represent a great number of rowing fans in saying that you have neglected an important side of the sport: club competition.
One of the great differences between the college rower and club rower is that the latter is not out in quest of glory, a letter or a 10-foot silver trophy, but for lasting friendships, personal pleasure and a feeling of accomplishment. Thousands of oarsmen, from 14 to 40, row every summer in regattas all over this country because they love the sport and the competition. And club crews often leave the colleges in second place. The club oarsmen deserve recognition.
PETER C. JOHNSON
Re Jon S. Butler's comment in 19TH HOLE (June 17): "Why not face it? A good club crew can always beat the best college crew." Either Mr. Butler has been listening to some very persuasive club rowers or he has never read the record. College eights won the Olympic eight-oared championships for the U.S. in 1920 (Navy), 1924 (Yale), 1928 and 1932 (California), 1936 (Washington), 1948 (California), 1952 (Navy) and 1956 (Yale). A Washington four-oared with cox won the 1948 Olympic title, a Rutgers pair without cox, the 1952 Olympic title, etc. Finally, in 1960, a Navy eight placed fifth behind a lot of foreign crews in Rome.
However, there is, and always will be, a lot of difference between rowing 1¼ miles (the Olympic distance—2,000 meters) under millpond conditions and three miles into a wind. With all due respect to a great Ratzeburg crew, if the 1964 Olympic eight-oared final is rowed into a nice stiff breeze in Tokyo, the U.S. college eight that will probably carry the American hopes should be able to handle the competition.
About 60% of all college races in America have been rowed into a head wind; at least my late father, Rusty Callow, coached his crews at Washington, Penn and Navy with that expectation. Taking absolutely nothing away from the Ratzeburg coach or his fine crew, it should be recognized that the old Fort Benning Infantry School stock reply is applicable in rowing, to wit, "Sir, it all depends on the conditions and the terrain"—in this case, wind and water. So far, no coach has yet been able to demonstrate that he has all the answers to the old shell game. That's one of the many factors that keep it interesting, year in and year out.
This is an overlong answer to Mr. Butler's flat assertion. My whole point is: let's not get carried away by the senseless club-versus-college dock talk with the Olympics a year away. The best way to settle the argument is to line up the crews and start the clock next July (1964). I dare say both college and club oarsmen will make the trip to Tokyo. Let's hope they're ready for Ratzeburg's boys. They can be, but somebody will have to bleed a little in the interim.
Who in the world does Morton Sharnik think he is? Does he realize that he quoted Cincinnati Coach Reggie Otero as saying that Frank Robinson is as good as Mickey Mantle (Moody Tiger of the Reds, June 17)? Why, Robinson couldn't clean Mantle's spikes. I suggest he think twice before he airs any more opinions.
It seemed like Morton Sharnik had a grudge against Robbie; he pointed out all his bad points. I am not saying Robbie doesn't have some, but Mr. Sharnik made him look like a mixture of Ty Cobb and Al Capone.
J. P. LYONS
I think your article on Frank Robinson was magnificent. I do not think most sports-writers give Frank Robinson enough credit for his wonderful ballplaying. It takes a lot of nerve (good character) to believe in baseball and want to play one's best in every game.
STEPHEN F. MANN
I enjoyed Mr. Sharnik's article on Frank Robinson. However, I don't believe he does Floyd Robinson of the White Sox justice when he refers to him as a "good average guy."
This good average guy is currently third in the league in batting with .332, sixth in RBIs with 42 and among the leaders in runs scored.
Your article, The Word was "Griffith" (June 17), was the biggest bunch of baloney I have ever read. Mr. Boyle must be crooked himself if he knew of all those prefight predictions. Anyone in his right mind could clearly see that Emile Griffith won the welterweight title squarely on his own ability and not on some stupid rumor.
Most of the time I think your writers know what they're talking about. I was surprised therefore, by the statement of Robert H. Boyle, who thinks he is a better referee than anyone else. I wish Mr. Boyle would quit guessing and try to write about something he knows. He apparently doesn't know too much about boxing. Griffith, without a doubt, won the fight.
After reading the account of the Griffith-Rodriguez fight, we find ourselves in complete agreement with Mr. Boyle's opening comment on boxing. Once more an undeserved fate has been placed upon a fighter due to a "bum decision."