NORTHERNER DOWN SOUTH
After reading your article, A Derby Star Rises (March 9), I am thoroughly convinced that your writers would have trouble picking a winner in a one-horse race. Whitney Tower has now made the biggest blunder of all by giving five horses a better chance to win the Kentucky Derby than the great Canadian colt, Northern Dancer. The son of Nearctic proved in the Flamingo Stakes that he is the class of the 3-year-old division. His contenders have had two chances against him—slim and none. He has the best chance of becoming the first Triple Crown winner since Citation. When the five horses Tower picked meet Northern Dancer in the Derby, they will wish they had never come out of the barn.
DAVID A. ZATT
Long Beach, N.Y.
The New York Mets—ugh! The crowned clowns of baseball, those bungling boobs of baseball, that bunch who should be booked on the Ed Sullivan Show as the greatest comedy ever, bar none, are supposed to out-draw the New York Yankees at the gate this year, says William Leggett (Trouble Sprouts for the Yankees, March 2). "But why not?" ask Met fans. "After all, we have Selma, Carmel, Kanehl and Haas." Who? Well, I believe that there are still many of us who would rather see the Yankees.
Too much success over a period of years, with the resultant lack of competition, always results in decreased attendance, no matter what the sport. One of my earliest recollections is of my father telling me why Connie Mack broke up his $100,000 infield: because, after winning three championships and returning from a highly successful western trip, they were greeted by a little over 2,000 people on a beautiful day in Philadelphia.
A more recent parallel in basketball would be the Minneapolis (now Los Angeles) Lakers, who won several championships and were hardly ever beaten at home—to the point that their attendance dropped off and the franchise was switched. Of more recent vintage is the case of our Boston Celtics who, while well supported at the gate, draw more on the road than they do in Boston.
March 23, 1964
People, by nature, root for the underdog.
JOSEPH J. FAY
When you predict that the Mets will out-draw the Yanks, because they are more colorful, you must also take into consideration that the Yankees are in the AL and the Mets in the NL.
Each year the Yankees run away with the flag without much trouble. On the other hand, the Mets may end up in last, but at least they are in a league that has three or four teams all fighting at once. This is why Mr. Herman Ringler—and many others—will be sitting in new Shea Stadium watching a losing team in a winning league.
I don't know how adults feel, because I am a 10-year-old sports fan and my family subscribes to your magazine for me. But all my friends—if they had a chance—would far rather see a Yankee game anytime. Probably all boys my age feel the same.
I have been a Met fan all my life [15 years]. The main reason for their success is that they are "the greatest."
The attitude of the White Sox management as expressed by Ed Short in the Jim Brosnan affair leaves me somewhat puzzled (This Pitcher May Need Relief, March 16). They made no objection that I ever read to the off-season activities of players engaged in other business. I can think of one player—another pitcher—who gasps his lungs out on the basketball floor during the pro season. Evidently, writing is more strenuous than this!
In my opinion, I don't think management has any right to tell a ballplayer what he should do in the off-season as long as his physical being is not injured for further usage, and as long as he does not do anything morally reprehensible, which of course could reflect on the team as a whole.
South Bend, Ind.
Have you gone mad? If Jerry West and Elgin Baylor are "the best one-two punch in the NBA" (March 9), where does that leave Jerry Lucas and the incomparable Oscar Robertson? And why are the Lakers in third place in their division, and fifth in a league of nine teams? True, they might be the highest scoring duo, but there is certainly more to the game than scoring. Luke and Oz have kept the Royals in second place in the league despite injuries to Jack Twyman, Adrian Smith, Arlen Bockhorn, and despite such frivolities as trading Bob Boozer for no one. Now that Jerry Lucas has hit his stride, and with Oscar as unbelievably great as ever, the Royals have the best one-two punch in basketball.
RICHARD L. LEVY
Marvin E. Newman, your photographer, is behind the times by a year. The best combination in pro basketball is Robertson-Lucas.
In saying that the Los Angeles Lakers win because of Elgin Baylor and Jerry West you are making a grave error. I am sure that if the great "team" of Blanchard and Davis didn't have nine other good football players on the field with it, they never would have earned such acclaim for West Point back in the '40s.
If it takes just two great men to make up a championship team, what happened here: the early Boston Celtics had Bob Cousy and Ed Macauley, the Cincinnati Royals had Oscar Robertson and Jack Twyman, the San Francisco Warriors had Wilt Chamberlain and Guy Rodgers?
If you are looking for a winning combination, watch the great Boston Celtics, who have only one player scoring 20 points a game, but, for winning teamwork you can't beat them.
Give Photographer Marvin E. Newman a pat on the back for a most enjoyable set of pictures. As for your predictions, it was clever of you to say "the Celtics are fighting for their lives and reputations against the young and eager Cincinnati Royals." Otherwise, you just might have put yourselves in the position of the sportswriters who predicted a Liston victory.
As one who has always had a healthy respect for par golf—day in and day out—I have noticed that in most of the pro golf tournaments there are many sub-par rounds, and this causes me to speculate just how par would make out as a money winner. I wonder if your research people would go back for the full 1963 PGA schedule and determine how much money Joe Par would have earned had he shot par in each tournament and how he would have ranked as a money winner in the standings at the end of the year. I think many of us would like to see how par would stand up.
•According to the PGA, which computes the mythical Joe Par's winnings every year, a par score on every stop of the 1963 pro tour would have earned Joe $63,994.71 and fifth place on the PGA money list, behind Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Julius Boros and Tony Lema. Joe Par's record would have given him a win in the U.S. Open, second place in the Colonial National Invitation and the American Golf Classic, a tie for third in the Masters, tie for fifth in the PGA championship, sixth place in the Denver Open and a tie for sixth in the Thunder-bird Classic.—ED.
I was sorry to read the ridiculous statement made by the Arkansas football trainer. "Weights can build beautiful bodies but weight lifters get muscle-bound, and about all they are good for is to lift weights" (SCORECARD, March 2). How in the world did this man become trainer at such a big school with beliefs like that?
No one ever stops to consider the thousands of athletes who use weights. Weight-training programs are springing up all over the country in most colleges and universities, even in high schools. But who hears about the good weight training does? No one. The sport of weight lifting is also enjoying long overdue popularity in the schools. Coordination and speed are just as important in weight lifting as in any other sport. When you talk about "muscle-bound" and "tightness," you are just showing how far behind the times you really are.
The Arkansas trainer shows a tremendous lack of elementary knowledge of the value of weight training (especially as an adjunct to football). The principle of "overload" (the use of high poundage and low repetitions) has been shown to be of great value in increasing strength in the human being.