BETWEEN THE LINES
I was interested to note that Jim Brosnan's article, This Pitcher May Need Relief (March 16), was the only feature on baseball in your March 16 issue. I must confess that his comments on the national pastime are becoming, for me, more enjoyable than the game itself. Perhaps next year at this time we may be fortunate enough to have Jim publish a journal on baseball as it is lived and played in Kyoto or Florence. After all, there is only so much that can be said about the unimaginative nature of American baseball management. Perhaps one day it will find that bad publicity is better than no publicity at all.
Please publish more of Brosnan.
JOHN B. CARR
Charles O. Finley can start back on the right road if he can acquire Brosnan. Baseball is getting dull enough without a helping hand from the White Sox front office.
Being a fan of the Cincinnati Reds, I became a follower of Author-Pitcher Brosnan. In reference to two articles that have appeared recently in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED—Trouble Sprouts for the Yankees (March 2) and This Pitcher May Need Relief—it seems to me that two problems might be solved here. It seems logical that if Ralph Houk grabs up Mr. Brosnan he would not only get grade-A relief for his bull pen, but it would be very probable that the Yankees would also get a book, with Brosnan's unique style, about Yankee clubhouse life. If the move to put Yogi Berra in as pilot is a step to humanize the Yanks, then why not go all out with Brosnan?
GARY C. HUESTED
ON THE BOTTOM
Congratulations to Robert H. Boyle and SI for providing A New Look into the Sea (March 9), and for pointing up the fact that our oceans are not a bottomless fishery resource.
Hopefully many of SI's saltwater fishermen-readers will be moved to ask Washington why only $167,000 out of a budgeted $2.7 million has been made available to Director Walford and his dedicated crew in the Sandy Hook Laboratory who currently can work only in "water up to the knees."
JOHN G. ZERVAS
GOOD LITTLE MAN
In your article on Tom O'Hara (March 16), Mr. Brody says, "He is, in fact, the best miler in the world." Come now, are you ignoring the fact that Peter Snell has run three of the world's four fastest miles (3:54.4, 3:54.9 and 3:55)? He ran the latter two miles within two weeks of each other in May and June of last year, beating America's best milers. In Tokyo, Snell will prove once again that a good big man will beat a good little man every time.
In my opinion Tom O'Hara stands with the greatest milers of the past decade. There is no telling how far he will go. With the zeal and tireless determination that he has acquired in this past indoor season, he will run a 3:52 mile this year.
Your mention of the city of Saskatoon in the article on Gordie Howe (March 16) may lead our police force to indulge in some wishful thinking about "all our citizens disappearing at 10 p.m." However, we enjoyed the rest of the article, especially the cover picture by Bernie Fuchs.
Ross W. McKENZIE
DONALD R. WOODLEY
Before the recent Clay-Liston world heavyweight championship fight, I was thoroughly for Cassius Marcellus Clay. I looked up to him and respected the image he formed for himself, loud mouth and all.
But since the fight his image has completely changed, especially now that he has announced his religious leanings. How can I, as a white, look up to or respect a person who represents a group that is out for the purpose of suppressing the white race?
I agree with the current statement issued by Floyd Patterson and hope that he is able to make a quick comeback and wrest the heavyweight title from Cassius X. Then I, and all true Americans, can look up to the champ with respect, as he would represent the basic ideals for which America stands and form an all-American image for the whole world to see.
I agree wholeheartedly with your SCORECARD article on Cassius Clay and the Muslims. I am not an avid Clay fan, neither am I a member of the Muslim cult, but I do believe that one should not be downed because of what he believes in. As you pointed out, the public has seemed not too concerned about a boxer's race, so why then is Clay rejected because of his religion? The public should wake up to the fact that it is a prizefighter's skill in the ring that proves him a hero or a bum, not his background or religious convictions.
RICHARD C. GRADY
After Malcolm X's recent statement advocating use of guns by the nation's 20 million Negroes, I trust the genius who wrote The Black Muslim Hope item in your March 16 issue realizes the Black Muslim cult is far beyond being a religious issue.
Liston and Clay are both stumblebums, if not as boxers then as people. One an ex-convict and the other a Black Muslim.
Your support of these people is a disgrace to the principles on which your magazine was started and more particularly to the youth of America, both black and white.
J. A. KURFESS
Re Tank Champs (March 16). Come now, you can't be serious when you say that Peekskill is handicapped by swim practice limited to "90 minutes a day four days a week." I know of a great many high and prep schools that would settle for that much water time. It means they practice every weekday but Friday. This day is reserved for interscholastic competition.
Sparks and Peekskill may be the "best prep school swimming team in the country," but I'll string along with Williston Academy, Easthampton, Mass. Williston's Jim Edwards, a junior, has already smashed Rerych's 200-yard and 400-yard freestyle national prep records. And he has bettered the national prep 100-yard freestyle mark set by Tom Hempstead of Pine Crest in 1962.
Edwards has been competing for only the last two years, according to his coach, W. S. Babcock and, moreover, he is a diabetic.
North Hollywood, Calif.
EAST IS MIDEAST
I had occasion to attend the NCAA Eastern Regional playoffs in both Philadelphia and Raleigh, N.C. It seemed, indeed, strange to me that Providence College and the University of Connecticut should be required to play Temple and Villanova universities at the University of Pennsylvania Palestra, which is, in effect, the home court of both these teams. I was equally disturbed by the fact that the universities of Villanova and Connecticut were required to play Duke at North Carolina State, which practically amounts to a home court advantage. Duke University is 23 miles away from Raleigh and had just finished playing three or four games at Reynolds Coliseum. In addition to these facts, some 11,000 of the 12,000 ticket holders were fans of Duke and the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Regardless of what many people may say, these factors have a considerable effect on both the visiting and home teams and the officials. I feel sure that the majority of basketball experts are in agreement on the value of home court advantage. It seems ironic to me that these factors should come into play in tournaments where actual skill of the teams is of prime consideration.
I would like to make a suggestion for what it's worth. This is, that the Eastern Regionals be played in a Mideast city and vice versa, a Mideast regional be played in an eastern city. The same would hold true for Midwest and Far Western Regionals. I feel that the added inconvenience and expense to the schools involved would be more than outweighed by the fact that the tournament would, in this way, be placed on a fair footing.
A. R. SHUMAN JR.
Three cheers for Ralph Colson (SCORECARD, March 2). I was glad to read that another person has noticed that the stadiums and football fields in this country are kept locked and off-limits to our youths. If they were to climb the fence and set foot on the hallowed ground of the football fields they would be arrested as juvenile delinquents. Our town has three high schools—one of which is newly completed—but none of which has a swimming pool or other physical education facilities, except for the few "God-gifted" athletes. I have two boys, age 12 and 14. The 12-year-old has never been on a gym floor and the 14-year-old set foot on a gym floor for the first time this year. What we need are more people with Mr. Colson's views—especially on school boards.
WILLIAM M. REILLY JR., M.D.