RALLY ROUND THE FLAGS
I feel obliged to congratulate you. This is by far the best Baseball Issue (April 13) you have ever published. Keep up the good work.
JOHN C. SCHICK
I thought your Baseball Issue would never come.
Besides knowing the All-Stars, I now feel I know the bench of every club. Thanks again to your baseball staff for a job well done.
Isn't a straight 4-0 World Series victory enough to convince your baseball staff that the Dodgers are more than just one of the six possible pennant winners in the National League (Scouting Reports)?
It is true that pitching is the only outstanding department of the Dodger team, but pitching is still the name of the game. Strange things do happen to pitchers, but it could be for the better. As good as the pitching staff was last year, there is still margin for improvement.
As for hitting, what do you want—the National League All-Star team? They have two .300 hitters in Tommy Davis and Maury Wills, power in big Frank Howard, clutch hitting with Tommy Davis and Ron Fairly and speed in Maury Wills and Willie Davis, both of whom can turn an ordinary walk into the value of a double. With all this the Dodgers are not just another pennant contender, but the probable flag winner. Ask the Yankees!
Palisades Park, N.J.
You had a golden opportunity to regain some of your lost stature in the field of prognostication. You blew it. As you say, the Giants, Cardinals, Braves, Reds and Phillies will fight it out—but for second place. The Dodgers, led by Ron and Don and Sandy, should repeat both as National League pennant winners and Yankee executioners.
I personally think that the Minnesota Twins will win the AL pennant, mainly because of power.
Over in the superior league, the Cardinals will win, because any team that can come up with 19 out of 20 games in late August and September, like the Cardinals did last year, has got to win the pennant the next year.
As a former Minnesotan, I am greatly disturbed by the fact that more than half of the scouting report on the Twins is devoted to their fielding, or lack of it. Very little mention is made of their magnificent hitting and splendid pitching. Also, only token tribute is paid to the Twin injuries, while those of the Yankees are greatly exaggerated. Of course, an injury which keeps your only .300 hitter out of the lineup for six weeks and one which keeps a 20-game winner out of the starting rotation for eight turns are extremely insignificant when compared to those of Mickey Mantle (who spends a great deal of every season on the bench because of injuries, anyway) and those of Roger Maris (the greatest one-season glory boy in the history of baseball).
How you can pick the Kansas City Athletics to finish 10th, behind the Washington Senators, is completely beyond me. You say that the A's traded away "half an infield" to acquire Colavito and Gentile. What is Gentile supposed to be, a catcher? Your article says that rightfielder Gino Cimoli is slow. Maybe you ought to check your statistics. Who led the American League in triples in 1962? Finally, John (Buzz-bomber) Wyatt is more than a "kookie righthander with a language all his own" to the A's and to Kansas City fans.
As a subscriber, I demand that you do not knock the Mets' Rod Kanehl any more. I like him (and so does Casey Stengel).
An army of two million is behind me.
Fort Lee, N.J.
Whoever scouted the Chicago White Sox must have been watching some other team, otherwise you certainly would know what a fine fielder Joe Cunningham is. Anyone who has seen him play knows that he handles first base as well as anyone in the league. His ability to stretch like an acrobat helps make many additional double plays over the course of a season.
Being horseplayers and members of the "horsey set" ourselves as well as yearly contestants in the Kentucky Club wrapper game, we here in Gladwyne, Pa. were extremely glad to see the article, Big Risk for Pipe Smokers (April 13). I know that many people, as we here, wondered what ever happened to the colt that was won each year and to those people who were "lucky" enough to win him. Now we know.
It is easy to see that the same magic charm that captured the 5-10 in Mexico extends to the typewriter too—and if it carries on to his other pursuits, Author Ernest Havemann better buy himself another horse blanket. Maybe he should buy a large one while he's at it—the "prize" may be too weak to stand for too long.
As a 13-year-old who has entered the horse-naming contest the last three years, and with four entries going this year, I was dismayed to read that the past winners all seem to be adults.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Writers and telecasters constantly refer to the Masters as the most coveted golf championship in the world. Mark McCormack's article, Shoot for a Million (April 6), supports this idea. But let's be realistic. If you took a poll among the golfers on the pro tour today regarding the title they'd most like to win, a majority would undoubtedly name the U.S. Open.
Ask Sam Snead (and read Tony Lema, This One Is Fun, But the Open Is torture, in your same issue). The greatest pressure ever to be found on golfers in a tournament is found during the National Open. Ask Jack Nicklaus. The last two rounds of the Open are played on the same day and present a tremendous test of consistency for the player. Ask Ben Hogan. The Open is never played on the same course two years in a row, so the advantage of familiarity is absent. Ask Arnold Palmer. Finally, a golfer is much more likely to be remembered for what he did or did not do in the Open rather than the Masters.
We witnessed a great tournament and a great performance by Arnold Palmer at Augusta. But wait till June. That's when the big one comes up.
DAVID C. MCNAIR
New York City
I am an Augusta resident who is attending school in New York. I came across an article in an Augusta newspaper that said the Bon Air Hotel had been terribly misrepresented in your April 6 issue. I knew that I had to buy "yawl's" magazine to see how "yawl" could have talked bad about our Bon Air.
I must say with all honesty that I have never laughed so loud and so much in my life. Although I won't be able to attend this year's Masters, your article surely put me in the spirit of things—and that is what makes the Masters the great tournament that it is.
JOAN S. DAVIS
New York City
John O'Reilly's article on Florida's rattlesnake rodeos (Rattling for Tourists, April 13) may impress some of your readers who had never heard of such a sport, but to those who attend hunts in Texas and Oklahoma ever) year it was far from impressive.
True, Florida hunters may catch the largest snakes but Sooners and Texans catch the most. The 39 snakes which took first prize at the Chipley rodeo would hardly have placed in a Texas hunt where as many reptiles may be taken out of a single den and hunt totals may run up to three or four thousand snakes a year. The western diamond back, native to my area, may not grow quite so large as the eastern variety, but it can kill you just as dead.
Each of the six years that the Junior Chamber of Commerce has sponsored Texas' Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup, hunters from throughout the Southwest have been in attendance.
Some highlights of the roundup arc the crowning of the Rattlesnake Queen, a rattlesnake dance, meals of rattlesnake meat, daily demonstrations in handling of rattlesnakes, treatment of their bites and extraction of their venom (all conducted by an expert handler), and a Texas Wildlife Commission exhibit depicting the native Texas wildlife. I might also point out that this year's qualified snake expert was bitten at a small hunt before the large Sweetwater roundup even began and was unable to attend. The expert, Shelly Downs, was from Florida.
Those big snakes may put Chipley on the map (first I ever heard of it, and we love Florida), but only as one sure place to avoid! So what else is new?
MRS. TED WEISKOTTEN
University City, Mo.