William Leggett's article on the Chicago White Sox' "fatal" encounters with the Yankees and Orioles (The White Sox Hex that Failed, June 29) was the most depressing piece I have ever read in your magazine.
Even though the Chicago White Sox blew most of their recent games with the contenders from Baltimore and New York, they still are the best baseball team in both leagues.
The White Sox do not rely on great stars as the Yankees do; they rely upon teamwork, guts and hustle. As a result, they are among the leaders in fewest runs allowed, not to mention the overall standings.
The White Sox are going to come on strong again, and Manager Al Lopez will have his third American League pennant since 1954.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
July 12, 1964
I have to agree with Manager Al Lopez. I think the Yankees have power, but look at the Orioles—they took three games in a row. The Yankees have pretty good pitching like Ford, Bouton and Hamilton. But in the beginning of the season all the teams the Yanks faced beat them. The Yankees are just plain lucky to win.
New Britain, Conn.
Although your June 29 article, Settlers at the Bottom of the Sea, was a very welcome treatise on a much neglected subject, Author Coles Phinizy's comparison of Navy Captain George Bond and Frenchman Jacques-Yves Cousteau appears somewhat misleading. I do not wish to minimize Bond's work with gas mixtures and varying pressures or his original thinking in the realm of undersea habitation, but they hardly merit him a rating over Cousteau as the "first pathfinder" in man's conquest of the sea.
Cousteau helped to invent the Aqua-Lung, a design so efficient that it has remained virtually unchanged since its introduction in 1944. He pioneered work in underwater photography which was climaxed by the film, The Silent World (winner of the Cannes Film Festival, 1956), and cooperated with Dr. Harold Edgerton of MIT in research that gave us the cameras used to locate the Thresher last fall.
Cousteau's books, The Silent World (a bestseller for years in every major language) and The Living Sea, both have done more to attract public support of oceanographic endeavors than all of Bond's efforts.
Cherry Hills, N.J.
As a landlocked layman, I was both fascinated and bewildered by Corny Shields's sailing lessons (The Tricks of Match Racing, June 29), but also impressed. Since there is always so much talk about the design of the competing boats at America's Cup time, I had always thought—up to now—that how you sailed them was relatively unimportant. I guess I was wrong.
You say the boat on the blue path, which is ahead and to windward of the other, is in control. Nonsense. Who goofed: the great Corny Shields or just a careless editor?
•Just a careless reader. What we said was that the "blue-hulled" boat—which is on the green path, astern and to leeward of the other—is in control. The hull of the windward boat (below) is gleaming white.—ED.
You say that it would have been a miracle if the Ford GT car had won its Le Mans debut (Fast Company for Ferrari, June 29).
May I remind you that Jaguar in 1951 created from scratch a brand-new racing sports car, the XK 120 C (competition model), expecially for Le Mans. The racing experts at that time also predicted nothing for Jaguar's first racing effort. Result? The C-Type led the field for the entire 24 hours to become the overall winner, some 90 miles ahead of the second-place car.
Since I am majoring in broadcasting, I was very much interested in your fine article on Vin Scully, voice of the Dodgers (The Transistor Kid, May 4), and your note in SCORECARD (June 15), about how different announcers handle the reporting of no-hitters. Almost everyone I have talked to likes Scully's method of calling a no-hitter a no-hitter best. By listening to him the fan knows exactly what is going on.
However, some praise should go to another announcer, Bob Prince of the Pirates, for his handling of no-hit situations. When Sandy Koufax no-hit the Phils, Prince's listeners were getting the play-by-play of two games, the Dodger-Phillie game and the Pirate game. Prince, it seemed, gave more importance to the no-hitter than he did to his own team's performance. He did the same for Jim Bunning's perfect game. To me, this is as it should be.
You state that California is the track center of the nation (Fast Crowd at the Tape, June 15). We disagree. Oregon, more specifically the area around Eugene and Corvallis, is the track center of the U.S.
Granted, several large and important meets are held in California, but Oregon produces the greater number of qualified athletes. It also offers a combination of mild year-round climate, excellent coaching (Bill Bowerman, Bob Newland and Sam Bell) and great popular interest in track.
Here is a list of only a few of the great Oregon track personalities: Dyrol Burleson, Jerry Tarr, Archie San Romani Jr., Jim Grelle, Mel Renfro, Vic Reeve, Harry Jerome, Keith Forman, Dave Steen, Les Tipton, Paul Stuber, Terry Llewellyn, Bill Dellinger, Ray Van Asten, Morgan Groth, Jan Underwood, Otis Davis, Dave Blunt, Mike Lehner, Clayton Steinke, Dale Story, Ron Gomez, Gary Reddaway, Dave Duebner, Darrell Horn, Dave Edstrom and many more coming up all the time.
I am a Peace Corps volunteer working in a rural redevelopment area about 30 miles from the nearest sizable town in northern Malaya. My assignment here has been given the rather loose title of "Rural Community Development Worker."
The settlers here have all been given six acres of land on which to plant rubber trees and they are now in the process of waiting for the trees to come into tapping. This is a seven-to-eight-year wait, during which they spend their mornings working in the rubber lots and their afternoons in a kind of general loafing period with a few sporadic attempts at athletic endeavor. It is this latter area to which I have decided to direct my efforts, with the thought that "men who play together may be able to work together." This kind of team spirit means much in an underdeveloped country where the agricultural-rural people must work together to make a life for themselves as comfortable and rewarding as that of their city cousins. My problem in helping to promote it is one of money for equipment. At present these people (530 families) have to exist solely on a government subsistence payment of about 97¢ a day.
What I am wondering now is: What becomes of the uniforms of pro and college teams when they are too faded and torn to use for public appearance? And what possibility is there that my people might get some of them? While uniforms may seem a luxury to a new sports organization, I feel they are essential because they lend a unifying spirit to a team and fill a real need in these rural people whose great desire is just to "belong."
At its best, the idea could become a valuable basis of communication between an American college or pro team and a Malaysian team. It could be a real helping hand in the world of international sports.
The most popular games here are: sepak raga (a national game, with a rattan ball, similar to volleyball but no hands allowed), soccer, badminton, ping-pong, volleyball and softball. I'm working on the popularity of the latter two.
FREDERICK E. SCHMIDT
Alor Star, Kedah, Malaysia
•Donations or correspondence should be directed to Mr. Schmidt, c/o Sungai Tiang Land Development Scheme, Postal Agency, Alor Star, Kedah, Malaysia. Donors should be mindful, however, that Malaysian children and adults tend to be somewhat smaller than their American counterparts. Thus only the smaller uniform sizes will be useful—Albie Pearson's old suit, for instance, but not, alas, Frank Howard's.—ED.