Another All-Star Game has come and gone with practically no one to see it. Oh, sure, the 50,000 or so people in Shea Stadium had a good time, as did the housewives and the night watchmen who were around to see it on TV.
But the hard core of American baseball fandom, the daytime-working male population, did not see the game, and probably never will the way things have been going. The All-Star Game, if it is worth playing at all, should be played at night, when it would have a decent TV audience. The working baseball fan deserves a break somewhere along the line.
That article on Rick Reichardt (The Richest Bonus Baby Ever, July 6) was just great. It is refreshing to find that our national sport still thrives on clean living.
I have only one complaint. Author Edwin Shrake describes Rick's fondness for family life, but all you show us is his new baseball "family." How about a look at the rest of the Reichardts?
New York City
July 19, 1964
The practice of giving rich bonuses to young, untried baseball players is getting out of line.
Surely the Commissioner of Baseball and the owners could formulate a plan to curb this before it financially ruins both the owners and the game of baseball. I would suggest a draft with no bonus, so that the last-place teams would have first choice on these talented youngsters. After these young men have proved to be capable of playing major league baseball, then a bonus could be paid.
Your article about Rick Reichardt is what really upset me. I am convinced that this young man is above average and I wish him success in his career with the Angels. The thing that makes me sad is that, as it appears, he didn't really need the money. Are we trying to develop good citizens in baseball—or only money-seeking individuals?
MRS. WILLIAM L. CLARK
Shawnee Mission, Kans.
The Phillies have the best rookie crop in the National League (Richie Allen, John Herrnstein, John Briggs, Danny Cater, Rick Wise and Dave Bennett), the deepest pitching staff (Jim "El Perfecto" Bunning, Dennis Bennett, Art Mahaffey, Chris Short, Ray Culp, Jack Baldschun, Ed Roebuck, Dallas Green, Cal McLish, Rick Wise and Dave Bennett), a spectacular defense, the All-Star Game hero and one of baseball's all-round greats (John Callison), the surprise star of the year (Cookie Rojas) and baseball's best manager (Gene Mauch). So what do we get? Time of Trial for Alvin Dark (July 6). Just who's leading this league, anyway?
Robert Boyle makes a lot of noise about Dark's "problem" of getting the team to hit as it should and then says that this isn't a problem at all because of Dark's strategy of winning games by scoring three or four runs. He also fails to make any mention of the fact that the Giants are leading the National League in home runs. Boyle makes a big thing about Dark's offbeat managing strategy, but fails to mention that the Giants have been either first or second for the whole season and that this strategy has kept the Giants from going into the usual "June swoon."
The only good thing about the article was the excellent portrait of Dark on the cover.
NELSON M. BROWN
You've probably gotten a thousand or so letters saying the same thing, but I simply can't resist: congratulations! You have found the first woman golfer with whom men would be delighted to play (PEOPLE, July 6).
Corpus Christi, Texas
The professional golf tour apparently has developed a new phenomenon in George Low (A High Kind of Low Life, July 6). He spends $50,000 a year of other people's money while living the life of Riley. Be that as it may, I cannot understand Palmer and Nicklaus, two of the best in the world, taking putting lessons from this character. Would Paderewski have taken a piano lesson from Peter Zilch?
RAYMOND E. NORTH
You quote Indianapolis 500 winner A. J. Foyt as saying, "I know I feel safer on a racetrack with the traffic going in the same direction and good drivers behind the wheels than I do on Houston expressways" (SCORECARD, June 29).
Subjectivity aside, here at the California Division of Highways we have long doubted the factual validity of such statements, so the week before the recent Indianapolis 500 one of our traffic engineers conducted a comparative study regarding fatalities on California state highways and in the Memorial Day classic.
Results prove that if the same proportion of deaths had occurred on California highways as on the Indianapolis track, the busiest West Coast profession would have been embalming, for California's public roads would have been littered with 3,028,000 corpses in 1962 alone.
Since its inception in 1911 through 1963, the fatality rate at Indianapolis projects to 3,930 dead for every 100 million miles driven. In comparison, the amateurs behind the wheels of California automobiles have a freeway record of 2.9 fatalities per 100 million miles.
We can't comment on Houston expressways, but A. J. would have been at least 1,300 times safer on a California freeway than he was during his recent Memorial Day outings. In fact, his chances of survival would have increased by 133,424%.
LESTER S. KORITZ
Last week Mr. C. Stafford Smythe, president of the Toronto Maple Leafs, moved the Denver franchise in the Western Hockey League to Victoria, British Columbia. This is an obscure event in the national and international sports picture, but this game of playing "musical franchises" for the sole purpose of turning a quick profit is pervading all sports in increasing numbers. The same promoters who beg for the fan's support do not hesitate to move on to greener places without the slightest explanation to the paying customer.
As a result, Denver has lost a professional hockey team—a team that was shackled with inadequate publicity at its inception, hampered by poor scheduling (24 of its 35 home games were completed before Jan. 1, in direct conflict with college and professional football), and hurt at the gate by its own superiority over the rest of the league entrants. At the end of the first half of the 1963-64 schedule the Denver Invaders possessed an insurmountable lead over the second-place team. In spite of these drawbacks, the Invaders built a solid following of more than 2,000 fans their first season in a town that is not known for its hockey consciousness. The season-ticket drive for 1964-65 was in full swing with 1,549 pledges for season tickets—more than 1,000 of them from the individual citizens of our city.
On the surface most of these moves create only a momentary furor, and then all is forgotten. However, the long-term result is to alienate many potential sports dollars throughout the country in all of professional sport.
JAMES M. O'HARA