In the book The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant, which turned into the play Damn Yankees, it was the Senators, not the Yanks, who sold their soul to the Devil. The author's crystal ball must have been cloudy.
Congratulations on the two articles showing your firm stand against CBS's purchase of the Yankees.
It is comforting to know that the Columbia Broadcasting System can not bulldoze a national sports magazine, as it has done with American League bosses.
Mount Vernon, N.Y.
Television ruined boxing, why not let it ruin the Yankees? Nothing else will.
September 6, 1964
I hope that SPORTS ILLUSTRATED continues to act as the guardian of our national pastime, and perhaps Joe Cronin will listen to the objections not only of Messrs. Allyn and Finley but also to those of every baseball fan in America.
WILLIAM H. WELLIVER II
You uphold the sayings of Mr. Roy Hofheinz, president of the Houston Colts.
Did you know that the same Mr. Hofheinz deprives the city of Houston of almost any TV baseball? He allows not in excess of 15 Colt TV showings per year.
Before you side in with big money, you better talk to the baseball fans down there in Houston.
N. R. POND
The Big Sellout truly typifies the fate of our national pastime. It has long been my contention that baseball is eating itself alive.
How foolish it is for the game's hierarchy to blame golf, bowling, boating and even Little League ball for their stupidity and lack of foresight.
As I see it, there are two steps that can be taken to save baseball: 1) subject the game to antitrust laws and 2) elect a strong commissioner, not a rubber stamp.
Such steps would prevent baseball from pulling another fast one, such as the sale of the Yankees, and would afford club owners the opportunity to come up with a few ideas that might draw more fans.
The game could do with a few more Charles O. Finleys and a few less Ford C. Fricks.
In Gerald Holland's fine piece about Greasy Neale (Nothing to Prove, Nothing to Ask, Aug. 24) he quotes Neale talking about a game he played in 1917: "We came up to Youngstown's 22-yard line on a third down with one to go. In the huddle, our quarterback, Milt Ghee, an All-America from Dartmouth, said, 'Greasy, what will we do?' " It seems to me Greasy's answer might well have been, "What are we doing out here in the first place?" As I recall, back in 1917 quarterbacks called the plays while in formation via prearranged number signals. The huddle wasn't adopted until at least 10 years later.
New York City
•The huddle was first used in 1896 by Amos Alonzo Stagg. Although the invention of the huddle is credited to Bob Zuppke of Illinois in 1921 and it did not find general acceptance until the mid-'20s, teams were huddling indoors and outdoors long before that. When asked about it all, Neale explained, "We used the huddle in 1917 because that was the only way we could figure out what we were going to do since we never practiced before the game."—ED.
Having had the privilege of playing for Greasy Neale while at the University of Virginia and later being associated with him as team physician of the Philadelphia Eagles while he was in Philadelphia, I heartily agree that, as far as football is concerned there is "nothing to prove," in that he is one of the alltime greats. However, I disagree that there is "nothing to ask"—why isn't Greasy in the Football Hall of Fame?
HARRISON F. FLIPPIN, M.D.
I applaud your recognition of the U.S. International Sailing Association for its herculean efforts in supporting and stimulating our Olympic and Pan American sailing programs. (Stars That Shine with Tokyo Gold, Aug. 17.) I was alarmed, however, at your statement that the "strong" Star and 5.5-meter classes were being pruned to turn up material to be lent to the "weak" Finn, Dutchman, and Dragon classes.
What makes our Star and 5.5-meters classes strong is not so much the wealth of American talent as the relative weakness of the competition abroad, where only a small minority can afford to compete in these classes. In England, for example, there is only one registered Star and only a weak handful of old 5.5s. What makes our high-performance classes like the Finn and the Flying Dutchman relatively weak is not a lack of our best talent. It is, rather, the almost fanatical intensity of the sailors in northern Europe who enter competitions in these two classes.
ANDREW T. KOSTANECKI
New Canaan, Conn.
Hurray for Gilbert Rogin and A Girl Named Sinn (Aug. 24).
New York City
Marty Sinn seems to be a typical college coed in many respects, but in two fields she is unique: swimming and dating. Her record of 56 dates in a row ties the immortal Joe DiMaggio's streak of 56 games in a row with a hit. But what happened on the 57th night? Did she run out of "nerds and hunks" or did she finally have to study?
I'm not sure if I would qualify as a nerd or a hunk, but if Marty ever wants to try and break Joe's record let her know I'm available.
OR HEM A HANKIE
We of the Berkeley Springs Kite Club would like to take issue with Clifford Simpson's letter concerning the kitemaker in your August 17 edition (19TH HOLE).
Kite building and flying is fast becoming a great American sport, and we appreciate the space that you devoted to Tomi Ungerer and kites (Aug. 3).
Our club feels that anyone who disagrees with this can go fly a kite.
CHARLES L. STEWART
HARRY E. CARNAHAN
Berkeley Springs, W.Va.