The proposed shift of the Braves to Atlanta (Bravura Battle, Nov. 2) isn't the first proposed shift of a major league franchise. Ironically enough, Milwaukee started it all back in 1953. But each of the six franchise shifts in the past 11 years had some basis in reason behind it. The Braves moved to Milwaukee from a city with two teams, from an old, outmoded ball park, and after drawing only 281,000 fans the year before. You may remember that Milwaukee didn't entice the Braves from Boston—Perini moved the club to prevent the St. Louis Browns from coming to Milwaukee.
The shift of the Browns to Baltimore the next year was explainable because they had never been supported in St. Louis. The same goes for the Athletics, who left for Kansas City in 1955, although you can hardly blame the Philadelphia fans for not supporting a team buried near last place most of the time.
The shift of the Dodgers and Giants was wrong, but it has been partially compensated for by the return of a National League team to New York. Both teams did, however, have run-down parks in New York and Brooklyn, and New York was left with the Yankees. The shift of the old Senators to Minnesota where they became the Twins was made up for by a new team of Senators in the expanded AL.
As for the proposed move of the Braves, let's look at the facts. The Braves have drawn more fans during their 12 years in Milwaukee (an average of just under 1.6 million per year) than any other club in the majors except for the Los Angeles Dodgers. We have a modern, 12-year-old stadium which seats 43,000 with unlimited parking (at 25¢ per car) and is served by two adjacent expressways.
If the power of public opinion is not brought to bear and soon, Congress will have to step in. I don't want this to happen, and I don't believe any thinking baseball fan docs.
GORDON H. BREHM
It will take less than 10 years for the McHale-Bartholomay combine to sack the city of Atlanta!
I cheered every word in your article about Notre Dame's football team, save one-the term "elderly" as applied to my brother, the Reverend James Moran, Director of Admissions at the university.
One year ago Father Moran was a vital and vigorous 59 when he was stricken with an infection which resulted in osteomyelitis of the spine. This caused a complete paralysis from his hips down.
He has waged a courageous and spirited fight against his illness and, through sheer pluck and determination, is regaining the use of his limbs. He is anything but "elderly" in his outlook and his attitudes, and in his love of Notre Dame. I think he strikingly exemplifies the spirit of the Fighting Irish.
JOHN V. MORAN
Now, why wouldn't Notre Dame be undefeated in five games? Look at page 23, November 2 issue—that is not Coach Ara Parseghian, that is our old friend James Bond.
A group of us at Methodist Boston University would like to make a trade with Presbyterian Coach Ara Parseghian and Catholic Notre Dame—we would be happy to give up our starting 11 for Notre Dame's scrubs.
JOHN A. LACK
My ire was raised with the quote in the article A Runners' Year (Sept. 21): "Besides, there's not much else for a boy to think about at Auburn except playing football." I could suggest quite a few things for these boys to think about, one being school-work and studying. It is a pity that this is the situation in many American colleges today, education playing a secondary role to sports. I myself am a college student and an avid sports fan, but I am able to place sports in its proper perspective. It is a shame to read of thousands of high school students being turned down by colleges when their classmates, who will use the colleges strictly for their sports facilities, are being accepted on sports scholarships. Maybe it is this sense of false values that is causing our great country to fall behind others in scientific technology.
MICHAEL D. HIRSCH
We agree with letter-writer Holman that Dick Butkus is a great linebacker; in fact, he is the greatest linebacker in college football (19TH HOLE, Oct. 26). But we do not think that the University of Illinois is a "football factory." If you still think the U. of I. is not an institution of higher learning, we invite you to spend one semester here and try your luck. We are sure your grades will not be earned on the football field.
It is certainly obvious Mr. Butkus ain't no doctor.
However, on Oct. 10, 1964 he was operated on by Don Unverferth, an honor student in premed at Ohio State University.
As the score indicates, the operation was a huge success.
PAUL H. COPELAND
While leafing through the Oct. 26 issue of your fine publication, we noticed the article on "Bikeology 1 at Yale," describing the record set when Mr. Princi rode his racing cycle 102 laps around his 10-by-12-foot suite at 1902 Silliman College in 15 minutes. We decided to sec if a prep-school cyclist could better this time. Our entrant, Sean Hutchinson, rode a Geminiani 10-speed cycle around an 8.5-by-12-foot room for 106 laps in 15 minutes, and then went on to set a new distance mark of 201 laps in 26 minutes. Since both of these attempts surpassed the previous records by a substantial margin, we feel justified in calling ourselves the world champions of this newfound sport.
We at St. George's School are honored that William Mittendorf, who helped to time our record-breaking attempt, was the brother of the George Mittcndorf who was mentioned in your article for taking part in the Yale stunt.
Our cyclist also rode in his bare feet on a wet floor, which inhibited the use of brakes. Out next attempt will be approximately 350 laps in a room of equal dimensions. To quote, from the previous article: "Can your readers do without this information?"
TOKYO TEA LEAVES
Just thought I'd compliment you on your pre-Olympic picks. Your Oct. 5 issue really called the tune. For the record, here's your performance.
Men's track and field—24 events: 13 firsts, 4 second picks finished first, 1 third pick finished first. This does not include Roelants and Abebe whom you didn't think were healthy. Women's track and field—12 events: 5 firsts, 2 second picks finished first, 1 third pick finished first. Men's swimming—12 events: 7 firsts, 2 second picks finished first, 2 third picks finished first. Women's swimming—10 events: 5 firsts, 3 second picks finished first, 1 third pick finished first. You skipped Lesley Bush.
Why not let us know about the local horse races also?
Park Ridge, Ill.
I don't care what happens between now and December 31, I think Robert F. Giegengack, Olympic track and field coach, deserves to be SI's 1964 Sportsman of the Year. The guidance, inspiration and leadership he gave to our track and field forces in the most thumping victory in American history speaks volumes.
DON L. KEARNEY
New York City
The only way to make a true evaluation of each nation's effort is to assign a point value for each medal, such as: gold 3, silver 2 and bronze 1.
Using this method of Olympic scoring we find that the U.S.A. barely edges the U.S.S.R., 188 to 187.
GEORGE J. GAVRAS
I was delighted when my wife showed me Robert Cantwell's warm review of my book, The World of Birds.
You might be interested to know that after the recent yacht races at Newport, Peter Scott, helmsman of the British challenger, and his wife Philippa spent two days at our home here in Connecticut. I was recovering from an automobile accident (210 stitches in my face) while Peter was still under shock from his own catastrophe out on the water.
Peter Scott was licking his wounds, and I was licking mine. We mentioned neither boats nor automobile accidents, but instead talked only of birds, fish watching, sphinx moths and other external things.
ROGER TORY PETERSON
Old Lyme, Conn.