NORTH OF THE BORDER
I would like to thank you very much for printing the letter of A. J. Mcintyre (19TH HOLE, March 22). He brilliantly explained that hockey is a resounding success in Toronto only because there are no other activities of interest here. How fortunate I am to have at last been enlightened. I have lived in Toronto all my life under the impression that I inhabit a sports town that I could be proud of.
I should have realized that they were pulling my leg when they told me that E. P. Taylor's Northern Dancer was voted the outstanding 3-year-old of 1964. What a fool I was to believe the rumors that our own George Chuvalo is a top-ranking heavyweight contender. How ridiculous I was one day last summer when I went to the Canadian National Exhibition (the largest annual exposition in the world, they say) to see a track meet supposedly featuring one of the best half milers in history. Imagine my disappointment when I had to settle for Bill Crothers. And, of course, I should have known all along that any city with only two pro football teams must be strictly bush.
How I envy Mr. Mcintyre! It must be wonderful to live in a real sports town, where you can see first-class teams like the Giants, the Mets, the Knicks and, oh yes, those marvelous Rangers.
I am sorry that New Yorker A. J. Mcintyre has found that there is little of interest in Toronto but hockey, but we think that is quite a lot. For instance, on Saturday night my blood brother and I fought off the Indians, reached our canoes and went to see "our guys" beat the Rangers from the big, big city 4-1. Then on Sunday "our guys" went to New York (by stage coach, I think) and beat the bad guys again, by the score of 10-1. Unfortunately Mr. Mcintyre probably wasn't there; he was at a Broadway show or some other form of entertainment that big city guys go to. But being a hick-town boy I will just be satisfied to see our guys win the Stanley Cup again.
P. J. J. CAVALLUZZO
April 5, 1965
Reader Bob Hallenbeck claims Roger Maris and Whitey Ford would not be recognized in Montreal, Canada's largest city. On the contrary these fine gentlemen would be recognized right here in Regina, Saskatchewan—if only they (and Mr. Hallenbeck) knew where it was.
G. R. RACINE
Just to set the record straight the New York Rangers' "expanded farm system" did not produce Rod Seiling as Mr. Hallenbeck states. Seiling is a product of the Toronto Maple Leafs' farm system. The truth is the Rangers' farm system is sadly inadequate and might produce players of Seiling's ability if it could be brought up to the standard set by Toronto.
STICKS AND STONES
Barbara La Fontaine is to be highly congratulated for her report of the curling playoff games leading to a championship for the U.S. (A Stone's Throw to a Play down, March 15). Hers was one of the best and, more particularly, most factual articles on the sport ever to come to my attention. As far as curling is concerned, other writers on both sides of the border could read it to good advantage.
It is hoped that the U.S. victory will bring about a strong revival of this splendid team sport in the U.S. and lead to the kind of popularity it enjoys in Canada and (in an increasing measure) in Scotland where it was born, as well as Sweden, Norway and Switzerland.
L. W. C. STURGEON, M.D.
Ontario Curling Association
As an avid young Canadian curler, I read with much amusement your article on curling. I say "with amusement" because anyone who knows the least bit about curling couldn't help but be amused by the ridiculous manner in which the article was written. While curling is as yet an infant sport below the 49th parallel, I'm sure that the vast majority of those who read your magazine know enough about it to comprehend and to expect a much more mature article. A similarly written article about any other sport, as baseball or football, certainly wouldn't help the image of your magazine.
As for curling being a gentle sport, would you consider throwing 4½ tons of granite and running 14.2 miles while sweeping for all you're worth, in the matter of a few days, a gentle matter?
As a closing note I would like to mention that there are no such words in curling terminology as "bend" or "curve," which the writer used frequently to refer to the curl of the rock.
Anyone for tiddledywinks?
T. J. SARGEANT
Your coverage of the 1965 curling matches in Seattle and Scotland was superb, as were the photos of the rinks in action. For a long time we American curlers have had to bear with the condescending smiles and amused tolerance of our noncurling friends. Now we can smile right back at them. SI takes us seriously!
In recent weeks various readers have sung the praises of New York, Los Angeles or St. Louis as America's sports capital. But the real sports capital of America has been completely overlooked. It is Chicago.
James Thompson (19TH HOLE, March 22) talks about the fine play and excitement of the St. Louis teams. In Chicago we can (and do) proudly boast the hockey Black Hawks, the football Bears, plus the baseball Cubs and White Sox. As for broadcasting, Vin Scully and Harry Caray put together couldn't plug in a microphone for the great Jack Brickhouse.
The sports Mecca of the U.S. is either St. Louis or Baltimore. Los Angeles is a close third, New York is fourth and San Francisco is a distant fifth.
Long Island City, N. Y.
I must stand up for the glorious city of Minneapolis. However, contrary to previous letters, I do not consider Minneapolis the Mecca of sports; rather, it is the Black Hole of Calcutta.
We have a baseball team unfit to be in any major league, even the National! We have a poor pro football team, a worse hockey team and no basketball team. If it were not for the Golden Gophers, Minneapolis would be without sport at all.
DAVID C. LEIGHTON
The recent, wonderful article by William Leggett on the Philadelphia Phillies (An Epic that Ended as a Tragedy, March 1) contains one of the understatements of the year. In describing Ruben Amaro's father, Santos Amaro, Leggett said that he is "a longtime baseball fan." True enough, but Santos Amaro was, and is, quite a bit more than just a fan. He was one of the greatest players that I have ever seen, and if in 1964 he did not manage a team in the Mexican League, that must have been the first year in about 40 that he has been out of baseball.
In his prime Santos Amaro could have played on any ball club anywhere in the world. There was one reason he did not: he was black. Other Cubans had played in the majors, but they were always light in color.
Santos could perform at any spot on the baseball field, except as a pitcher. In 1936 I saw him in a four-game series against an American League All-Star team headed by Rogers Hornsby, and including such players as Pinky Higgins, Red Kress, Eric McNair, and pitchers such as Ted Lyons and Jack Knott. In this series at Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, Santos played in the outfield, and in the four games he got 13 hits. All in all, he played for 25 years and usually hit around .500 for all his games.
But it was as a catcher that Santos was at his best. I have seen Hartnett, Berra and Dickey, and none of them was any better than Santos Amaro. You cannot say anything about a baseball catcher better than that.
Now that the season is over, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for both your cover story on Bill Bradley at the beginning of the season (Dec. 7) and your article about the Princeton-Providence game (A Whole Team Touched by Stardust, March 22). I suppose more people than you care to count have reminded you of some of your incorrect forecasts, so it took a lot of courage to stick your neck out for an Ivy Leaguer.
STEVEN H. PRINCE
Ithaca, N. Y.
Bradley, me eye! What about the best player on the best team, Gail Goodrich, the man who had 28 points in 28 minutes against the same decimated team (sans the great Stallworth and the tall Bowman) from Wichita that Bradley and his buddies stepped on after their UCLA letdown in a much more important game?
PATRICK E. RUDMAN
New York City