GOLFERS, A AND B
Thank you for the shrewd article, All Alone at the Top (April 19), which presumed to prove conclusively that Jack Nicklaus has taken Arnie's crown. We look forward to similar articles when Billy Casper takes the U.S. Open, when Tony Lema repeats at the British Open or when Bobby Nichols repeats at the PGA.
How can you possibly say that the "Golden Bear" has emerged as the superman from this one Masters victory? Certainly Nicklaus played superb golf, quite possibly the best tournament he will ever play. But when history repeats itself and Arnie takes the even-year Masters, will Jack still be alone at the top?
We viewed in amazement the tapes of Jack's fine Saturday round. But we also noted that Arnie's Army filled the mikes with bigger cheers than anyone. Let's face it! Arnie still is the spokesman for the game. It takes more than 72 holes of golf to be called the King.
Tell those boys from "Jack's Pack" to write the PGA and see who has the greatest record. It will be Walter Hagen, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead and Arnold Palmer. Nicklaus hasn't been on this earth long enough to really know what is going on.
I thoroughly enjoyed the article by Alfred Wright, but hasten to add that his question, "Is there a B. Palmer?" deserves an answer. Who among comedy lovers, golf lovers or even would-be lovers will ever forget Bob Hope's classic, "I have an Arnold Palmer shirt; Arnold Palmer slacks; Arnold Palmer clubs; and a swing like Betsy Palmer"?
There certainly is a B. Palmer! Evidently Mr. Wright didn't watch the Masters on television, as did us common folk, or he would have seen TV's own Bud Palmer.
THE HORSE'S MOUTH
Thank you for your well-presented article on our victory in England's Grand National Steeplechase (The Jump that Won a Grand National, April 5). As you know, there has been some controversy over the coverage of the last fence, and I would like to say that both your quotes and the inferences you drew from the photographs are entirely accurate—except that the decision to fly the last fence so spectacularly was not mine but Jay Trump's.
Approaching the last fence, I was driving Jay Trump for a very quick fence and was myself surprised that it turned out as quick as it did. As you said in your article, the three-fourths-length lead gained there won the race.
I would like to reiterate my praise of the coverage by the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED team.
CROMPTON (TOMMY) SMITH
In response to your statement concerning fads (SCORECARD, April 12), we find that you have made an unforgivable error. You state that, "Panty raids and goldfish swallowing are Out. So are elephant racing and packing telephone booths." This may hold true for panty raids, goldfish swallowing and telephone booth packing, but it is definitely a slur on the proponents and sponsors of elephant racing.
This year California State College at Fullerton will once more have an elephant race. The race is tentatively scheduled for May 21 and will attract entries from all over the world. In order for you to be able to claim the title SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for your magazine, it is imperative that you give our elephant race the credit it deserves. If this cannot be accomplished through a facet of your magazine, we will request that you change its title to Some Sports Illustrated. We feel this would be justified because you would not be giving the "largest" sport in the world adequate coverage.
For the past three years the Elephant Racing Club of California State College at Fullerton—and only California State College at Fullerton, formerly known as Orange County State College and Orange State College—has presented to the world a successful and spectacular elephant race. This race has gained recognition all over the U.S. and North America. We are now asking, where have you been?
JONATHAN M. LEHAN
•Right there at Fullerton's Dumbo Downs photographing Harvard Mahout Joe Russin as he rode the victor, 4½-ton Sonita, across the finish line in CSCF's first Elephant Derby back in May 1962 (below).—ED.
Your summation of the Yankees in your baseball issue (April 19) proved to be most inspiring to all right-thinking N.Y. Yankee-haters like myself. Congratulations on your best issue ever.
DAVID J. MORSE
A very interesting eulogy of the New York Yankees. However, you fail to mention that any slack in the Yankee pitching staff caused by injuries to Whitey Ford is certain to be taken up by having Mel Stottlemyre with the varsity for the full season. He will surely be one of the finest pitchers in the league for many years to come. Pedro Ramos' presence for 162 games will also be a big boost.
Offensively, Kubek, Boyer and Tresh are all better hitters than their 1964 averages indicate. And one cannot minimize the importance of new Manager Johnny Keane.
DALE J. HANSEN
Many thanks for bringing us up to date on Joe Palooka (A Champ for all Time!!! April 19), but what about that other comic-strip heavyweight champ, Curly Kayoe?
True, Sam Leff's fighter was carried by fewer newspapers, but those who followed his adventures were certain he could have taken Palooka out in the blinking of a dotted eye or the uttering of a tch tch.
Remember, too, it was Curly Kayoe, not Floyd Patterson, who became the first heavyweight to regain the championship. Can we ever forget that heartbreaking decision that gave Dynamite Dunn a victory over Kayoe? (Curly knocked him out in the rematch, of course.)
So, perhaps, if Palooka decides to step back into the ring he will be willing to settle this thing once and for all, i.e., take on Kayoe—with the winner then accepting the challenge of the comics' third heavyweight champ, none other than Big Ben Bolt.
Sure, Joe beat Balonki and Red Rodney and McSwatt, but they rigged the fight with Pennyworth to get Humphrey stuck in the ring. And what about all the years ol' Pure-heart Palooka ducked his rival, Clean-Cut Curly Kayoe? Now there's a story for you.
Tch tch! Joe Palooka from Wilkes-Barre? Ham Fisher was, but not Joe! My goodness! Every fight fan from Knobby Walsh to Blinky Palermo (gulp) knows Joe's from neighboring Larksville.
Holy smoke, don't you recall the movies about Joe playing golf at the Larksville country club and visiting the town's hospital? (The coal-mining community has neither.) Tee hee—but tsk tsk!