ARMS, LEGS, AND THE MANN
What have you got against the Dodgers? First you say Koufax can't pitch anymore, therefore, they can't win the pennant. Well, now he is pitching as good as ever and there goes that theory. So Tommy Davis breaks his ankle and, of course, you say they are out of the running again (Deadly Slide for the Dodgers, May 10). As I write this the Dodgers are in first place by two games. They have just swept three games from the Reds. Before that they took three out of four from the Giants. I will be writing to you again in October when the Dodgers are playing in the World Series.
Loma Linda, Calif.
I stand in awe of Jack Mann. Few are the men with sufficient courage to dismiss from pennant contention a baseball team often accredited with the best pitching in baseball.
If the Dodgers' hopes are "shattered" now, I certainly want to be around when they piece them back together! If he can remember 1915 baseball, Mr. Mann should be able to think back to 1963, when the Dodgers proved in the World Series that pitching is the name of the game. And the Dodgers still have the best pitching staff in baseball.
JOHN L. CONDIT
San Gabriel, Calif.
Mr. Mann has failed to realize that the Dodgers may be versatile enough to combine their great pitching and speed with a respectable number of extra-base hits. The Dodgers may not win the pennant, but they will be a contender right through September, with or without Tommy Davis.
R. M. SHERMAN
O.K., so it is disgraceful "that it should seem necessary or desirable to appeal to government for a permanent solution" to the NCAA-AAU feud (SCORECARD, May 10). But what do you suggest? One thing for sure, we athletes won't be consulted or given an opportunity to help resolve it, yet guess who will get the blame when the Russians walk all over us this summer in Moscow?
Each principal should go off by himself somewhere and answer the following questions honestly: What is the purpose of sport? Should everyone be able to compete if he wants to? Do I want these competitors to do their best? Do I want our best competitors to represent us internationally?
Let's settle the feud and start getting ready for the Russians!
I must commend you on the superb handling of the article, This is the Way the Girls Go (May 10). Having known and competed with both of these girls, I know you couldn't have chosen more appropriate representatives for the new class of middle-distance runners. Girls like Marie Mulder and Janell Smith will definitely increase the lagging interest in the middle distances. These feminine runners are typical of the new faces appearing in girls' track today.
Congratulations on having written one of the first sensible, unprejudiced and non-facetious articles on women's track to appear in a national magazine. Some of the newspaper columns written by otherwise intelligent sportswriters are enough to make one cringe. It has always amazed me that the girls run at all in the face of so much discouragement.
New York City
John Underwood writes about a "small, weakly lit, high school football stadium" in Fredonia, Kans. The Fredonia stadium is one of the most modern and beautiful stadiums in this part of Kansas. He also made several remarks concerning our cement plant. This cement plant is a source of livelihood for many citizens of this town.
Everyone in Fredonia is very proud of Janell Smith, but we are also very proud of our town. The impression given in your magazine was very misleading.
Cheers to Rex Lardner for capturing the spirit and excitement of Rugby (The Playing and the Partying Were Lovly, May 10). Amidst this praise, however, I thought it only "cricket" to tell you that it took two priests, three medical students, two bankers, a gravedigger and seven other spirited members of the St. Louis Bombers to put that one blemish on Notre Dame's record. The Bombers, who won in the Missouri Rugby Football Union with a 12-1 record, beat the Irish in a 14-3 romp. What's more, we usually win the parties, too.
WILLIAM J. CROMIE
You were kind enough to include one statement in your article acknowledging that the University of California was perhaps the best Rugby team in the nation.
The Australian Rugby Football League has seen fit to acknowledge Cal as one of the finest teams in the world by extending an invitation to them to play exhibition games in Australia and New Zealand this coming summer.
ROBERT S. THAMAN
Far up in New Hampshire there is another team that is well-known across the country for its Rugby, the Dartmouth College Rugby Football Club.
Dartmouth made the first American Rugby tour abroad—England in 1958—winning five of its seven games. Last spring Dartmouth became the first American team to play on the continent—at Hanover, Germany against the town team, which had been champion of the German Rugby Union in 1961. The Dartmouth Club fields four teams daily, not three as at Yale. These teams travel an average of 400 miles per weekend—at their own expense. This is enthusiasm.
I would like to commend you on your excellent article on the Notre Dame-Toronto Rugby game, and on Rugby itself. It is about time an American magazine pointed out that a great part of Rugby is the good sportsmanship of the players on the field.
PETER G. ROBINSON
As an Irishman and longtime Rugby fan who has been in this country two years, I would like to point out to your readers that New York also possesses one of the finest amateur Rugby teams in the East. It is made up of Europeans and Americans, some of them playing the game for the first time. The New York Rugby Club has just completed a trip to Montreal and will play Yale, the Columbia Old Blues and Boston in the weeks to come to round off the spring season. I'm sure you will agree that this is a clear indication of how popular the game of Rugby has become in the U.S.
Mr. Lardner stresses the importance of the social side of Rugby, but he can rest assured all Rugby players make the supreme effort to win on the field as well as off.
New York City
THE OTHER HAILE
John Underwood should be praised for his perceptive writing about Ethiopia and that great Ethiopian athlete, Abebe Bikila (The No. 2 Lion in the Land of Sheba, April 12). His story of the track star reminds me of my encounter with another fine Ethiopian sportsman while I was stationed with the U.S. Army in Asmara.
The No. 1 golfer in the Land of Sheba is a little lad named Haile Zehaye who makes Chi Chi Rodriguez look fat. Haile consistently shoots subpar rounds with his secondhand, mongrel clubs on Ethiopia's two sheep-, goat- and cow-worn, bone-dry, rock-hard courses with their oiled-sand greens. His opponents, who wield the finest U.S.-made clubs, are GIs stationed in Asmara and Addis, United Nations and Foreign Service officials from the U.S. and other countries, upper-class Italians and Ethiopians—few of whom can really challenge him. His pal Samere is usually runner-up. Both have the same quiet, good-natured self-assurance found in Bikila.
Watching the natural form of Ethiopian 5-year-olds swinging imaginary clubs led me to suspect that with the coming of prosperity the Ethiopians will someday compete with the world's best golfers.
DAVID J. CALEY