Tex Maule—bless his empty head—has done it again (Cassius to Win a Thriller, May 24). Tyro Tex, certainly the worst prognosticator in the history of sport, picks Clay to beat Liston on the basis of "common sense."
Please note the postmark on this letter—May 21. Next Tuesday night, in Lewiston, Me., Liston will destroy his weaker, louder, younger opponent simply because he is a lot tougher—physically and mentally—than Clay will ever be.
I have this day bet next week's paycheck on Sonny Liston.
•Too bad (see p. 22).—ED.
June 6, 1965
Perhaps John Underwood's head was in a cloud of eastern smog when he called Shelby, Mont. a "snake-oil town" (Big Fight Moves to Small Town May 17). Actually, we take our oil in crude, millions of dollars worth. As a matter of fact, accumulative oil production in dollars in the Shelby area since 1923 has run well over $300 million and we're still going strong. Not bad for a "snake-oil" town, huh? Moreover, when we put on a fight we feature professional boxers—not a couple of loud mouth clowns—as you can see by the enclosed ticket (below right). At the time of the Dempsey-Gibbons fight Shelby had a population of less than 1,500 people, but it promoted the bout and raised all the money by itself. The fight wasn't handed to us on a silver platter, like the Lewiston fight.
JOHN F. KAVANAGH
Much thanks to SI for allowing Bill Veeck to go on week after week and show the bungling "high finance" that is ruining a game "what used to was fun."
His articles clearly show an authoritative, basic and clean approach to the problems facing the national pastime. Baseball needs all the Bill Veecks it can find.
No one since Judge Landis and Babe Ruth has done as much for baseball as has the great Bill Veeck. Just ask the fans in Chicago, Cleveland and even St. Louis.
As a desert baseball fan, I am faced with the prospect of driving 500 miles to see the Dodgers or watching baseball on TV. And what do we have on TV this year? On Saturdays ABC brings us a game each week. And on Sundays I and my friends can watch the Yankees on TV; that is, when they are playing in Yankee Stadium. When they are on the road we get nothing. Thanks to the CBS stranglehold, we are blessed with Yankee baseball, or nothing. Of course, this is eighth-place baseball at its best, so I suppose things could be worse. But not much.
Speaking of the owners, what gives with them anyway? Don't they realize that what's good for baseball is also good for their bank balances? If baseball is just another business, as it certainly appears to be (excluding the Chicago Cubs, of course), then why not run it as such? Until recent years, baseball has had things pretty much its own way when it came to competing for the entertainment dollar; not so anymore, however. Now the average sports enthusiast has many outlets of diversion toward which to turn. If baseball's going to be one of them, the owners are going to have to wise up and provide a product that's worth the price of admission. Baseball hasn't changed one iota since the turn of the century, but the price of a seat has. In this respect the majority of the owners seem to have only one shortsighted concern: money and lots of it. As a result, baseball is rapidly becoming a colorless sideshow. Unless it changes its ways and attitude, the day isn't far off when baseball will run out of cities in which to perform.
Mason City, Iowa
I am sure that the opposition will simply say, "Let's forget it," "Let it pass," "No one is listening," etc. But until his accusations, implications and suggestions for the betterment of baseball are answered, and evidence to the contrary is given, baseball fans will believe what Veeck says.
HARRY GRABSTALD, M.D.
New York City
Your article on the Notre Dame crew (Up a Muddy River, May 24) is indicative of the growing interest in rowing that is taking place on college campuses throughout the country. It should be noted that the trend is rapidly gaining enthusiasm and support even in areas east of South Bend, Ind.; for example, at Wesleyan, Canisius, Villanova and Holy Cross.
I was, therefore, surprised that very little mention was made in your issue of the Eastern sprints regatta held at Lake Quinsigamond last week, and that no mention at all was made of Northeastern University's very commendable victory in the Dad Vail Regatta two weeks ago. This is Northeastern's first year in crew, as well. The development of crew at Holy Cross, as at Notre Dame, is taking place in spite of many obstacles. We, too, tasted defeat (eventually losing five shirts per man over the course of the season). We hope that your support of rowing will continue and be expanded in future issues. It is also our hope that Notre Dame may come far enough east to meet us in actual competition.
WILLIAM R. AHMUTY
Co-captain, 1965 Holy Cross Crew
If recognition is to be given for enthusiasm and team spirit in overcoming lack of equipment, official sanction, financial support and general inexperience, it is difficult to ignore the Crusader Crew from Holy Cross. Facing the same problems as Notre Dame, we of the Crusaders lost many regattas against opponents far superior, but what is of primary importance is the fact that we won the novice varsity class in New York's Metropolitan Intercollegiate championships against teams such as Canisius and St. Peter's, who had beaten Notre Dame.
ROBERT J. FISSMER
I speak for both Holy Cross and Wesleyan when I say to Notre Dame: "If you are exhausted after rowing a sprint for 1:35, we would be more than happy to race your crew on your own terms, either here, at Lake Quinsigamond, or on the St. Joe in South Bend."
A. PAUL JOHNSON
I wish to thank the Editors OF SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for including my name in the FACES IN THE CROWD feature (May 17, 1965) for having reached the summit of Point Lenana on Mount Kenya.
However, I would like to point out that many adventurous people have managed this climb. What was notable was the fact that seven young Kikuyu girls were able to make the ascent. I must add that they were accompanied not merely by me but also by Miss Monique Boudreau, a fellow teacher at St. Cecilia's from Montreal, and that we were all under the leadership of Father Peter Davoli, an Italian Consolata missionary, who has climbed the mountain many times.
Please call your readers' attention to these facts, since I feel that full tribute should go only to our African students, who had never experienced such cold and fatigue or seen snow and ice before. We who climbed with them were there only to add moral support and encouragement.
I am certain that Carroll Shelby will be the first to disagree with Author Coles Phinizy's statement that "Shelby's dream machine is the first U.S. sports car produced in any volume that both looks and acts the part" (Snakes, Butter Beans and Mister Cobra, May 17). It is, indeed, the first sports car assembled in the U.S. using American ingenuity (Texan Shelby) and American engineering ability (Ford). But credit must not be taken for the British imported frame and body (A. C. Cars, Ltd.).
COUNT DARLING III