In regard to Jim Brosnan's article about the Cincinnati Reds (Boom Go the Big Red Bats, Aug. 16), I wish to voice my dissent. With or without a revitalized O'Toole the Reds still lack sufficient pitching. As baseball tension mounts during a pennant fight, hitting declines in importance. Good pitchers who become emotionally charged inevitably dominate good hitters emotionally charged. Therefore, the Reds will drop in the National League race, leaving the Phillies to knock off the Dodgers.
DAVID M. KARWOSKI
Granted Jim O'Toole is not the pitcher he has been for the past four seasons. But when a team has four capable starters in Sammy Ellis, Joey Jay, Jim Maloney and Joe Nuxhall, who needs a fifth starter? Very few teams can boast even three good starting pitchers. I suggest Mr. Brosnan look elsewhere for the real reason behind the Reds' inability to get into first place.
Boom go the Big Brave bats.
New York City
LEFT AND RIGHT
Five months ago SI bluntly stated that the majors' best pitcher was Dean Chance (March 8). He may be classified as the best on a seventh-place ball club but hardly the best in the majors.
Now Jim Brosnan comes out and says that Juan Marichal is "the best pitcher in the majors."
Has everyone forgotten a southpaw pitching for the first-place Dodgers who seems certain to break Bob Feller's season strikeout record of 348 and win the most games since Dizzy Dean? Pitchers like Sandy Koufax come around about once in a decade.
Jim Brosnan is all wet. When Juan Marichal can strike out 10 or more batters in a game 76 times or average 10.3 strikeouts per game, then he will be the best pitcher in the majors and not before. Koufax and McDowell are tops.
Here we go again. Marichal is the best right-hander in baseball. Koufax is the best.
GOAT HILLS, U.S.A.
It may be disloyal for a Dallasite to congratulate you for an article about Fort Worth. Nevertheless, The Glory Game at Goat Hills (Aug. 16) was as enjoyable as any story I have ever read in SI, and I have been a dedicated reader since 1954.
R. B. HOOVER II
It was with many fond (and other) memories that I read Dan Jenkins' article about the famous Goat Hills course. It has been 14 years since my family moved from Fort Worth to Martinsville, Virginia, but I can distinctly remember the old course and the fellows who played there. May I assure the readers that every word of Dan Jenkins' article is true and that the old saying "truth is stranger than fiction" is certainly applicable to the endless array of folklore that has come down through the years concerning that lovable shrine to golf.
But there's a muny here in Houston which wears the name of Herman Park, and its relationship to golf is more mysterious than the New York Mets are to baseball. Herman Park makes Goat Hills look like a shrine to the National Open. And as a haven for hustlers and con men it ranks firmly above the nearest traveling crap game.
At Herman Park they've got a game to fit anybody.
A. K. FASSETT
The Glory Game at Goat Hills is going into my library of golfing gems. But Dan Jenkins need not pine for want of action. Out here such sundry characters as The White Bear, The Haircut, Sorghum, Round Man, The Whistler, Mose and Tennis Shoes will step up to the tee with him. Same game—plus a few local innovations.
I've belonged to several golf clubs in my travels. For a rollicking time with plenty of action, a public link's is the place to play.
Snik-nej Nad! I'm still crying from laughter. Dan Jenkins' "young" crew was twice as motley as the gang at our outdoor poolroom which includes New Smyrna Fats (the pro), The Roadrunner, Lighthorse, Billy Bowlegs, The Snake, Carload, Gumbo, Friendly Henry, Catfish, Shaky and The Spider, among others.
New Smyrna Beach, Fla.
Some readers may think that Dan Jenkins got carried away reading Damon Runyon stories, but I'll buy the whole article. Weldon the Oath has got to be real. I saw him only this morning while shaving.
FRANK W. LUCAS
Just finished Dan Jenkins' fine article and wish to compliment him on a wonderful job. I couldn't help but reflect on those days, almost with tears in my eyes. They were really something. It's for sure another game like that will never be assembled.
I am sure Dan Jenkins' splendid yarn revived forgotten memories for thousands of Goat Hillers everywhere. Congratulations.
$200,000 AND UNDER
"Joe Namath is marvelous. Namath is wonderful. Namath is the new Sammy Baugh. Namath is getting $400,000. Namath, wow!"
Well, hooray for Dan Jenkins and his fine article on John Huarte (A Star Is Born—Too Late, Aug. 16). Maybe Huarte is getting only $200,000, but he's a darn good quarterback.
It seems to us that Dan Jenkins supports the performance of John Huarte at the expense of several other players. Certainly Huarte's fine play is worthy of praise, but isn't it possible that Navy's Pat Donnelly was himself responsible for his one-handed catch that gave the All-Stars and Huarte a key first down? And perhaps he could and would play pro ball were he free of his naval obligation. Wasn't it Oklahoma's Lance Rentzel who gave the All-Stars their second touchdown with a diving catch in the end zone? And perhaps it was because of and not in spite of a Yale man that Huarte was able to engineer the All-Stars' first touchdown.
For a guy who kicked a 36-yard field goal and an extra point, and in addition caught a touchdown pass in the driving rain, Chuck Mercein of Yale received some pretty rough treatment from Dan Jenkins ("even a Yale man couldn't drop it"). Just remember that for the first 40 minutes of the 1965 College All-Star game the score was Browns 24, Mercein 3, and that the Ivy League's one "unlikely" star accounted for 10 of the Stars' 16 points.
STEPHEN N. GOLDSTEIN
When will SI stop deprecating Ivy League athletes? While few Ivy Leaguers make it as big as Yale's Mike Pyle did with the Bears, it might just be that graduating Ivy athletes have something better to do with their lives than professional sports, which is the main ' "cup of tea" for many of the graduating athletes of the "Oscaloosa Southerns" and the "Siwash Westerns." Witness Princeton's basketball All-America Bill Bradley, now turned Rhodes scholar!
Let us finally recognize that the Ivies are not playing by "Little League" rules—but by the same rules as all other NCAA colleges.
LOREN H. NAUSS JR.
I am sad over the missed opportunities in the article Jouncy Journey in a New Parkland (July 26). To do simple justice to your readers and to one of the challenging, unspoiled areas of our land, someone who knows and loves the Canyonlands should write a factual article for you about its mysteries and beauties.
One March I, too, had the rare experience of sleeping in the snow in Canyonlands. It was in Salt Creek Canyon beside a spring. We rode horseback in the dark through four-foot-high sagebrush to reach it. After supper around the fire, talking of our Moki neighbors of 700 years ago and of the brilliance of the starred sky, we crawled into our sleeping bags. Next morning the world was white over the silver sagebrush and vivid red-rock walls.
Zane Grey caught the excitement of the Canyonlands area in stirring adventure tales. Here are a multitude of strange redrock pinnacles and shapes; the almost unknown cliff-barriered junction of two of America's greatest rivers; the excitement of untouched prehistoric ruins, petroglyphs and pictographs; and high over it all the snow-capped 11,000-foot La Sal mountain range seemingly near enough to touch. Is it any wonder that many of those who visit Canyonlands with open eyes place its total assets ahead even of the Grand Canyon?
Your lady writer seemed merely bored.
Re the masterpiece by Alice Higgins, it is obvious from the tone of her account that she is one of those refined individuals from "out East" who, to paraphrase one of your other writers, has no more idea of Western land and living than what is spewed out of the TV tube as being "Marlboro Country.""
We here in the West would all appreciate it if Alice Higgins and her ilk would stay home and not bother us; we're quite happy not to be burdened with an Eastern Seaboard "megalopolis." We have primitive and wilderness areas in Montana and Wyoming where not even an Old Green Lizard is allowed. No mechanized vehicles. Yet even as I write this there are those in Washington who are lobbying for legislation to build roads into these last remaining areas of our country where a man can be self-reliant and alone with himself without having to trip over Coke bottles and beer cans. Let the poorly conditioned and the extroverts keep out!
ARMIN D. MEYER, M.D.
Dickinson, N. Dak.
It was with great interest that I read Bob Bavier's description of Constellation's triumph over Eagle in the fifth race of the try-outs for the America's Cup (The Race That Beat the Bird, Aug. 16).
It should be noted, however, that the caption of the drawing on page 37 slates that Constellation made her quick tack "after jibing around the third mark." It would seem from the text and from the wind and course arrows depicted in the drawing that she could not have jibed.
Constellation approached the mark on a broad reach on the port tack. In rounding the mark she simply hardened to the wind and then, when close-hauled, made her quick tack over to starboard.
JOHN J. TRASK JR.
New York City
•In the four hours, 26 minutes and five "seconds it took her to complete the fifth race, Constellation made 79 tacks and 8 jibes. SI went overboard with an extra jibe.—ED.