Revolting! That's the only word that describes the article written by Eddie Stanky with William Leggett (Better from the Neck Up, Aug. 28). Eddie Stanky doesn't deserve to win the pennant. He must be very insecure about winning it, for if he wasn't he wouldn't have to lash out at the other clubs. Do you ever hear Mayo Smith or Dick Williams say such things? No. Because they have confidence in their players. "Stinky" Stanky has a very negative attitude. Up until about two weeks ago I felt that if the Detroit Tigers could not win the pennant the White Sox could, but now my outlook has changed.
RUTH D. MCLEAN
As a loyal Detroit Tiger fan, I was not particularly pleased to read Joe Sparma's recent remark that he would like to throw one of his fast balls at Chicago White Sox Manager Eddie Stanky. But after reading Stanky's so-called "side of the controversies," I feel compelled to make one suggestion: pop him twice, Joe—once for you and once for me!
DAVID L. BURTON
I am one of a group of baseball fans whose era dates back to the turn of this century. We have seen innumerable players come and go, and a few advance to managerial status such as Eddie Stanky. When he played on the Brooklyn Dodgers, Stanky was labeled The Brat by some of the fans of that time—not because they regarded him a mean or dirty player, but because of his penchant for taking violent exceptions to umpires' decisions, throwing his cap down three to four times in front of them while kicking the dirt up around them. But we recognized that The Brat, so-called, knew baseball and played it hard. So we have followed with particular interest the progress of the White Sox since he became manager two years ago. After reading the splendid down-to-earth baseball article by him with William Leggett, we have remarked among ourselves: the erstwhile Brat has come a long, long way—and we are distinctly glad of it.
G. M. W. KOBBÉ
New York City
Bratman does it again! The "Great One" psyched himself and his 25 lovable ballplayers out of first place in the American League. He also psyched the "All-Star from the neck down" (Yastrzemski) to hit two home runs to win the deciding game of the recent five-game Boston-Chicago series.
September 10, 1967
Stanky and his ballplayers should be playing soccer where they can use their heads for something besides getting headaches. Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.
WILLIAM H. MURRAY
Perhaps Carl Yastrzemski is an All-Star from the neck down and perhaps the Chicago White Sox are All-Stars from the neck up, but it is obvious that Mr. Stanky is an All-Star only in that area between his nose and chin.
New Haven, Conn.
After having read Eddie Stanky's (and William Leggett's) literary masterpiece, I am very proud to be a grade-A fan of the Chicago White Sox. One half of my 16 years have been devoted to rooting for the White Sox, but my loyalty to the Sox was increased 100% by the hiring of Mr. Stanky. He is my idea of the ideal man, a man of honesty and independence. Eddie Stanky may lack qualities that are employed to impress people—such as fine polish and tact—but are they really important? Not in my book.
Mr. Stanky has converted the so-called "dull" Chicago White Sox into one of the most exciting teams in baseball. He has proved that a club can win without the benefit of 25 muscular bodies but not without the benefit of 25 alert minds.
It's time people realize that Eddie Stanky is more than the controversial manager of the Chicago White Sox; he is a great credit to the game of baseball.
JOHN F. HETH
Clarks Summit, Pa.
A loudmouth baseball manager (Stanky) who specializes in taking cheap shots at nearly everyone, a bad-boy corner back (Sample) who can't stay out of fights, and a Black Muslim draft dodger (Clay) who may well end up in jail.
Subjects of feature stories in some cheap tabloid? Nope. SI, August 28.
RANDALL M. GREASON
Your August 28 issue is a marvel. The cover alone (Intrepid) is art—and so is the article. Being a native-born New Yorker (more years ago than I like to admit, but not Victorian), I'm moved also by the bit about Coney Island.
And then the Irish. I was in Dublin two years ago, and the Irish astound me. They have their Republic, but their money is LSD, they drive on the left-hand side of the road, they still play cricket and the bridge across the Liffey is wider than it is long.
UPS AND DOWNS
Joseph Carroll's article, The Gentle Irish (Aug. 28), on the nongentle art of hurling is a gem. I hope you find a way to preserve it for posterity by including it in an anthology of great sportswriting one day.
The Mayo man who never read Sean O'Casey might be interested to know that the great playwright played hurling as a youth, though his poor eyesight made him rather ineffective. The game also supplies the phrase "hurler on the ditch," meaning critic-spectator of political developments.
New York City
Thanks to Joseph Carroll for a very pleasant relief—to me, anyway—from the colorless, professional sports of today. I am a college and pro football fan from way back but as of now, except for Notre Dame, the games leave me in a state of ennui.
I like the article very much except for Brendan Behan being brought into it. Mr. Carroll should know that all Irish people do not like Mr. Behan or his writing. He did not belong in the article.
I am one of those 40-year-olds from the jigs-and-reels era who were brought up on the Soldier's Song and Pearse, McDonagh, Plunkett and, of course, Yeats in literature. And Michael Collins, a great athlete and hero killed in 1922.
Up Cork, Kerry and Galway! Up all Ireland—but not Behan, not in a sports article anyway.
Mrs. JAMES E. QUINN
For me, Jeannette Bruce's article on Coney Island, Where the Fun Was (Aug. 28), was a thriller—mainly because of my own personal memories of it. In 1903 I was 8 years old. My father was just beginning to be "easy" in his famous restaurant, Charlie's (the poor but honest man's eating place, where a dinner from soup to nuts cost 15¢). Once or twice a year Papa would take the family—Mama, my two sisters and myself—for a trip to Coney Island. At first we used to ride in a surrey behind a team of horses, but then around 1906 Papa bought a car, and this alone was almost as exciting as Coney Island itself. We never knew if, when and how we would get back home again.
Only once, when we girls were older, did we go to Coney Island to bathe—not that it wasn't a popular beach. And only once did I take a round-trip boat ride from the city to Coney Island. To us, Coney Island really meant excitement, color and lights, though we would arrive in the afternoon and generally leave shortly after the lights went on.
We generally went to Luna Park first. It had nice crowds and exciting rides. Then we'd go across the street to Dreamland. I do remember the incubator babies.
And once in a while we would walk down to Steeplechase Park, where the one "must" was to ride on the mechanical racetrack—at least once, and, if lucky, twice.
There will never be a Coney Island like that again. "But what corn!" exclaims the upper and lower bourgeoisie of today. Little do they know how good old "corn" brings out that deep, deep belly laugh and those wild, hilarious memories.
A Long Day in a Boy's World (Aug. 21) was a real nugget. Every man, son and father who once strode such paths or wet a line in such a stream in the course of living such a long day must be most grateful for this photographic gem.
I have long appreciated SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for bringing me the thrill of sporting events and happenings I could never hope to attend. Now you stimulate the spiritual man within. The need is strong for the likes of this simple masterpiece—most especially in the light of the present-day bombings and billions, supersonics, supersex and superscurry.
LESLIE E. COLLINS
I have just finished reading the article, "I Want My Bloody Game Back" (Aug. 28), and after the way Derek Morgan talks, he can have it back. For one thing, soccer is not very exciting or high scoring. It's not much fun watching grown men kick a ball up and down the field. The reason people get mad when a TV commercial causes them to miss seeing a goal is that it will probably be the only score of the game.
For another thing, soccer is soccer and football is football. The reason Americans wear armor, as Mr. Morgan puts it, is that American football is tougher and bloodier than Mr. Morgan's soccer. As for the World Cup final, I would miss 2 billion of them to see one Super Bowl football game.
For a man who claims to like our games Mr. Morgan sure did put down football. But since I have the decency to say I don't like Mr. Morgan's game, I guess we're friends.
Derek Morgan is so right. Having spent a summer here watching what a combination of second-class performers and commercial TV can do to a beautiful game, I am fleeing home. London's football grounds may be ill-appointed, the weather may be appalling, there may be no half-time entertainment, but at least there is soccer.
One thing puzzles me. If Derek Morgan is a "transplanted Welshman," what on earth is he doing writing of England's success and tribulation with such filial concern? This is like a person from Quebec supporting the Chicago Black Hawks.
Evidently Welshman Derek Morgan doesn't reside in an NPSL or USA city, where he can see live soccer. Seemingly his tirade was directed mainly toward television. TV is presenting this sport to those of us not fortunate enough to have a team. Un-televised games, naturally, are uninterrupted by commercials.
I like Mr. Morgan's game. Had I not been introduced to it by television, most likely I would not have gone to St. Louis to see a "real" soccer game. I've been converted. Now, can he find any bloody fault with that?
I was interested to read the article, Dredging Up a Texas Squabble (Aug. 14), by Edwin Shrake. But several of us in the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries (part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) were puzzled by the statement made in the penultimate paragraph. Mr. Shrake writes: "If members of the Fish and Wildlife Service should ever be so pedestrian as to consult the Encyclopaedia Britannica, they would read...."
Those of us who know the author of the Britannica article on oysters feel that perhaps Mr. Shrake would like to know that it was written by a longtime employee of the Fish and Wildlife Service, Dr. Paul Galtsoff, before his recent retirement. Dr. Galtsoff is also author of The American Oyster, probably the most complete work ever written on this subject. It is available from the Government Printing Office.
JOHN A. GUINAN