DREAM AND REALITY
Your article on the new Mets (Lights in the Met Cellar, May 6) was both humorous and encouraging. Last September I came to Boston University and witnessed the miracle of the Red Sox. Now as I return home for the summer I hope the Mets will provide the same excitement for New York.
We are hockey players and loyal fans of the Boston Bruins. We also are believers in the "impossible dream" and we feel that a local basketball player now reigns supreme over the Bobby Orrs and the Carl Yastrzemskis. Please cast three votes for Coach and Player Bill Russell as Sportsman of the Year 1968. The "flag" goes up again!
BOBBY BAUER JR.
I sincerely enjoy SI and I found the recent article by Frank Deford on Jim (Mudcat) Grant most interesting (Coochee Coos Another Tune, April 8). Although Mudcat is a friend of mine and I know that he is endeavoring to prepare for a postbaseball career, I must take exception to one of Mr. Deford's statements. He says that Negro baseball players, with the exception of Jackie Robinson, have not been a success once they've left baseball.
My major league career was not great in longevity, but my years with the Brooklyn Dodgers did accord me some fame and unforgettable moments. And I'd like to believe that I have enjoyed some successes since retiring from baseball in 1957.
May 19, 1968
I taught school in Plainfield, N.J. from 1957 until 1962, when I resigned to accept a marketing position with Greyhound Lines, Inc. Greyhound promoted me to the corporate marketing staff in 1963 as Director of Special Markets, and in May 1967 I was promoted to Vice-president, Special Markets.
Additionally, if Mr. Deford had taken the time to research, he would have learned that many current players are preparing themselves for the day when they can no longer play baseball.
I am unimpressed by your dire tale of five trimaran disasters at sea over a recent 21-month period (Hey Ho and Up She Rises, May 6). The record is meaningless in that it is incomplete. Five trimarans are missing out of how many deep-sea trimaran voyages? What are the comparable statistics for monohulls? I don't really expect answers to these questions. They are probably not available, since only losses are recorded. Further, I suspect it is mainly the trimaran losses that are noteworthy and that, of course, explains your story.
You have conclusively proved only that the sea is a dangerous place. But I knew that before reading your article.
JOHN H. MORRIS
Bay Shore, N.Y.
After having spent a year in the Canal Zone and having seen trimarans come through (two or three weekly) in passage from England to Australia and New Zealand, I became personally acquainted with most of their crews and shared some of their experiences. I feel certain that you have done a great disservice. The trimaran (Piver designed) is probably the safest sailing boat afloat. I left Panama in a 30-foot trimaran. I sailed due north and cleared the Quita Sue√±o Bank in four days on one tack in 30-to 35-knot winds, continuously burying all three hulls on every fourth or fifth wave. The boat tolerated this beating with no leeway and with the wheel tied down. We easily made Fort Myers, Fla. in 13 days after being becalmed for four days. My companion, who has sailed square-riggers around the Horn, stated that no planked monohull could have stood that pounding without opening seams and leaking badly. My trimaran cost about one eighth the price of an equivalent 30-foot monohull and is much safer.
JOHN W. BUCKNER, M.D.
Really, now. How can you believe that the Kentucky Colonels paid $62,000 for Louisville newspaper advertisements and not believe that the Colonels negotiated in good faith for Westley Unseld's services (SCORECARD, April 15)? Technically, your statement that we made only the $210,000 offer to Unseld is correct. However, Westley's attorney had prepared in longhand a proposal in the amount of $400,000 for a four-year contract. The Colonels asked him to put this in proper contract form and have Westley sign it so that it could be accepted. This contract was then read aloud in Unseld's presence, at which time Unseld and his attorneys left the conference room and conferred for approximately 15 minutes. When they returned, the attorney announced that Westley was not prepared to sign it on that date. The next day the attorney called us and advised that, although Unseld had not yet signed with Baltimore, all negotiations were off and that they would not meet further with the Colonels. That is when the Colonels purchased the newspaper ads offering Unseld $500,000.
We may not be experienced negotiators but your implication that the $500,000 offer was purely a propaganda move is unwarranted. And, incidentally, the newspaper ads cost $1,685, a far cry from the $62,000 figure you published.
I am impressed with Dr. Lauren Donaldson's ingenuity in devising a method for branding salmon before releasing them into the sea (SCORECARD, May 6). It is probably true that in his research project the question of ownership rights to the salmon is not important. But there will be knotty legal problems if his efforts lead to commercial "salmon ranching."
It may soon be practicable for a salmon rancher to raise young salmon in a hatchery and liberate them at about one year old to roam the open sea ranges, there to grow and fatten. Following their natural habit, the salmon would return in two years to their exact place of birth for spawning. In the home stream they could be rounded up by the rancher and taken to market.
The problem that arises from such a venture is that there is no law to prevent the freelance fishermen from catching the branded salmon on the high seas and making the profit themselves. Nor do we have a national law that would protect the fish from salmon "rustlers" in the bays or rivers.
In the face of such problems we will need both new laws and a new jurisprudence if salmon ranching is to become a reality. Even then we may have a return of 19th century range wars and brand switching in a new wild west of the rivers, the sounds and the high seas.
LONG DISTANCE VIEW
Congratulations on your article on Jock Semple (Angry Overseer of the Marathon, April 22)! It certainly was an accurate description of Jock's world. Thank heaven for men like Jock and the handful of dedicated officials who labor many hours without consideration for monetary gain in the rapidly vanishing "true amateur spirit." They are a rarity, indeed.
I would like to comment on women in distance running and the much publicized pictures of Jock Semple charging Kathy Switzer. First, to come to Jock's defense, he was one of the few men in distance running who encouraged George Terry when George began training me for middle distances in 1960—a time at which the AAU forbade girls to run over 880 yards.
Second, though Jock's attack was unjustifiably rough (and I'm sure he regrets it), he technically was doing the correct thing. It is against AAU rules for men and women to compete in the same race. Competitors and officials involved in an illegal race can be faced with severe AAU penalties.
But why this rule? In European orienteering events, men, women and children all run a race simultaneously but are awarded prizes separately. In the U.S. men and boys often run distance events together and awards are presented according to age or classification. In some parts of the country, where there are few women running, mixed competition would provide the only real competitive experience for girls with exceptional talent. As things stand now, a girl may never have had anyone come close to challenging her in a race until she reaches the national championships!
To those who say women cannot or should not run the marathon, may I point out that the average time of the four American women I know who have run a marathon is under 3:30. This is quite respectable for a first attempt by a man or a woman. Therefore, I can see no good arguments for forbidding men and women to compete simultaneously in distance events. Physically women are capable of running the distances, competitively they will benefit from it and personally they enjoy it. So why not?
It is true, as you reported in SCORECARD (May 6), that Michigan State University no longer offers courses for a degree in mobile-home building. It does, however, offer courses in weed control, advanced football, meat grading, advanced jewelry and square-dance calling.
DONALD R. GARLIT
East Lansing, Mich.