My compliments to Bil Gilbert for his article Confessions of a Retarded Tiger (June 2). Now I understand why the 1967 Red Sox pennant victory seemed so hollow. Ellis Kinder really hadn't struck out Yogi Berra in the Stadium on the last day of the season to win it. Mel Parnell didn't gain the 3-2 victory, built on back to back doubles in the eighth by Vern Stephens and Bobby Doerr. Those subs won it—Yastrzemski, Lonborg, etc., and they beat out Detroit, for God's sake!
At least Mr. Gilbert saw his Tigers in the World Series. My Red Sox, despite Dom DiMaggio, Pesky, Williams, et al. never did make it. The 1969 version of the Red Sox can take every blasted game from the 1969 Yankees, but to a retarded Bosox fan like myself it will never be as sweet as just one more win in Yankee Stadium—1950 style.
ARTHUR J. SINGER
Bil Gilbert needn't worry his retarded little head about the lack of addicts to replace his generation of fans. Here in Dudley we've got a bunch of fanatics, only it's the Red Sox that we're delirious about. I bat in the name of Carl Yastrzemski, and of course we have a Reggie Smith, a Mike Andrews, a Rico Petrocelli and a couple of Tony Conigliaros. Our enthusiastic broadcaster is not the immortal Harry Heilmann but rather the animated Ken Coleman. We play all the American League teams and I know we'll still be at it at the age of 73, even if we have to get to our roofs in wheelchairs!
A case of Wheaties to Bil Gilbert for his home run of an article. My retardation is for the old Cleveland Indians and for Jack Graney and Pinky Hunter re-creating the Indian games with the Western Union ticker clicking away over their voices. Personally, Harry Heilmann put me to sleep.
June 15, 1969
They do not make players today like (Moose) Solters, or (Stormy) Weatherly or Lyn Lary or Jeff Heath or my alltime idol Oscar Grimes. Nor can you ride a streetcar to old League Park for five cents plus a one-cent transfer.
And what ever happened to the houses with front porches where a kid could throw a ball against the front steps? If you caught the edge of the steps just right, it was a home run every time. In the front-step league, Oscar Grimes hit over .400 each summer.
Baseball will never be the same.
L. A. THUNHERST
TRAGIC AWAKENING (CONT.)
I wish to congratulate Jack Olsen on his excellent job of reporting the Glacier Park bear killings and the sequence of events that led to them (The Grizzly Bear Murder Case, May 12 et seq.). He ferreted out and SI published information many scientists as well as laymen wished to know but, as in his case, had been denied by the Park Service. His story was skillfully and dramatically presented—perhaps too well dramatized with gory details, considering that he concluded that it was man, not the bear, who was largely at fault. The author's constructive criticism of the Park Service was justified and needed. Hopefully it will be given the serious consideration it deserves.
It is not my intention to detract from Jack Olsen's splendid job, but I feel compelled to comment on his statement concerning wildlife managers. It appears that he equated bureaucratic incompetence and bungling with the wildlife management profession when he stated, "This is the romantic approach, the approach of many professional wildlife managers who feel that all nature can be manipulated by their hands, who deeply admire the grizzly and do not want him harmed and are frenziedly flailing about for rationalization of their viewpoints." This is a one-sided and erroneous concept of wildlife management, though it may be what Olsen observed under atypical conditions. Wildlife management in the national parks and in many of the extensive wild and wilderness areas is doing—or should be doing—as little as is necessary in order to rectify wildlife and ecological problems that have themselves been caused largely by man's activities. When it is evident that manipulation, zoning and regulating are needed, it should be done in a professional manner and be based on a foundation of fact and knowledge.
FRANK C. CRAIGHEAD JR.
President, Environmental Research Institute
THEY'D RATHER FIGHT
As a Baltimore Colts fan I feel qualified to comment on Tex Maule's appraisal of the Colts' move to the AFL (They'd Rather Switch..., May 26).
If Carroll Rosenbloom believes, as stated in Maule's article, that the "fans accepted their new status (as of 1970) with a good deal of equanimity," I challenge him to appear on the field before the Colts' opening game—he'll need a police escort to leave the stadium in one piece.
DONALD D. BOCK
Many thanks for your fine article on Ernie Vandeweghe (All-America All the Way, May 26). This was certainly a deserved tribute to a great person and a wonderful family.
Your article, however, failed to point out adequately the fact that Ernie excelled at anything he attempted, no matter what that pursuit was and, furthermore, that he remained one of the most gentle, friendly and gracious men it has been my pleasure to know. Probably the least impressed with his accomplishments was Ernie himself.
Is it any wonder that at the Phi Delta Theta house at Colgate he was affectionately known as Pal?
GERALD J. PHELPS
I am writing as a one-third partner in Ernie's school and as the principal. Ernie is justly proud of his family, and I, in turn, am justly proud of my school. I would like to correct some oversights in the article.
1) The name of the school was changed in 1965 to the Curtis School not Carl F. Curtis School.
2) The reason our third partner Charles J. Smith and I invited Ernie to join us was because we needed another investor. We invited him.
3) Ernie is a truly silent partner and has nothing to do with the academic, physical or social philosophy of the school. This is entirely in my hands.
4) Our athletic director took exception to the statement that he would not allow the boys in boxing to duck or dodge blows.
5) Kiki is so much larger than the boys in his class that it would be like a heavyweight fighting a lightweight. He can fight the boys in the next grade who are his size.
6) There are other things such as being an equal partner with West, Drysdale and Richter in All American Village—actually, I started the camp in 1958 and we merged with All American Village in 1965, taking their name. I ran that camp for seven years.
WILLARD E. BADHAM
The Vandeweghe family's so-called "rare blend of genes" suggests their superiority to all others (All-America All the Way, May 26). They were also portrayed as America's model family—one which all other families should strive to resemble. In any case, this superiority is reminiscent of Nazi Germany's claim of genetic and physical superiority—a tragic downfall of man. I realize this was not the intention of this article—but what was? Was it to show people how inferior they were to this one atypical family?
B. E. NORTHROP
We would like to congratulate Robert F. Jones on what must be the most delightful spoof of the year. It kept our family entertained for days and was well worth the price of our yearly subscription.
Re your feature on the remarkable Vandeweghe family, don't overlook Kiki's reference to the black-gloved-fist incident at Mexico City's Olympics. I hope Harry Edwards reads it, as a reminder of the black scars he has left on so many who still deeply and militantly resent and remember Carlos-Smith's dishonor to our country and our flag, disrespect for the Olympic traditions and ideals and discourtesy to the wonderful Mexican people.
JOSEPH S. TRUM
It seems that the only world the Vandeweghe children know is the sports world. Mrs. Vandeweghe said, "You've got to have a commitment." Is a commitment the tennis court? What about life? A swimming pool won't teach you about life. Dr. Vandeweghe owns a school. Are scholastics included in the curriculum?
The attitudes of the Vandeweghe family as reported by Mr. Jones give the impression that, if the parents happened to have a handicapped child, they would stamp it "imperfect" and simply throw it away. The military-industrial complex loves to see such families in America. It can revel in the thoughts of budding young drill sergeants and potential exploiters. I hope that this article was written in jest, because, if it was not, Robert Jones' opinion of what is "American" is so warped that there is little hope left.
DAVID L. WESTBROOK
WATER HAZARD (CONT.)
Pat Ryan's article (Golf's Underwater Underworld, May 19) was very interesting and well written. However, I have some sad news for all you nighthawks and other divers. When my latest ball, the 100-compression Titlist "Floater," starts hitting the pro shops, you guys will be walking along the roughs picking up 15 or 20 balls just like the rest of us. Just remember to wear long pants; those sticker bushes can really scratch those waterlogged legs.
Pat Ryan fails to mention one tool of the trade that I found most satisfactory, and that is a clam rake. A clam rake enables you to dig down in the mud and fetch a large number at a time. Also, it helps if one has had experience digging clams. This seems like the ideal tool to me, but I imagine many would have a hard time obtaining one.
WILLIAM M. SETEK JR.
ADULTS KEEP OUT
I agree wholeheartedly with the conclusions drawn in your editorial comment on Little League baseball (SCORECARD, May 26). Having no sons of my own involved, I think I can speak more objectively on the matter.
I coached and umpired two years of Little League and sat in on meetings of the board of directors of the Pearl Harbor Little League in Honolulu. I believe it is over-organized, overmanaged, overemphasized and just generally overdone by adults, resulting in too many cases of underenjoyment by the boys.
Certainly youth must be taught team play and be urged to develop competitive spirit. However, it is pushing it a bit to have 8-and 9-year-olds so involved with winning that they forget to have fun. And this happens, believe thee me. Coaches take pages from Leo Durocher's book and chew out kids as though they were hardened veterans. And the parents in the stands are even worse, shouting, screaming and, at times, cursing. I was greatly disillusioned with the whole scene during my two years' experience and have vowed not to get involved again.
Let's take all the money it takes to buy those professional-looking uniforms and pay umpires, build lots of playgrounds where lots of boys (and girls) can play ball. We can even put fences around the fields—to keep adults out.
GERALD P. FULLER
Address editorial mail to TIME & LIFE Bldg., Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.