I was surprised that you would print the one-sided views of A. B. (Happy) Chandler (How I Jumped from Clean Politics into Dirty Baseball, April 26 and May 3). Four years ago Mr. Chandler ran in the Kentucky gubernatorial Democratic primary. After being defeated soundly, Sore Loser Chandler supported the Republican candidate in the final election. This is only one example of his character and of his "clean politics."
If you had checked Mr. Chandler's baseball record, you would not wonder why nearly half of the owners were fed up after only one term of his commissionership. I hope the owners who opposed Mr. Chandler will reply. I think you should show both sides of the coin.
Just read the articles by the Bluegrass Jackass. In the words of the immortal General George Patton, — —!
My first inclination is to leave Unhappy Chandler and his bad memory to the oblivion he has earned. But the reference to the gamblers at the exhibition game in Havana, which is left hanging in the article, rather like a dangling participle, needs a little laundering.
May 16, 1971
The bookies were in the box seats, all right. Who put them there? At the prodding of MacPhail, Charlie McCarthy Chandler staged a mock trial in Florida to investigate Durocher, Rickey, the gamblers and the stealing of Charley Dressen, the Dodger coach, by the Yankees. All strictly Gilbert and Sullivan stuff. More ludicrous yet, when weeks later Chandler huffed and puffed and brought forth his mousy proclamation banning Durocher, the man most angered was MacPhail, who had ordered the whole farce! Right there the machinery for Chandler's firing was set in motion.
Consider the joke decision baseball and the public were asked to swallow by this flag-waving politician: Durocher was paid a salary of $50,000 to take the summer off; the Yankees and the Dodgers were flea-bitten with $2,000 fines. I was the only one really hurt—$500 out of a small salary—so I went right to Versailles, Ky. after Chandler. I proved to him that the Yankees, not I, had given the bad, bad bookies their tickets. Chandler gulped and coughed up the $500. "I'll give you your money back," said the fearless commissioner, "and it will come to you in an unmarked envelope by a check from somebody you don't know. And if you ever tell anybody, I'll fine you $5,000 instead of $500!" Real gutsy.
As soon as the check cleared I went to good friend Max Kase, sports editor of the New York Journal-American, who turned this comic caper into an eight-column headline. Kase made the point that if Parrott was innocent, so indeed must Durocher be without sin. But Leo didn't care; he was cashing his checks for not managing the Dodgers and installing a sprinking system at Laraine's California mansion.
Having put together a few of these "as told to" pieces in my day, God help me, may I say that never have I encountered one where so many dead men and anonymous characters were quoted? Unhappy sprays baseball in general and some good men in particular with his Kentucky-distilled type of sour-grapes venom and doesn't seem to know, even now, who really fired him! As long as Unhappy was going in for posthumous quotes, he could have at least included the funnies of the late Dan Parker who, along with the late sports cartoonist, Fred Weatherly, had a columning picnic with this "Ah loves baseball" man and his embarrassing Kentucky swimming pool. Those were the days!
La Jolla, Calif.
Four stars plus to you for publishing the interesting story by Happy Chandler who tells it like it was. Although the big-town sportswriters tried to make him out to be a comic, his influence on big-league baseball was emphatically all for the good.
J. W. BENJAMIN
Lewisburg, W. Va.
My, were you easy on Squaw Valley (For Sale: One Hunk of American History, May 3). I wish that your pictures and words could have conveyed the disappointment that I felt on my first visit there last month. If there ever was any genteel charm about the place, it has long since been buried under peeled paint, broken glass and threadbare furnishings. It was a shock to find such a tawdry collection of antiquated, ill-maintained facilities. The chair lifts groaned from seeming disrepair. The one bright spot in the area—the new $3 million tramway—wasn't running.
How can a magnificent ski resort, funded heavily by public moneys, be allowed to deteriorate in 11 years to the point of public disgrace? Why is such a potential profit maker losing a consistent $300,000 every year? These are the points that need hard investigation—and answers.
Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Re your article on Squaw Valley: who needs help? I do not believe it is the ski operation over which I preside. In the 11 years since the Winter Games of 1960, Squaw Valley's skiing facilities have been increased from four double-chair lifts to 18, plus an 8,000-foot gondola, plus a huge aerial tramway (121 people in each cabin), plus six platter lifts. Ski patronage has increased tenfold since the last pre-Olympic year.
There will be many improvements, as usual, so that next winter, skiing will be better than ever. Our skiing operation is flourishing and not for sale.
ALEXANDER C. CUSHING
Olympic Valley, Calif.
Come on, folks, let's get out our crying towels for the American Bowling Congress and the Professional Bowlers Association (Obviously, It's a Leftist Plot, May 3). Those wicked lefthanders are destroying the sport of bowling for 90% of the population, and the whole industry is going right down the drain. Isn't it absurd to have all 16 finalists in a tournament bowling with their left hands? And that Johnny Petraglia! He has some nerve, beating everyone else all the time.
As a left-handed person who enjoys bowling, I would have to say that the concern over the whole situation is just ridiculous. The only thing that pleased me about the article was the comparison of bowling styles with the pitching styles of two of baseball's greats, Sandy Koufax (power) and Whitey Ford (finesse). Both are left-handed.
The dominance of the lefties in bowling shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, as we lefties have always far surpassed the right-handers in any sport we cared to participate in. Take, for example, the hook shot of Bill Russell, the smashing serve of Rod Laver, the booming bats of Babe Ruth and Stan Musial and the fantastic curve balls of Sandy Koufax, Whitey Ford and Lefty Gomez. Today bowling—tomorrow golf. Look out, Arnie and Jack! Here we come. The Lefties' Lib is on the move.
B. N. (Lefty) PEEPLES
Salt Lake City
I enjoyed Hugh Whall's article on the drop-keel, pop-top sailboat trend (Drop the Keel, Pop the Top, April 19). Your readers may also be interested to know that the concept for the pop-top cabin (not the drop-keel part) was the result of our work over the past few years in the camper industry and the growing realization that the particular people with young families who own small cruising sailboats often have more in common with the spirit of camping than traditional sailing. They have a deep interest in vacationing as a family. It was with this idea in mind that we approached the O'Day Company two years ago with a proposition that, with our familiarity of the products and concepts in the camping industry, we could adapt some of the camper concepts into a sailboat that would greatly expand the liveability of a small boat and turn it into a product that could revolutionize the boating industry. The O'Day 23 was the result.
It's interesting to note that one of the by-products of the pop-top concept is that it enables the manufacturer to build a lower profile hull, which makes it inherently lighter (hence faster) and less expensive so that you get the unusual combination of improved performance and lower cost. As it turns out, the Ray Hunt naval architectural group, which very skillfully designed the hull lines of the O'Day 23, has come up with a formula that does remarkably well racing as well as opening up a whole new world to young cruising families.
ANDREW T. KOSTANECKI
Industrial Design Consultant
New Canaan, Conn.
Since your article Pitching Secrets (April 12) appeared, I have had numerous letters concerning our pitching rating system, all with one common complaint: that the all-time list eliminated such pitchers as Tom Seaver, Bob Gibson, Ferguson Jenkins, etc. Not only did our report not list these great pitchers, it did not rate any pitcher who is still active in the major leagues. We thought it unfair to give a halfway career rating when it would be compared with the full career ratings of those pitchers listed. Obviously pitchers such as Gibson, Seaver and Jenkins would rate well with the great pitchers of any era.
GEORGE H. SISLER JR.
International League of Professional Baseball Clubs
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