June 28, 1971
June 28, 1971

Table of Contents
June 28, 1971

Track & Field
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over


Of all the tormented logic in your publication, a zenith was reached with your June 14 cover headline, Canonero Should Not Have Run. The week before the Belmont (SCORECARD, June 7) you described the poor horse as scarcely able to limp out of his stall. Then he leads the pack most of the race and comes in a very respectable fourth. By that line of reasoning, the nine horses he beat should not have been entered, either. Perhaps only the winning horse should have been permitted to run.

This is an article from the June 28, 1971 issue Original Layout

Your concern for the "general public's" loss of $1 million in bets (The Happy Story Ends, June 14) brings tears to the eye—except that one can't stop laughing over the idea that the $2 bettor would have refrained if he had been given the "explicit information" that Canonero was "short."
Los Angeles

The next time you make bold statements on the cover, make sure you are right. Canonero had the same type of health excuses that he would have had if he finished up the track at Churchill Downs and Pimlico.

Concerning Whitney Tower's charge that the public was uninformed as to Canonero's condition, one had only to read the local papers here in San Francisco to know he missed two days of training. The Daily Racing Form made the circumstances explicit. Do you want the tracks to print this type of information in the programs?
San Francisco

•Canonero's most serious ailment, an infected right hock—disclosed after the Belmont—may prevent him from ever racing again.—ED.

Trainer Juan Arias was correct when he said, "We felt we owed him the chance to consecrate himself in racing history." If Canonero had not run, Whitney Tower probably would have been the first to wonder if he could have won the coveted Triple Crown.

In defeat Muhammad Ali gained popularity because he proved himself to be only human. I feel that Canonero's loss after winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness (despite an odd training program) shows he is only a horse. However, I also feel we will all be a little better for the thrills he gave us, both in victory and in defeat.

Congratulations to SI for publishing Gwilym Brown's provocative piece (Is a Mustache Just Peanuts?, June 14) and to javelin thrower Bill Skinner for having the guts to force the University of Tennessee athletic Establishment against the fence. The article forces us to take a look at the thinking of those who are the architects of our high school and college athletic policies.

Athletic Director Bob Woodruff defends rule No. 5 on appearance because it helps a team work together. As a junior varsity basketball coach, I doubt that today's sophisticated athletes feel that a goatee destroys team morale. Woodruff also cites the athlete's responsibility to the fans, pointing out that fans equate long hair with drug use. Professional athletes have proved that not only does a goatee fail to diminish athletic prowess, but most fans are too mature to care about a participant's appearance.

We must feel genuine sympathy for the Bill Battles. They obviously feel success on the gridiron or the hardwood is the most important criterion in determining that one is an "established authority." Today's Skinners are not rebelling against what Battle calls the inconsistency of our authority but are asking for a valid reason for not wearing a mustache or for running through a wall for old P.U.

Does Bob Woodruff really think a mustache means drugs? Should Groucho Marx be banned from TV along with Derek Sanderson? If sport is going to attract fans and athletes from a generation that leans toward mustaches, beards and long hair, if it is to offer an alternative to "dropping out and turning on," wouldn't it do a better job by letting some of its heroes adopt fashions that will appeal to that generation?

In reply to Tennessee Football Coach Bill Battle who says kids are rebelling against "inconsistency by established authority," I would say, rather, they are rebelling against the foolish consistency which, as Emerson said, "is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." Had Emerson lived longer, he might have added, "and little professors and athletic directors and coaches."
New Bedford, Mass.

In my opinion, Bill Skinner has no real problem. He had the choice of shaving off his mustache and competing for the university that is providing his education, or of keeping the handlebar and becoming independent. Skinner made his decision and should realize that his present status is the result of that decision and not the decision of the athletic department at Tennessee. Because he could not live within standards that hundreds of other athletes have been able to accept, I doubt that Skinner is as mature as Mr. Brown suggests.

Having been a captain of one of the minor sports at Tennessee, I realize how much athletes who participate in minor sport programs live in the shadow of the football and basketball players. Unfortunately, the minor sports are dependent upon football and basketball. Most athletes realize this and attempt to work within the system to improve their respective programs. However, there are a few, such as Skinner, who attempt to destroy the whole for their own selfish gains.
Warner Robins, Ga.

I find it almost impossible to believe that there are "educated" people who feel mustaches are an image of drug taking. If this is the case, some of this country's most respected citizens should be informed.
FPO San Francisco

The article An Old Hand With a Prospect (June 14) is the best I have ever read about the minor leagues. I never did know much about the minors or the men who play there. Now that I know how hard it can be to get there, I'll appreciate the major leagues even more.
Lockport, Ill.

Thanks for the fine tale by Pat Jordan and also for keeping me posted on Red Davis' whereabouts. Davis was probably the best manager I ever saw in 50 years of watching minor league ball. He did a gutty thing in Corpus Christi, Texas one night over 20 years ago: in the ninth inning of a tie ball game he put himself in to pinch-hit and promptly hit a home run. He richly deserves a shot at managing in the big leagues.

Your article on Woody Huyke, Bruce Kison and the Waterbury Pirates was a masterpiece, and I am extremely happy our Woody has gotten the attention from a national magazine that he deserves. When Woody was first sent here "Woody who?" was a familiar phrase around Municipal Stadium. But with his likable disposition and personality, Woody soon became one of the favorites, if not the favorite Pirate. With seven homers in his first 47 at bats he became an instant hero.

This season Woody is still with us, and I hope he will be here for many more. Woody is too good to share with the rest of the country.
Waterbury, Conn.

Robert Cantwell's enjoyable article on Mets organist Jane Jarvis (In the Mood—for Baseball, June 7) included a bonus for me—a mention of Ebbets Field's own Gladys Goodding, which triggered a stream of fond memories of a Brooklyn boyhood sprinkled with many live Goodding performances. There was probably no stronger starter in the game than Gladys in her prime. She could give The Star-Spangled Banner her all, knowing she didn't have to last the full nine innings because Ebbets had a great musical bullpen, the Brooklyn Sym-phony.

One game in particular stands out in my memory. It was April of 1946, and Gladys got things going in her usual fine style as a small but enthusiastic faithful settled down to watch Dodger Pitcher Ed Head face the Boston Braves. Ed Head! The classic American sports story: the young southpaw with tons of promise hurts his arm in a high school bus accident and is told he's through as a pitcher. Undaunted, Head learns to pitch all over again right-handed and fights his way to the big leagues. His second big chance comes on that April day in 1946, and he responds with a no-hitter against the Braves. What a thrill it was to be there!

What ever happened to Gladys Goodding and Ed Head?
Natick, Mass.

•Gladys Goodding, whose sporting music career spanned some 26 years at Ebbets Field and Madison Square Garden, died in 1963 at the age of 70. Ed Head, who had injured his right shoulder during a hitch in the Army the year before, pitched in only 13 games in 1946, winning three and losing two, then went on to become a minor league manager. He is now living in Bastrop, La.—ED.

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