My favorite alltime great golfer, "The Golden Bear," laid an egg in his article (Shorten the Tour, Improve the Game, May 13). Agreed, reduce the number of tournaments to the amount a pro would want to enter and still be at his peak—which he does now. What Jack Nicklaus fails to recognize, though, is that probably 99.9% of the lesser lights in the pro ranks are just as eager to win, too, and try just as hard to be competitive. Winning for them may be placing in the top 25. I feel the real golf fan follows the shots and scores of "also rans" on the tour who have never won the big one. How about Lee Elder's win a few weeks ago? Personally, I like to follow a name like Jerry McGee from week to week, and see him come on with some good rounds. And one of these weeks he will take a big one.
MS. vs. MR.
This is a comment on Pat Wilson's letter to you (19TH HOLE, May 6). Wilson said that Charlie Brown had girls on his team, and he has never won a game. True, but if you look across town you will see a team that always wins. This team's manager and star player is Peppermint Patty, a girl.
New Shrewsbury, N.J.
Have you noticed who the best player on Charlie Brown's team is? Not a boy or a girl, but a dog.
I would like to present a rebuttal to Barbara Greene's letter (April 29) concerning sportscasters. She contends that the most significant reason that sports news broadcasts are done poorly is because they are done by men. I find it incomprehensible that someone from the Boston area could make such an absurd statement. One of the local TV stations employs Barbara Borin as a sports-caster. By now she is better known as Borin' Barbara. Even a fellow sportscaster at the station has publicly denounced her ability to report sports. The sportscasters for the other two major networks are excellent. Both Len Berman and Don Gillis report the news accurately and in an interesting manner.
Your April 29 contributor to the 19TH HOLE, W. E. Hagenlocher, is right when he points out that Erich Hagenlacher (as he used to spell it) of Stuttgart, Germany, defeated Jake Schaefer in 1926 to reign briefly as world balkline billiard king, but he is wrong to state that he earned the right to challenge Schaefer by winning elimination matches with Cochran and Hoppe. All of the players in the 1925 world tournament, in which Hagenlacher finished third, were entitled to a challenge match with Schaefer, the tournament winner.
Mill Valley, Calif.
In a time when all that is written, which is very little, about international soccer concerns the present world champion, Brazil, it was refreshing to read Clive Gammon's story (Where a Cup Is Bigger Than a Stein, May 13) about the world champion-to-be: West Germany. With a relatively young team, as well as a very experienced one, the West Germans are without doubt in the best possible position. Their tremendous strength up the middle of the field should make all the difference. Starting with Sepp Maier, the goalie, and moving up the middle through Franz Beckenbauer, one of the world's best all-round players, to G√ºnter Netzer and, finally, Gerd M√ºller, the leading scorer in international soccer, the Germans should be unstoppable. The remainder of the team is an excellent balance of fast, strong defensemen, adept ball handlers and pinpoint passers.
Above all, it should be noted that the games will be played on West German soil and the home-team advantage is very important in soccer. I find it difficult to imagine that anyone other than Franz Beckenbauer will accept the World Cup trophy for his country. I certainly hope your fine magazine will continue its coverage of the most important sporting event of the year anywhere in the world.
Yes, Buck Dawson (Into the Pool with a Seal of Approval, April 29) as we remember him was indeed a most individualistic person! Apparently all 200 of his classmates at Officers Training School, Fort Benning, Ga., during World War II shared the same opinion. In a system where every officer candidate had to rate all the others, Buck found himself, after the first grading in May 1943, No. 200. At graduation in July he had, characteristically, risen to No. 1—quite a tribute from his classmates.
During field exercises, Buck didn't scale six-foot walls—he high-jumped them. Twenty-foot streams weren't forded—they were long-jumped. On the dreaded day, when every member of the class had to prove his all-round agility and stamina by running a tortuous obstacle course, Buck came breezing across the finish line in his typical clowning manner. The official timer, a young officer from the Infantry School Board, was outraged and chewed Buck out for obviously cheating as the elapsed time was "absolutely impossible." Not even breathing hard, Buck shouted, "Start the watch again!"—and away he went, establishing a new school record.
A week later the school's commanding general and his staff wanted to watch Buck make the run. You guessed it—another Infantry School record, and as far as I know, it still stands.
LIEUT. COLONEL JACK DEDERICK
Costa Mesa, Calif.
I have just finished reading your article (High, Y and Then Some, May 6) covering the National YMCA Swimming and Diving Championships, and I can honestly say I was appalled. You took a national championship and tore it to shreds.
We have never claimed to be as important as the AAU nationals, but the YMCA meet is not, as you put it, "a kind of wet three-ring circus." For many young swimmers this was the most important meet of their lives, and, as you admit, many Olympic swimmers began their careers as YMCA competitors. Without the Y swim program, the state of American swimming would be severely weakened.
It was disappointing to note Mr. Kirshenbaum's condescending attitude regarding the Y's swimming programs. Those of us who are not willing or able to relocate in order to affiliate our swimmers with an AAU swim club have to be content with upgrading our local Y's swim program. Those parents, and they are legion, who expend hours of their own free time in working with and improving our children's swim teams are thankful that there is a Y available, even with its imperfections.
But thanks anyway for an often-looked-for article on a wonderful event that I have learned to enjoy watching and working for.
Although I am not an avid fan of thoroughbred horse racing, your cover (I should say covers) on the May 13 issue intrigued me. Lay the cover down across its seam so that the back and front form one page. Cannonade won, but didn't the buckskin horse with the cowboy jockey come in second?
BARRY J. TRILLING
Santa Monica, Calif.
Thank you for the article on women's crew (May 13). As the cox of the girls' first boat at Phillips Exeter Academy, I've experienced the cold rains and hard work competitive rowing demands. We are the first officially recognized girls' varsity boat in the history of our school, and your title Don't Go Near the Water? Phooey! now occupies a place in the boathouse, and serves well to inspire us. Thank you again for the long-deserved recognition.
Your article was a tribute to both women's and men's crew, and we truly appreciate it.
But, come on, did your lower right-hand picture have to show No. 6 catching a crab?
LUCY CAMPBELL COE
University of Washington crew, 1909
(I have a picture to prove it.)
ROBERT CAMPBELL COE
University of Washington crew, 1937-40
VIRGINIA AUSTIN COE
University of Washington crew, 1971-72
Al Dark seems to have suffered a lapse of memory (Rhubarbs, Hassles, Other Hazards, May 13). Lou Brock was not playing for the Cardinals in 1961. Furthermore, perfect strikes from left field are not known to be in Brock's bag of tricks.
Apparently the caricature of Alvin Dark "storming" into Jackie Robinson was drawn from Alvin's memory. Most facts are correct. Sal Maglie was throwing at numerous Dodgers, Jackie did bunt, hoping to run up Maglie's back, Sal watched the play from the sanctity of the mound, Davey Williams was injured by Robinson, and Dark did try to avenge his teammate by sliding hard into Robinson at third base. However, I think the ball was jarred loose when Robinson tagged Dark hard on the forehead, which Alvin neglected to mention.
New York City
Did Whitney Tower and William Leggett watch the same Kentucky Derby?
In your May 13 issue Mr. Tower says that Buck's Bid's trainer found solace in the extreme outside post position. On the next page Mr. Leggett calls post position 23 (Buck's Bid's) the worst.
One of these noted gentlemen has slipped in his stirrups.
ON THE AIR
I very much enjoyed your new feature (TV/ Radio, May 6, by William Leggett). I feel that television and radio have become so vital to the success and enjoyment of sports that this column will be not only welcome but necessary.
Now that your Mr. Leggett has (correctly) gone out of his way to be so nice to NBC's hockey crew, I trust he will be equally fair to a lot of other TV sportscasters. Which means he should blast them for failing to keep their mouths shut for more than two seconds at a time, for repeating useless information and for filling the air with clichés. I vote for Rick Barry as the best new face in the business in a long time.
WRONG IS RIGHT
My sincerest compliments for the impressive scenic photography by Stephen Green-Armytage (The Right Place at the 'Wrong' Time, May 6). However, I wish to take exception to your "wrong" season, as you term it. You can have the summer with its heat, humidity and crowded beaches and expressways. I'll take the quiet off-season anytime. It is the perfect time to get away from the papier-maché simulation of the daily grind and find peace.
WILLIAM F. O'BRIEN
Address editorial mail to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, TIME & LIFE Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.