Melvin Maddocks' article on Fenway Park (All You Ever Wanted in a Ball Park—and Less, Sept. 15) captured the spirit of Boston's old ball yard with such uncanny accuracy that I am still a bit awestruck. His appreciation for the park's simple design and his insight into the Jekyll-Hyde disposition of Fenway's faithful suggest that Maddocks has been a frequent visitor to Tom Yawkey's "toy." Certainly, nothing less than an invitation to view a game or two from Yawkey's private box would now be appropriate, especially during the World Series.
PETER J. KAPLAN
Pity the baseball fan who never gets to see a game in Fenway Park. I waited a dozen years for the chance and finally got it in 1973. My wife and I planned our honeymoon around an Indians trip to Boston and, for me, it was the highlight of the vacation—uh, aside from my wife. I'm not a Red Sox fan, but I sure am a Fenway fan.
As a kid I frequented Fenway Park as often as my father would take me. We always sat out in the left-field stands. I remember watching Ted Williams run back to catch a long fly in the corner and seeing my hero totally disappear from sight. I remember watching Frank Sullivan pitch, but having to peek around a pole to see if the batter swung.
According to Melvin Maddocks, "There are simply no bad seats." When did he ever go to Fenway and where did he sit? Last weekend I saw the Red Sox on TV and some things strangely resembling those nasty old poles were still there. Maybe it was only a mirage. Then again, maybe the Red Sox are only a mirage.
DAVID J. FOURNIER
September 28, 1975
I particularly enjoyed the description of the booing and mock cheering that Boston fans indulge in. The topper came this year when Gorman Thomas of the Brewers broke his consecutive strikeout record by hitting into a double play. When Thomas returned to his position in center field, he received a standing ovation from the bleacher crowd. Where else could such a thing happen but in cozy Fenway?
KING OF THE RING
I couldn't agree more with your Sept. 15 cover story ("There Ain't No Others Like Me"). Don King is boxing's new Barnum. The only difference I see is that instead or one sucker being born every minute, it would appear that there are two or three. It's enough to keep me from spending my good money to see Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier fight.
West Hempstead, N.Y.
While the "quintessential" Don King comes across like a street-corner jive artist, I can only applaud the fact that he is making more money for Muhammad Ali.
A. C. Louis
Now that you've written Don King's life story, how about writing Muhammad Ali's? I suggest you title it, How to Succeed in Turning the Sport of Boxing into a One-Ring Circus Without Really Giving a Damn.
I've never approved of Muhammad Ali's tactics outside of the ring, but I can say one thing for him: over the years he has helped keep alive a sport that has been sagging, and maybe in the end that's what counts.
MICHAEL P. MARCHAND
IVY OR BIG TEN
We at Michigan State University very much appreciate the attention given our football team in advance of the 1975 season (College Football '75, Sept. 8), but in his article about Ivy League football George Plimpton made a couple of factual fumbles that we Spartan fans would like to recover.
Plimpton quotes former MSU Coach Duffy Daugherty as saying that athletic scholarships here were based on need—on the need we had for the player. That is a catchy phrase but, according to those who were around at the time, the correct quotation given in regard to a newly adopted conference policy was: "The new Big Ten grant-in-aid is based on need, and, boy, do we need it."
Another reference in the article indicates that athletics at MSU dictate admission policies, a completely inaccurate and gratuitous implication by an Ivy League coach. I am sure that we have lost many fine athletes because our admission standards are too high, standards in no way established by our athletic department. I might note, too, that over recent years, MSU has far exceeded Harvard in the number of National Merit Scholars enrolled.
As an undergraduate at Harvard ('47), I am fully aware of its academic excellence and the pleasant fall football weekends there. However, I hope that Plimpton (Harvard '48) will strive a bit more for accuracy when writing about football as played outside his league.
CLIFTON R. WHARTON JR.
Michigan State University
East Lansing, Mich.
What's the greatest rip-off in the country today? Oil prices? Bread prices? Nothing like that. It's being charged admission to an Ivy League football game.
ROBERT J. FOISEY
East Hartford, Conn.
Whenever one arbitrarily picks the best of any group, be it pro quarterbacks or zoological parks, one must be ready to bear the wrath of those overlooked (Whose Zoo?, Sept. 15). I would not presume to choose among the zoos presented, but omitting the Milwaukee County Zoological Park was a monumental gaffe.
RAYMOND C. ZASTROW, M.D.
I have seen the San Diego Zoo, and it doesn't rate with our Detroit Zoo.
JAMES F. MOONEY
Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.
Although our Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas is not one of the oldest (circa Sept. '71), it is one of the most beautiful anywhere.
JOHN H. WALKER
You wasted not one or two but 11 pages on animal life, instead of using them for sport.
San Jose, Calif.
I read with extreme interest your article introducing the versatile Golden Gate National Recreation Area (Gateway to Heaven, Aug. 25). I was a young boy of five when my father was first stationed at Fort Baker, the small post nestled below the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge. And for the next seven years my family lived in the humble quarters of Fort Barry, which overlooked Rodeo Lagoon and the vast Pacific Ocean.
The brush-covered hills surrounding our home seemed to my brothers and me more mysterious than the Himalayas. Whenever we got an itch to explore, we started climbing. The panoramic view of San Francisco from our backyard hilltop always gave us cause for wonder. How come hundreds of thousands of people crowded together over there and left us with our little paradise over here? I thought I was the luckiest kid in the world.
Now I'm a student at the University of San Francisco, and the creation of the national recreation area means that we will always have our little paradise. I'm still the luckiest kid in the world.
The area just north of San Francisco is the world's worst for poison ivy and poison oak. One can contract either by staying in the car and merely driving through the "Gateway to Heaven."
J. B. ALMOND
TIME AND A HALF
In FOR THE RECORD (Sept. 8) you stated that "New England jostled Green Bay 20-17 in overtime." You really meant sudden-death overtime. There is a big difference. Overtime is what your staff probably had to work the week of the Labor Day holiday in order to publish your Sept. 8 issue on schedule. Sudden death is what happens when you rate Alabama second in the country and it promptly loses its first game to unranked Missouri.
KENNETH A. DEAN
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