HOT STOVE: IT'S FAIR, IT'S FOUL
NATURALLY WAS INTERESTED IN ADMIRAL DANIEL GALLERY'S STORY ON RULES IN FEB. 4 ISSUE. WHILE RAISING SOME GOOD POINTS IT ALSO CONTAINS SEVERAL ERRORS. IN COLUMN ONE, LEAGUE PRESIDENTS ACT ON RULES PROTESTS, NOT COMMISSIONER. IN COLUMN THREE, SECTION ON RUNNER CRASHING PIVOTMAN AT SECOND BASE ON DOUBLE PLAY QUOTES WRONG RULE. SECTION 6.05 (M) APPLIES. IN PLAY DESCRIBED AT BOTTOM OP COLUMN THREE, BELIEVE UMPIRES COULD INVOKE POWER GIVEN THEM UNDER 9.01 (C) AND RULE DOUBLE PLAY BECAUSE OF DELIBERATE INTERFERENCE AND MAKING TRAVESTY OF GAME. IN COLUMN SIX DEALING WITH POP FOUL BALL ROLLING FAIR, STORY SAYS NO UMPIRE IN HIS RIGHT MIND WOULD CALL IT FAIR. IT IS DOUBTFUL IF ANY UMPIRE WOULD CALL IT OTHERWISE THAN FAIR BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT RULES SPECIFY.
J. G. TAYLOR SPINK
•Like any other good fan, Mr. Spink, publisher of baseball's authoritative Sporting News, is entitled to an educated opinion on the rules. On the everyday assault and battery that occurs around second base when the lead runner tries to break up a double play, section 6.05 (M) certainly fits as snugly as section 7.09 (F). On preventing a double play by fielding the ball and claiming to be hit by a batted ball, Larry Napp, American League umpire, recalls just such an ingenious oddity in an exhibition game last spring. With the bases loaded and one out, a sharp grounder was hit toward short. But Johnny Temple, the runner on second, scooped up the ball. Napp, who was calling second, could only rule Temple out as being hit by a batted ball. Would Mr. Napp rule an automatic double play if it happened again? "Certainly not," said he. "I'd be breaking the rules of the game." Mr. Spink is right in claiming that no umpire would admit to anything but a fair call on a pop foul rolling fair, but in actual play such balls are called foul again and again. Admiral Gallery should indeed have said "... protests are upheld by the league president as often as your grandmother gets a three-base hit." As the admiral did say, baseball is a complicated game.—ED.
HOT STOVE: ALL I CAN SAY
All I can say to Mr. William L. Baker of Kitzb√ºhel, Austria is Wilhelm, Schoendienst and Mueller for Crone, Thomson and O'Connell indeed! Your Giants haven't completely lost their minds, although the Braves would probably go out of theirs if they could make that deal.
HOT STOVE: NOT MY IDEA
In 19TH HOLE (SI, Jan. 28), William L. Baker said he was a wistful Giant fan, then proceeded to trade away everything but the bat boy.
Some of the trades I agree with. They would plug some holes. But trading Antonelli and getting Haddix to replace him is almost as bad as trading Mays for Frank Lane. O'Connell replacing Schoendienst would be funny if it were not so silly.
I am not a wistful Giant fan. I'm an optimistic one, just as long as they don't trade the best left-handed pitcher and the best second baseman in the league.
HOT STOVE: A GOOD MOVE FORWARD
I want to see any team in the league win the pennant except the Yankees. So in hopes of strengthening the leading contenders, I suggest that the Indians give up Carrasquel, Hegan and Busby to the Red Sox for Klaus, Stephens and Daley. Carrasquel could fill the hole at short for the Red Sox while Busby and Hegan would give them experienced depth. For the Indians Klaus could help at short and third and Stephens might be able to start in center field.
HOT STOVE: REASONABLE MAN
I am thoroughly disgusted with people who dream up fantastic trades, so I am going to spell out a reasonable order of finish in the AL:
1. Mickey Mantle.
2. Detroit (Frank Lary will have a good first half and a good second half).
3. Chicago (Minoso will spark).
4. Boston (The absence of a southpaw pitcher will cost them a good year).
5. Cleveland (No hitting).
7. Washington (No outfield—no hitting, which will mean a move to Los Angeles).
8. Kansas City (No pitching and no hitting. No team).
PENN STORY: THE LONELIEST MAN
Joel Sayre's article Pigskin at Penn: A Real-Life Drama (SI, Jan. 28) was extremely gratifying.
The underlying point of the issue is, why did George Munger resign after 17 years of outstanding success? Was it really his being in the dark as to the scheduling? George Munger had to face some 20-odd boys who had been informed that they were not going to receive financial aid although the university had led them to believe they would receive scholarships. To be accepted for a scholarship at an Ivy League school a fellow must wait till the middle of May to find out if the university has granted him aid. Waiting until the end of May is trying for a player who is being swamped with attractive offers from other universities, unless he has definitely set his sights on Penn. Such was the case for those 20-odd men. They wanted Penn and all that it stood for—an outstanding education, an Olympic tradition, and good rock-'em-sock-'em football. These were the traditions and beliefs that Munger and his staff had worked so hard to instill in Pennsylvania prospects. When Munger received the news of the board's decision I feel certain that he was the loneliest man in the world. All the honor and tradition came tumbling down because of a handful of officials who had kept Munger in the dark about the scheduling.
JAMES R. CASTLE
Lieut, jg., USNR
Captain, 1954 U. of P. football team
PENN STORY: PRESS WAR
Joel Sayre knows his Quaker oats. That was a fine piece on Penn football.
During the days of indecision between the end of the season and Coach Steve Sebo's new contract the local press played an interesting role.
The Inquirer devoted columns of type to the Warriors.
Bulletin Sports Editor Ed Pollock, Penn's professional self-appointed Old Grad, devoted columns to proving that he and some ex-All Americas of the beaver-coat era know more about football than Sebo. This included complete instructions on how to defense the split-T ("Crash the ends at the quarterback"). Oklahoma opponents take note.
Daily News Sportswriter Lew King championed Sebo's cause from the beginning. He showed, as Mr. Sayre did, that Sebo was the victim of the Stassen legacy and an empty pool of talent; that all through the un-Ivy Leagueish howling of some students and alumni, Midwesterner Sebo conducted himself like Ivy Leaguers like to think they do.
Dr. Harnwell did the rest.
Philadelphia Daily News
SKULDUGGERY ON THE CAMPUS
I was an associate sports editor of the Daily Pennsylvanian, the student newspaper at Penn, until the day Steve Sebo received another three-year contract as head football coach at the U. of P. About three weeks before the end of the season I wrote a story in the paper which began with "Steve Sebo's contract as head football coach at Pennsylvania should be renewed when it expires in January."
The Philadelphia Bulletin and Inquirer picked up the story and printed it in part on their sports pages.
I was suspended for the remainder of the semester and demoted for not showing "proper respect" for the college paper.
Sebo is a capable coach and is a fine man, as is evidenced by his refusal to utter a word for three years about the players he had at his disposal to meet the strong teams Perm faced. I am glad it is all over, and I hope this sort of thing never happens again on the Penn campus or at any other college or university in the future.
BANQUET CIRCUIT: TELL ANOTHER
I protest! As one who is called on to speak in public on sports, I protest the printing of the basic repertory of football jokes (E&D, Jan. 28).
This unfair broadside means that hundreds of writers, broadcasters and coaches will have to scurry for new material. But perhaps this is most humane to those who must listen. So, let's kill another one:
Tulsa Coach Bobby Dobbs is helping a big, strapping 6-foot 4-inch farmboy tackle prospect milk the cows and apparently doing famously in telling of the educational advantages of Tulsa U. The milking done, Dobbs grabs two pails to carry them to the house and conclude arrangements with the boy's mother who is supervising the churning. Lo, as the kitchen door opens Dobbs discovers the churner to be Bud Wilkinson.
•Fortunately, the supply of stories is nearly as inexhaustible as the capacity of the listeners to laugh at them. As a possibly new replacement there's the true one of a game the Los Angeles Rams lost to the Philadelphia Eagles back in 1949. A Ram owner, Ed Pauley, sure the team would win, brought a Pullman load of friends from the Coast to Philadelphia, including General Mark Clark. At the half the Eagles led 28-0, and Ram Assistant Coach Joe Stydahar was having a tough time adjusting defenses in the dressing room when the Ram owner and General Clark walked in. The general gave the team a 15-minute inspirational talk and when they kicked off to open the second half, the Eagles' Russ Craft returned the kickoff 103 yards for a touchdown, Vitamin Smith, in his first year with the Rams, turned to Stydahar on the bench and said, "Coach, ask the general what do we do now?"—ED.
BANQUET CIRCUIT: TELL IT AGAIN
Please refer to the story about the official and the offside penalty.
An 85-yard scoring play is called back for an offside. That means that play started on the 15-yard line.
Official paces off 5-yard penalty...that puts ball on 10-yard line.
Coach howls insult, "You stink." "Official...kept going for 15 more. He put the ball down, turned to the coach and called, "How do I smell from here?"
I'd say he smells like he was five yards behind the goal line!
What does your nose say?
•Obviously our coach had lost his notes.—ED.