TV BASEBALL (CONT.): PITTSBURGH
Mr. Fred Wilson of Detroit (19TH HOLE, MAY 27) has started something—better than hot-stove discussions! He has nominated two of his own baseball announcers as president and vice-president of the Never Give the Score Club, and you replied that nominations are open. Here in Pittsburgh, the home, or rather the hiding place, of the Fighting Bucs, I proudly give you our two baseball announcers, men with sonorous, excitement-tinged voices, who can dramatically outlung Harry (every play is a crisis) Wismer and Bill (Orson Welles) Stern, but unfortunately pride themselves on telling you yesterday's events with tomorrow's chances while today's game is in progress. Our No. 1 boy is chairman of the board of the "All opponent home runs are wind-blown flies" corporation and also president of "All opposition singles hit lucky pebbles or air pockets" association. Our No. 2 man, who actually has a less aggravating voice, shares the crown with No. 1, as co-head of "We may know nuttin' about baseball but, boy, we're dramatic" club.
E. N. ARONSON, D.D.S.
TV BASEBALL: DETROIT REVISITED
In reply to Fred Wilson's letter concerning the alleged deficiencies of Van Patrick and Mel Ott, the Detroit Tiger TV and radio announcers, I have been listening to the Tiger broadcasts for several years and have never been kept in the dark for more than five minutes as to "what's the score?"
Both Mr. Ott and Mr. Patrick are intelligent observers of the game, and—to me, most important—they do not insert blatant commercialism into every play, such as "that drive hit the Wheaties sign on the left-field fence."
TV BASEBALL: VOICE OF EXPERIENCE
I wonder if any of your readers noticed a remarkable broadcasting alertness on the part of Phil Rizzuto, the old Yankee shortstop now on TV, in the game between the Yankees and Kansas City at the Stadium on May 16. A broadcaster's job is to report what is going on in the field, explaining what is shown on the TV screen, but Rizzuto in this instance went them one better by describing a critical play before it happened, aided of course by his years of experience in baseball.
In the second inning of this game, Turley, the Yankee pitcher, started out by passing the first two men to face him, and Kellner, the next man up, naturally bunted to speed them on their way. The bunt went up instead of down, however, and the ball had hardly met the bat when Rizzuto excitedly called out, "Why, it's going to be a triple play!" And that is how the play developed. The ball went into an easy popup straight at the pitcher, Turley caught it on the fly to make the first out, whirled and slammed it to McDougald at second base to catch the runner on his way back from third, and the shortstop shot it to first base, covered by Bobby Richardson, the second baseman, in time to catch the runner there who was returning from his trip to second base. The whole play was over in almost less time than it takes to describe it, but little Phil had foreseen it from the start. The first triple play in almost two years went into the books—one of the prettiest and rarest plays in baseball.
THEODORE W. KNAUTH
TV BASEBALL: DIZMANTICS
Please add to your growing list of Dean-isms (E & D, May 6; 19TH HOLE, May 20) one I picked up on the first Game of the Week telecast of this season. Dizzy referred to Buddy Blattner's dwelling as his "homecile." It took me a week to recover.
L. E. BRACKEN
DREAM RACE FOR SPRINTERS
I would like to suggest a series of three dream races for sprinters. There aren't many big races for sprinters, so the competitors will be the cream of the crop. The ideal time for such a group of races would be in August, at a midwestern track, probably Washington Park.
Swoon's Son, Decathlon, the Claiborne fillies and anything that Calumet has to offer will be stabled at Washington. Also, Hollywood Park will just have closed, so Mister Gus, Find and Bobby Brocato will all be heading for Chicago. And since the Carter Handicap will have already been run, Nance's Lad and Jet Action will be free to come. Boston Doge, now making a comeback, has no set schedule in New England, so he'll be able to make it. If some of these can't race, such able substitutes as Blessbull and Decimal can be called in, while Sea O Erin and Dogoon will be on the grounds at Washington.
I think these races should be run under equal weights. And if the weights were about 118 or 120, there could be no excuses. The best distances are 6, 6½ and 7 furlongs.
Highland Park, Ill.
•A start toward the imaginative dream races outlined by Mr. Resnick was made by Suffolk Downs's John Pappas, who offered to stage a match race between the two sensational sprinters Boston Doge and Decathlon for a winner-take-all purse of $30,000 over six furlongs at 122 pounds. Boston Doge's owner has accepted, but Rollie Shepp, trainer of Decathlon, declared his horse not yet ready. But there is hope.—ED.
DERBY: ALL HEART
Congratulations on your coverage of the Kentucky Derby. And thanks especially for being one of the few publications to give Iron Liege due credit. Regardless of what Gallant Man might have done if Shoemaker hadn't goofed, how can the sportswriters overlook the magnificent race run by Iron Liege? He's all heart.
GERALD A. KARLIN
DERBY: PROPHET OF DOOM
Your clear "visualance" startles me. You succeeded in calling the turn on Iron Liege at 9,066 to 1 in the February 25, 1957 issue.
Even more amazing to me was Mr. F. E. White's prediction of Willie Shoemaker's skull in your May 6 Derby Preview Issue (see cartoon below).
HARRY G. PATTERSON
He leads with nothing much to spare,
But watch his speed diminish.
He's taking time to comb his hair—
In case of a photo finish.
MURRAY'S LAW: VOICE FROM THE BISTRO
James Murray's piece, Fame Is for Winners (Special Baseball Issue, April 15), is important only as an example of specious-ness, sophistry and arrant nonsense (as your readers wrote in your April 29th issue), and entirely out of place in your excellent columns.
Having made a big error, you made another by (defensively) calling it "Murray's Law." Murray has established no law and has built only a highly prejudiced flimsy shell. To a writer, the hollowness of his case is clearly indicated by his style.
There is no question but that the Hall of Fame needs new standards; the qualifications for election originally were too loose and elastic (something reminiscent of the baseball writers themselves), but Mr. Murray is disqualified from serving on any board to establish new standards.
And if you want to make something of it, pray proceed in my direction! I have cohorts deployed in saloons and bistros all over the continent.
H. H. DOBBERTEEN
White Plains, N.Y.
MURRAY'S LAW: THE AWAKENING
Like the citizen who failed to vote, then awakes to find the wrong candidates elected, I was appalled at the box score on Murray's Law (19TH HOLE, May 20).
If you are still counting, add my vote to those in favor of Murray's Law.
Most of those opposed to the law seem to have the dubious distinction of not being Yankee fans. Poor things!
•An awakened citizenry has shifted the scoffer-believer ratio from 5:1 to 4:1.—ED.
A LITTLE NOTE
Just a little note to tell you that one of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S most interested readers doesn't really like sports! But the magazine is so well put together with such beautiful photographs and illustrations—with such a tremendously varied line-up of events—that it is of interest even to me. In a way it is a travel magazine done in a highly literary style.
The juxtaposition of Aly Khan and Mickey Mantle, Forest Hills, the Bois de Boulogne, Madison Square Garden and Cortina d'Ampezzo is fascinating.
I have saved many of the wonderful photographs (including Toni Sailer!).
CHICAGO: FOOTBALL OBJECTIONS
We hope you have not given your readers the impression that the student body of the University of Chicago (E&D, May 20) favors the return of football. Such is not the case.
The campus is sharply divided on the football question, with at least as many, if not more, against football's return as for it. At the recent rally only about 200 football advocates were present. More than 5,000 students are enrolled at this university. These figures help to indicate the lack of student support for football.
The primary objections to football's return are based on two observations. First, too many educational institutions seem to consider football an enterprise for professionals, not a sport for college students. You are probably much better acquainted with this aspect than we. Second, the University of Chicago has alumni who can remember this school as a great football power and are financially able and apparently willing to return Chicago to its former position. Given these conditions, we feel the return of football would be incongruous with the educational goals of this university.
JOEY AND MIKE
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED stated (SCOREBOARD, April 1) that Sid Flaherty is the manager of Joey Giambra, whom I have managed for the past nine years and will do so until he retires. I have moved my stable of fighters out here to San Francisco and intend to stay here. With all due respect to Sid Flaherty, he has nothing whatsoever to do with Joey Giambra or any of my other boys. I think you have a great magazine, enjoy reading it.
•Mr. Scanlan is correct.—ED.
E&D POET FORESAW DERBY BLUNDER