LITTLE LEAGUE: ENLARGE THE GOOD
Your two articles about Little League Baseball (SI, Aug. 19, 26) were excellent in almost every way. This is the first time, to my knowledge, that a national publication has presented the subject with accuracy and forthrightness.
The over-all good of Little League, and there is much of it, far outweighs the bad, and, unfortunately, there is some of that. We in Little League shall continue to make the good even larger.
HENRY N. JOHNSTON
National Board of Directors
Little League Baseball, Inc.
Long Beach, Calif.
LITTLE LEAGUE: YES
As a mother in the throes of debating whether to let her teen-age son participate in Little League baseball next year, I am particularly thankful for your articles. All in all, I am now inclined to say "yes" where a month ago I would have said "no."
MRS. ALICE HERKLE
LITTLE LEAGUE: ADULTS ONLY
The worst drawback of Little League baseball is that it puts the kids' recreation entirely under the close supervision and control of adults, thus ruining the kids' initiative and greatly reducing their enjoyment of the game.
FREDERIC B. CLEAVES
THE "HAMBO": INCIDENTALLY...
A bouquet to you folks regarding the article The "Hambo" Hits DuQuoin by Jeremiah Tax (SI, Aug. 19).
I hereby quote Charles C. Marshal Jr., one of the associate editors of The Harness Horse, a magazine devoted to Standard-bred horses only:
"Incidentally, Jerry Tax's preview of the big race in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED was the best ever presented in a mass-circulation magazine." Thought you'd like to know.
RAY W. ROSING
GOLF: WRITER'S WRITER
In spite of the fact that Paul O'Neil told me he knew nothing at all about golf, I think he did a superb job (Flags in the Front Yard, SI, Aug. 12). Obviously he is a topflight craftsman. If you are that, well, then you can write on any subject.
I like his literary style. In fact, I like everything about the piece. Oh, I would argue with him over two or three minor points. But that's unimportant. The main thing is that the article was turned out by a man who knows what to do with words.
GOLF: SONGS MY CADDIE TAUGHT ME
I am fresh from a triumph I can only attribute to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. After reading all of Hogan's lessons (The Modern Fundamentals of Golf, SI, March 11, el. seq.), I blazed home with an 83 to tie for low net in the annual Sunpapers Golf Tournament. Low gross escaped me only because Hogan forgot to write what I consider a vital chapter: "How, after Slicing into the Woods, Hitting a Tree, and Having Ball Come to Rest on a Root, to Avoid Taking a Triple Bogey." It's nothing personal, mind you. I admire Hogan, and he did take 10 strokes off my game. But if a man's going to write he ought to do a thorough job.
•It is for such as Mr. Cave that M-G-M records have grooved the platter shown below.—ED.
TENNIS: THE PUBLIC EYE
Your cover story on Althea Gibson (Sept. 2) helped clear up some serious misunderstandings concerning the top tennis champion of this country.
I think that there was a general feeling of good will toward Althea Gibson after her smashing victory at Wimbledon. However, she created an impression of aloofness and high-handedness when she returned to the States. I realize now that her manner was no doubt a result of shyness and a longstanding inferiority complex, but someone should get it across to her that she is now in the public eye and must show a little warmth and reaction to people who only wish her well. Her suspicious nature won't take her far into the hearts of sports fans.
E. W. BENETT
BASEBALL: GHOST WRITER
If Heywood Broun had been alive when the news broke of Horace Stoneham's move to the Pacific Coast (SI, Sept. 2), I, an old New York World reader, can imagine him writing a column that might have started off something like this:
"And there were no Giants any more in the city of New York. There was Willie Mays for a few more thrilling nights in the chill of almost empty grandstands. There were Antonelli on the Polo Grounds turf and big Hank Sauer and the ignited Spencer, and deep in the black of the bench under the shadow of the peak of his cap was Dusty Rhodes."
But for how long can an old master's ghost guide an old reader's writing arm? Only Broun could have finished a column that would have done justice to the epic character of the subject.
ERNEST S. GREEN
TENNIS: STUDENTS OF THE GAME
For some time and with much inquiring among tennis enthusiasts (of whom I am one), I've tried to find out the history of tennis scoring. Everyone replies at once, "Oh! tennis started in France," and adds one or two irrelevant remarks, but no one can tell me why "15-30"; "deuce," not "even" or "45 all" and then game; why "vantage in or out." Where did it all originate?
LOUISE B. RHODES
•Lawn tennis, according to the William M. Fischer Lawn Tennis Library ("...for students of the game"), was originally scored up to 15 points as in racquets. The present odd scoring system was first adopted officially in England in June 1877 and here about 1880, but no one really knows its rationale. The first book on tennis was written in 1555 by the Venetian Antonio Scaino, and in it he reminisced that as long as he could recall "each stroke won scored 15 for the winner." The use of the term love to mean zero is a mystery, but as far back as the year 971 "love" was used to mean "nothing." Certainly this usage never did either l'amour or the game any good. Malcolm D. Whitman, tennis historian, wrote that the term "gave the general public an early impression that there was something languorous or lovesick in its form of exercise."—ED.
SHOOTING: LESSONS WANTED
I enjoyed your article on Pete Rademacher (SI, Aug. 19) very much. But much more interesting to me was the paragraph about Lucky McDaniel.
Being a very amateur marksman, I would welcome a lesson in shooting both the rifle and the pistol from the hips.
ROBERT U. RICE
I have been somewhat of a marksman for several years and seem to hold up my end in these parts, but man—how do I find this fellow, I want a lesson. I'm serious, please let me know.
J. B. ASHCROFT III
San Benito, Texas
•Mr. McDaniel, who "can teach anyone, even a small child, even women, even you" to consistently knock a dime out of the air, can be reached c/o Alike Jennings, at Field and Fireside, Columbus, Ga.—ED.