THE WALL (CONT.): IN PROSE AND POETRY
We have a question concerning a rule interpretation in the magnificent Los Angeles Coliseum.
Say the Phillies are at bat and the Smogville nine is in the field. Runners are on first and second with none out, and Ted Kazanski comes to bat. He hits a high pop-up within easy range of the shortstop, and the umpire immediately calls: "Batter out! Infield fly rule!" But, lo, the ball falls on the other side of the screen, just out of the shortstop's reach. Wha' happens?
ALBION L. PAYSON
PETER D. RELIC
•The ball is ruled walteromalley, the runners advance one base and the batter gets his nickel back.—ED.
REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM
This is the screen that O'Malley built.
This is the ball that looped over the screen.
This is the bat that propelled the ball.
This is the little boy that swung the bat.
This is the absurd thing: that a little boy could have swung that bat.
THE REV. CONRAD DIEKMANN, O.S.B.
I can only say that many of your readers, including myself, are tired of reading your complaints regarding the Los Angeles Coliseum. I suppose that I should realize you Eastern diehards spoke similarly about professional football. I guess you are entitled to a mistake once in a while.
The thing that really got my goat in Mr. Terrell's article of May 5 was his statement: "Los Angeles is often considered part of the civilized world." Tell me one thing please: Where do you dig those smart fellers up?
MARK DU BOURDIEU
Long Beach, Calif.
•Roy Terrell, only partially civilized by his own estimate, was born in Kingsville, Texas (home of the King Ranch), educated at Texas College of Arts and Industries and the University of Texas (slightly more civilized) and before joining SPORTS ILLUSTRATED worked for six years as a newspaperman in Corpus Christi, a booming Gulf Coast industrial and resort city fast attaining a veneer of civilization which has not yet completely obscured its cattle origins. "Thank heavens," says Terrell.—ED.
BASEBALL: THEORY AND PRACTICE
I want to congratulate Walter Bingham and Richie Ashburn for collaborating on a very interesting and fine article (Big League Secrets, May 19). Richie Ashburn in his article on base running stated that he always tags up whether he is on first, second or third base, hoping for an overthrow from the outfield. In a subsequent Phillie-Pirate double-header, in the first inning of the second game, Ashburn led off with a single. When the next batter hit a routine fly to center, Ashburn faked a tag and Virdon whipped the ball over the second baseman's head, allowing Ashburn to make second. He went on to score on the next batter's single. After this, the pitcher seemed rattled and bothered by Ashburn's tactics. The Phillies knocked out the starting pitcher in the third inning and won by a good margin. Ashburn also made some thrilling catches to aid the Phillies.
This should convince some of the readers of your magazine who don't get to see major league baseball that Ashburn, not a power hitter nor gifted with a great arm, is one of the best, if not the best, center-fielders in the major leagues!
Bala Cynwyd, Pa.
BASEBALL: THANKS, BUT NO THANKS
Although we rarely get upset enough to write ill-tempered letters to magazines, Mr. Edward F. Miles' letter (19TH HOLE, May 26) has soured our already-acid stomachs.
We fail to understand how anyone from Roslyn, L.I., New York can be disturbed about the wrongs done to the people of New York City by the withdrawal of the NL teams. What about the wrongs done to the people of Roslyn and other Long Island communities by the New Yorkers? Just get that Jamaica Station thing straightened out first in "the world's greatest city!"
Obviously, egghead fan Miles has not looked at this problem "cogently." We suggest that the journey to Ebbets Field (with a change at Jamaica) was every bit as long as the journey today to Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia. We, of Philadelphia, cordially invite Mr. Miles—if he's a true fan—to come down to Philadelphia soon to see the Dodgers and realize for himself how little wrong has been done to the "millions" he claims to speak for.
D. M. BENFORD
R. P. TYSON
•Brooklyn at Philadelphia? Like most of us eggheads, Mr. Miles was and is a Giant fan.—ED.
ARCHERY: QUESTION AND ANSWER
Will a 52-pound bow shoot an arrow one mile?
OLYMPICS: TICKET SALES
I notice in your May 19 issue a description of the plans being made for the 1960 Olympics in Rome.
We have been planning for some time to attend the Olympics in Rome and wish to assure ourselves of good seats for the track and field and swimming events.
E. J. JUSTUS
•Tickets will go on sale in September through the offices of the American Express Company, which has been designated to handle ticket sales in the U.S.—ED.
DOGS: THE CONTROVERSIAL DOBERMAN
As a Doberman owner, breeder and member of the Doberman Pinscher Club of Chicagoland, I certainly wish to thank you for your common-sense article (The Doberman pinscher: darling...or devil?, SI, May 12). This is one of the most well-written, concise explanations of this breed I have come across in a long time. Too many people, as stated in your article, are attracted by this dog's elegance and sophistication but have little or no knowledge of the breed itself.
Congratulations to Virginia Kraft for an enlightening, unhysterical conception of the Dobe as he really is.
Oak Lawn, Ill.
Doberman a darling? Not according to my posterior! Back in 1952, we arrived late at the Palmyra Inn, final check point of a Central N.Y. Sports Car Rally. I jumped out with score sheet, rushed headlong for the door of the inn, but never made it. Flashing teeth from out of nowhere caught me quite unawares from behind. Several shots later, one tetanus, I felt better, but my opinion of Dobermans remains at a very low point.
STEPHEN G. CLARKE
We are an average family, in an average neighborhood. There is nothing either mystic or psychic in our communication with the animal kingdom, nor do either my husband or I claim any unusual patience or talent in the dog-training field. We own a Doberman; we bought her when she was five months old, and she is now a little over 4 years old. We've owned dogs before, trained them and loved them, but never have we given our hearts or come to depend on any of them as we have with Charm.
Charm hates rain and snow; on such days, she prefers to remain in the house. Yet, if the children go out, she will insist on going with them, no matter what the weather, and will stay with them, looking miserable but determined!
At various times we have had cats and therefore batches of kittens. Our cats soon learned that Charm was an excellent baby sitter and would leave very tiny kittens in her charge; they were always most carefully tended and defended.
Charm doesn't get into dogfights, but once she saved me from a nasty attack by a dog in my own yard; he was a large and fierce German shepherd who leaped at me as I came out the door, but Charm was too quick for him. He went home a sadder and wiser dog, and never came near our yard again.
She is a dear friend, a dependable guardian and a lady in every sense of the word.
JOAN L. FRAZIER
After reading your article about the Doberman pinscher I was still unconvinced: darling...or devil?
But then the same evening, pure coincidence, came the news story of the little girl strangled to death by a Doberman in Toronto.
Now I am convinced; it is a devil.
LUCIEN A. GIROUX
We stress that not everyone should own a Doberman, and are extremely careful about the placing of pups. Our tendency is to call a Dobe a "full-time" dog, not one to be played with occasionally or brought out to be shown with pride and then stuck away. However, all Dobes are not alike. There is a definite hereditary factor in temperament, and one of the really good reasons to look for Dobes from reputable kennels is temperament. In our area, in the last 10 years, I have known of seven Dobes of such temperament that they were put away. In each case, they were from backyard breedings.
This same problem arises in other breeds.
FRANK H. GROVER
President, Doberman Pinscher Club of Chicagoland, Inc.
Louis Dobermann in Apolda, Germany, not a "dogcatcher" but the night policeman in that town, realized the need for an alert guard dog to help him make his rounds. In order to foster this ideal, he helped breed, with a few exceptions, the most intelligent, docile and human-loving dog in the world—the Doberman pinscher.
Having loved dogs since I was a child, I have been bitten by most of the rest, but never by the best—the Doberman pinscher, although I have owned nine of them.
A Doberman is neither "ruled" nor "mastered," because he cannot be nor need be!
LAWRENCE A. FREEMAN
The Derby City Doberman Pinscher Club
Waverly Hills, Ky.
•Our mailbag seems to prove Virginia Kraft's statement: "...depending upon who is telling the story, the Doberman emerges as either a darling or a devil. In truth, he is neither."—ED.
CREW: WEST COAST ADDENDA
Your article on Jim Rathschmidt of Yale (SI, May 5) is very fine, but the remarks on West Coast rowing, while true, are not all-inclusive.
You must not overlook Frank Read of the University of British Columbia and his excellent showings in the Empire Games of 1955, at Melbourne in 1956 and Newport Harbor from 1950 to 1955.
Nor should you overlook Lou Lindsey of Stanford and his excellent showing on the Coast against everyone and at the IRA in the last four years.
Also, Bob Hillen's 1958 varsity at USC, which is his best effort, having defeated UCLA's varsity three times this spring and the Stanford varsity once.
SURFING: $85 PICTURE
After reading your excellent article on Australian surfing (SI, March 10), I was compelled to send you this photograph (see above). It was taken from atop the pier at Huntington Beach, Calif., by an amateur photographer, Stan Booth, in January of this year.
The surfer in the picture is Steve Mitakis, ex-national champion tumbler (1955), who is currently gymnastic coach at Anaheim High School and a fellow faculty member.
It was hair-raising to see the wave break on him and carry him underwater, miraculously missing the pilings, to the other side of the pier.
Aside from being a little dazed and waterlogged, Steve was unscathed by this experience, except for the fact that this picture is a constant reminder that his $85 surfboard was splintered on the pilings.
Anaheim High School
Your article in the May 5 issue on the new jet powerboats was most interesting but also alarming in a way. The bottom design of the Detroit boat by Mr. Staudacher is reminiscent of the first three-point suspension design of George Crouch, circa 1930. This was a brilliant conception but, because of the location of the single point forward, was fundamentally unstable, particularly in turns. I believe it was Mr. Arno Apel of the Ventnor (N.J.) Boat Works who first used this idea in reverse, i.e., two points forward and the single point aft which has been used by every really successful racing hydroplane. This arrangement is basically stable and is fundamentally the same as that used by Campbell and proposed for the Seattle boat. It is certainly to be hoped that the design of the Detroit boat incorporates some wrinkle, not shown in your sketch, to make it stable in cornering. Otherwise an expensive and dangerous flip would seem to be indicated.
C. J. STOVER
•Les Staudacher says that his boat was designed to lick the flipover problem and not to create it. He placed the two planing surfaces astern in order to get maximum support where the engine weight is concentrated. This keeps the boat relatively high in the stern so that the engine can be set low to give the boat a lower center of gravity and therefore greater stability in the turns. The fact that there is only one planing surface forward allows Staudacher to streamline the bow so that the air will not get under and flip the boat.—ED.
SQUASH: COACH'S COMMENT
Your last squash article worked me up to the pitch of actually subscribing.
I wish also to say that I am an extremely fussy critic of write-ups about squash, since most of them just say something ridiculous—such as how Salaun powers Mateer off the court—showing the writer knows nothing of his subject. Therefore I was very pleased indeed to note that your article showed a real appreciation of the game in almost all its aspects. I hope to see more reporting on racquet games.
Best wishes and congratulations on a fine job.
South Lincoln, Mass.