WIND IN THE OPEN
Bill Talbert has designed five exceptionally intelligent and concrete proposals for the growth of American tennis (Open Letter to the USLTA, Feb. 5).
As an enthusiastic spectator and as a junior participant, I especially agree with three of his major propositions: that top tennis ability should receive encouragement, that experienced tournament players should be included in the governing body of American tennis and that the best talent available, regardless of either professional or amateur status, should represent this nation and other participating countries in the Davis Cup competition. Talbert's fine propositions should be employed as part of a master plan to meet the crisis.
JOHN A. MACKENZIE
Fresh Meadows, N.Y.
It may be of interest to note that precisely one year ago I wrote the president of the USLTA a personal and confidential letter expressing much the same recommendations. It is indeed very gratifying to me that a publication of your prestige shares my views.
The whole USLTA meeting (SCORECARD, Feb. 12) could be accurately reported in just four words: "Big wind; no rain." Subsequent events will prove or disprove my analysis.
However, I have one other opinion to express. Let those who would criticize or attempt to rectify the situation within the USLTA as it now exists do so with no personal ax to grind but only with a sincere desire to promote the game.
FREDERICK R. SCHROEDER JR.
La Jolla, Calif.
SQUIRMY AND SALTY
Gilbert Rogin's Fish and Mugwumps (Feb. 5) was so squirmy it made the sole I was about to eat jump right onto the page.
LEE C. BRIGHT
Hats off to Captain Gifford! Reading of the high regard he holds for the life of our magnificent salt-water gamefish should warm the heart of anyone who truly loves fish and fishing.
East Palestine, Ohio
In dealing with the tragic passing of the Southern Association of Baseball Clubs (SCORECARD, Feb. 5), you stated that "major league clubs just cannot afford affiliations with minor clubs that reject Negro players." That statement, in itself, is true. The implication, however—that Southern Association clubs reject Negro players—is in error.
For 61 years the Southern Association operated—and for the most part flourished—under segregation. In recent years there was no other choice because of state and local laws governing conditions in some of our member cities. This was never a league rule about the matter.
Before the end of the 1961 season, when a federal court pronounced most of those laws unconstitutional, the clubs themselves individually took immediate action, and every major league club was informed that henceforth Southern Association clubs would accept Negro players.
In the last several years several major league clubs had informed us that the restriction on Negro players prevented them from placing working agreements in our league. Upon receipt of this order to integrate, many of these clubs wrote saying that it was a "wise move," and that now we should have no trouble in obtaining working agreements.
Isn't it strange that now, the first year that the bars are down, we were refused working agreements and were forced to suspend operation?
President, Southern Association of Baseball Clubs
Your footwear feature was fine (SPORTING LOOK, Feb. 12) but, alas, the "trim canvas-and-rubber Newmarket boots (Miller's)" cost $18, not $8.
New York City
•Our (typographical) error.—ED.
Wow! First you publish those magnificent hockey scenes taken inside the goals (Jan. 22) and now you do almost the same thing for basketball (The Ubiquitous Hands of Mr. C, Feb. 5)! What a fine portrayal of a magnificent athlete the Chamberlain shots were. Bravo John Zimmerman! Bravo Wilt Chamberlain! Bravo SPORTS ILLUSTRATED!
Congratulations on the fine article, The Hand-off (Jan. 29). In those wonderful words and Mark Kauffman's still more wonderful pictures you have caught the true spirit of man's oldest and best-loved sport: the foot race.
THOMAS N. TOBIN
I was particularly disappointed in your fine magazine these past weeks: Kansas City, for some time a butt for humor in your pages, had its first professional championship in 15 years, and you failed to mention it. Granted 1) that the American Basketball League is new, 2) that your article on last year's NCAA finals shed good light on our town and 3) that you have basically ignored the ABL, a theory I can't totally disagree with at this time. Still, Kansas City's Steers deserve some mention. They beat a team composed of several acceptable if erratic NBA players, three holdovers from last year's AAU champions and Larry Siegfried, one of the top five college players in the nation last year.
Kansas City, Mo.
A HOLE IN 10
Until last week, when Arnold Palmer came through at last, putting was holding him and most of the other top pros back (Jan. 22, et seq.). I have played with some of the best putters during the last 60 years, including Walter J. Travis, Jerry Travers, Chick Evans, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Walter Hagen and even Harry Vardon and James Braid, and they all had that something in common: they went for the hole.
However, one fact not emphasized often enough is that a putt has a better chance of holing out if it dies just about at the hole, for there are 360° of entrance in the perimeter. Therefore, I have devised the following Ten Rules for Putting a Golf Ball into the Hole, which might be of interest—and help—to your readers if not to Palmer and Co.
1) Keep your body rock still and look at the back of the ball.
2) Grip putter with left arm straight and firm, with left thumb on top of shaft.
3) Turn chin to right, with eyes perpendicular to ball.
4) Grip right hand over left so that groove fits into left thumb joint with reverse grip.
5) Exhaust air from lungs.
6) Move hands forward an inch to bring putter low on backstroke.
7) Bring club back with short swing, keeping wrists firm.
8) Follow through for about four to eight inches, depending on length of putt.
9) Hit the ball not longer than six seconds after you have decided the line.
10) Don't look at hole again until you have made the stroke, as more putts are missed by looking up too soon and too often than for any other reason.
ROBERT E. HUNTER
Intercollegiate Champion 1910
Santa Barbara, Calif.
•For word from another champion on what to do when you reach the next tee, see page 35.—ED.
BETTER AND BETTER
Last fall your magazine ran a cover of Oregon State's Terry Baker labeling him as the "best athlete in college" (Oct. 16). You certainly showed great foresight. Not only was Baker one of the nation's top football quarterbacks but he presently is one of the top basketball guards to be found anywhere. His "quarterbacking" has been a big instrument in Oregon State's fine 14-1 record (at this point). When college baseball starts he may be one of the better pitchers around, too. Congratulations on your fine judgment.