Mel Allen's mother hit the southern-fried nail right on its babbling head (Baseball's Babbling Brook, July 9). I, too, wish he was a shoemaker.
PAUL T. DAVENPORT
Mel Allen, the man who revolutionized sports announcing, did not acquire that reputable status "accidentally," as you claimed. The field of announcing is tougher to crack than Mantle's center-field post. Nevertheless congratulations on a fine article.
E. CURRY FIRST III
The Mel Allen story is a classic. As pastor of the First Christian Church and sports director of KGLC radio for the past 17 years, I have used Mel as a model. Many a carefully turned phrase of Announcer Allen's has been "re-turned" out here in Oklahoma by this preacher-broadcaster. I thank him for the fresh approach he makes to countless situations on the playing field.
Those who complain about Mel Allen's "not fully hidden enthusiasm when the Yankees are winning," should listen to a few of the other regular broadcasters. In comparison, Mel almost appears to be a Yankee hater.
AS THE POET SAID
Re Robert Creamer's New Look at the Sandbox (July 2), the parties responsible for such playground equipment should be commended. A playground with this type of apparatus is a first-rate physical course, embodying the necessity of muscular strength, coordination and endurance. And what better way to attack the fitness problem than in the pleasant surroundings and atmosphere on a playground?
When I was a kid we used to climb on a thing that sounds a lot like some of the equipment discussed in Creamer's article.
It was ideal for "the child who wants to climb back up" (as Mr. Creamer phrased it). Like the equipment he describes, it, too, provided exercise and fun for the novice and still gave the bolder, more experienced child an opportunity to climb quickly to the top. It enabled us, too, to learn a lot of things and use a lot of different muscles. For exercise and playground fun it couldn't be beaten.
We called it a tree.
JAMES W. COCHRAN
EARLY GIRL BAIT
Since your SCORECARD column (July 16) carried a rather moving article on the passing of the Packard automobile, I thought your readers might like to see a picture of the very first Packard (below). It's not much like the sleek 1934 phaeton you described as "girl bait." It was made in Warren, Ohio in 1899 by the automotive genius and philanthropist, James Ward Packard, who graduated from Lehigh University in 1884 with a degree in mechanical engineering. At the age of 35 he produced this automobile, the first to bear his name.
The greatest single benefactor of Lehigh since the university's founder, Packard's gifts (totaling almost $5,200,000) to the school included, in 1927, the James Ward Packard Engineering Laboratory, where the first Packard automobile is housed in a glass case in the laboratory's lobby. The car is still in good running condition and is taken from the case on special occasions.
SAMUEL I. CONNOR
What right does William Leggett have to say that the Angels will not stay in the pennant race long (Halos, Hopes and Belinsky Too, July 9)? They not only have the best slugger and the best second baseman in the league but also the deepest pitching staff.
I agree 100% with your prediction of how the Los Angeles Angels are going to collapse. How can they possibly last now that the New York Yankees are starting to win again and Mantle is back?
TWO IF BY BO
Bo Belinsky was wrong when he said that the only bright light in Boston was the lantern in Paul Revere's Old North Church. We also have Earl Wilson. He, too, pitched a no-hitter and it was against Belinsky and his Angels.
THE BEAT OF THEIR FEET
It would be very fine if you would publish athletic results in metrical system as well as your own—as this is done in the whole world and at the Olympic Games. Your American system is an anachronism even in your country. American science and Army began already to use the metrical system. I think you must lead your readers to be "up to date." The time (hours, minutes, seconds) is general, but the distances (miles, feet, yards, inches, etc.) are only American. I hope in some 10 to 20 years your "feet," etc., will be buried for ever.
Former Sports Inspector
New York City
BOURBON ON LIME ROCKS
I read with interest in SCORECARD (July 2) that Scotch drinkers have finally discovered what true bourbon drinkers have always known. Bourbon isn't bourbon without real "branch water." Here at Hound Hollow our secret is freezing the ice for mint juleps with our limestone spring water. People from all over have been using our spring for years, and I'll be glad to send some to any SPORTS ILLUSTRATED bourbon drinkers who will pay the postage.
COLONEL BILLY CHATFIELD
I would like to protest your policy of devoting better than half of the magazine's available space to the nonathletic sports of golf, fishing, bowling, chess, bridge, baseball, cooking, sailing, eating and sight-seeing. The participants in these activities are not athletes, they are leisure lovers. These pastimes seldom demand and almost never receive the qualities that athletics are designed to develop—strength, speed, coordination, endurance, stamina and moral fiber. The lack of physical demand in the aforementioned sports is evidenced by the fact that followers of these diversions possess lungs blackened with nicotine, cardiovascular systems that want for natural stimulation, bellies that comprise three-quarters of their weight and distort their postures, and the sleeping habits of Count Dracula.
The public has been duped into false worship of these pseudosports and has lacked exposure to the classic athletic endeavors. Whether this push for recreation is an attempt to aid the economy through the sale of Hula-Hoops, golf clubs and charcoal, or just a desire to fill blank space, I don't know. I do know that SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, through its partiality toward nonathletic sport, is helping lead American youth down a road of physical debauchery.
DANIEL RONALD HOFFMAN
ONE MORE YANK
I enjoyed the article A Yank in Japan (June 25) very much, but I have one thing to add to it—one more American. My husband Fred joined the Hankyu Braves as a pitcher in May. His comments are much the same as those in your article: he loves it there. To make things even better, he won his first game by pitching a three-hitter.
Our two children and I are planning to leave for Japan during July, and we are looking forward to our coming adventure with much excitement. We will be renting a home in a town called Takarazuka, about 15 miles from Osaka. My husband has been quite fascinated by the dancers at the Grand Theatre there.
Compared to some of the experience records quoted in your article Fred is a youngster. He's 22 and playing in his sixth season of pro ball. He was with Hawaii for the first 10 days of this season but obtained his release because of a sore arm which has since improved 100%. He was with Tri-Cities (Northwest League) for two seasons and in 1960 was a 20-game winner there. We hope he will have the same good luck in Japan. If it would stop raining he might progress a little faster than his present 1-0 record.
MRS. FRED RICK
San Pablo, Calif.