It appears to me that William Leggett, author of Bill Dailey, Wont You Please Come In (July 1), is suffering from an acute attack of the disease, common to non-Yankee fans, known as first-place jealousy. Symptoms of the disease include: illusions that the patient's favorite team has suffered more serious injuries than the Yankees, downgrading everything connected with the Yankees and straying from the major point of conversation (in this case the subject of his article, Bill Dailey).
The patient may even resort to propaganda, telling about the greatness but modesty of his favorite team. However, have no fear. The disease always cures itself at about the middle or end of September, just after the Yankees have won still another pennant—at least it has done so for 12 out of the last 14 years.
I've been reading SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for quite awhile, and I must admit that I've been pretty pleased with the fine layout of the magazine, so you can imagine my shock when I took a look at the cover of the June 24 issue and saw all the mistakes. Like for instance, you caption the picture "Baseball's Best Reliever," but then you spell his name all wrong. See, baseball's best reliever spells his name D-I-C-K R-A-D-A-T-Z, not R-O-Y F-A-C-E. And you got the picture all messed up, too. See, Radatz plays for the Red Sox, not the Pirates. You probably thought the Red Sox traded Radatz for Stuart, but it was Schwall, not Radatz. He's still with us, No. 17, not 26.
Well, I figured you must have made all the mistakes possible, but, boy! when I started reading the cover story I saw how wrong I was. What a poor selection of facts to cite! If you're doing an article on baseball's best relief pitcher, do it right. Like you forgot the time, just three weeks ago, when Radatz pitched six shutout innings against the Orioles, striking out 10, and then, two days later, 8‚Öî shutout innings against the Tigers, whiffing 11.
But maybe you're right. Two weeks ago he allowed an earned run, his first in 33 innings, struck out four men in three innings (giving him 71 strikeouts for 54 innings) and raised his earned run average from 0.88 to 1.00. Maybe the Red Sox should trade this guy to the Pirates for Roy Face. But the Pirates better throw in Cardwell, .Sisk, Schwall, McBean, Gibbon, Friend, Haddix, Law, Francis and Veale. And a little cash, too.
DANIEL GOLDFARB JR.
That does it! How can you possibly call Roy Face of the Pittsburgh Pirates the best reliever in baseball? Anyone who can lose two games in one day to the stumbling, bumbling New York Mets doesn't even have the right to call himself a pitcher, much less the best.
It's bad enough to say something like that inside, but to put it on the cover of your magazine for all the world to laugh—well, you deserve it.
Here in Boston we have a monster named Dick Radatz who mashes the opposing players. But I know why he has not been on your cover—he is too big. You would have to double the size of an issue; so rather than go to the expense of all that, you put a little-type person, who fits easily, and then have some dolt write a perfectly horrible article about how this shrimp is the best around.
I'm a perfectly rational person, never excite easily, and calmly say that Dick Radatz could use EIRoy Face as a ball and throw him past the already baffled hitters in the American League.
At one time Roy Face was baseball's best relief pitcher. But now let's face facts. Boston's Dick Radatz has a 6-1 record to Face's 2-5 and, even more important, his ERA is hovering around 1.00 while Face has an ERA of 4.00.
Roy Face indeed!
Gwilym S. Brown was right about the recent Thunderbird golf tournament (The Word for the T-Bird Was "Owe/;," June 24). He also was correct in saying that Arnie's hand was shaky. But he was dead wrong to say Palmer made the T-Bird exciting.
Paul Harney made this an exciting match. He outplayed Palmer by three strokes in the last 18 holes to tie the match. He certainly would have won it if that kind official had not given poor Palmer a free drop on the 17th, where he might have gotten a 10 instead of a 5.
To add insult to injury, you printed two photographs in the article; one of lame duck Jack Nicklaus, who ended up nowhere and therefore deserved no picture publicity, and the other of choking pro Palmer.
The only way you can square yourselves with me is to publish a picture of the real hero of the T-Bird, Paul Harney.
BERNARD F. McKERNAN, M.D.
•Herewith (left) another ouch—this one by Paul Harney at the U.S. Open at Brookline, where he missed this putt on the 72nd hole—and the playoff by one stroke.—ED.
Gwilym Brown missed a chance to say something nice about the courageous comeback of Ben Hogan in the Thunderbird. Instead Mr. Brown seemed to delight in back-handedly referring to Hogan as a gassed-out pigeon with a limp and a paunch. As a golfer who deeply respects the talent and courage of Mr. Hogan, I feel more attention should have been given to his great showing—only eight shots off the pace. Surely it was more than "creditable enough."
WARNER B. BERRY
So Bill Hartack is abusive, arrogant, insulting to owners, trainers, track officials and sportswriters (Whatever Happened to Bill Hartack? June 24). Perhaps so. But he is also the only active jockey who is outspokenly honest, a master of his trade and considerate of the betting public. In many ways he's everything that Ted Atkinson was. And to me that is everything.
Perhaps we should study the intent of these sensitive owners, trainers, track officials and writers. Do they want the public to put their faith in sore 4-to-5 favorites?
Are these the track officials who scrape the track so handicapping speed figures can never be relied on?
Are these the sportswriters who neglect to tell their readers to disregard a horse's last performance because his trainer sent him out on a real bad track without mud shoes?
If there were more pros like Bill Hartack in all phases of racing today the public would be better protected and the states would prosper from increased racing revenue.
New York City
Thank you for Jack Olsen's brilliant story on Bill Hartack. Bill is a close personal friend of mine as well as an associate on many radio shows that I've done, and I'm glad your fine magazine was able to get a better look at this most complex guy by letting his words speak for him. On the personal side, it may interest you to know (Bill never talks about it) that Bill is one of the most charitable, warmhearted fellows I know. He has done more for friends than you have room on a hundred pages to print. He supports, to the tune of about $1,000 yearly, a football team in the Optimist League. He not only outfits a squad of 25 boys, but sends them on road trips to play other teams all over the South. He has helped people financially without thought of when they can pay back. His beautiful home is always open, and he is a marvelous host.
I would like to add that when Bill finally decides to hang up his tack he has a great future on radio and TV as a sports personality. He has never compromised honesty for anyone, and you can't say that about many people in the racing game.
STROKE OF VICTORY
I can't help but appreciate what Tom Brody said about me and about my rowing, but I feel that he was wrong, dead wrong, when he implied that it was I and my impetus that won the IRA for Cornell (He Gave Everything for the Big Red, June 24). This is not true and could never be true, if for no other reason than the nature of the sport. It is true that one man can lose a race, but it takes nine men to win one. No man is any more or less important than any other man.
You made it sound as if I was a sort of hero just because I passed out after the race, but nothing could be further from the truth. I was not only embarrassed by my action, I was ashamed. There is never any excuse for an oarsman to pass out.
Your writer quoted from an article by Penn's coach, Joe Burk, on strokes and stroking in general, but I think he missed perhaps the most important part, where Mr. Burk emphasized the fact that a stroke is only as good as the men who back him up, and that a mediocre stroke combined with good oarsmen will, more often than not, win the race.
I think some mention should have been made of the other members of our crew: bowman and commodore Mike McGuirk, Gordon Hough at 2, Albert Thomasson at 3, John Nunn at 4, next year's commodore, Don Light, at 5, John Rothschild at 6, Dan Krez at 7 and our coxswain, John Beeman. If it weren't for them and for the ability of Coach Sanford, Cornell would not have had as good a season this year as it has had so far.
After eight weeks in the hospital, sorry I'm a little late with a comment concerning the Indianapolis "500" (Two Against the Clock at Indy, June 10). This is my first venture at writing. At the time, near the end of the race I led quite an argument concerning the black-flagging of Jones. Being a young oldtimer (I saw Pete De Paolo win in '25, Lockhart in '26 and many more till Wallard's win in '51), I cannot understand the oil controversy. Years ago much oil was spilled on the track by many cars and no one thought of black-flagging. Expert race drivers drove around, through and over the oil. Does the modern-day school of amateur drivers (dry-track specialists) want Shaw, Roberts, Hepburn, Swanson and Chet Miller to turn over in their graves? These men were pro drivers, and none worried about an oily track. I remember the race of '31, when Louis Schneider won with an average of only 96.629 mph. Billy Arnold (the '30 winner), Pete De Paolo and Tony Gulotta all skidded on an oily track and went over the wall at the same place. No one claimed foul, oily track or poor decision by officials. Had Harlan Fengler black-flagged Parnelli Jones—costing him the race—it would have been the worst decision ever made at the "500."
The black-flagging should have been done—but not to Jones. Eddie Sachs should have been black-flagged. When he slid off the track in his car and hit the fence, according to "500" rules he was required to stop at the pits on his next lap so the technical committee could examine the car for damage. Why wasn't this done, and why haven't sportswriters written of this subject? In the Agajanian-Chapman discussion perhaps Fengler forgot the Sachs violation. A few laps later a wheel came off Sachs's car, causing his crash. I say that by driving those laps with a damaged car Sachs created a worse hazard than an oily track.
HAROLD W. ERNER
As the manufacturer of the winning boat in the unlimited division and the first boat to cross the finish line during the recent Hudson River Marathon, I was amazed to find that the boat was not mentioned in your article Roaring down the River (June 24). I know your photographer, Peter Custer, took a picture of it at the start.
ROBERT R. HAMMOND,
President, Glastron Boat Co.
•Indeed he did. See left.—ED.
HARNEY: A BOGEY FINISH AT THE OPEN
THE WINNING BOAT MAKES A SHARP TURN AT THE START OF THE HUDSON RIVER RACE