Two gold medals to John Underwood and Alexander Eliot for their coverage of the Olympic Games (Oct. 5). A silver medal to Gilbert Rogin and numerous bronze medals to your photographers.
JUAN L. LOPEZ
New York City
This was the best issue ever. John Underwood's text covering the entire Olympics contained so much information that now I have some special knowledge about many of those who will compete in Tokyo.
In his article on Snell (The Fastest Is Faster), Gilbert Rogin caught those elusive sharp edges of inner landscape and made us feel the terrific emotional torque of a great athlete who pushes over the barriers toward his ultimate tape. The impressionistic conversations between Peter and Sally and Peter and Mr. Scott were exciting. Records aren't broken by machines; they are broken by people. Bravo!
I thought the two-part article by Tommy McDonald in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED some months ago took the cake for bragging and self-conceit by an athlete, but your recent one on Peter Snell beats it by a 3:50 mile!
The many fans who thought the record for miscalculation established by the legendary and immortal Tex Maule would stand forever now must concede that Baseball Writer William Leggett deserves at least an asterisk beside his name for his September 21 dismissal of the pennant chances of the St. Louis Cardinals (Futile Surge amid the Shuffle).
Alongside Maule's battered crystal ball and the diagram of Dallas' most frequently used 1963 play—the goal line stand—we must enshrine in the sportswriters' hall of fame William Leggett's famous concluding sentence: "But no hocus-pocus—or even mesmerizing—will bring the Cardinals a pennant."
JERRY C. DAVIS
Falls Church, Va.
THE BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL
Cheers for Edwin Shrake (Buffalo Stands for the Bills, Oct. 5)!
He used great foresight in writing nothing but praise because only we, who put up with those narrow streets, impossible parking and inadequate seating, can say anything against those beautiful, bearish, bold, brawny Bills and live to talk about it.
Clarence Center, N.Y.
Edwin Shrake stated that the Bills were easily the best team in the Eastern Division of the AFL. The fact that the Boston Patriots, defending champs, were also undefeated and have beaten San Diego was glossed over. To quote the coach of another Boston-based championship team, "We're the champs; they've got to come to us."
Robert Boyle's ignoble experiments with dyed and dying killies (A Pretty Kettle of Dyed Fishbait, Oct. 5) was an offense to the dignity of all fish everywhere. It pleases me to hope that someday all the little red killies will band together in the shape of one monstrously huge fish (the way they do in Swimmy, a children's book in our house) and pursue their tormentors—large-mouth bass and Big-brain Boyle—through the seven seas.
I read with interest and curiosity Herman Wciskopf's article on the Olympic swimming and diving trials (How They Chose the Best Team, Sept. 14). However, one statement greatly concerns me: "At Melbourne in 1956...'A Russian woman and a Hungarian judge were in collusion," says Clotworthy, who won the gold medal in the springboard event that year. 'It was the worst judging I've ever seen.' "
As the Olympic records show, I was the only Hungarian among the judges. With very little effort it could have been determined that the Olympic Games were held at the time of the Hungarian revolution and, to show our protest, we Hungarians were not even communicating with the representatives of the U.S.S.R.
I was interested in Mr. Fendrick's survey in the department of souvenir hunting (19TH HOLE, Oct. 5), particularly in the four clubs which, he says, didn't have the courtesy to even acknowledge three letters. I have had occasion to request material from both the White Sox and the Cubs. The White Sox have always replied promptly as they did to Mr. Fendrick's request. The Cubs didn't reply at all.
A small, unimportant incident? I don't think so. Every club should be cognizant of the importance of its public-relations department, and steps should be taken to remedy any deficiencies in these departments. They are vital to the operation of any major league team.
ROBERT D. FRISK
Arlington Heights, Ill.
Upon reading the letter from Mr. Ronald P. Fendrick, I was quite disturbed to find out that we of the Los Angeles Angels supposedly had been contacted, along with the other clubs, asking us to send him an autographed baseball. This is perhaps the single greatest request received by all major league clubs. In fact, I wish that I had a nickel for every request for souvenirs we have filled since our inception.
The Angels have always endeavored to fulfill our obligations to the best of our ability, and we keep an accurate and detailed record of all such requests. However, there is a particular problem relative to the Angels.
Most people are under the impression that we maintain our executive offices at Chavez Ravine; hence, they send correspondence to the ball park. The Angel offices are not located there, and the mail must be forwarded to our offices. It is unfortunate that the two letters sent by Mr. Fendrick were lost between the park and our executive offices at 1525 North Western Avenue in Los Angeles; I am sorry to say that we have no record of his request.
As an avid football fan and a former assistant professor at Utah State University, I enjoyed immensely Tex Maule's article on Bill Munson (A College Star Ignites the Fireproof Rams, Oct. 5). However, I do feel the article does John Ralston, a great football coach, a grave injustice. The article states, "Ralston never thought much of Munson as a quarterback" and indicates that in the varsity-alumni game Munson, one of the "poorly regarded sophomores," was assigned to the alums. It should be understood that the varsity had two upperclassmen as quarterbacks, and in order to give all three work Munson was assigned to the alum team. Ralston showed his high regard for Munson clearly after Munson"s first varsity game. In discussing the game films at a faculty gathering, which I attended, Ralston stated without reservation his belief that in the future Munson would be a professional quarterback. And he pointed out that even at that time Munson threw with the best of the pros.
Ralston, a great developer of talent, brought Munson along slowly. He could well afford to, as Utah State, as I recall, lost only one regular-season game in Munson's first two years.
John Ralston, like everyone else, has made mistakes in his time, but not recognizing the talent of Bill Munson was not among them.
DAVID S. GORFEIN
We were considerably disturbed by the article Sail It Now, Sink It Later (Aug. 24).
Unlike the persons in the rental field that you quote, we of Skipper's, Inc., like most boat-rental organizations, exercise a considerable amount of caution and discretion before we permit people to take our boats out. Would-be skippers arc checked out in every instance, and where it is necessary to brush them up, they are taken offshore for a practice run by our dock people. In instances where more than that is necessary, we provide instruction at a fee and do not permit them to handle a boat until they satisfy our requirements.
In cases of privately owned boats that are listed with us for charter, the caution of the boat owner is at least as great, for it is his property that he is placing in the hands of the charterer. On many occasions we have rejected the charter.
There is little doubt in our mind that the boat-rental and chartering business will tend to grow at an ever-increasing rate, and that many of its adherents will remain in the capacity of renters and charterers. A great many people who are interested in boating can afford neither the time nor the money to enjoy it at its fullest. A far greater percentage of people who have been attracted to the boating field in various ways will move on to boat ownership but will not do so without a prior opportunity to become skilled on the water through the use of rentals and charter boats. Others intend to become boat owners but use the rentals and charters as a way of determining the precise type of boating that they enjoy most.
JAMES V. KING