Your annual preview of the 500 is always the best ever, anywhere—and this year's Crozier-Stanley effort (The Spirit of Indy, May 29) was merely unsurpassable.
It deserves plaudits for originality—summa cum laude!
J. O. SHIELDS JR.
As an Indy fan going back to 1937, when I sat on a corner as a reporter for the late Indianapolis Times, I want to say that Artist Bob Stanley really captured the 500 in his powerful abstract paintings. I must have been near him when the wheel from the first-lap accident of 1966 headed for him because I thought it was headed for me.
SAMUEL S. TYNDALL
New York City
I thanked my lucky hubcaps I was not on the highway between Indianapolis and Milwaukee following last year's 500. Perhaps the misguided Father really believes he is held in the safe hand of Divine Providence, immune from harm as he "pulls it out of the hole" and barrels down the pike.
Exceeding the speed limit on our nation's highways and streets was responsible for some 14,000 fatal accidents in 1966. That a priest should encourage such carnage qualifies him as an apostle of madness.
W. M. HUDSON JR.
Your Indianapolis story was a huge disappointment.
Two extremely personal views—the so-called artist's and the so-called writer's—don't add up to one intelligible article. Will you cut out the fancy stuff and give us good photography and writing instead of trying to supply conversation material for the cocktail hour.
The paintings of the action of the 500 were really great. I am a general "car nut," and this artist gave me a real sense of the action that occurs in an auto race. I greatly admire Mr. Stanley's technique—I didn't know it was possible to get so much out of two colors.
MIDSHIPMAN MICHAEL D. HARDMAN
Standardization is necessary to bring order out of chaos, but when it goes beyond that, whether in industry or sports, it strangles the effort to improve equipment and methods, stifles initiative and freedom of choice and may be completely arbitrary. A case in point is the rules revision of the U.S. Golf Association prohibiting croquet-type putting (A Blow for Esthetics, June 5).
In my opinion these rule changes do not promote the best interests of golf, and I hope SI will oppose them.
CHARLES L. GILKESON
The only criticism I have of the USGA ruling is that it is too little and too late.
I would suggest that you adopt a uniform code that would make it mandatory for all players to carry the following clubs: driver, brassie, spoon, cleek, midiron, mid-mashie, mashie, mashie niblick, niblick and putter. Some beginning players may argue that they don't need 10 clubs. But they would be overlooking a basic fact. A man who is carrying only six clubs has a distinct advantage over one carrying 10, for he is not only packing around less weight, but has less mental anguish in trying to decide what club to use. Needless to say, those new steel and glass shafts should be barred. After all, if Bobby Jones could make a Grand Slam with wooden shafts, why should some youngster come along and duplicate or surpass his record using all these new-fangled ideas?
JOHN B. BURNHAM JR.
There have been times during my decade of frustration as a Cub fan that I have felt National League opponents have been more insulted than intimidated when they played against the inhabitants of Wrigley Field. But I feel this year that Leo Durocher's charges are worthy of taking the field with any other club in the league. Your article gave much of the credit for the upswing in the Cub fortunes to Adolfo Phillips. While I would not disagree that he is a principal factor, I think that you overlook a more basic reason (The Cubs? Third Place? May 29).
Disenchanted as Cub fans are with an administration that could devise the "college of coaches" and the athletic director of seasons past, the Cub trades have been the most galling. Trading a Frank Thomas for a Mel Roach was bad enough, but a Lou Brock for an Ernie Broglio? However, General Manager John Holland may have made one of the finest trades in recent years when he peddled Bob Buhl and Larry Jackson for Phillips, Ferguson Jenkins and John Herrnstein. I think Holland deserves much credit for giving Cub fans presentable players for the first lime in 20 years.
I have been an avid Cub fan for only 20 years, so I am relatively new to the club. Being in the first division, however, does strange things to a man. For instance, I find that I no longer hate the White Sox. I can only wonder what Hank Sauer, Handsome Ransom Jackson and Dee Fondy would think about all this.
DAVID S. SULLIVAN
De Kalb, Ill.
Your delightful account of the Hamerstroms (Owls, Eagles and Prairie Chicanery, May 29) revived for me memories of their tall, blonde, blue-eyed (and yes, very beautiful) daughter Elva, who was one of my students in an English composition class of the University of Wisconsin in the fall of 1960. You can imagine my reaction when I first read one of her papers describing a huge, unfinished, pre-Civil War house containing the most startling array of pets I had ever heard of. I remember thinking that she was putting me on, but then I concluded that no freshman could possibly make it up and it had to be for real. Later I learned, from Elva and others, about her remarkable parents and their work.
DONALD C. STEWART
Gary Ronberg captured the feelings of Harlan Cohen and the girls of our national volleyball team beautifully (Playing It the Japanese Way, June 5). But he should have mentioned that while Harlan likes working with women he is also successful coaching men's teams. In May 1966 he look a relatively young Westside Jewish Community Center squad and finished third in both the national AAU and USVBA meets. In May 1967 Westside moved up a notch and was second in the AAU and third in the USVBA.
SOL H. MARSHALL
I enjoyed Buzzie Bavasi's account of the celebrated holdout very much (The Dodger Story May 15 et seq.). As a soon-to-be investment banker, though. I take exception to the implication that the "value-added" by Drysdale and Koufax to the Dodger balance sheet through bringing in extra fans can't be quantified and compared with their salaries.
To make allowance for possible exogenous factors, assume Don and Sandy drew only one-half as many extra fans to Dodger Stadium as Bavasi suggested. This would mean 1,500 extra fans per game for Don and 4,000 per game for Sandy. Assuming $4.50 in revenue per extra fan and 20 starts each for Don and Sandy, their value-added is a cool one-half million dollars.
Recognizing that this $500,000 is sans consideration of pennant and World Series money or Don and Sandy's value-added in visiting ball parks, Bavasi can consider himself a financial wizard—he negotiated a one-year investment ($235,000 for both Don and Sandy) which yielded him a rate of return well in excess of 100%.
As the three "resourceful Cal students" who built the water-balloon missile launcher referred to in SCORECARD (May 22) we would like to amend your information. Our sling was made of 12 feet of surgical rubber tubing and a plastic dog-food dish, not inner tubes. Furthermore, the sling was fired from the center of the Cal rooting section all the way across the field. At least a dozen blue and gold balloons made the trip. Perhaps your source confused '64 with the debacle of '65 at Stanford where several over-zealous and unsporting Cal students shot at the Stanford band during half time for lack of range to hit anything else. We were there in '65 also—with two aluminum crutches used as arm extensions, 36 feet of surgical rubber tubing, 10 men to hold and fire the sling and the dog-food dish. Three balloons went 170 yards across the field to the Stanford rooting section before the dish came apart. All in all, we would say '67 looks like a very good year.
Woodland Hills, Calif.
We at Kenyon College feel slighted at not having been mentioned in your "Missile Race"" note. In correlation with our academic superiority we have a catapult which shoots balloons in excess of 200 yards with aqueous accuracy. We have defeated on-campus competition and welcome any intercollegiate challenge.
KENNETH R. ABRAHAM