WEST POINT WINNER
John Underwood deserves to be commended for his story On, Brave Old Army Team (April 29). This is the first article I have read that not only dealt with Tom Cahill as a coach, but, more important, it examined Tom Cahill as a man.
RICHARD N. FRIEDMAN
We at the University of South Carolina were somewhat disheartened with your characterization of Paul Dietzel's coaching stint at the U.S. Military Academy. We, too, have failed to field a winning team since Coach Dietzel came to USC. Upon closer examination, however, we realized that the two teams fielded by Tom Cahill since Coach Dietzel's departure were entirely Dietzel-recruited and largely Dietzel-coached.
Football prospects here are certainly looking up after two highly successful years of recruiting prep talent. We are anxiously and confidently awaiting the chance to compare our record with that compiled by Coach Cahill's own team over the next several years.
HUNTER ALLEN JR.
JAMES G. JOHNSON
THE BARBER (CONT.)
Your article Baseball is a Tough Business (April 15 and 22) was excellent! It showed the people of New England just what kind of person Sal Maglie really is. He is just one of those men who has to find someone to blame for his failure.
Maglie says that the staff will falter because the Red Sox lack a competent pitching coach. But Boston's 1968 record is better than its record at this time in 1967, so chalk one up for new Red Sox Pitching Coach Darrell Johnson. If Maglie was trying to get sympathy he failed. In my opinion the Boston Red Sox are better off without him.
GLENDON H. POMEROY
There is no doubt in my mind that the sport of baseball is fast approaching the tragedy trail. Having been present last August 18th when Tony Conigliaro, our fine young outfielder, was beaned, I wonder when Eckert, Cronin and Giles are going to get tough with the Barbers of this world.
Unfortunately, many months transpired between the Conigliaro beaning and the April diagnosis that he will probably never play again. The public has a short memory. It actually takes a death to get action, witness Benny Paret. "It's a part of the game!" yell the advocates of this lunacy which now exists. Ask Jimmy Hall, who has never been the same player; ask young Conigliaro, who had more than 100 home runs and a promising career ahead of him. Ask Carl Yastrzemski or Frank Robinson.
Any pitcher who hits a batter, deliberately or not, should be removed from that particular game and suspended for his next pitching turn. Now we argue about intent and everybody hides behind semantics. Take a pitcher from the game, and you'll be surprised how noticeably these "pitches that get away" diminish.
Although the recent series by Sal Maglie proved to be as colorful as the man himself, the indefatigable Barber did manage to hang two factual curveballs in Part Two. Despite the fact that Sal asserted that he started the second game of the 1954 World Series and the fourth game of the 1956 Series, he was, in fact, the starting pitcher for the first and fifth games, respectively, of those two Series. Any follower of baseball would admit, however, that no pitcher should be held responsible for remembering the games he did not win.
ROGER W. GAESS
I was greatly disappointed in reading the reaction of your readers in 19TH HOLE (April 29). The Masters officials could have allowed Roberto de Vicenzo to correct his scorecard without penalty and without informing anyone of the error. Such an action would have avoided much criticism and controversy. However, Cliff Roberts and the rest of the officials were honest and honorable. They applied the rules of golf, fully realizing the consequences. Their action should be applauded, not criticized.
Why not adapt a variation of the typical weekend-golfer scoring procedure? Instead of having just one player keep score, however, have both men, or three in the case of a threesome pairing, keep a running scorecard. Each man must then exchange (verbally) his score with the other and mark down the scores of all members of his group.
As long as each member of the group must keep a scorecard, it certainly would be no more trouble to mark down one or two more scores. And it would surely prevent further incidents such as occurred at the Masters.
RICHARD G. GYLLSTROM
HELL BENT GREY
Mr. Robert H. Boyle's article (The Man Who Lived Two Lives, April 29) on the life of Zane Grey was pleasurable reading. Mr. Boyle actually resurrected the man and poured life into him.
Zane Grey was, I actually believe, as great as any of the characters he invented and which he so well portrayed. Yet one of his characters who might have equaled him I shall never forget. And that was Hell Bent Wade, the hero in one of his Westerns. Even to this day, that man seems to me to be completely real.
Mr. Grey's adventures as a fisherman leave me cold. But I'll have to take my hat off to him for one thing; he took on fish that outweighed him as much as 5 to 1. What a contrast this is to the picture one often sees of the overgrown fat slob who has outfought a five-pound bass.
EARL B. COYLE
NO.'S 1 AND 2
In your article on the Penn Relays (The Mighty Burner Blazes On, May 6) you made the point that Larry James, who ran the fastest 440 ever clocked when he ran his relay leg for Villanova's mile-relay team, was only No. 2 on his high school mile-relay team. You might have pointed out, too, that Aaron Hopkins of the University of Toledo, who set a new NCAA record in the triple jump at the same meet, was not the best triple jumper ever at his high school. The best? Larry James, who was a couple of years behind Hopkins at White Plains (N.Y.) High School and who still holds the Westchester County record.
New Rochelle, N.Y.
SPORT AND POLITICS
Now that the International Olympic Committee has reversed its stand on the admission of South Africa to the 1968 Games (Switcheroo from Yes to Nyet, April 29), I'm sure there will be many who will deplore the unsavory mixture of politics and sport. But let's face it: had South Africa participated in the Games, the mixture would hardly be more savory.
Politics has to do with the way people live, the way justice is administered. No social activity can ever be completely free from politics—or should be. People who fondly hope that sport can exist apart from political realities are the same people who believe that religion should exist only for the Sabbath. These people live compartmentalized lives in which basic principles are suspended to let them live comfortably in the workaday world. If we are going to be conscientious human beings, we simply cannot suspend our sense of justice and play games with a country that is systematically destroying the rights and lives of our brothers.
DONALD F. BROPHY
New York City
Do you remember the days when we had world Olympics? They probably did more to foment understanding and good relationships than the League of Nations or the U.N. Now they are extinct.
Politics is emotion without reason. Before this the Olympics used only reason. Germany had the Olympics even when Hitler was in power. But now South Africa has been eliminated. Next the republic of Ireland will be eliminated by the Protestant countries. France will be eliminated because she quit the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Israel and the Arab republics will be eliminated because they are running across each other's borders. And the United States will be eliminated because the Cowboy and Indian movies prove that all Indians are villainous and should not be allowed to enter the Games.
HAROLD P. GROVEN
Pompano Beach, Fla.
Mr. Brundage and his Olympians on high have had to back down. Although the racist policies of South Africa are abhorred by most of the world and few of us would argue with the solution reached, it is a shame that the Olympics have been thrown so callously into the political arena. The losers in this situation are not South Africa or Avery Brundage or the Olympic movement. The real losers are the athletes of South Africa, young men and women, blacks and whites, who will not have the opportunity to compete in Mexico. Perhaps the situation could be rectified.
The spirit of the Olympics stresses individual, not national, participation. Would it not be in line with this spirit if an impartial board could select the outstanding athletes from the Republic of South Africa, both blacks and whites who have proved themselves of international caliber, and let them compete in Mexico under an Olympic banner, financed by the International Olympic Committee? This would be fair to the athletes and not an insult to other Africans. It would show that the Olympics can still rise above politics.
LOUIS MAISEL II
New York City
A PHILOSOPHICAL VIEW
Of SI's many fine biographical portraits, William Johnson's portrayal of Phil Woolpert (Triumph in Obscurity, April 22) has to be one of the finest ever. A fascinating subject, well researched and cogently presented by a fine writer. A wonderful effort. Please, gently pressure Mr. Wool pert to write his autobiography. I am good for five copies right now.
CHET R. ALLEN
I think Philipp D. Woolpert is a fine man. a fine coach, and a poor philosopher. He happened to be in the right place at the right time, i.e., at the University of San Francisco when it had the kind of team basketball coaches dream of. After he lost his "dream team," his record was less than mediocre. Now he coaches for a team that wins and loses equally—which seems to be what Woolpert stands for. He has forgotten that when two teams play there must be a winner.
Adolph Rupp once said, if winning isn't everything, then "why keep score?" As long as America competes she will continue to use her "bad system of values" and strive to win.
Is a man's success in life based only on material being, on conforming to social beliefs or on winning, winning, winning? Is winning in sports, for example, something today's coach needs in order to stay on top physically, psychologically or even financially? Aren't there more important criteria for judging a man in his chosen work?
After reading William Johnson's refreshing and bitingly true profile of the coach and the man, Phil Woolpert, one cannot help but come away with a different perspective. I did!
We need more men like Coach Woolpert in big-time sports. And we need more writers like William Johnson to pay tribute to them.
IRA B. HARKEY III
If only more men could share Mr. Woolpert's thoughts, what a beautiful world this would be.