MR. ROBINSON'S DEBUT
Congratulations to Ron Fimrite on a fine article (Jaunty Stride into History, March 24) and congratulations to Frank Robinson on his new job. It's about time the hierarchies of major league baseball teams stopped firing and hiring the same managers and got some new faces.
I'm sure that Frank Robinson has been subjected to a lot of pressure during spring training, but so far he has withstood it all. He has kept a cool head, and cool heads win pennants.
G. MORRIS QUICKSILVER
Jim Kaplan's piece on street hockey (Rock 'n' Roll Big City Style, March 24) brought nostalgic tears to these old eyes.
He is not accurate, though, when he says that the game came out of the Depression. As a boy, some 60 or 65 years ago, I reveled in the excitement of roller polo and a league that flourished in southern New England. Played in halls redolent of stale cigar smoke, which were also the locales of third-class pugilistic encounters, the game was hardly as fashionable as roller hockey is becoming, but to its aficionados it furnished many an evening of thrills on cold New England winter nights.
J. MAXIM RYDER
Pompano Beach, Fla.
After reading Jim Kaplan's excellent article, members of the Lower Merion Roller Hockey Club had this one word to say: finally! We participate in an unorganized league consisting of four teams in the Main Line Philadelphia area. The fast-skating, furious-checking roller hockey game began to appeal to us after the ice hockey mania started to spread here. For three years we have played indoors during the winter in a small roller-skating rink with four-inch-high boards and no referees.
Slowly but surely our club has expanded, and we are now officially recognized as a team. In the not too distant future we hope to move into a larger, more modern roller-skating complex and have officials and an expanded schedule.
Thanks for recognizing a sport that has been too long ignored.
Lower Merion Roller
In Palm Beach County, Fla. there is a very much organized eight-team street hockey (we play in tennis shoes) league, started in 1971 by Richard Sokal. My team, the Boynton Bruins, won the Simpson Cup that first year, and there are now more than 100 boys on the eight teams competing for the trophy. Our games are played indoors, usually in gymnasiums, and we have at least two referees per game. Our league has outdrawn the well-established football league in Boynton Beach.
Delray Beach, Fla.
While for the most part I enjoyed the story on roller hockey, I must take issue with Jim Kaplan's statement that it "is replacing stickball in urban folklore." Let me assure you that the game of stickball is alive and well, thriving in cities, suburbs and small towns from coast to coast. The World Stickball Association, which plays its games on the Harvard Law School campus, features players from Tallahassee, Yakima and Peoria, as well as from Bayside and Flatbush. We invite Mr. Kaplan to witness our season opener on April 12 before sounding any more death knells for our great sport.
World Stickball Association
That Old Sinking Feeling (March 17) is another in a series of fine articles by Dan Jenkins. His irreverent humor sometimes treads on thin ice, but it sure has me sliding right along and enjoying every word.
Artist Don Moss did a terrific job of capturing the most important shot in golf, the putt.
That was an interesting article by Sarah Pileggi on Andy Martinez, Johnny Miller's caddie (Getting a Taste of Miller's High Life, March 24). It makes one wonder about tandem golf and surveyor-precise measurements, though. While these methods obviously help the pros shoot 72-hole scores of 20 under par, did the good "St. Andrews" intend it that way?
JOHN E. PFAFF
West Hartford, Conn.
We have taken SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for years now. My husband starts at the front of each issue and reads the articles on the major sports. But I say the stories in the back are fantastic. Mirror of My Mood (March 24) by Bil Gilbert finally inspired me to write. It outclasses any other love story I have ever read.
Bil Gilbert's article is unquestionably the finest piece of writing concerning the man-dog relationship that I have read. He has said it all for the thousands of us who are unable to express ourselves with anything approaching his ability. Bil and his great Dain are my kind of people.
ROBERT T. SMITH
Sherman Oaks, Calif.
If only people would react to people as Bil Gilbert reacts to his dog, and vice versa.
If reincarnation is in my future, I hereby submit my request for rebirth as Mr. Gilbert's canine companion.
W. E. MEYER
Frank Deford is a comical writer. I have enjoyed his previous satirical comments, but his article on the Rudi Gernreich bathing suit known as the thong (SHOPWALK, March 24) was a classic. Besides making me laugh out loud, his descriptions were extremely graphic. I offer condolences for his bravery in the field of journalism, above and beyond the call of duty.
CROSBEE AND GUTS
We thoroughly enjoyed the article by J.D. Reed on Frisbee as a sport ("They Are My Life and My Wife", Feb. 24). At the Haverford School, which we attend, Frisbee has become much more than a lunchtime amusement. Our game is called Crosbee, and there is nothing like it outside of our school. It is played four men to a side, on a 60-by-40-yard field, and the object is to throw the Frisbee into the opponent's goal. The rules are simple: the man with the Frisbee is allowed to run, unless he is touched by an opponent, in which case possession changes. To forestall a touch, players can pass off or "down" the Frisbee by putting the disk on the ground and tapping it-Play then stops for a moment, whereupon the player can pass off or run again, although he cannot shoot from a downed position. A toss out of bounds results in loss of possession. The goalie, who mans a 6-by-6-foot lacrosse net, can come up on offense when his team has possession of the Frisbee.
A mixture of lacrosse, hockey and Frisbee, Crosbee is fast and furious. A Crosbee Intramural League has evolved, complete with Saturday schedules and playoffs.
Thanks to J. D. Reed and John G. Zimmerman for a well-written story with excellent photos. I have one comment to make, however. Reed tells about the Frisbee game called Guts. He says the game "is played by two five-man teams standing 15 yards apart. Each team tries to throw the disk past the opposite side without getting the Frisbee out of reach from honest effort (which, gentlemanly enough, is decided by the receivers themselves)." Since there is already a length to the field, why not just mark off a designated width? This would then stop the yelling that may occur (and probably does) when one team disagrees with the other.
How about a few final entries in the Catter Cup competition (SCORECARD, Feb. 17), which has been an interesting indoor sport for cold wintry days. Here they are:
For Protestant and Catholic clergy: cross-country.
For rabbis: parallel Bar Mitzvah.
For the Knights of Columbus: sailing.
For the Masons: brick throwing.
For executioners: hang gliding.
For engineers: a triangle meet with prospectors and crooked financiers who specialize in claim and bail jumping.
For taffy manufacturers: tug-of-war.
For beauty shop operators: curling.
J. WALTER DICKSON
Please, oh, please, have Sam Catter open two more slots in his Superstar competition: one for a precision-drill team (open to dentists only) and a hammer throw strictly for carpenters.
MARY G. CALL
Your SCORECARD item "Hues and Tries" of Feb. 17 regarding the outfitting of World Football League players with different-colored pants according to position, brings back memories of our Queen Anne (Seattle) High School football team of the mid-1950s.
Our coach, Dick Clark, utilized gold helmets for backs and receivers and maroon helmets for interior linemen. This, however, was a child born of necessity, not one of showmanship. We just didn't have enough of the newer gold helmets to go around.
It didn't do a whole lot for our record, but I think we had the highest pass-completion average in the league.
You speak of the WFL's plan for different-colored pants according to player position as if the idea were new. Possibly the writer is too young to remember the St. Mary's College of California team of the 1930s. As I recall, all of the positions were identified by various colors, especially the backs and the receivers. It was very impressive and I'm surprised the idea was not copied then.
C. M. MORSE
•As Herman Meister. center on the 1933 St. Mary's team, remembers it, Coach Slip Madigan decked out the interior linemen in red, including socks and shoes; the backs and ends were dressed all in blue; and the quarterback wore white.—ED.
It all sounds great, but there is one question I would like answered: What about those people who don't have color TV sets?
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