BLANCHARD AND DAVIS
The legendary feats of Glenn Davis and Doc Blanchard were wonderfully recalled by Ron Fimrite (Mr. Inside & Mr. Outside, Nov. 21). The mention of Davis's 64 steals in 65 career attempts in baseball brought back a vivid memory. The one time he got caught stealing occurred in a game against Williams College at West Point on May 12, 1947. I was the pitcher for Williams. In the second inning, a pitchout followed by a perfect throw to second base by Williams catcher Chuck Goodell (later to become the senator from New York State who was appointed to replace Robert Kennedy) nipped Davis.
At least that was the call. From my vantage point on the mound—and as quietly confirmed later by our second baseman—the tag was missed. Thanks to the call, instead of being on record as having allowed yet another Davis steal, we are listed as the spoilers. Army won 6-2, and Davis was 1 for 3 at the plate. I took the pitching loss but will always remember the disappointment with a smile.
•The writer, who did not play professional baseball himself, is the older brother of Art Ditmar, who pitched for the Athletics and the Yankees from 1954 to '62.—ED.
Before we bury Tom Landry, Chuck Noll and Don Shula, three of the greatest football minds in history (Will They Ever Win Again? Nov. 14), let us remember that the Cowboys, the Steelers and the Dolphins, along with the Raiders, have played in 13 of the last 17 Super Bowls. Where were the other 24 teams during this time? Taking turns picking high in the draft, that's where, while the big four usually had low picks.
What goes around comes around. While Noll's Steelers were in the process of winning four Super Bowls, the Bills were mourning the loss of O.J. Simpson, and Saints fans were hiding their heads in brown bags. Buffalo and New Orleans are winning now because of strong drafting in the last 10 years.
Mark Twain once said, "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." I'm sure that holds true for Tom Landry, Chuck Noll and Don Shula. It is just unfortunate that football is no longer a game of legends or heroes. Rather, it is a business in which the main question asked of a coach is "What have you done for me lately?"
ROBERT A. HAROL
I have to agree with former Steeler quarterback Terry Bradshaw. When a coach can no longer motivate his players or acquire the necessary personnel to make his team a winner, he should get on with his life. As a Cowboy fan, I have always had a lot of respect for Tom Landry, but Dallas has one of the best young minds in football in pass-offense coordinator Paul Hackett. Give him a chance to prove his worth as head coach, and I think Dallas will once again rule the NFC East.
Sorry, Tom and Chuck. Your inability to change with the times is the reason your teams will continue to lose. The draft has little to do with it, as the Redskins have proved. Maybe you've just stayed at the dance too long.
It should come as no surprise that FINA, the international swimming federation, has decided in its wisdom to outlaw the David Berkoff-style underwater backstroke (SCORECARD, NOV. 28). In the mid-1950's, several world-class breaststrokers, including world-record holder Masaru Furukawa of Japan, swam nearly their entire races underwater, until FINA forbade the practice in 1957. Thereupon the best times in the 100-meter event got slower by 4½ seconds and didn't return to pre-under-water levels for six years.
Incidentally, Berkoff was not the first practitioner of the underwater-backstroke style. At the 1983 NCAA championships, Auburn's Dawn Hewitt competed in the now-defunct 50-yard backstroke, swimming the entire race underwater except for one stroke before the turn.
Coach, Westside Masters
In his article Bad Time for Wild Horses (April 25), William Nack described the dreadful fate of a herd of wild horses—109 starved to death—in central North Dakota. I thought your readers might like a follow-up on that report.
The animals, which were protected by federal law under the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971, were in the possession of Jerry Cudworth of Sheyenne, N. Dak., and Glenn DeLorme of St. Michael, N. Dak., via a fee waiver from the Bureau of Land Management's "Adopt-a-Horse" program. When the sad state of these horses became known to us at the Bureau, we took swift action in coordination with the Department of Justice to enforce the federal law. Charges were brought against the two men, and grand jury indictments were handed down. However, on Sept. 29 a jury acquitted Cudworth and DeLorme of the three felony and three misdemeanor counts lodged against them by the U.S. Attorney.
Since your article appeared, the fee-waiver program has been terminated, and new methods for dealing with excess wild horses have come on-line. One is a wild-horse sanctuary in the southern Black Hills of South Dakota. This sanctuary is sponsored by the Institute for Range and the American Mustang, an organization begun by rancher and former LIFE photographer Dayton O. Hyde. Still, when it comes to the management of wild horses, as Nack wrote back in April, the BLM continues to be "caught in a philosophical and legal cross fire from conflicting interests and pressures."
Director, Office of External Affairs
Bureau of Land Management
•Although Cudworth was acquitted in the case of the wild horses, in October a federal jury in Bismarck, N. Dak., found him guilty of embezzlement in connection with the sale of 45 buffalo that had been given to the Little Shell Pembina Chippewa Tribe of 1863 by the U.S. Park Service. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.—ED.
TACOMA'S WILSON HIGH
I noted with interest the accomplishments of Woodrow Wilson High of Long Beach, Calif. (LETTERS, NOV. 7). We of Woodrow Wilson High of Tacoma, Wash., also can claim some Olympic fame. One of our former students, swimmer Kaye Hall (class of '69), won two gold medals and a bronze at the 1968 Mexico City Games, and another, boxer Leo Randolph ('77), won the 112½-pound division at the Montreal Games in 1976.
We are proud of our achievements in other sports as well. Darrell Robinson ('82) holds the national high school 400-meter-dash record of 44.69. Three of our football graduates—Clyde Werner ('66), Mike Baldisson ('73) and John Zamberlin ('74)—played linebacker in the NFL. What's more, our boys' swimming team has won 24 consecutive state championships. All told, our school has won more state athletic titles than any other in Washington.
DAVIS ON THE DIAMOND
I especially enjoyed the comments in your Blanchard-Davis story about the Army-Navy baseball game at West Point in 1947, because I played third base for Navy in that game. Here is a copy of the box score. Glenn Davis (below, as he appeared as a third classman in May of '45) played centerfield for Army and not only got two hits but also walked twice and scored two runs. Davis was captain of the Army team, which was undefeated (a rain-shortened date with Yale had ended in a 3-3 tie) going into the game. Navy won 8-4, but what I remember most was something Davis did. He was on second with one out when a ball was hit back to the pitcher. Davis rounded third while the batter was being thrown out at first, and he never stopped running. By the time our first baseman realized what was happening and threw to the plate, Davis was sliding in safely.
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