GAMBLING: THE GREATER SIN
As one of the participating witnesses called for the trial of Leo Shaffer et al. (A Big Week for Gamblers, SI, Aug. 25), I was very much interested in your comments.
This trial, as usual when it concerns gamblers, was a three-ring circus with publicity-conscious and ambitious officials milking it for all it was worth. I can assure you that I and other witnesses who were either bettors or bookies fared far worse at the hands of our interrogators and inquisitors than any of the Communists who have been on trial in the past. Of course, our sin is much greater than those people whose only sin is the overthrow of our form of government and giving us lock, stock and barrel to Moscow.
The observation in your article is certainly true "that a lot of people like to bet and bet big on sports events" and I can assure you these people are going to bet no matter how many laws are passed. The sooner our Government, federal, state and local, views the situation realistically and passes laws to legalize certain forms of wagering, the better it will be for everyone concerned. The government will get its just share of taxes, the police and other officials will not be corrupted and you will have a higher type of person in the gambling business.
The more stringent laws and harassments that are placed against gambling, the more of a criminal element there will be in the business. I am happy to see that your fine magazine has accepted the fact that people like to wager on sports events and as long as they do so in moderation, and as long as there is no attempt at corrupting the participants in the sporting events, then I believe you will agree there is nothing morally wrong in wagering.
Naturally the name below is changed to protect the innocent, or guilty, either way being strictly a matter of opinion.
THE YANKEES: CONSIDER...
Mr. Creamer's article on the New York Yankees (The Greatest Yankee Team Ever, SI, Aug. 25) draws some startling conclusions, which I fear are not substantiated. He casually mentions McDougald as "the best shortstop in the league last year," and then further makes the remarkable observation that there is a possibility that he's the best second baseman in the league. I feel it should be brought to his and your attention that the "school of thought" to which he refers does not include the league players who voted Luis Aparicio and Nellie Fox of the Chicago White Sox to represent their league in this year's All-Star Game.
Mr. Creamer should have stated that these were his and only his opinions.
JOHN K. VAN ATTA
DALE A. RIKER
Robert Creamer is right as rain—and we'll prove it come World Series time.
One must consider always the caliber of the opposition in trying for a fair appraisal. This point is the principal foundation for my belief that the 1958 Yanks are definitely inferior to the 1927, 1936 and 1953 teams. Creamer suggests that readers see the 1958 Yankees. I have, mister. And his remarks about the defensive prowess of the team leave me gasping. Two and three errors per game seem to be the rule, not the exception. It's the sloppiest fielding Yankee club I have seen yet.