AMERICA'S CUP: REMEMBER PAINE
I have read Carleton Mitchell's excellent article Which Will It Be? (SI, Sept. 1) with great interest. I feel, however, that in discussing the selection of Rainbow over Yankee in 1934 and her subsequent successful defense of the America's Cup over Endeavour some important facts have been overlooked.
"Superior crew work" did "undoubtedly" carry Rainbow to victory. A most important contributor to this superior crew work, however, was Frank C. Paine, designer of Yankee and an important member of her afterguard, as well as one of her chief financial backers. Endeavour won the first two races, and the situation looked desperate for Rainbow. An important reason for this state of affairs, according to the memoirs of C. Sherman Hoyt, mainstay of Rainbow's afterguard, was the complete inability of the U.S. crew to handle a parachute spinnaker properly. At this juncture, the Rainbow group borrowed Yankee's parachute, along with the expert services of Frank Paine to supervise its handling. The latter, a sportsman in the truest sense, forgot his chagrin at Yankee's debatable elimination and bent all his efforts to help the Rainbow cause. Many well-informed yachtsmen believe that Paine was largely responsible for pulling the fat out of the fire. This added an ironic touch to the selection of Rainbow over Yankee on the basis of superior crew work and equipment.
I believe that this should be pointed out now out of respect for the memory of one of our greatest yacht designers and sailors and, above all, one of our great sportsmen, the late Frank Cabot Paine.
FRANK J. MATHER III
Woods Hole, Mass.
AMERICA'S CUP: LITTLE BOYS BLUE
I was much amused by the delineation in text and drawing of Harold Vanderbilt (Ten Men and a $40 Cup, SI, Sept. 8). I recently came across a photograph of the "living legend," as George Plimpton characterized Vanderbilt, when the legend was only a short, short story.
The picture (below) shows Harold Vanderbilt with his cousin J. Watson Webb on the beach at Nice. Both boys must have been around 6 or 7, which would make it about 1890. Harold and my father grew up to be among the great sportsmen of their generation, so the sailor suits may have been prophetic.
J. WATSON WEBB JR.
BASEBALL: ELEMENTARY ECONOMICS
I note with interest your editorial (Big League Balance Sheet, SI, Sept. 1) which reads as follows:
"The events of the past five years, during which the Boston Braves, the St. Louis Browns, the Philadelphia Athletics, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants have seemingly saved their shirts [italics mine] by pulling up stakes and performing before a new audience, suggest that nothing is better for ailing baseball business [italics again mine] than a change of scenery."
I fear that the above statement conveys the misleading impression that the Brooklyn Dodgers were a sick franchise financially—even though the article from which it is extracted makes the very valid point that geographical removal of baseball franchises will not necessarily produce an economic panacea for the ball club that moves. In the case of the Dodgers, as you of course know, the figures in the Congressional Record establish that the Brooklyn club made more money for the 10-year period prior to its removal than any other team in the National League. Even in recent years, when Milwaukee became the lone National League team to outdraw Brooklyn in home attendance, the Dodgers probably made up the difference—or even exceeded it—by way of television revenue ( Milwaukee does not telecast its games). The basic point is that the Dodger departure from Brooklyn was without economic justification.
Incidentally, so in lesser degree was the Giant removal. The same figures in the Congressional Record—and nobody did a better job of presenting them than SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (SI, July 1, '57)—disclose that for the 10-year period prior to the San Francisco adventure, the New York Giants were among the three moneymaking clubs of the National League. When the Giants moved, the front office was ailing financially, but the people of New York City and environs were not to blame.
New York City
BASEBALL: BROTHERLY LOVE
I don't think that Phillie fans can be excused from accusations of bad conduct by the discomfort of Connie Mack Stadium or the Sunday blue laws, as Reader Mark Finston attempts to do (19th HOLE, Sept. 1) in rebuttal to Richard Pollard's article (On the Road with the "Freaks," SI, Aug. 11). Having observed many a basketball game at the Palestra, I can attest to the fact that Philadelphians as basketball fans are the loutish equals of their baseball-loving confreres.