YOUR MASTERS TOURNAMENT STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY IN LAST WEEK'S ISSUE ARE BOTH DESERVING OF THE HIGHEST PRAISE. I DOUBT IF ANYTHING ALONG THESE LINES HAS EVER BEEN DONE BY A MAGAZINE IN QUITE AS ATTRACTIVE FASHION. MY HEARTIEST CONGRATULATIONS.
May I compliment you on the absolutely out-of-this-world photos in the April 4th issue! The cover was the best you've had, a photo that really caught my eye...and the pictures of diver Ann Cooper were breath-taking—also the photo of Willie Mosconi, the Masters golf tournament shots, and the "rascal in fur," the raccoon...it was the greatest collection of sports photos between two covers...let's have more of the same!!!!!!!!
San Francisco, Calif.
In your March 21 issue you have three striking pictures of a rhinoceros charging a photographer. Last month I had the identical experience, and I was taking pictures of cheetah at the time we were charged by the rhino. We were so busy saving our skins, I didn't get any pictures of the rhino. The closeup that you reproduced was exactly what happened to us.
St. Joseph, Mich.
CHAMPION BENCH WARMER
Delano, Calif. was happy your fine new magazine paid credit to the new 880 world champion, Lonnie Spurrier (SI, April 4). It might interest you to know that Lonnie's high school track coach, Dan Della, shares your theory that the sudden drop of altitude may have given the added spurt needed for the record. Della coached the 1948 Peruvian Olympic basketball team and also worked with track men. When the distance runners went suddenly from 10,000 feet to sea level, they ran away with the distance events in South America.
It might also interest you to know that if Spurrier had been a slightly better baseball player, he wouldn't be setting track records today. Lonnie spent three of his high school years as a highly unsuccessful baseball candidate. When the 1950 season opened, and it became apparent to him that he would again be a bench warmer, he elected to switch to track. He was an immediate success and came along rapidly enough to wind up sixth in the 440 in the state meet. He competed in six or seven different events that season but only ran the 880 twice, both as laps in a medley relay. Had he had a slightly better batting eye or a little better control on the mound, he would have made Delano's 1950 starting varsity and the track world would have lost a coming champion.
JOE D. STEVENSON
THE SELECT FEW
In your description of the Pan-American Games you say, "Rosslyn Range and John Bennett each bettered 26 feet in the broad jump, a distance made sacrosanct by Jesse Owens 20 years ago," from which it might be inferred that Owens was the first (or only) 26-footer. Not so, although he is the dean of a very select few.
The first man to clear 26 feet was the Haitian Negro Silvio Cator in 1928, followed by Chuhei Nambu of Japan, who jumped 26 feet 2 inches in 1931 (fractions purposely omitted). This stood for three years until Owens established the present mark of 26 feet 8 inches in 1935 (the oldest standard track and field record on the books) and during that year and the next he surpassed 26 feet 10 times in official competition. He was closely pressed by his great contemporary, Eulace Peacock, whose best mark was 26 feet 3 inches. Since then Willie Steele, the 1948 Olympic winner, has cleared 26 feet 6 inches, and George Brown has done 26 feet 3 inches.
GEORGE P. MEADE
I got to see quite a bit of Parry O'Brien this winter when he was working out at the University of Maryland as a member of the Armed Forces Track Team. He puts in more time in training than any other field man I have ever known. I think he is the greatest field-event performer the world has ever known.
Joel Sayre in his story (SI, Mar. 21) says that O'Brien's chest is 50 inches. He should have mentioned how big around his arm is. He points out that Stan Lampert and Tom Jones both weigh more than Parry, but they have some fat on them, while O'Brien is all shot-put throwing strength.