Forgive me for being unAmerican but our great American game bores me. Couldn't you soft-pedal baseball just a bit. There must be a few people lurking in cellars who feel as I do.
LEWIS B. ABRONSKI
Upper Darby, Penn.
Too much baseball. No one sport deserves that much space ever.
L. W. SHERWOOD
?Softly, please, you're speaking of the game we love.—ED.
I THINK YOU'RE WRONG
You state that the alltime American League batting champion was Nap Lajoie with a .422 in 1901 when playing for the Philadelphia A's. I think this is wrong and you should have said that it was George Sisler of the St. Louis Browns with a .420 in 1922.
LEWIS C. POPHAM III
Quogue, Long Island
?Up to 1955 all record books gave Lajoie's 1901 batting average as .405. Last year a diligent researcher showed that an early typographical error reduced Nappy's real batting average of .422, higher than Ty Cobb's and George Sisler's .420.—ED.
SEVEN HITS AND NO RUN?
In Facts for 40 Arguments you had a puzzler concerning the number of hits possible (six) in any single inning without scoring a run. Now this is a little silly but strange things can happen. Suppose that all goes as SI explained up to the sixth hit in which a legitimate single is hit, and the runner comes in from third but steps over the plate instead of touching it. Because of the excitement and dust around the plate, no one but the umpire notices this. A new batter comes up, the seventh, and while he makes a legitimate single (the seventh hit) someone in the audience informs the catcher that the runner did not touch the plate, the catcher tags the previous batter, thus retiring the side before the next man from third get in. The side would be retired with seven hits and no run because the umpire has called the third out. No?
HENRY D. FRAZIER
?No. Strange things can happen in baseball, but this is not one of them—for two reasons: Section 7.10 (d) of the official rules states that once a subsequent batter has been pitched to, an appeal cannot be made from an earlier play. Secondly, the catcher would not tag the previous batter but the erring runner or home plate.—ED.
Jemail's HOTBOX made it appear that both the St. Louis Cardinals and Baltimore Orioles are expecting the same young catcher, Hal Smith, to be the man to watch on their ball club this season.
ROBERT C. GAGEN JR.
?There are two up-and-coming Hal Smiths in the majors. Harold Wayne Smith of the Orioles did a good job as regular catcher last season. Harold Smith, of the Cardinals, also a catcher, is a rookie this year.—ED.
THE GREAT McGRAW
Your question "Has a major league game ever been forfeited?" stirs up recollections. Some 50 years ago the New York Giants forfeited a game. There was a large crowd at the Polo Grounds, and the teams were ready to play. But the great John McGraw had denied the umpires, with whom he had been feuding, entrance to the Grounds!