FAREWELL TO THE BUFFALO
Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, whose escape from ruling on the constitutional problems of civilization is to get out of it and into the wilderness, recently did a canoe float down the Buffalo River, which flows for 110 miles through the dim canyons and towering bluffs of the Boston Mountains of northern Arkansas. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, for reasons which seem adequate to the Corps, would like to destroy the Buffalo River. The Engineers want to dam it forever.
When the justice got back from his float, he expressed an informal opinion:
"Someday," he said, "Americans are going to wake up to the fact that they need more than beer and television for entertainment. When that awakening comes, I hope all the wilderness beauty spots like the Buffalo will not be gone. The Army engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation seem to be in a race to see which can put more land underwater and destroy our facilities for outdoor recreation. The high country in the West is heavily impounded. The Forest Service is building roads. You can't have roads and wilderness at the same time."
BIRDIE'S EYE VIEW
"I'll be an awfully surprised man," Birdie Tebbetts, manager of the Milwaukee Braves, was saying the other evening, "if someone in the National League doesn't break Roger Maris' record of 61 home runs this season. The reason I say that is because I don't think any player is going to tighten up going after a record that's only one year old. Although I haven't looked at any figures, I just know that more home runs are being hit in the National League this year than were hit at a comparable time in the schedule in 1961."
On that score Birdie is absolutely correct. At corresponding stages in the seasons, National League sluggers hit 219 homers in 1961, 280 this year.
Birdie has two basic reasons for his expectation.
"The first," he said, "is that expansion gives some of the better hitters a chance to hit against weakened pitching. And this year almost every team can send up two hitters back-to-back who can hit long balls, and the first guy up in such a situation has a big edge. No pitcher can pitch around him and wait for the second guy.
"I won't say who I think will beat Maris' record, but there are a lot of big hitters around with a tremendous chance to do it this season."