Walter Bingham's story on baseball's colorful "hot dogs" (Players with
Magic, April 30) made me smile in full agreement. The paragraph about Bobby
Bragan reminds me of an incident that shows how much the trend toward
conformity has advanced in recent years. After Bragan had his run-in with the
umps and was fired for having the temerity to clown things up a little, I wrote
a sports column for the Rochester ( Minn.) Post-Bulletin in which I praised
Bragan for providing a little color. The boom was promptly lowered on me.
Judging by the reaction from the top echelon, I was practically advocating the
overthrow of the great national pastime. What a lousy conforming world this has
become. I wouldn't walk a block to see Harmon Killebrew hit a homer but I'd
drive 75 miles to see Vic Power in action at first base.
Thanks for the
I agree 100%. I have been a baseball fan since I was knee-high to a stunted
duck (I am now 68 years old) and I really miss the colorful players. Whoever is
responsible has taken something valuable away from the game.
R. J. NORENE
You have hit upon the key to baseball attendance. I wish the commissioners,
managers, and front-office people would read this story and become more lenient
toward players who make the game more interesting.
ELKAN M. KATZ
The article referred to the pantomime Gil Hodges put on for the people of
Japan. I would like to bring to your attention the fact that Gil deliberately
put on this act as a diplomatic gesture. A Dodger was called out on strikes and
threw his helmet at the dugout in frustration. Because players rarely argue
with the umpire in Japan the people were horrified. The Dodgers would have lost
tremendous face if Gil hadn't done what he did. Please print this to show what
a great man he truly is.
A great many Phillies fans will remember Harry (The Hat) Walker. No one who saw
Harry will ever forget the ritual of first touching the tip of the hat, then
the button and, finally, stepping into the batter's box. If the pitcher was
alert enough he might get the ball in, but if not Harry would be out of the box
and fooling around with his hat again. I say hats off to ballplayers like
Now that Minnie Minoso has suffered grave injury because of his collision with
an outfield wall (BASEBALL'S WEEK, May 21), isn't it about time the owners
started to hang pneumatic cushioning in their parks?
Pads could be
made of rubberized fabric (like aviation life rafts) and hung from hooks on the
outfield walls. They would prevent costly injuries.
AUSTIN C. DALEY
old innovator, Branch Rickey, padded the fences at Ebbets Field in 1942 to keep
Pete Reiser, a habitual wall-bumper, from killing himself. Most park owners
have contented themselves with gravel paths around the outfield to warn
impetuous fielders of impending danger.—ED.
After reading Roger Williams' report on Whitney Reed (Hallelujah, He's the No.
1 Tennis Bum, May 7), I was swept with a violent wave of nausea. If this is the
No. 1 product of the U.S. amateur tennis system, I submit that the explanation
for our international tennis fiascoes of recent years is readily apparent. When
the motivation of our top tennis player is no more than a desire to capitalize
on his ranking, then the system is certainly to be indicted.