I have read with much amusement The Big Golf Secret (Sept. 24) and, for what this is worth, I would like to express a few comments that the writers missed in favor of splitting the winner's money.
First, in baseball a pitcher can walk a batter intentionally. It is permitted as a matter of strategy.
Second, it's an old maxim in Wall Street, "Don't put your eggs all in one basket." Well, the golf pros have a perfect right to play it safe, too. So I see no harm but a lot of good coming out of a deal where the money is split. It is, after all, a business venture, just like other professional sports.
GEORGE F. CRONMILLER JR.
Let us just imagine that in the World Series (of baseball) each team has won three games. After nine innings of the seventh game, the teams are tied. The opposing managers get their heads together and agree to split the player pot evenly among all concerned. What is likely to be the reaction of those rabid baseball fans who sit in the stands (or remain glued to their television sets) to watch their favorite team fight to a spectacular victory when they learn later that the contest had been settled at the end of nine innings?
THE OL' CANARY HIDE
The cover of your October 1 issue showing red, white and blue baseballs is quite interesting. In fact, it gave me an idea.
For years we have heard ballplayers complain about the sea of white shirts, as seen from the batter's box, making it difficult to see the ball and at times causing the batter to be hit by a pitched ball.
What would be wrong with a brightly colored baseball? For example, yellow, which could probably be seen better than any other color.
No need to tell me that the pitchers would not go for this idea, but I would like to know the thinking along these lines.
?The yellow baseball has already made its mark in the major league game; in fact, it was enshrined in the Hall of Fame. The idea was first introduced in 1938 by Frederic H. Rahr, president of a New York marketing research and color consulting firm, who developed a special minus-blue yellow which, by absorbing the blue of the sky and the ground, would enable the batter—and the fans—to see the entire circumference of the ball. "The result," says Rahr, "was that the ball looked bigger to the batter and appeared to move slower. The eye could follow the ball through its complete trajectory on a high fly." With the blessing of Larry MacPhail, then vice-president of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and Commissioner Landis, Rahr's yellow ball was put to the test in a double-header between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field.
The general reaction to the experiment was favorable—except for Brooklyn Pitcher Fred Fitzsimmons. He had yellow dye up to his elbows. "Pitchers were afraid of it because there was more hitting," Rahr admits, "but there was also better fielding. Fans were delighted." Following further experiments in Chicago and St. Louis, Spalding contracted to produce yellow balls and the National League officially accepted the yellow sphere—on the condition that managers specifically requested it. They never did.—ED.