El Cordob�s' major achievement is in having revived worldwide interest in bull-fighting, which was on the wane after the retirement of Ord��ez in 1962. He has given Spain a great tourist attraction, comparable to England's Beatles and our own Cassius Clay. But anyone who knows anything at all about the bulls can see that he is relatively inept with the capote, and his faenas consist of a few high passes. Moreover, he fights con pies juntos (with his feet together). His style, therefore, is unattractive, unclassical and unemotional. He never changes the direction of the bull's charge and, therefore, does not tire the animal. Thus, when it comes time for the kill, the bull's head is not lowered as it should be at this point, with the result that it is very hard to kill correctly. When El Cordob�s kills, going high up over the horns, he looks more like a fisherman casting his rod than a man performing the emotional, historical climax of an age-old art. And bullfighting is an art. I think Mr. Ress should have titled his article: Since When Is Artistry in a Bullring Not Enough?
New York City
?Aficionado Lyons, the son of Columnist Leonard Lyons, speaks for several correspondents who feel that this is the year of El Viti.—ED.
The Rev. Milo L. Ernster wondered "whoever laid out the first baseball diamond" and "why he laid it out backward," that is, counterclockwise (19TH HOLE, Aug. 17). As a student of baseball, I recently finished a paper on baseball in pre-Civil War America. While researching I found this statement, which I paraphrase from Preston D. Orem's Baseball from the Newspaper Accounts: Volume I, 1845-1881: The game first got the name "base-ball" in the Boy's Book of Sports, published in New Haven in 1839. This book also contained the first counterclockwise rules. Previously bases were run in a clockwise direction.
Thus, it would seem the revolutionary idea Reverend Ernster wishes to have tested failed over a century ago.
PHILIP F. HERSH
Reverend Ernster is most assuredly right when he says that his proposed rearrangement "would make a completely different game" out of baseball; and baseball could truly use some changing.
But the Reverend's proposed change is not what baseball needs and would, in fact, make a complete farce out of the game for one simple reason. As baseball now stands, the right-handed infielders (first basemen excluded) have a distinct advantage over their left-handed counterparts. (This is simply because a right-hander can throw more easily and quicker to his left than a lefthander can.) This advantage is so important, in fact, that all infielders in the majors are now, out of necessity, right-handers.
With the Reverend's "natural approach" the situation would reverse itself, and the right-handed infielders would be at a disadvantage—therefore necessitating the rapid development of a vast number of left-handed infielders. Obviously there would not be nearly as many players to choose from as before, and the quality of play by infielders would be greatly lowered. I'm sure the Reverend can see the sound reasoning that eliminates the possibility of any serious baseball league ever adopting his system; but I'm also sure that the Reverend's system could be an enjoyable variation on baseball for some nonserious teams to experiment with.
River Vale, N.J.
WILL THE REAL TONY...?
I would like to compliment Frank De-ford for a fine article (Not Much To Do But Eat, Sleep and Play Baseball, Aug. 3) about the bright young Red Sox star Tony Conigliaro.
I thought you might be interested to know that here at the State University College, Oswego, N.Y., we have our own Tony C. That's right, Tony Conigliaro from Frankfort, N.Y. Tony graduated this past June and will be teaching and coaching basketball in Whitesboro, N.Y. this year.
But Oswego State's Tony C. certainly will not be forgotten soon by local athletic boosters. Tony won three varsity letters in basketball and one in baseball. In three varsity seasons with the Laker five, Tony tallied 822 points and capped his varsity career by being selected as the Most Valuable Player in the State Universities Conference tournament.