As I see it, there are two steps that can be taken to save baseball: 1) subject the game to antitrust laws and 2) elect a strong commissioner, not a rubber stamp.
Such steps would prevent baseball from pulling another fast one, such as the sale of the Yankees, and would afford club owners the opportunity to come up with a few ideas that might draw more fans.
The game could do with a few more Charles O. Finleys and a few less Ford C. Fricks.
In Gerald Holland's fine piece about Greasy Neale (Nothing to Prove, Nothing to Ask, Aug. 24) he quotes Neale talking about a game he played in 1917: "We came up to Youngstown's 22-yard line on a third down with one to go. In the huddle, our quarterback, Milt Ghee, an All-America from Dartmouth, said, 'Greasy, what will we do?' " It seems to me Greasy's answer might well have been, "What are we doing out here in the first place?" As I recall, back in 1917 quarterbacks called the plays while in formation via prearranged number signals. The huddle wasn't adopted until at least 10 years later.
New York City
?The huddle was first used in 1896 by Amos Alonzo Stagg. Although the invention of the huddle is credited to Bob Zuppke of Illinois in 1921 and it did not find general acceptance until the mid-'20s, teams were huddling indoors and outdoors long before that. When asked about it all, Neale explained, "We used the huddle in 1917 because that was the only way we could figure out what we were going to do since we never practiced before the game."—ED.
Having had the privilege of playing for Greasy Neale while at the University of Virginia and later being associated with him as team physician of the Philadelphia Eagles while he was in Philadelphia, I heartily agree that, as far as football is concerned there is "nothing to prove," in that he is one of the alltime greats. However, I disagree that there is "nothing to ask"—why isn't Greasy in the Football Hall of Fame?
HARRISON F. FLIPPIN, M.D.
I applaud your recognition of the U.S. International Sailing Association for its herculean efforts in supporting and stimulating our Olympic and Pan American sailing programs. (Stars That Shine with Tokyo Gold, Aug. 17.) I was alarmed, however, at your statement that the "strong" Star and 5.5-meter classes were being pruned to turn up material to be lent to the "weak" Finn, Dutchman, and Dragon classes.
What makes our Star and 5.5-meters classes strong is not so much the wealth of American talent as the relative weakness of the competition abroad, where only a small minority can afford to compete in these classes. In England, for example, there is only one registered Star and only a weak handful of old 5.5s. What makes our high-performance classes like the Finn and the Flying Dutchman relatively weak is not a lack of our best talent. It is, rather, the almost fanatical intensity of the sailors in northern Europe who enter competitions in these two classes.
ANDREW T. KOSTANECKI
New Canaan, Conn.
Hurray for Gilbert Rogin and A Girl Named Sinn (Aug. 24).
New York City
Marty Sinn seems to be a typical college coed in many respects, but in two fields she is unique: swimming and dating. Her record of 56 dates in a row ties the immortal Joe DiMaggio's streak of 56 games in a row with a hit. But what happened on the 57th night? Did she run out of "nerds and hunks" or did she finally have to study?