Tex Maule—bless his empty head—has done it again (Cassius to Win a Thriller, May 24). Tyro Tex, certainly the worst prognosticator in the history of sport, picks Clay to beat Liston on the basis of "common sense."
Please note the postmark on this letter—May 21. Next Tuesday night, in Lewiston, Me., Liston will destroy his weaker, louder, younger opponent simply because he is a lot tougher—physically and mentally—than Clay will ever be.
I have this day bet next week's paycheck on Sonny Liston.
?Too bad (see p. 22).—ED.
Perhaps John Underwood's head was in a cloud of eastern smog when he called Shelby, Mont. a "snake-oil town" (Big Fight Moves to Small Town May 17). Actually, we take our oil in crude, millions of dollars worth. As a matter of fact, accumulative oil production in dollars in the Shelby area since 1923 has run well over $300 million and we're still going strong. Not bad for a "snake-oil" town, huh? Moreover, when we put on a fight we feature professional boxers—not a couple of loud mouth clowns—as you can see by the enclosed ticket (below right). At the time of the Dempsey-Gibbons fight Shelby had a population of less than 1,500 people, but it promoted the bout and raised all the money by itself. The fight wasn't handed to us on a silver platter, like the Lewiston fight.
JOHN F. KAVANAGH
Much thanks to SI for allowing Bill Veeck to go on week after week and show the bungling "high finance" that is ruining a game "what used to was fun."
His articles clearly show an authoritative, basic and clean approach to the problems facing the national pastime. Baseball needs all the Bill Veecks it can find.
No one since Judge Landis and Babe Ruth has done as much for baseball as has the great Bill Veeck. Just ask the fans in Chicago, Cleveland and even St. Louis.
As a desert baseball fan, I am faced with the prospect of driving 500 miles to see the Dodgers or watching baseball on TV. And what do we have on TV this year? On Saturdays ABC brings us a game each week. And on Sundays I and my friends can watch the Yankees on TV; that is, when they are playing in Yankee Stadium. When they are on the road we get nothing. Thanks to the CBS stranglehold, we are blessed with Yankee baseball, or nothing. Of course, this is eighth-place baseball at its best, so I suppose things could be worse. But not much.
Speaking of the owners, what gives with them anyway? Don't they realize that what's good for baseball is also good for their bank balances? If baseball is just another business, as it certainly appears to be (excluding the Chicago Cubs, of course), then why not run it as such? Until recent years, baseball has had things pretty much its own way when it came to competing for the entertainment dollar; not so anymore, however. Now the average sports enthusiast has many outlets of diversion toward which to turn. If baseball's going to be one of them, the owners are going to have to wise up and provide a product that's worth the price of admission. Baseball hasn't changed one iota since the turn of the century, but the price of a seat has. In this respect the majority of the owners seem to have only one shortsighted concern: money and lots of it. As a result, baseball is rapidly becoming a colorless sideshow. Unless it changes its ways and attitude, the day isn't far off when baseball will run out of cities in which to perform.
Mason City, Iowa