You don't have to look any farther for a Sportsman of the Year for 1965. In the highest sense of the term, Gary Player wins the title hands down. In these days of crass commercialism, here's a man that holds honor and pride above the mighty dollar, leads a clean, exemplary life and possesses the skill and guts to win what is probably the toughest test of nerves and stamina in the sports world today. It took a rare brand of courage for him to come back brilliantly in the playoff, after blowing a three-stroke lead on the last three holes.
ARTHUR L. GROO
Pompano Beach, Fla.
Your account of Kel Nagle's penalty incident in the Open was interesting, but I would welcome a further discussion of what happened.
Rule 11-5 covers play of a second ball in case of doubt as to rights or procedure. The only doubt in Nagle's case seems to be whether or not a penalty stroke would be assessed, because he already considered the ball unplayable and would drop in any case. It would seem he would drop the ball, play it and ask for a ruling. As you tell it, he would have been able to decide how to play the second ball from the results obtained with the first one. This seems an unfair advantage. Perhaps you would clarify.
?Under rule 11-5 the first ball was played under a strict penalty for an unplayable lie. The second ball was played without penalty under the ground-under-repair rule. Since the second ball did eventually count, Nagle indeed got what amounted to a practice shot.—ED.
THE WAILING WALL
Blaming that left-field wall for Red Sox incompetence (The Great Wall, June 28) is like blaming Faneuil Hall, Old Ironsides or the Bunker Hill Monument for Boston's climate. The reason for Sahx mediocrity is obvious. They just lack vigah.
Allow me to commend Jack Mann for his penetrating analysis of the woes of the Red Sox. I have been a loyal Sox booster for some 15 years but, like fans in other cities where subpar baseball has been played over similar periods, my tolerance for lackluster performances is running out.
Though I agree that the wall is more of a hindrance than an aid to the overall record of the Sox, I would emphasize that this is due to the lack of adequate pitching more than to the detrimental effect of the "Fenway stroke" that Boston players carry with them to visiting ball parks. It is axiomatic that good pitching will overcome good hitting in the long run—and it is precisely this that kills the Red Sox year after year. To win in Comiskey Park, Municipal Stadium, Chavez Ravine or Memorial Stadium you need pitching; and because the Sox staff is dominated by right-handers to cope with Fenway Park, the team suffers from this imbalance when lefties are needed in other parks throughout the league.
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Why should any Red Sox fan take Yaw-key's teams seriously? The owner himself does not. Until he does, I will continue to dream what it would be like if the Boston Red Sox, left-field wall included, won the World Series. Even in eighth place, I would rather dream than switch!
College Park, Md.
The critics of our much maligned Fenway wall all have one thing in common. They neglect to inform the stranger that the high wall has been scarred time and again over the years by balls that would have been line drive home runs in any other park in either league.
I have just finished reading James Lipscomb's breathtaking article, 72 Hours of Terror (SI, June 14). Having served as a seasonal park ranger in the Tetons for three summers, I know to some small degree the weariness, frustrations and agony the rescuers endured. The article left me completely exhausted.