JOCKO, JACKIE AND TED
Jocko Conlan's story, Nobody Loves an Umpire (June 26 and July 3), is typical of someone trying to promote something. He spoke of an incident in Japan that is certainly a self-projecting story. It is so representative of Jocko, with his great ego. If you checked facts you would find that Con-Ian, while one of the better umpires, was a little man not only in stature but in actions. Check to see the incidents he provoked because the umpire's uniform gave him a little power.
His relating of the alleged incident of the baseball players winking at him and his naming the Negro players is so typical of those who don't want any tag attached to them. I'll bet Jocko cannot get either of the players to back him up.
Finally, I did not go into baseball to be liked by him or anyone else. I had other motives. I am sure Jocko preferred that I be the quiet Negro who did not speak up when wronged. Those days have long since passed, and while Jocko let it be known he disliked Jackie Robinson, the feeling is mutual. One cannot make it by doing things that everybody likes.
I did my best. Jocko's likes or dislikes are of no concern to me. I can only repeat that what I read was either an attempt to build his already overstuffed ego or to project his book. I am certain honorable people see through his selfish motives.
New York City
Hats off to Jocko Conlan for pointing out some of the real and positive things about Ted Williams. From the time I was a kid and followed baseball, I always remember how Williams was pictured as being some type of villain instead of probably the greatest baseball player of all times.
Some people forget that he was a pilot in two wars and that he is a very modest individual. The last time I saw Ted Williams was in 1953 when we just happened to be on the same plane coming back from the Korean war. There were 110 wounded veterans on this plane, and I think only two of us knew that Ted Williams was aboard. Knowing the type of man he was, we didn't bother him regarding his baseball career, and he in turn was very quiet when he walked through the plane's cabin.
CHARLES W. RAYMOND
Robert Creamer's two-part feature on Jocko Conlan was superb, but it didn't say enough about Jocko's career as a player. We saw a lot of Jocko when he was here in Montreal in the early 1930s with the International League's Montreal Royals. He was a southpaw center fielder, with good range, and a better-than-fair hitter. But what is most remembered about Jocko is his gutsy attitude; he'd never back up to anybody.
One day at the park Paul Derringer, then pitching for Rochester before he made it big with Cincinnati, was giving Conlan an awful ride from the bench. Derringer went about 220 pounds to Jocko's 160. First thing we knew Conlan was making a beeline for the Wings' dugout and, before they pulled him away from Derringer and threw him out of the game, he'd made mincemeat out of the big pitcher.
There aren't many like Jocko Conlan nowadays.
PAUL M. DAVIS
Night News Editor
The Montreal Star
THIS IS LIVING?
It was trying enough to read Bob Crozier, the Jesuit priest, on auto racing and then Bill Russell, the basketball player, on morality, but Life with the Jax Pack (July 10) really did it. What are articles and/or authors such as these doing in a magazine supposedly dedicated to sports? Next thing you know Playboy's centerfold will feature Buck-passer sans saddlecloth or that turbine car with its gears stripped.