THEORIES AND MEMORIES
I don't usually find many profound theories on the pages of sports magazines worth commenting on, but an exception must be made in reference to your recent series of articles on Ted Williams (Hilling Was My Life, June 10 et seq.). There has never been a more detailed dissertation on hitting a baseball. The word "artistic" has often been abused, and has consequently suffered; however, in this instance, Ted Williams and John Underwood have proved beyond a doubt that hitting a baseball is indeed an art.
Ironically, the week that followed your final article saw the American League without a .300 hitter. There's something absurd about presenting a silver bat, symbolic of excellence, to a .280 hitter at the season's conclusion. Hopefully this can be averted if the theories of the Game's Greatest Hitter can be applied.
JOSEPH X. FLAHERTY
New York City
The series on Ted Williams took me home again to a boyhood in New England—a boyhood in which kids fought for the right to wear No. 9 on their uniforms. It was mowing the lawn or running errands only during the second, fourth and sixth innings of Red Sox games. It was rushing to a radio or TV set when Ted was at bat. It was going to Fenway Park early to watch him take batting practice and staying after the game hoping to see him as he drove away. It was a boyhood in which we didn't sneak cigarettes, because Ted didn't smoke.
Thanks to Ted Williams for a great boyhood, and thanks to SI for letting many of us go home again.
R. G. COLEMAN
Chapel Hill, N.C
I just read Duncan Barnes's article on Richard O'Connor (A One-fly Angler Who Always Travels Light, July 15). I am a professional football player with the Green Bay Packers and have tried my hand at a great many sports. Fly-fishing is one that I have always wanted to try but never had the opportunity to do so.
If Mr. O'Connor has the time I would appreciate any advice on rod, line, flies, etc. that I should buy, since I intend to tackle this sport next spring. In short, any help he can pass on would indeed be appreciated. And if he ever wants to take up my sport I'll be glad to give him some tips.
Green Bay, Wis.
THE BLACK ATHLETE (CONT.)
Your moving articles on The Black Athlete (July 1, et seq.) have a poignancy that goes deep for anyone connected even in the remotest way to sports.
My own link is as an English instructor at UT-El Paso, where I have had in my classes this past year seven of the 11 track athletes who lost their scholarships because they refused to participate at a track meet held at Brigham Young University on the Saturday before Easter.
You have told their story well, with this exception: these boys were hoping to be reinstated on the team for the fall semester 1968. Dr. John West, whom you quote in the third part of the series, arranged a conference between the athletes and the athletic director the week after the BYU incident. It was Dr. West's understanding and that of the athletes that their chance for reinstatement was very bright. However, on the last day of school, just before their departure from campus, the young men were informed by the track coach that they would not have their scholarships renewed.
As a result, a number of us started the Disassociated Students Fund. Our goal is to raise $4,000 for the students' tuition for 1968-1969 and to provide board and room in private homes. We feel there is a moral obligation to allow these young men to finish their education. They were, after all, protesting unfair conditions in the only way they could. Most of the fellows unfortunately are indigent and can get no help from their respective homes. Though all are working this summer, they must live on their salaries and cannot possibly save the amount necessary for tuition.