SI Vault
August 12, 1968
GOOD OLD MENSirs:Your fine four-page photo story of the first U.S. Masters Track and Field Championships (A Masterful Meeting of Two-score Men, July 29) was an outstanding recognition of the city of San Diego and the more than 200 participants representing 25 states. While the pictures humorously portrayed the meet, your readers might want to know of a few of the many fine performances.
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August 12, 1968

19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

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There is no doubt that the series, and perhaps the book that will follow, will be a significant addition to a better understanding of one of America's most critical problems.

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and Time Inc. are to be commended for taking leadership in this vital area.
Director of Marketing
Howard Johnson's
New York City

Bravo and congratulations to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and Jack Olsen for the tremendous series on the black athlete!

Your articles have had considerable impact on El Paso, though they have not effected any change in university policy. I, like many others, was grateful to have what I know to be true appear in print with so much authority, and I look forward to seeing the effect of this revealing series in the seasons ahead.
El Paso

I feel that Mr. Olsen has failed in one area. He has failed to give recognition to any work already being done to equalize the races in the field of sports. Dan Devine, the athletic director and football coach of Missouri, has done more than many of the coaches across the country combined. In his 13 years of coaching football, only a very few of his football players have failed to graduate. He gives them, both black and white, the understanding they need. He has, in his 10 years at Mizzou, compiled one of the best won-lost records in the country. He has done this by taking high school football players and making them not only excellent football players but also excellent men.

Now that all of the uproar has begun, a lot of colleges are hiring Negro coaches, but Devine hired Prentice Gautt before all of this trouble in the sports world. He saw the need, and he sought to fill this lack as soon as he could.
Florissant, Mo.

As an ardent Cardinal fan for the past 35 years and the parent of a teen-age boy who lives and dies with the team's fortunes each fall, it was with special interest that I read Part 5 of Jack Olsen's series detailing the woes that befell the team during the 1967 season.

As we watched the Cardinals lose to the Giants at Yankee Stadium last December, we believed—albeit naively, it would now appear—that the concern of the coaching staff and the players was to give their best to try and win the game and not worry whether a man's skin under the jersey he wore was either white or black.

Small wonder that the Giants won the game by a mere 23 points—or that the Cardinals were able to win any games at all!

It would appear the only hope for the Cardinals this season and in the future is that the Cardinal troublemakers have either been traded, retired, or finally grown to manhood. It's tough enough to win in the NFL with 40 men playing as a team. Cardinal fans deserve something better than supporting a group of individuals.
Cedar Grove, N.J.

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