I felt very fortunate to have been around at the finish, while Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf, second on the money-winning list at the time, had missed the cut. I finished ahead of a couple of other guys, too—namely, Trevino, Yancey, Lunn, Snead and the defending champ, Don January.
I don't mean to beat my own drum, but because I chose a career in golf that would permit me to spend more time with my family while playing in a few events, I can't appreciate Mr. Kirkpatrick's disparaging remarks about club pros and their miss-the-cut reunions.
The Tacoma Country & Golf Club
UP FOR TRADES
I wish to make a trade with Frank Lane (Would You Trade With This Man? Aug. 26). My property is one red-headed baseball nut who sits glued to the TV set from the time the first pitch has been thrown until the last out has been called. During the season this person can quote everybody's batting average, but he forgets my birthday, doesn't speak, doesn't listen, eats his meals while balancing them on his knees, and no one, for fear of hospitalization, blocks his view. To present my case more clearly: I spent my honeymoon at the World Series!
Yes, Mr. Lane, you and I have certainly had our problems. You solved yours, sir, now how about working on mine?
Forest Park, Ohio
CURT AND WILLIE
Having been to the Chicago- St. Louis game in which Curt Flood made the great catch that was displayed on the August 19 cover of SI, I thought that I should defend your selection of Mr. Flood as baseball's best centerfielder. Mr. Jim Simon (19TH HOLE, Sept. 2) wrote to you saying that Flood's catch was a technically bad one and that Willie Mays would have made it easily. With all due respect to Mr. Mays, I doubt that he could have come near that ball on his aging legs.
The batter at the time was Cub Outfielder Billy Williams, who is an ultra-left-handed pull hitter. Most, if not all, of the league's centerfielders play Williams in right centerfield, as did Flood in this case. The ball was hit on a low trajectory toward straightaway center field, as was shown in the picture. What the picture could not show, however, was Flood's great jump on the ball or his tremendous speed and recklessness as he streaked for the wall.
I hope that Mr. Simon will now be willing to submit to the fact that Curt Flood, and not Willie Mays, is baseball's premier centerfielder.
Several letters in the September 2 issue of SI suggest that your appraisal of Curt Flood was inaccurate. Willie Mays is the greatest centerfielder baseball has ever known. Comparing their careers, Mays and Flood aren't in the same class, by any means. But be realistic, Flood critics. Over the last two years, with Flood in his prime and Mays past it, Curt has been the better ballplayer.
Idols die hard.
DR. FAGER'S RECORD
Your issue of September 2 was a most disappointing one and tended to confirm my doubts about the mission of your magazine. My complaint began to take form when Whitney Tower—or whoever gives him his assignments—chose to ignore Dr. Fager's defeat of Damascus in the Suburban Handicap on July 4. In your issue of July 29 Billy Reed reported, in a very interesting story, Damascus' win over Dr. Fager in the Brooklyn Handicap. I began to take hope.