Probably the most competent announcer (radio or TV) to ever call a game was Mike Frankovich, the head of Frankovich Productions in Hollywood. Thirty years ago Frankovich described all the home games of the Los Angeles Angels and Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League over radio station KFAC in Los Angeles.
Southern California baseball fans who are purists will fondly recall his articulate, highly descriptive "word pictures," as he called them. Frankovich knew the players, the umpires, the rules, to say nothing of inside baseball—and he knew how to skillfully put everything together in the manner of a craftsman.
Compared to Frankovich, the metaphorical manglers the networks foist upon us today sound like rank amateurs. Unfortunately, they are paid professional rates.
PAUL R. MARACIN
I was glad to see a criticism of the World Series announcers for NBC television. As for myself, I turned off the sound of my TV and watched the last four games in silence.
What ever happened to Dizzy Dean?
A loud amen to Wilfrid Sheed's TV TALK. It was just one column long, but it should have been printed in capital letters and taken a whole page. Then copies should have been sent to all sportscasters.
I am a devoted baseball fan and listen to all televised games. I am so sick of the announcers' talk, talk, talk. Why don't they just call the game and then shut up?
MRS. JACK E. BUTLER
North Hollywood, Calif.
That SI carefully dissects TV sportscasting while TV does not criticize the press is an unfortunate paradox of our free-press system. May Wilfrid Sheed be reminded that while a sportswriter has the help of retrospect and his eraser, the sportscaster is not afforded these luxuries. He must think spontaneously and accurately for two to three hours in front of millions, and therefore some things get said that shouldn't.
For a sportswriter, Robert H. Boyle has a terribly short memory if he thinks the 1969 crop of pro football rookies is the best (The Year of the Rookies, Oct. 20). Has he forgotten 1952 and rookies like Hugh McElhenny, Frank Gifford, Ollie Matson, Gino Marchetti, Bobby Dillon, Billy Howton, Babe Parilli, Bert Rechichar, Ray Renfro, Pat Summerall, Duane Putnam, Ed Modzelewski, Dick (Night Train) Lane, Dave (Hawg) Hanner, Volney (Skeet) Quinlan, Howard Ferguson, Bill McColl and Jim Dooley?
The Year of the Rookies was a fine idea and interesting pictorially, even though you perpetuated the tiring overexposure of O. J. Simpson. But you really blew it when you neglected to mention Larry Smith. The names of rookies who have made a George Allen team since 1966 could be written on Tiny Tim's thumbnail. If you were to ask All-Pros Dick Bass and Tommy Mason why they are permitted so much time to relax on the sidelines this year, they would answer with two words: Larry Smith.