Happy Chandler's article (How I Jumpea from Clean Politics into Dirty Baseball, April 26 and May 3) was of real interest to me. I have followed baseball for more than 50 years and I can agree with several of his conjectures about the future of the game.
He might be correct in his statement that if Denny McLain had been privately disciplined before his troubles became public knowledge, the fellow might not have become involved to the extent that he did. However, there is another thing to consider. Some people, unfortunately, think that they cannot fit into any logical operation of rules and regulations. They want to set their own rules and do as they see fit and forget about baseball or anyone affected other than themselves.
I do agree that baseball has suffered from a lack of strong leadership and that, probably, management has swung an ax over the commissioner's office. I agree that Ford Frick was a total washout. The worst possible choice was Bowie Kuhn, a New York corporation lawyer with no record of administrative ability, a man who would probably ask a consensus vote if he were asked the time of day. In fact, as a baseball commissioner he is simply impossible.
Since I am so smart, you might ask me who I think would qualify for the job. One man I have in mind would probably be superior: Bill Veeck. He knows baseball. He has been on both sides of the desk, and I think he is absolutely honest and fearless. He would be a strong commissioner and not a yes man.
His chances? Absolutely none. Baseball is sort of like government bureaucracy. If you want a job done, pick out the most inept individual, give him a big salary and tell him to keep his mouth shut.
Thank for you publishing A. B. (Happy) Chandler's account of himself. It has taught me the true meaning of sour grapes.
WILLIAM O. DANNEVIG
I didn't know that God was ever commissioner of baseball. My condolences to the martyred Mr. Chandler.
You have got to be kidding! The best way to appreciate the "cleanliness" of Kentucky politics is to live here for a year—Mayor Daley would look like a saint.
THOMAS J. GREENLESE
Chandler is critical of baseball because "money is favored above all else." Do I detect a bit of hypocrisy when Chandler gives as one of his reasons for taking the job of commissioner the $40,000 difference in salary over that of a U.S. Senator?
Concerning the breaking of the color line in baseball, I wonder what Chandler's reasons were for such statements as, "Robinson didn't always help much because he had a little bit of a chip on his shoulder," and "Robinson never had a disposition for humbleness." And what was his reasoning behind the threat of taking Robinson out of the lineup in a World Series game just because he criticized a strike call by the umpire? I wonder how many other players were treated in the same manner. Or did no one else ever criticize an umpire's decision while Chandler was commissioner?
RICHARD T. HOGAN