As a student of unexplained phenomena, and of man's reaction to them, I find that "aiming the .38 into the inky night and touching it off" is the reaction to be expected whenever the unknown is confronted. The piece was aptly placed in the NATURE category—nature of man, that is.
After reading about the work of some rather ambitious mathematicians who, in recent issues, have endeavored to provide readers with equations to compute the distance that home runs such as Reggie Jackson's would hypothetically travel, I have come to the only logical conclusion to which one could be led. Clearly, what every armchair fan needs is a formula that does include such variables as air resistance, the earth's rotation, the ball park's latitude, wind and air currents, the rotation of the ball and any other "significant" factors. Then each fan would be able to compute, beyond any doubt, the exact distance that each home run travels. In fact, if our armchair baseball fan is fast enough with figures, he might also catch the rest of the game action by the bottom of the ninth inning.
The equation offered by Dr. Simeon M. Berman (PEOPLE, Aug. 16) for determining how far a batted ball would travel if it were not obstructed was good. The equation submitted by Laurence Taff (19TH HOLE, Aug. 30) was better. But Casey Stengel's equation is best:
HT/DB+O/O+T/P = HR
For those weak in equations it translates, "Hit the damn ball out of the park." Incidentally, Casey is the only one of the three who made the Hall of Fame.
ROBERT L. CAHILL
East Hampton, N.Y.
TRAIL OF THE BLAZER
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S story on the blazer (SPORTING LOOK, Aug. 23) was a fine treatment of a fashion favorite, but your version of the origin of the blazer is open to question.
Many men's-wear experts, including those at the Men's Fashion Association, believe the blazer actually originated in Queen Victoria's navy when the chief officer of the H.M.S. Blazon designed a jacket for his officers to wear on shore. Made of blue flannel navy-uniform cloth with brass buttons, three patch pockets and a minimum of construction, they were called "blazers" after the name of the ship.
Blazers were later adopted by boating, cricket and tennis clubs, and were sometimes made in a particular club's colors, such as red blazer with white piping or blazer with stripes.
Though its origin may be in question, there is no disputing the fact that the blazer has become the symbol of versatility in a man's wardrobe.
Men's Fashion Association of America
New York City