One of the great thrills of sport is to see a clever play executed casually, almost without apparent effort. For pun lovers, Frank Deford has done just that, right in the middle of his excellent article on Joe Garagiola.
In writing about identifiable trademarks, he says that Joe has "fallen heir" to one.
MUD IN YOUR EYE
Your article on Steve Carlton (Eliminator of the Variables, April 9) was very well written, but I thought it ironic that Steve would be photographed with a couple of Budweiser cans on the table in front of him. On the other hand, it may be his way of telling Mr. Busch that he is glad that the Cardinals traded him.
CALL TO WORSHIP (CONT.)
As a longtime fan of the Braves of Milwaukee and Atlanta, two cities I have never been in, I enjoyed Dick Young's piece on baseball and its disciples (It's Religion, Baby—Not Show Biz, April 9).
While I agree that football is much better suited to television than is baseball, I submit that baseball probably is better suited to radio broadcasts than any other sport and thereby provides nightly worship services for its fans.
Baseball is a structured sport. The offensive players run in well-defined paths, and the defensive players are responsible for well-defined areas. The average baseball fan can see the action in his mind as the announcer describes a line-drive single to left, a round-the-horn double play or the third baseman making a barehanded pick-up on a slow roller down the line. The listener can easily picture what everyone is doing when the batter hits one in the gap in right center with two on and two out. And as baseball's drama unfolds, the tension often is built on a series of routine plays that are most easy to imagine—the one-hopper to short, the popup to second, etc.
In other sports, players roam more freely, moving in different ways on virtually every play and frequently interchanging positions with teammates. The very possession of the ball or puck or whatever is often in doubt. Despite skilled announcers, it's just not easy to visualize exactly what is going on.
So give me baseball on radio as the perfect supplement to baseball at the park. May there always be 50,000-watt, clear-channel signals bouncing around the country at night. God bless the announcers, wherever they are.
RONALD C. ROBERTS
The article by Dick Young is one of the best I have ever read. Although I rarely watch a baseball game on TV, I am an occasional visitor to Fenway Park. There one reaches the pinnacle of fan enjoyment (or religious fervor). This feeling cannot be captured on television, no matter how exciting the game. It can only be thoroughly realized and enjoyed along with 30,000 others who are as much in love with baseball in general and the team in particular as you are.
Despite this feeling, however, I do not believe television will hurl baseball; in fact, it may actually result in an increase in paying customers. Whenever I watch a game on TV I get an overwhelming desire to drive into Boston so I can see baseball as it was meant to be seen: live and in real color, from the 12th row up in the center-field bleachers.
TIMOTHY M. BUTLER