MR. ROBINSON'S DEBUT
Congratulations to Ron Fimrite on a fine article (Jaunty Stride into History, March 24) and congratulations to Frank Robinson on his new job. It's about time the hierarchies of major league baseball teams stopped firing and hiring the same managers and got some new faces.
I'm sure that Frank Robinson has been subjected to a lot of pressure during spring training, but so far he has withstood it all. He has kept a cool head, and cool heads win pennants.
G. MORRIS QUICKSILVER
Jim Kaplan's piece on street hockey (Rock 'n' Roll Big City Style, March 24) brought nostalgic tears to these old eyes.
He is not accurate, though, when he says that the game came out of the Depression. As a boy, some 60 or 65 years ago, I reveled in the excitement of roller polo and a league that flourished in southern New England. Played in halls redolent of stale cigar smoke, which were also the locales of third-class pugilistic encounters, the game was hardly as fashionable as roller hockey is becoming, but to its aficionados it furnished many an evening of thrills on cold New England winter nights.
J. MAXIM RYDER
Pompano Beach, Fla.
After reading Jim Kaplan's excellent article, members of the Lower Merion Roller Hockey Club had this one word to say: finally! We participate in an unorganized league consisting of four teams in the Main Line Philadelphia area. The fast-skating, furious-checking roller hockey game began to appeal to us after the ice hockey mania started to spread here. For three years we have played indoors during the winter in a small roller-skating rink with four-inch-high boards and no referees.
Slowly but surely our club has expanded, and we are now officially recognized as a team. In the not too distant future we hope to move into a larger, more modern roller-skating complex and have officials and an expanded schedule.
Thanks for recognizing a sport that has been too long ignored.
Lower Merion Roller
In Palm Beach County, Fla. there is a very much organized eight-team street hockey (we play in tennis shoes) league, started in 1971 by Richard Sokal. My team, the Boynton Bruins, won the Simpson Cup that first year, and there are now more than 100 boys on the eight teams competing for the trophy. Our games are played indoors, usually in gymnasiums, and we have at least two referees per game. Our league has outdrawn the well-established football league in Boynton Beach.
Delray Beach, Fla.
While for the most part I enjoyed the story on roller hockey, I must take issue with Jim Kaplan's statement that it "is replacing stickball in urban folklore." Let me assure you that the game of stickball is alive and well, thriving in cities, suburbs and small towns from coast to coast. The World Stickball Association, which plays its games on the Harvard Law School campus, features players from Tallahassee, Yakima and Peoria, as well as from Bayside and Flatbush. We invite Mr. Kaplan to witness our season opener on April 12 before sounding any more death knells for our great sport.
World Stickball Association
That Old Sinking Feeling (March 17) is another in a series of fine articles by Dan Jenkins. His irreverent humor sometimes treads on thin ice, but it sure has me sliding right along and enjoying every word.