Your story on the fine points of the double play (SI, April 25) carries an illustration which shows a right-handed first baseman taking the throw with his left foot on the bag.
By the time this reaches you, that first baseman must be on his way to Class D.
C. BARNES WALBRIDGE
?If he is on his way to Class D he'll have a lot of bona fide major leaguers going with him. While it certainly is to the advantage of a right-handed first baseman to keep his right foot on the base when taking a throw (it enables him to stretch further with his left, or gloved, hand), nevertheless the circumstances of the moment dictate which foot to use. On a double play such as that illustrated in SI, the first baseman plays deep, has to race in at an angle toward the base to receive the throw from the pivot man at second. If he has time to set himself, he'd use his right foot. If he hasn't, he'll jab the base with the left foot, which is nearer. Happens every day.—ED.
I CAN HEAR LIPPY NOW
The question of breaking up a double play by getting hit by the ball will settle itself.
When sizzling grounders crack a few shinbones and pulverize some kidneys—and star players are wrapped in casts or listening to the games from hospital beds—managers will jolly well tell the boys to get the hell out of the way.
In fact, I can hear leather-lunged Lippy snarling, as he finger-jabs the air, "What's more, any you numbskulls get hit by a ball, an' it's $100 off the paycheck, see?"
A LITTLE FRIENDLY RIBBING
Fred Haney's HOTBOX comment (SI, April 25), "[The Pirates] could be the best last-place team in the league's history," reminds me of the first grader who attended a school where the reading classes were grouped by levels of reading ability.