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Certainly one of the best things SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has brought to the enjoyment of sports is the number of new names it has added to the roster of fine sportswriters," reader Ralph Cautley write s us from Sacramento, Calif.
Names that naturally crossed my mind included Gerald Holland, Martin Kane, Whitney Tower, Alfred Wright, Paul O'Neil, Coles Phinizy—but because I happened to see this letter during the climactic day last week when the World Series ended, the name of Associate Editor Robert Creamer (who in this issue writes his final story of the 1955 baseball season) came first.
Our readers who have seen his stories on football at Slippery Rock State Teachers College (SI, Nov. 15) and the Wanamaker Mile (Feb. 14), among others, know that Bob Creamer's talents extend far beyond baseball. But during the baseball season, it's baseball he writes.
Tall, flaxen-haired and unduly given to sunburn, Bob opened the season this year with a visit to the Giants' training camp in Phoenix, Ariz. (SI, Mar. 21). Amid the tanned faces and rainbow-hued sportswear of the other sportswriters, Bob cut a solemn figure in a dark suit and darker hat, which he wore like a protective umbrella against the sun's rays. To Leo Durocher and the rest of the Giants he promptly became known as The Undertaker.
Perhaps Bob won't mind my pointing out the weakness in the nickname, which was that when the season began he made the Giants his alive and kicking choice to win the National League pennant, a decision he revised in our July 18 issue when he felt compelled to give them a reluctant, early but nonetheless emphatic burial. A prediction for the World Series came out strikingly better: Creamer was almost alone in singling out the aging Jackie Robinson as a likely key figure in a Brooklyn triumph.
With baseball entering its off season, Bob Creamer is ready again to bring an encyclopedic knowledge to bear on other parts of the world of sports. In his case "encyclopedic" is not an extravagant term; before he joined SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Creamer was the sports editor of Collier's Encyclopedia and Collier's Year Book.
One of SI's expressed purposes is to report sports in the words of experts who are also entertaining writers. If SI has succeeded, I think it is fair to say that one reason is that Robert Creamer, in Reader Cautley's words, is among the many names this magazine "has added to the roster of fine sportswriters."