SI Vault
October 29, 1956
THE DRAMA OF OCT. 15Sirs:Last April I meant to write you to tell you that your Special Baseball Issue marked the coming of age of the best magazine in the country. I never did get around to doing it, and the same thing happened when your Special Football Issue came out early this fall.
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
October 29, 1956

19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3

?Miss Samuels might find comfort in William Saroyan's conclusion: "The Dodgers lost.... It might have happened to the Yankees, as many of sound judgment thought it would, but it happened to the Dodgers."—ED.

With baseball's hot-stove season on us, now is the time for all good fans to gather round. As a St. Louis Cardinal fan, I am able to claim few distinctions for my team for the 1956 season. It is true, for instance, that the Cardinals had what was undoubtedly the strongest alumni group in the majors this year: seven of the 13 top batters listed in the final unofficial averages (I like to point this out to people in the hope that word will eventually get back to Frank Lane) were either Cardinals or recent emigres from the Cardinals.

That such a talented collection of athletes managed to restrain itself to fourth place seems to me to be a perfect example of Liebling's Law, a principle once formulated by a contributor to your pages (SI, Dec. 5 and 12, 1955). This is that if you play your Cards right, you can pick yourself up by the seat of the pants and throw yourself out into the street.

All this, however, is beside the immediate point. Having so few rewards for our pains during the recent season, we Cardinal fans hate to be deprived of any of them by mere editorial oversight. And that, sirs, is your offense in listing, all through the season, some athlete other than our own Don Blasingame as the leading non-hitter of home runs. Blasingame went 0 for 587 in the homer department—which is pretty near as good as you can get in that particular field. The only man close to him in either league, in fact, was Dick Groat of Pittsburgh, with 0 for 520. Your two candidates—Cardinal alumnus Schoendienst (2 for 487) and non-Cardinal Temple (2 for 632)—just weren't in it.
New York

As a tennis official on and off for over 30 years, I want to congratulate you and the Messrs. Kramer and Talbert for the splendid articles they have been writing (U.S. Tennis Is Being Killed, SI, Oct. 8).

Sports Illustrated, with its wide interest, is doing a world of good for tennis, and is appreciated by the millions of tennis players throughout the country.

Mr. Kramer's reference to the domination of grass courts and the "old guard" is very much appreciated, because I am, perhaps, one of the old guard, having served for many years as a member of the USLTA Executive Committee and for five years as secretary, although no longer in the active official picture.

More power to you!

I do not mind Jack Kramer's elegy, but I do bemoan a sweeping statement that raised the hair on this former Aussie head of mine: "Down there we know that education isn't as important to a boy as it is up here...." I have taught in high schools in each country, and Mr. Kramer misleads his readers when he dismisses Australian systems of education so lightly. He implies either that Australia is happily raising nincompoops (male)—so long as they play tennis well—or that Australian Davis Cup players are content to border on the illiterate. Mr. Kramer does not know that some subject matter taught here in high schools has been covered in Australia at the grade school level, and that Australian high schools provide much material ordinarily the work of university freshmen here.

I should like to add two other comments. In the United States and Australia sports are on different levels. Here they are greatly in the hands of the big colleges and professional teams, involving money and coaches galore. There the ordinary man and woman goes out after his or her own sports—as participator, not spectator. There are countless clubs for a great variety of sports in towns, cities and country districts that compete the year round against each other on Saturday afternoons (shops are closed) or mid-week. All are amateurs and love their games.

Continue Story
1 2 3