ROAD RACING: IT MUST NOT DIE
I am extremely sorry that SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has sounded the death knell of road racing. "City-to-city racing is doomed," you say, "and probably justifiably so" (Speed and Indianapolis, May 27). Road racing is a great sport whose unhappily sad plight should not be accepted passively, least of all by a magazine of sport. The Pan-American road race and the Mille Miglia were two great sporting tests of men and machines, incomparably more fascinating, romantic and grueling than anything at Indianapolis, where a bunch of identical vehicles run around in circles. Road racing, or as you call it, city-to-city racing, must not be allowed to die. The answer is in properly preparing the course for the safety of spectators. Both the Mille Miglia and Pan-American courses have numerous high points of vantage from which a part of the race can be seen. Spectators must be banned from roadside points and from village streets. Lastly, some reasonable limitation, but only reasonable, must be placed on the displacement of cars entered.
ROAD RACING: BLOODY HOT RODS
Recently the morning newspapers headlined the needless racing tragedy in Italy in which 13 lives were lost, including several children (SI, May 20). Is this the type of "sport" your magazine should feature in such great detail, along with baseball, track, golf, basketball, football, hockey and tennis?
Let us consign this bloody form of mayhem to the hot rod magazines and concentrate on true sport where the ultimate reward is glory in life rather than in death.
ROAD RACING: NOT A BAD WAY TO GO
Admitting that the Mille Miglia may be too dangerous for modern cars, I still object to the use of the word "horror" in your article. Where's the horror in the death of 13 people at an automobile race? That's not a bad way to go. They were all there by choice, and they knew the danger.
Your account of the drivers in that race shows that they prized their courage more than their lives. If death in any form horrifies you, you may be illustrated but you are no sports.
BASEBALL: ERRING SCORERS
I want to comment on the practice of using local newspapermen as "official scorers" in major league baseball games.
These men travel with and write daily baseball articles about their particular teams and naturally are prejudiced. I am not questioning their integrity, but it is human to form a partisan attitude under these circumstances.
When the home town pitcher has a no-hit game going, or when the local slugger has a consecutive hitting streak riding, these guys invariably get the break on a close hit or error play.
Why not have one of the umpires, or even an additional one, act as official scorer? Decisions then would be absolutely unbiased.
Are these newspapermen paid to act as official scorers? If so, by whom—the individual club or the league?
L. B. WEATHERFORD