How often do you see a distraught mother rush out of the house to step in and protect her "baby" when her precious has stood up to assert his rights with a playmate? Give me a child who has had to fight—and I mean fight—to stand up for his own ideals.
EUGENE M. LOVELACE
A gold medal for Mrs. Richard J. Ross. This woman has taken the bull by the horns and expressed the feelings of many throughout the country. Why must our children be subjected to the tormenting problems of making the team? The chosen few play, the others watch. You cannot build good bodies by watching someone else playing. Does a child get to relax at the ball field? Well, he's met by a Ralph Houk and his assistants.
Whatever happened to the neighborhood pickup team? I guess you remember the time the 6th Streets played the 7th Streets for half a day through endless innings with about 35 player changes (depending on who had to eat at what time). The only signals we had to memorize were the whistle from Dad or the thumb of an older brother or sister showing you were out of the game and on your way home. Winning or losing that day meant as much to us as Einstein's theory. We went home slightly battle-worn but happy that we had played and had fun for several hours.
As Mrs. Ross points out, let's get rid of the system that prevails and let all children have an equal opportunity to play.
West Islip, N.Y.
THE CUP AND THE LIP
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and Gwilym Brown are to be congratulated on their excellent coverage of the Canada Cup series (The U.S. Is Best, Nov. 19), a series which somehow or other was but sparsely mentioned in the national press.
However, the glittering triumph of U.S. arms in this competition has temporarily blinded Brown, Gwilym, to at least one past British victory in the Walker cup—which he says we haven't won since the Ark ran aground. That triumph in 1938 was one of the most vivid memories of my youth in St. Andrews, Scotland. The American team was strong that year and prospects for the home team rather grim as, a few days earlier, Charlie Yates of Atlanta became the umpteenth American to win the British Amateur. And so, after many years of "stiff upper lip, chaps," the British victory was particularly sweet. We had finally beaten "those bloody Yanks."
But those same Yanks were gracious in defeat. Who can forget Charlie Yates and Gordon Peters, a member of the British team, singing A Wee Deoch-an-Doris in front of the venerable Royal and Ancient clubhouse. This was and is our solitary triumph. And though it probably won't happen again until Australian, Canadian and South African players are combined to make it the Commonwealth vs. the U.S., we did have our day.
Also Mr. Brown, Eric, when he says that the American golfing swarm is all-conquering, would, I like to think, have some second sobering thoughts now that he is back in the misty dew and bracing winds of Scotland. While there is no argument whatsoever that the top U.S. professionals and leading amateurs are in a class above their Scottish counterparts (I speak only for Scotland—the English are a race apart) I firmly believe that a team of average Scottish club golfers would soundly trounce a similar group of American club golfers. After all, let's not forget that the 80-to-90 shooter is the backbone of the game, and if the swarm is all-conquering as claimed they must be included.
Finally, I think that the Commonwealth golfers would be flattered to learn that all they can do, according to Gary Player, is hit the ball straight. I wish that were my only problem.
OIL ON THE FIRE
I consider the article on the Houston Oilers-Boston Patriots game an insult to my intelligence (The Sad Case of the Missing Quarterback, Nov. 26). The guy who wrote it is just about as open-minded as the Russian delegate to the United Nations.