This is really an open letter to Mr. Ford Frick: Recently Maury Wills failed to break a record solely because of an artificially imposed game limit set by you. This is the most unfair and illogical dictum that has ever come out of your office.
Baseball has long been the national sport of America, but such unpopular and irrational rules and regulations imposed by yourself and the owners are steadily lessening the ranks of fans. Records are part of every sport, but in no sport, save baseball, are they so sacrosanct that they cannot be taken on their face value.
Football has increased the length of its season, but do the records of passes, completions, catches, yardage, points carry asterisks for the increase of games? What about basketball and points scored? Do track records show the fact of better equipment and fields on broken records? Baseball isn't even consistent with existing records. Why doesn't the strikeout record show how many innings Feller pitched and demand that the record be broken in the same number? This is ridiculous? Why? You consider the whole season? Then why not in stolen bases?
Even Ty Cobb's record should be carrying an asterisk. He didn't set the record, Mr. Frick, in 154 games, but in 156, as you well know, but no one has bothered to worry about it before because it was the season that counted! Then, please, why isn't the whole season considered here?
Records are the result of stellar performances on the part of athletes in a game, series or season of any sport. The tingling tension of such effort should come strictly from the record itself, and not from the artificial barriers erected by men who have nothing to do with the unfolding drama.
Mr. Frick, I recognize your authority in presenting an orderly program of games for the enjoyment of the public, but neither you nor I nor anyone has anything to say about Ty Cobb's record. Only one little, amazing man, inching off first base, holds the final word on that record. Watch him intently with the rest of us, Mr. Frick, and don't say anything unless you want to join with us in yelling: "Go, Go, Go, Maury!"
FR. MICHEL GAGNON, OFM
O.K.! Now that that fiasco in Chicago is over let's cut out all of these silly stories like: How I Love To Smell Violets, by Primo Camera. Next time around, let's talk about the fighter and his capabilities, not about his inner tensions and whether or not he was disliked by his first-grade teacher.
F. N. HOWE
THAT'S MY BOY
I am a senior in high school now. And have played football for three years. I was reading your 19th Hole (Sept. 17) when I came across a reply from a man in Toledo.
I must say that he is entirely right about parents and football supporters who have sons on the team. Parents are always pressing the football players to win. And pretty soon it won't be a game at all.
It's getting to the point that a father will be ashamed of his son for something his son has done in a "pressure football game."