For in good time all things will come to all people. That has been the ruling thought for many years in the minds of many people in Atlanta. Ever since the '30s, Atlanta has been looking toward the major leagues. We have had a hand in producing some of its most outstanding players—including Eddie Mathews. Probably the Atlanta franchise has been the most successful operation in baseball, not only in the minors but the majors as well. In the days when the old Southern League was Class AA, Atlanta supported itself as well as the rest of the teams.
In losing seasons, faithful Atlanta fans have turned out in better numbers than those in many of the major league cities—many of them walking two miles to the ball park. This I know, because they passed me as I headed for the same destination.
Heaven knows we have had some frustrating experiences here in Atlanta, too. For years there has been an attempt to erect a stadium to house baseball properly. Finally Mayor Ivan Allen came along. Not only that, we were also handicapped by the race issue. Strangely enough, this was not really so much the sin of Atlanta as it was of the small county people. I can remember a good Negro player who had to be placed with Jacksonville, because of provincial minds, when the Braves had a former working agreement with Atlanta. That was a burden we were forced to jive with and outlive. Had it not been for this the Braves might never have visited Milwaukee—even temporarily. In the days when Eddie Mathews played with Atlanta we were only 300,000 in population, but our attendance record proved big league caliber. Seven thousand to 10,000 per game was great attendance in any league. Now Eddie is coming home and bringing his friends with him. We are grateful, humbly so. We've waited 20 years.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
My thanks to Franklin Russell for his fine article on cod fishing in Newfoundland (A Cold Dawn Run from Witless Bay to Erewhon, April 26). It brings back fond memories to me and to, I'm sure, anyone else who knows the thrill of heading down the bay, out into open waters to our favorite fishing spot. There is nothing quite like "boiling the pot" in a motorboat and sitting down to a feed of cod's heads, tongues and the rest.
The sad part of it is that—once more—the ugly head of automation reaches out to gobble up the last remains of our heritage. Our Canadian government allows foreign trawlers from across the ocean, with their floating factories, to invade our waters, and with their equipment they are putting the independent fisherman of Newfoundland out of business.
The day will soon be gone when, in the still of the early morning, the sounds of the one-cylinder motorboats can be heard heading out of the bay. So once again, Mr. Russell, "thanks for the memories."
We were grateful to see that you have given the pollution, by acid mine drainage, of Slippery Rock Creek nationwide attention (SCORECARD, April 5), but we regret that this is necessary.
No God-fearing man in this area has given up the fight, however, and letters by the thousands are being piled up on the desks of our state senators and representatives demanding support of House Bill 585, which is designed to strengthen the hand of the State Sanitary Water Board in dealing with all forms of water pollution.
The head of the Pennsylvania Sanitary Water Board, who pleaded inability to prevent the "death" of Slippery Rock Creek as a trout stream—because his hands were tied by the inadequacy of the laws—is now fighting the very bill that would give him the necessary legal recourse to do his job.
It is through the efforts of such fine publications as SPORTS ILLUSTRATED that the plight of our streams has been brought into national focus, and we hope that our combined efforts may result in the eternal protection of our heritage.
WILLIAM I. MATHEWS
Slippery Rock, Pa.