Tilden Author Long Before He Started Game

Damon Runyon

San Francisco Examiner/January 6, 1924


Richards, Also, Aims to Follow Newspaper Profession; Legitimate Way to Make Money

NEW YORK, Jan. 6. The amateur rules committee of the National Tennis Association thinks prominent tennis players should be prohibited from writing articles for newspapers or magazines “for substantial compensation.”

This is quite silly.

As well prohibit tennis players from practicing law or medicine, or working in stores for compensation.

The theory is that the tennis players who write are commercializing their reputations—a theory that does not hold water.

William T. Tilden, the national tennis champion, was writing three years before he gained a tennis reputation.

Perhaps if Tilden had not bothered with tennis he would be better known as a writer today than a tennis player.

Tilden gave tennis valuable time that he might have devoted to developing his talent as a writer—time that he can never reclaim.

Vincent Richards, a great young tennis player, has been trying to fit himself for permanent newspaper work ever since his school days.

Baseball once made a similar hullabaloo about star players writing for the newspapers, or permitting their names to be used over articles.

The writer could never see any good reason for the objection, even in the latter instance, if the ideas for the articles were supplied by the ballplayers, if they accepted responsibility for them.

Many men lacking the ability to put their ideas in readable form none the less possess ideas that are worth reading. They have a definite claim to authorship on the basis of the material they supply.

Furthermore, the writer could never see any good reason for denying a man or woman the right to take advantage of financial opportunity in any legitimate way.

Dr. Dave Syman of Springfield, Ohio, is a most unusual pugilistic manager.

He insists on his fighters being IN CONDITION.

“No training, no fights,” writes Dr. Syman. “That’s what I tell my boys. You can’t fight without being in condition. You can’t win fights without being in condition.

“You can’t please the promoters unless your boys are in condition. You can’t please the fans unless you are in condition. So that is my warning to my boys—no condition, no fights.”

The doctor, of course, adds the information that he has some very good fighters whose services are on the fistic markets, including Tommy Martin, a middleweight, with twenty-two consecutive knockouts to his credit.

(Source: https://www.newspapers.com/image/457910975/?terms=Damon%2BRunyon)


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