You say Jockey Mickey Solomone's last name "rhymes with boney" (FACES IN THE CROWD, May 16). Baloney!
New York City
•Well, a little like baloney, but something like salami, too.—ED.
THE AVERAGE MAN SPEAKS UP
Let's get away from this "big-boy bug," as in The Shotput Explosion (April 25). What would a person my size (5 feet 9 inches, 160 pounds) do with the same shot? What is expected as a good performance for the average-size man?
If those behemoths outweigh us normal people by 40%, shouldn't they put the shot 40% farther? John Thomas, the 6-foot 5½-inch high jumper, clears nine inches over his own height, but would the recognition be the same if a 5-foot 9-inch normal person cleared 6 feet 6 inches?
We are going overboard on size in sports and are missing one helluva lot of keen competition by normal-size people.
EARL G. FOX
•Former Olympian Phil Reavis of Villanova, normal by Reader Fox's conception (5 feet 9 inches), was once U.S. indoor high jump champion and in 1958 cleared a bar 13 inches over his head. La Salle's Al Cantello holds the javelin world record. He's 5 feet 7½. USC's Max Truex is national AAU 10,000-meter champion. He's 5 feet 5½.—ED.
'THE DEADLY SPRAY'
We should like to compliment SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for John O'Reilly's story on pesticides (The Deadly Spray, May 2). This is an accurate and well-written piece from the facts as we know them.
LOUIS S. CLAPPER
National Wildlife Federation
BASKETBALL AND BIAS
The statistics which you consider "hard facts" in your EDITORIAL to prove the existence of a referee's bias in favor of the home basketball team (Basketball's Ills, May 2) are grossly inadequate and in no way justify the conclusions which you have drawn from them.
If you had quoted statistics showing that these same teams were penalized more than their opponents when playing away games, I would be more convinced that a bias exists.
Highland Park, Ill.
•The bias is there. When the teams cited in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED went visiting, they were, in nearly every case, the ones to suffer the most penalties.—ED.
DOWNGRADING LITTLE LUIS
I was most appalled at Gilbert Rogin's article about Luis Aparicio (Happy Little Luis, May 9). I was particularly amazed to see Aparicio labeled "the best shortstop in baseball." The Cubs' Shortstop Ernie Banks makes plays with a smoothness and grace and ease that Aparicio hasn't dreamed of. Little Luis is the second-best shortstop in baseball.
EDWARD F. MEE, M.D.
Regarding your article on Baltimore's sixth-grade rope jumper, Colette Yarosh (PAT ON THE BACK, May 9), we find it hard to conceive of anyone jumping 150 times in half a minute.
If, however, she did succeed in this amazing feat, does Colette qualify for some kind of world record?
FREDERICK C. MYCOCK
The Loomis School
•In Baltimore, anyway.—ED.
The average sixth-grade girl in the public schools of Baltimore could probably calculate that Colette's rope spin was not at 180 mph, the velocity computed by an aircraft-company engineer.
At 150 revolutions in 30 seconds, the rope was passing under her twinkling toes 18,000 times an hour. To be moving 180 mph, each 100 turns would have to equal a mile, or 5,280 feet. The average circumference of a spin would have to be 52.8 feet. Dividing by œÄ (3.1416), it seems the diameter of the circle described by the rope would be more than 16 feet.
Assuming Colette is about five feet tall, the circle probably would not be over eight feet in diameter. Maybe less than 90 mph would be more realistic.
WAYNE M. HIGLEY
•It would be. The aircraft engineer who calculated the rope's speed admits he tripped up, adds hastily he is considerably more accurate when computing figures for his boss.—ED.
THE GREATEST GAME
I am happy to see your magazine finally gave some space to the greatest game of all—handball (Four Wall and for Blood, May 9). Robert Boyle's story was terrific. However, there are several cities that have conducted the annual handball championships without much of a nod from you. How about giving these fine cities a belated pat on the back for their part in building up this marvelous sport? Cities such as Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, St. Louis and Dallas have successfully sponsored the tournament in the past.
GEORGE E. LEE
Athletic Director, Dallas Athletic Club
HIP! HIP! & HO HUM
I have just read Walter Bingham's opinionated column on the gymnastics tryouts for the U.S. Olympic Team (Muscles and Grace, May 9). He says, "Gymnastics has never been popular in this country, and perhaps this is because it is, really, so dull to watch." He obviously knows nothing about gymnastics.
•Don't overlook one of Bingham's concessions: "You don't have to be a connoisseur to enjoy [those girls in leotards]."—ED.
FAINT HEART NE'ER WON
We enjoyed Carleton Mitchell's report on the Miami-Nassau Ocean Power Boat Race (Glory Be to Power, April 25), but elsewhere we've read criticisms that the race is too rugged and ought to be run only under fair-weather conditions.
The officials of the Bahamas Power Boat Association wish to go on record as expressing their opinion that this race is the most rugged ocean race in the world, is not for the faint of heart, and the rules as set will not be changed.
The critics are requested to fly to Nassau and enjoy the festivities as we in the Bahamas pay homage to the winners and all the finishers in this greatest of the great, the Miami-Nassau Ocean Power Boat Race, the most rugged ocean race in the world. Any questions?
SHERMAN F. CRISE
Ocean Power Boat Race
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
"Clothes for Traveling Light" (SPORTING LOOK, May 9) interested me, as I will be traveling to Turkey and the Middle East this summer.
But I do hope Bob Taft, your model traveler, learns a little more about how to shoot a shotgun. His rifleman's squint and cramped stance as he peers down the tubes of his gun (see below) will not break him any birds, though his technique ought to gladden the heart of the firm making his ammunition.
WILLIAM B. EDWARDS
Technical Editor, Guns Magazine
•Shooter Taft admits the squint but submits that, despite his unorthodoxy, he has carried off first prize in skeet shoots now and then and not infrequently sits down to wild duck from his own gun.—ED.
NO PIGGY, HE
In FOR THE RECORD (May 2) you note the resignation of "Dr. Eugene (Piggy) Lambert, 53, after four so-so years at Alabama."
Shades of the Purdue Boilermakers' old-time cage mentor, the late Ward (Piggy) Lambert! Shame on SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
I have known Gentleman Gene Lambert for over 30 years and have never known him to be called or referred to as "Piggy" before. A clear faux pas.
Forrest City, Ark.
•Oui, oui, oui.—ED.