Jerry Lucas certainly has created an image in Cincinnati (Why I Am Turning Pro, May 21), but I don't think it's the image of a clean-cut all-American boy. This matter goes farther than mere contract offers. Jerry Lucas does not want to play basketball in the city of Cincinnati. Maybe it is the result of the rivalry between Ohio State and U. of Cincinnati; maybe it is because of his decision not to play at UC in the first place. Nobody knows but he.
Lucas said in his article that he wanted to live up to the image he has created. Does he think he can do it by playing in the American Basketball League? It would be right to say that a man was great if he played in the NBA against the likes of Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, or Bob Pettit, and held his own. But not against the nobodies that make up the ABL. Basketball fans deserve more from Jerry Lucas. His decision proves nothing, for the question still remains: Will Jerry Lucas turn pro?
CHARLES SPARGUR JR.
There are a lot of Jerry Lucas fans who are a little sadder today because of the realization that Jerry could be had for $60,000.
The Pipers gave Lucas $40,000 in investments and $20,000 in cash over a two-year period. The cash he will receive, other than the stocks, averages $10,000 a year. The Royals made an offer of $100,000 to Lucas. He could have accepted this and taken $40,000 of the $100,000 to invest in stocks himself. This would leave him with $60,000 spread over three years, averaging $20,000 a year. It doesn't take an A student in business (which Lucas is) to know that the Royals gave him the better offer.
•Lucas' tax accountants might not agree.—ED.
Jerry did what sports needs very badly today, he thought of something other than cash.
I have always admired Lucas, but wouldn't it have been much better for the "image" that Jerry talks about if he hadn't been insisting for the last five years that he would not turn pro? Oh well, principles are nice, but they'll never match money.
I pity the mothers who want their children to grow up with the "What's in it for me?" attitude of Jerry Lucas.
Jerry Lucas is not only a great basketball player but a great and gracious gentleman and, above all, a true sportsman.
Jerry Lucas is a crashing bore.
FOR THE BIRDS (CONT.)
The article by Raymond Tinsley (Here Come Our Feathered Enemies! April 30) moves me to propose that a statue be erected in the honor of Mr. Tinsley—for the use of the birds!
Walter Bingham's article on the Minnesota Twins (Pie and Ty, May 21) is a poor example of sportswriting. Such remarks as, "The Minnesota Twins aren't meant to take three-game series from teams like Detroit," and, "The Twins will have trouble finishing in the first division," are only personal opinions and many people disagree with Mr. Bingham. As of May 17, the Twins were only half a game out of first place.
Please don't say that the Twins won't finish in the first division, because I won't listen.
199 TO 1
I noticed what I thought to be an oddity in last Sunday's doubleheader between the Yankees and the Twins. The winning pitcher of the first game, Jim Coates, was the losing pitcher of the second game, and the losing pitcher of the first game was the winning pitcher of the second game. I don't know what the odds are on such as this happening again, but they must be tremendous.
SERGEANT EARL BELL JR. USMC
•Mathematically the odds are not so great, though psychologically they may well be astronomical. Discounting such human variables as sore arms and managerial decision, and conceding an average of 10 pitchers to each team, the chances that any one pitcher will repeat in the second half of a doubleheader and be scored with his team's win or loss are 1 in 10. The chances that the teams will split the doubleheader are 2 in 4. In simplest mathematical terms, therefore, the odds that any two pitchers will split scoring honors in a doubleheader are thus: 1/10 x 1/10 x 2/4 = 1/200.—ED.
Permit me to record my disappointment in your magazine for the unjustifiable shortsighted and sensation-seeking view you took of one of sports' bigger personalities. I refer to your story on Whitney Reed (Hallelujah He's No. 1, May 7). This article would leave anyone who doesn't know Whit with the impression that he is a mentally retarded clown and the bungling possessor of a lucky talent that he neither understands nor controls. The fact of the matter is that he is not only one of the brainiest guys playing tennis today but would be rated a pretty cool head in any man's league and, in addition, his skills on the court are the result of deliberate, patient self-development over the years, rather than a gratuitous endowment from the supernatural. It may be true that Reed acts unconventionally and plays tennis with a novelty that is absolutely bizarre, but the criterion in these matters should always be success, and he has come in for a big share of it. Nevertheless, your article exemplified the unfortunately typical reaction to the prominent individualist—you wrote him off as an unaccountably gifted kook.
JOSEPH B. STAHL
The samplings of Jim Brosnan's literary slants (Sweet, Sad Life of a Reliever, May 21) would be more acceptable had he not characterized his baseball players as dimwits possessed of a vernacular originally styled by Ring Lardner in You Know Me Al. Lardner was a master, but Brosnan is but a copycat, failing to attain the entertaining finesse of the master.
Doubtless, Brosnan is well equipped intellectually, but he misses his pitch by writing down the mentality of ballplayers. Actually, a cross-section will reflect a commendable strata of educated and well-informed men in baseball.
ASA N. WARD
WATCH THE BIRDIE
In reading your interesting article, Arnie Finds a New Drive (May 21), one gets the impression that pictures of Palmer and other pro golfers are easy to come by. This year the Colonial National Invitational Tournament displayed signs reading "no cameras allowed." Is Colonial the only tournament that prohibits cameras, or do all PGA tournaments do likewise?
Having fabulous prizes to compete for isn't enough for the pros. Now their sensitive eardrums cannot endure the click of a camera shutter. Things have gone too far.
E. A. STEWART
•"Accredited photographers only" is the rule at all major tournaments.—ED.