MANTLED IN GLORY
Thank you. For the first time this season I have read an unbiased and completely truthful article about the Yankees (Decline and Fall of a Dynasty, June 21). When I first saw the cover I expected another article dripping with contempt for the Bombers, but I was surprised most pleasantly. The story did not belittle the Yanks in any way, and it gave credit where credit was due. Although an era may indeed be ended, the entire league has benefited from it. Happily, all attempts to bring the Yanks down to the level of the rest of the league failed. Instead, the league has come up to the Yankee level—which is why it is a better league, providing better baseball and better pennant races.
Methinks you speak too soon. The Mick is mighty and shall prevail.
I agree with Jack Mann that the era is over, but this Yankee-lover (and there are many more of us than George Weiss would care to admit) will have the last laugh when the Yanks beat the Braves in the 1965 World Series.
Mickey Mantle still leads both leagues in cheers, boos, oohs and ahs.
MICHAEL JAY KALTER
The Yanks are far from through, and when Mantle leads them back you'll have to eat that eighth cover with his picture on it.
F. JULES LUND JR.
No doubt this is the time all Yankee-haters have been waiting for. But one must ponder what the end of Yankee domination really means. Just how excited will fans get over the likes of a Mazeroski winning a World Series with a home run against, say, Detroit? How dramatic will it be when a Lou Burdette wins three Series games against the White Sox? Will the center-field area of the Kansas City ball yard ever bear shrines serving to immortalize their past heroes? Will anyone ever retire the uniforms of Willie Horton and Billy Williams?
The Yankee tradition has helped, perhaps even saved, baseball. My real interest in the game arose from the legendary feats of the New York Yankees. I believe all baseball fans will one day be telling their football-minded sons and nephews about the Yankees that were and the baseball that was.
True, there'll always be the sport of baseball, just as there'll always be an England. But hasn't England changed, too, with the demise of Churchill?
DON M. DUSSIAS
Tell me, Mr. Mann, what AL team has a fellow that hit 61 homers, the best catcher in the past decade, a second baseman unchallenged as the best in the AL, a pitcher with the best won-lost percentage in the majors and an anonymous man with the initials M. M.? No Ruth or Gehrig? Well, nobody has the likes of them anymore.
Now that the dynasty is falling, I am sure there are millions of sportsmen who feel a deep twinge of regret.
I hereby cast one loud and clear vote for Ken Venturi to repeat as your—or, for that matter, anybody's—Sportsman of the Year.
By past and present example this man stands for all that I would wish my son to be as a sportsman and a man. His ability to learn from his mistakes and the courage he has shown not only in winning but in playing in the face of almost certain defeat are unparalleled.
I have just read Gwilym S. Brown's Two Stirring Triumphs over Men and the Clock (June 14), and I must speak my mind. Mr. Brown said Jim Grelle had earned the reputation "as track's finest also-ran." He referred to Grelle "chasing Beatty and Burleson across finish lines" and his "frustrating career." Jim probably doesn't remember me, but I was a year behind him at Lincoln High School in Portland, Ore., and when "devotion to sport" and "training" come to mind I think of him. To me, sportsmanship is doing your very best at something you enjoy. Perhaps Jim's track career has been disappointing from the standpoint of winning, but he has never quit or become bitter.
Anyone who has ever seen Jim run must see that here is a dedicated man going all out for his sport, his team and his country. Such a man can never be called an also-ran.
MARY K. HUMPHREYS STEEVES
Coos Bay, Ore.
I should like to congratulate Mark Kram for his perceptive and interesting article on American soccer, Chipping away at U.S. Apathy (June 21). His story, though brief, touched all corners, presenting a picture that is generally not recognized by people outside soccer circles.
Obviously the game of soccer will never replace football, basketball or baseball in the U.S., but it will command more and more of the public's attention, especially with the increasing number of homegrown players on the rosters of teams at all levels. This fact, in particular, was evidenced by the U.S. Olympic team, which made a creditable and encouraging showing in the qualifying rounds last year.
ALAN R. CHASE
From Mark Kram's elucidation of soccer's future success in this country, I get the impression that he believes this game is not wanted over here.
Actually, the American public dotes on the stand-aroundish-type sports, like baseball and football, where there is plenty of time between plays. Do American baseball and football fans really go to sec the game? Compare the looking-around, crowd-watching spectator habits at these games with those of the crowd watching ice hockey. From the standpoint of speed and individual skill of players (including dexterity and agility), only basketball or ice hockey are comparable to soccer.
The proper level to initiate this game is early. Give the elementary school a modified but well-coached game. Top this with instruction and the formation of leagues at the secondary school level (where they have the specialists) and then try to keep soccer from becoming a national sport!
Edward Mayo of Kennebunkport, Me. (SCORECARD, June 21) is not a dreamer with his parties at the city dump. As a matter of fact he is a true visionary. One of the leading sociocharitable functions of the year in Sacramento is the annual "Revel in the Rubble" party put on by the Associates of the Hearing Society. Last year it was held at the city dump, and it was a blast. This year it was in a wrecking yard. Next year it's going to be in San Francisco.
J. PAUL GUYER