My congratulations to Tex Maule and SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for the article By Any Other Name...(Sept. 2). It gives new hope for the Packers, and I am sure they will be the champs again. The photographs were just great.
ROBERT E. PAZIK
•Football expert Tex Maule has some other ideas (page 75).—ED.
BID AND ASKED
I read Mark Mulvoy's article about sore-armed pitchers (Sore Spots in a Big-arm Year, Aug. 26) with interest, but I have a question. What has management purchased for its $100,000? It would seem, the way Mr. Mulvoy expresses the sentiment, that management does not have the right to use that most valuable pitching arm to win ball games.
Surely, if that arm was only to be trained and coddled throughout the season, if it was not to be called on to exercise some of its authority (which had demanded such a high sum), a much lesser amount would have been offered in the first place.
September 15, 1968
A player must certainly have the right to decline such an offer and propose one of his own: that he be trained and brought along slowly, with proper precaution taken for his longevity, and that he be given a salary commensurate with his worth to the club under that arrangement.
However, the right also remains for a player to sell his unknown future for an amount sufficiently high to appeal to him now.
J. MITCHELL MCCURTAIN
There has been a continuous discussion at our house relative to the distribution of brains between baseball players and football players. The distaff side contends that baseball players have been blessed with an abundance of said commodity. I refute this, saying that without brains you could not play football; thus, the greater abundance dwells under football helmets.
Your cover picture of Ken Harrelson (Sept. 2), with his coveralls and dog tag, incontrovertibly makes me the winner.
Your readers can hardly be blamed if they mistake that issue of SI adorned by fashion plate Ken Harrelson for the Gentlemen's Quarterly. A mystery remains, however, when a man who owns 150 suits appears unable to afford a haircut.
E.J. (BUD) SMITH
I have been reading SI for about two years and I think it's a great magazine, but I was mad about the Ken Harrelson cover. It should have been an action photo. Remember, this is a sports magazine, not a fashion one.
Would it be possible to obtain a copy of the picture of Ken Harrelson as it appears on your cover? You see, I attend college out of state, and all winter I'm trapped in a dormitory with scores of bitter Yankee fans. I need something to carry me through.
P.S. Please wrap the picture carefully, we can't afford any more injuries.
Ken Harrelson may be impressed by the fact that, upon my buying your "Hawk" issue, the man at the newsstand glanced at it and asked me what Richard Burton was doing on the cover of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
My, my, if the Hawk looks like Richard Burton when he wears a Nehru jacket, think what one would do for Carl Yastrzemski!
Your article on Ken Harrelson (Hawk Baby Is Big in Boston) was one of the best I have ever read in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. It truly portrayed one of the most exciting and vital personalities in all of sports. Ken is the greatest thing to happen to Boston sports since Ted Williams. I believe he is the key to the 1969 pennant.
TOUCH OF MINK
Thank you very much for the article Jet Age Slow Brummell (Aug. 26). Too many people condemn Joe Namath, and these people don't even know him. Why can't people also take into consideration the fact that Joe leaves his furs in the locker room and goes through a lot of pain to play? I just wish people would look at both sides of Joe Willie before knocking him. He ain't bad, after all.
East Orange, N.J.
Joe Willie Namath in mink coat and slacks with stripes that don't match? Oh, well.
Mrs. R. VANDERMOLEN
NO MUSTARD, PLEASE
I have just read Mr. Curry Kirkpatrick's description of the Westchester Classic Golf Tournament (Julie Bags a Bundle, Aug. 26). In it he undermines the strength of the field in our major events such as the National PGA Championship. He states that the PGA Championship is an event "where club pros from all over annually seem to have nothing more than a hot dog, beer and miss-the-cut reunion."
I'm one of those "hot dog" pros, the same pro who led the U.S. Open in San Francisco in 1966 with a first-round 67. I got a mention in SI, too: "A man named Al Mengert went out that first day, kept the ball in the fairway and shot a 67 to lead the field. An Al Mengert always leads the Open on the first day."
For Mr. Kirkpatrick to knock the class of the field for the 50th PGA certainly shows his lack of knowledge of the event. In the first place, all 10 of the leading money-winners listed in the article were there. Secondly, I'm the first to admit that I am a club professional and only play twice a week with my members and spend the rest of the time teaching them how to play. The PGA this year was my first 72-hole event on the tour in over a year. However, my 287 (six shots back of winner Julie Boros) included 41 putts on the last 20 holes, four three-putt greens and a ball in the water on the third round. It doesn't take much imagination to see that I had a chance to win.
I felt very fortunate to have been around at the finish, while Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf, second on the money-winning list at the time, had missed the cut. I finished ahead of a couple of other guys, too—namely, Trevino, Yancey, Lunn, Snead and the defending champ, Don January.
I don't mean to beat my own drum, but because I chose a career in golf that would permit me to spend more time with my family while playing in a few events, I can't appreciate Mr. Kirkpatrick's disparaging remarks about club pros and their miss-the-cut reunions.
The Tacoma Country & Golf Club
UP FOR TRADES
I wish to make a trade with Frank Lane (Would You Trade With This Man? Aug. 26). My property is one red-headed baseball nut who sits glued to the TV set from the time the first pitch has been thrown until the last out has been called. During the season this person can quote everybody's batting average, but he forgets my birthday, doesn't speak, doesn't listen, eats his meals while balancing them on his knees, and no one, for fear of hospitalization, blocks his view. To present my case more clearly: I spent my honeymoon at the World Series!
Yes, Mr. Lane, you and I have certainly had our problems. You solved yours, sir, now how about working on mine?
Forest Park, Ohio
CURT AND WILLIE
Having been to the Chicago-St. Louis game in which Curt Flood made the great catch that was displayed on the August 19 cover of SI, I thought that I should defend your selection of Mr. Flood as baseball's best centerfielder. Mr. Jim Simon (19TH HOLE, Sept. 2) wrote to you saying that Flood's catch was a technically bad one and that Willie Mays would have made it easily. With all due respect to Mr. Mays, I doubt that he could have come near that ball on his aging legs.
The batter at the time was Cub Outfielder Billy Williams, who is an ultra-left-handed pull hitter. Most, if not all, of the league's centerfielders play Williams in right centerfield, as did Flood in this case. The ball was hit on a low trajectory toward straightaway center field, as was shown in the picture. What the picture could not show, however, was Flood's great jump on the ball or his tremendous speed and recklessness as he streaked for the wall.
I hope that Mr. Simon will now be willing to submit to the fact that Curt Flood, and not Willie Mays, is baseball's premier centerfielder.
Several letters in the September 2 issue of SI suggest that your appraisal of Curt Flood was inaccurate. Willie Mays is the greatest centerfielder baseball has ever known. Comparing their careers, Mays and Flood aren't in the same class, by any means. But be realistic, Flood critics. Over the last two years, with Flood in his prime and Mays past it, Curt has been the better ballplayer.
Idols die hard.
DR. FAGER'S RECORD
Your issue of September 2 was a most disappointing one and tended to confirm my doubts about the mission of your magazine. My complaint began to take form when Whitney Tower—or whoever gives him his assignments—chose to ignore Dr. Fager's defeat of Damascus in the Suburban Handicap on July 4. In your issue of July 29 Billy Reed reported, in a very interesting story, Damascus' win over Dr. Fager in the Brooklyn Handicap. I began to take hope.
Now Dr. Fager has set the world record for the mile, winning by 10 lengths while carrying 134 pounds, and we find Mr. Tower at Saratoga speculating about which of the unproven 2-year-olds might actually win the Belmont Stakes.
ROBERT B. HALL
New York City
NOT A FLOP
In Hugh Whall's report on the 5.5-meter Olympic trials (Don't Lower the Boom, Just Move the Mast, Aug. 26) it was mentioned that the elaborate mast tilter or flopper device used by Al Cassel in Savage looked as if it could have been built by Boeing and might have cost $10,000.
We would like your readers to know that the gimbling mast mover was designed and built by Sparcraft Corporation, a division of Challenge Marine, and that it in no way approached that cost.
The device worked perfectly and without fail throughout the trials. Unfortunately, Mr. Cassel's bid was not quite as successful as the mast mover.
Costa Mesa, Calif.
ARE LOSERS FAILURES?
Let us brush aside the debate as to whether it was Chief Justice Earl Warren or William Lyon Phelps or Nicholas Murray Butler who authored the remark about turning to the sports pages first, because the sports page records man's accomplishments whereas the front page has nothing but man's failures.
While I am happy indeed that all three turned to the sports pages, I couldn't disagree more with their observation. Every single success story on the sports page is also the story of a failure. And in case of a jockey's success, there are half a dozen or more failures.
Union City, N.J.