TIME TO REMEMBER
Congratulations on your 15th anniversary. I missed only a few issues in that time (because of Vietnam), and I can truthfully say the Aug. 18 issue is one of your best.
Although it took you 15 years, the story on Hank Aaron was richly rewarding to us (his tans). Hank was a rookie in 1954 and, true to form, Wally Moon was voted Rookie of the Year. Wally who? But Hank Aaron has survived and survived and survives.
Stay as you are, SI. May you never die!
STANLEY R. PETERSON
Soldiers Grove, Wis.
Was it coincidence that Henry Aaron of the Braves appeared on the cover of your anniversary issue? Those who saw your first issue back in 1954 will recall the cover photograph of County Stadium, the Braves' home in Milwaukee. It just brings to mind the dramatic changes that have taken place in baseball during the last 15 years. If change continues at the same pace, perhaps your 25th anniversary cover will again picture Henry Aaron—this time as the Braves' new manager, looking over his new ball park in Red Springs, N.C. (A Bonanza in Red Springs, July 28).
August 31, 1969
As a fan and close follower of Hank Aaron ever since those early days in Milwaukee, I would like to express my pleasure at William Leggett's article, Hank Becomes a Hit. Back in the 1950s and early 1960s I was one of those kids Aaron talked about who read not only headlines, but also box scores. I have closely followed Aaron's march toward the top in hitting categories, and no one needs to tell me of his greatness I'm glad that the rest of the fans are recognizing it now. I know I will be celebrating next spring when Hank becomes the first player in history to get 3,000 hits, of which 500 or more will be homers.
I have been an avid Brave fan since I was 6, and I have often wondered when Hammerin' Hank was going to get his long overdue recognition as being one of the greatest baseball players that ever lived.
Mr. Aaron has been playing baseball longer than I have been alive, and I hope he never stops. Thanks for a great story!
RICHARD P. TETU
Concerning your article Shy Owner of 1/640th of the U.S. (Aug. 18), could it be there are two gigantic Weyerhaeuser companies? The one we here in Seattle are familiar with is one of the largest, most blatant polluters of both air and water in the Puget Sound area. Possibly it is hard to see the benevolent, conservation-minded company through the cloud of haze from its poorly controlled smokestacks.
From one of those people who "will always want to get out in the woods," thanks for the article on George Weyerhaeuser. It is comforting to read of his contribution to conservation and recreation. I would rate him as being No. 1 on the Keep America Beautiful list.
TORSTEN K. SEUBOLD
BOW AND ARROW
The Hardy BOY and His Bow and Arrow, by Herman Weiskopf (Aug. 11), is one of the most refreshing sports stories that I have read in your tine magazine. I am not an archery fan, but with this fine introduction I, as well as many others, would be interested in a feature article on an archery tournament.
GERALD E. RODGERS
New York City
Your interesting item on Miss Elinor Kaine (SCORECARD, Aug. 11) mentions the precedent set in 1954 by Ann Morissy, who became Cornell's first female sports editor. Well, here's another for you. In 1965-66 I was the first girl sports editor of the Queens College Phoenix. My major interest was baseball. The perhaps less-than-overwhelming popularity of female sportswriters brings to mind the time my own team tried to trade me to Southern Connecticut State College for four ballplayers. Alas, chivalry is gone. I suppose it wouldn't have been so bad, but the Queens College team is called the Knights.
New York City
Congratulations on finally giving credit where credit is due to players other than the quarterbacks (Alone for a Passing Moment, Aug. 18). But what ever possessed you to leave out Receiver Don Maynard New York Jets No. 13? If you'll check his record, you will find he's the best in the business.
How could you omit the dean of all pass receivers, Charley Taylor of the Washington Redskins? Perhaps a look at one of Charley's grabs in a crowd or his speed on the deep pass would convince the author that he has committed a grave injustice.
The two best pictures, I felt, depict the essential elements for an end: the fake of George Sauer and the strength of John Mackey. The fake can get a receiver into the open for the needed seconds to complete a pass. Strength allows the end to hang onto the ball while being clobbered. Speed is also important but, with the speed of defensive halfbacks, the fake is the best offensive tool to counter the back's speed. The fake is a big step for freedom.
Kudos to you for your color photos of the pro football receivers doing their stuff. Walter Iooss' lens work is magnificent.
Kuffs, however, to your caption man, who has obviously missed the action in the top photo on pages 22-23. Willie Richardson has three Packers on his back all right, but he is lunging for the sidelines.
WILLIAM P. HINCKLEY
Mount Holly, N.J.
Selfish, narrow-minded pro basketball (i.e., NBA) fans like myself will take at least tentative solace in the low probability of an NBA-ABA merger in the near future (Don't Beat Them—Absorb Them, Aug. 18). Besides restricting players' salaries, such a merger would dilute the NBA talent pool with marginal players. The NBA has signed a great majority of the best young players (plus Connie Hawkins) and has progressed to a state where it is the best-balanced, highest-quality, most-competitive league in professional sport, and it promises to continue on this route. Redistribution of the wealth (talent) is a possible answer for social ills, but not for the NBA.
DONALD C. MAIN
I must congratulate you on your article, Little Irvy (Aug. 11). It was a great little human-interest story that sort of caught my attention more than some of your other articles. How many other guys would haul a 20-ton whale around in a 38-foot, $80,000 tractor-trailer? It was really a tremendous effort on the part of Frank Deford.
Hudson Falls, N.Y.
If through some miracle Little Irvy could be restored to life I would not be at all surprised to read of a 20-ton sperm whale, driving a 40-foot trailer truck, exhibiting an engaging former used-car salesman.
If this unlikely event should somehow come to pass, I hope Associate Editor Deford will cover the story. Congratulations on a fantastically amusing piece.
Frank Deford's article about the travels of Little Irvy is a whale of a story, and Jerry Malone is without question a Prince of Whales!
I read with mixed emotions your article Oddballs of the Deep Sea, in the Aug. 4 issue. I think that Harvey Bullis deserves a great deal of credit for the work he is doing, but I must question his love of the sea. When he envisions fish being sucked up through pipes into waiting barges and electrical devices being used to harvest fish he sounds like a man bent on extermination.
In the three-page article no mention is made of conservation or better ways for fish reproduction, only methods of catching them. In this age of litter and pollution the sea is one of our last natural resources.
If it is possible for Mr. Bullis to walk on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico, it just might be possible that someday nothing will be there. So if Mr. Bullis has no respect for age or gray hairs he should at least have respect for the sea and its inhabitants.
STEVEN M. BATCHER
Cherry Hill, N.J.
Kudos to Richard Meek on his photographic essay, Riding to Nostalgia (Aug. 4). While man rockets to the moon at incredible speeds, how fitting to pay homage to our more leisurely and elegant past. Especially haunting and lovely was Mr. Meek's last photograph—so evocative of the grandeur of carriage-age Newport.
ELAINE B. ALBERT
New York City
For some unaccountable reason Pat Putnam forgot to mention the name Bob Babich (The Rookies Give It a Shot, Aug. 11). Not only was Babich a defensive co-captain for the College All-Stars, but he accounted for, and assisted in, a great majority of the defensive plays throughout the entire game.
It seems that sportswriters are prejudiced and are almost always awed by flashy quarterbacks and halfbacks. They seem to forget that there are 11 hard-nosed football players on the other side of the line making the big plays, stopping the razzle-dazzle of the opposing offensive team, nine out of 10 plays. In this regard I thought the most thrilling part of the entire game was when the rookies stopped the Jets four times within the three-yard line. Four plays like that more than make up for a 78-yard run or three touchdown passes.
Babich played the entire game, whereas Greg Cook, the recipient of the game's most valuable player award, played a little more than half. Cook is a fine player, but in the All-Star Game the nod should have gone to the defense, mainly Bob Babich.
GEORGE D. SERVISS
Interesting story about Joe Namath and the All-Star Game. You mentioned that Rudy Redmond actually made the "winning touchdown" for the All-Stars (not admitted by the referees until after the game). It's bad enough that they didn't count his valid touchdown, but you add to my frustration by not mentioning Rudy's college, which is the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif.
Of course, as the coach's wife, I should be seen and not heard, but I would like to see the University of the Pacific mentioned.
I believe Roy Blount does an injustice to a great pitcher with a mediocre team in his article on Phil Niekro (Atlanta Tranquility Base Here, Aug. 4). I have little patience with nit-picking, but in this case I am speaking up for a grand guy, a fine pitcher and a player who never received the credit that he deserved.
It was Eddie Rommel's fate to pitch for the old Philadelphia Athletics during one of their worst periods. Eddie was a knuckleballer, but he used it mainly as his "out" pitch—he had a good fastball and what is known today as a slider. In 1922, he won 27 games, lost 13 and the A's finished seventh. Cy Perkins caught him and did a fine job, although he was the first to admit that he was never sure where the knuckler was going.
In his well-written piece on Niekro, Blount makes the observation that Niekro "should be the first knuckleballer ever to win 20 games in a season."
Not so, Roy, in my opinion. Eddie Rommel has already done better than that.
WALTER R. GODARD
Colonel, USAF (ret.)
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