I was planning on sending you a letter telling how disgusted I was that you cut up Denny McLain (Downfall of a Hero, Feb. 23). Well I'm glad I didn't. I find it's better knowing the truth as the truth than seeing it as false.
I know some people are going to send you letters saying you shouldn't have "ruined" McLain's future and reputation. I know you didn't have pleasure writing this article and, if that's the case, you may be in for a miserable time. Denny McLain is only one professional athlete who has been found dealing with mobsters. How many more arc there?
I would like to congratulate you for exposing Denny McLain and his gambling activities. I can imagine the time and effort that went into publishing this story. What a catastrophe for a superb athlete like Denny McLain! I only hope his loss is sports' gain—if other athletes can be saved from his plight by this sad story.
I regret to inform you that I strongly object to the article on Denny McLain. If Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn had intended to make public the questionable facts of the matter he would have done so himself. Evidently he wanted to keep the matter quiet until he had the full story. All the facts are not established yet, and SI had no right to splatter them on its pages.
March 9, 1970
I was appalled by your inappropriate cover billing: Baseball's Big Scandal. The scandal is Denny McLain's, his parents', his family's, indeed, perhaps even our society's, but not baseball's.
Just as the incident at Mylai cannot discredit the entire armed services, and just as recent improprieties cannot alone discredit the New York Stock Exchange, so Denny McLain cannot singlehandedly discredit baseball.
I find your obvious implication of game fixing in itself scandalous. At this vulnerable time for Mr. McLain you needn't further burden him, and subsequently baseball, by implication. I am not defending him. Your overall intent is admirable and to be commended, but formidable reform journalism should be restricted to the facts and nothing but the facts.
DONALD S. REISS
Just when we need heroes so badly, you burst another bubble. I think perhaps you are more concerned with sensationalism than you are with journalism. Particularly since all the facts are not yet in.
Many of us still admire Denny despite his tragedy. All of us admire his ability.
Bay City, Mich.
The action taken against Denny McLain by Commissioner Bowie Kuhn has my support. Along with Pete Rozelle's similar decisions, the suspension indicates to sports fans that they can be assured all is being done to keep a good reputation for professional sport.
Pro athletes owe it to their respective clubs and to sport as a whole to maintain a respectable image. If they cannot conduct themselves in a way representative of sport such action is welcome and necessary.
Your depiction of Hubert Edward Voshen as a "two-handed bettor" was very misleading. Your article characterized Ed (as we all knew him) as a gambler who associated with criminal types, but you did not reveal the real Ed, a man who, in his 30-plus years' association with the trucking and truck-stop business, never turned his back on any trucker in need.
In one instance, during the big snowstorm in January 1967, there were approximately 300 truckers stranded for about four days at the Tc-Khi Truck Stop, which Ed owned. Ed's orders to his employees were that no one was to go without food regardless of whether he had money or not. This is just one example of the true man.
I am sure his family and thousands of friends in the trucking industry would appreciate a small insight into the real Ed Voshen.
E. J. KETCHUM
POLITICS AND POLLUTION
It was with a great deal of interest that I read Robert Boyle's article, My Struggle to Help the President (Feb. 16). One particular sentence caught my attention, and I believe it illustrates the attitude on the part of the Government that is the real crux of our pollution problem. I refer to the statement by a Corps of Engineers official, "We're dealing with top officials in industry, and you just don't go around treating these people like that."
What I'd like to know is: Why not? Are these people above the law? Or is it that if they were brought to court and made to answer for the violations some campaign contributions would dry up? You can bet that if some ordinary Joe Blow were caught contaminating a stream from some backyard project he'd get fined, locked up and the key thrown away faster than you can say "I represent Penn Central railroad and plead not guilty because I'm big business."
C. W. KING
In reading Mr. Boyle's article about his efforts to stop the discharge of oil into the Hudson from the Penn Central pipe, I could feel and appreciate the frustration that Boyle and his friends must have felt. In nine years of working with the Ohio State Water Pollution Control Board as a district sanitary engineer I have seen many similar pollution problems that needed immediate attention. However, the pollution continues year after year as industry's "permit" to pollute is renewed annually, without any enforcement.
The pollution-control agencies of Ohio and most otherstates have been administered by oldtimers near retirement who were reluctant to take any action. The politics of wanting to attract, not discourage, industry also is a factor in overpermissiveness.
I think it is great that a magazine of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S stature is printing articles that bring the problem to the public's attention. It will take articles such as Mr. Boyle's, as well as continual pressure by the general public, to bring about meaningful abatement programs. Keep up the good work.
CHEERS ON THE ROCKS
I am writing in regard to an up-and-coming college sport in the Midwest: hockey. Here at Bowling Green State University we have an unusual addition to our hockey team, a squad of 10 cheerleaders. Although a hockey cheerleading squad in itself is not unique (there are some in Wisconsin and Massachusetts), our squad is unique in that we perform cheers and stunts on skates before every game, which no other squad in America that we know of does. We do splits and cartwheels right on the ice as part of our routines.
We thought that you would be interested in such a rarity. We are enclosing a picture [below] as proof and extend to you an invitation to visit us.
Bowling Green, Ohio
ON THE TOWN
My hat is off to Dan Jenkins for his article on Dave Marr (Golfing's Pro of 52nd Street, Feb. 2). It seems in this great golfing world all you hear about is the big money winner, the pro with the best gimmick or the showboat. Smooth and suave Dave Marr is, in my opinion, a perfect example of the gentleman golfer and a credit to the PGA and to the game itself. Keep swingin', Dave.
Old Forge, Pa.
From Dan Jenkins' article on Dave Marr we get the impression that you think Minerva, Ohio is a hick town. Maybe the population is only 4,000, but we have fun even without those big "celebs" which you seem to think you must have to have fun.
On one of those "dazzling Manhattan nights" we would hope that you would see some celebrities. We mean, New York is the biggest city in the U.S. You should have some of the biggest names in sports because there are two pro football teams, two baseball teams and two basketball teams, etc. But we don't have air pollution or traffic jams or strikes. So don't put down Minerva unless you look at yourselves first. We're talking for millions of small towns everywhere.
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