NEW YORK'S GAIN
Your article on Willie Mays and the New York Mets (How Sweet It Is! May 22) was as beautiful as Willie's game-winning home run. I have been a Met fan since they came into existence, but a Mays fan ever since I first came to know his name. To say the least, I was thrilled when Willie was traded to New York. As a Met, Willie is doing the amazing things he did back in the early '60s, and he is helping the Mets to an early runaway in the National League's East Division. Can any New York sports fan ask for more?
Congratulations to William Leggett on his fine article. It is about time somebody realized the Mets are not a fluke, that they are a solid ball club with hitting (wow), pitching (much better now than at the start of the season), running (Harrelson, Jones, Martinez, Mays and Fregosi) and near-errorless fielding. Now 27-10, they have the most wins and the best percentage in the majors. Who'd of thunk it, Horace?
Surprise and hurt were my reactions on seeing Wondrous Willie Mays in a foreign uniform on sour May 22 cover. I had heard of the trade, of course, but I didn't really want to believe that the Giants had thrown away a hero-superstar for a minor league pitcher (promising though he may be) and mere money. But Willie himself convinced me with his game-winning homer against his former (hateful word!) teammates.
The disappointment we Giant fans feel can only be measured by the joy Met fans feel.
PFC. DANIEL L. ASELTINE, USA
Fort Benjamin Harrison, Ind.
You chose a very interesting title for the Story about the Mets: flow Sweet It Is! Bob Prince, voice of the world champion Pittsburgh Pirates, was the originator of this phrase long before Jackie Gleason "borrowed" it. I see this title as an omen. In October the Bucs will once again be enjoying sweet success and the Mets will be muttering, "How sweet it was."
•Jackie Gleason says that he first used the expression in 1939, after completing a hearty meal with friends at Luchow's, the well-known German restaurant in New York City. Bob Prince, who introduced it into his Pirate broadcasts on the way to the 1960 World Series, says he was unaware of any prior claim to its fame.—ED.
Who will deny that Bobby Orr won the Stanley Cup for the Bruins and at 24 is already the greatest hockey player of all time (An Iceman Too Hot To Handle, May 22)? Yet I will challenge Mark Mulvoy's statement, "Orr on 1½ legs was better than any other player on two last Thursday night in Madison Square Garden."
As a member of what must he one of the world's most exclusive clubs, the Canterbury Society (limited to those who have tended goal for Harvard), I lay claim to some expanse on the value of the guy who can only take it and never gets to dish it out.
The best man on the ice in the last game of the Stanley Cup was Gerry Cheevers, the Bruin goalie. Without him the Rangers' stormy attack would have produced a final score of New York 10, Boston 3. The series would have been tied, and in the final game the Bruins, Orr or no Orr, could have been beaten by Giacomin or Villemure just as Ken Dryden beat them last year.
The Bruins made the most of every opportunity, including some luck on Orr's goal when his long shot must have been screened from Villemure. Cheevers made at least a dozen saves on unstoppable shots, and this was what killed the Rangers.
Bainbridge Island, Wash.
THE BRUINS' TACTICS
In regard to the letters published in the May 22 issue about how brutal the Boston Bruins are, I would like to say that I think both Roger Schaeffer and Bill Tallant are totally wrong in their thinking. Sure the Bruins threw their weight around, but so did the Rangers. Of course, New York did not do it as much because it could not afford to. If the Rangers had had the size and bench strength the Bruins had, they would have used them to their advantage just as the Bruins did. As it was, the Rangers threw then weight around as much as they could without being hurt by too many penaltie.
Another thing, the Bruins never tried to intentionally hurt any of the Rangers. The Bruins are professionals, and the) never would have lowered themselves to this. If any of the Rangers were hurt it was purely accidental. Hockey is bound to get rugged, and anyone can get hurt under these circumstances. Both teams are made up of professionals and both teams played their darndest to win. The Bruins came out on top—they are the champions and should be given the credit they deserve.
Since when are hard checking and a few fights in what is one of the most physical sports considered "unsportsmanlike tactics"? The final between these two teams was expected to be tough, and injuries were inevitable. The Bruins' toughness and freewheeling play is a part of their individual style. It is this individuality, plus superstar No. 4, that has made this team the most well-known and popular in the NHL and, like it or not, their style of play is what has made the Bruins the successful hockey team they are. Without the Bruins, hockey in the U.S. today would still be the small sport it was just a few years ago.
J. C. JONES
Arlington Heights, Ill.
Why is it that no one has talked about the behavior of the New York fans? Throwing garbage on the ice (put on your football helmet, Gerry Cheevers!) should not be tolerated, either. But Gerry got his revenge. The Bruins got the cup, Bobby Orr got the MVP award of the playoffs and the Ranger fans got mud in their faces.
CLAUDE KEIM JR.
For once policing on the ice was better than the policing in the stands.
Congratulations to Dan Levin for his line article on the U.S. Olympic soccer team (They'll Get a Kick at the Gold, May 22).
I was fortunate enough to have had an opportunity to serve as the team's trainer for six weeks last summer during the Pan-American Games and during the first round of the Olympic Trials against Barbados and El Salvador. In addition to being a very talented group of young men, they are also excellent ambassadors of goodwill wherever they appear. This team typifies the courage, character and desire that we have come to expect of Olympic athletes. And it is fortunate, also, to have such outstanding coaches as Bob Guelker and Julie Menendez.
Our team will be the underdog during the Olympics, but these young men are accustomed to that role. I am certain they will leave a lasting impression in Munich.
WESLEY D. JORDAN
University of Maine
Yes, Dan Levin, the U.S. is ready to join the rest of the world. The reason is that this time around it is the entire nation, and not just St. Louis, which has decided to join. Soccer is far and away the fastest-growing sport in America, and its popularity is increasing in every corner of the land. The number of colleges that field varsity teams has doubled in the past decade. On the scholastic and youth recreation level the rate of growth has been even more phenomenal (for instance, the number of teams in a program sponsored by a boys' club in suburban Washington has jumped from four to 130 after six years of operation). At this rate the global pastime should become our national pastime in a decade or so.
In light of these facts the improvement in the level of American soccer, as evidenced by the recent successes of the U.S. Olympic squad, is not really that surprising after all.
State College, Pa.
Many thanks for an excellent article on the U.S. Olympic soccer team. These young men are representing the increasingly popular game of American soccer and their progress thus far in international competition accurately marks the improved quality of the sport in the U.S.
One further bit of information: while your praise of St. Louis soccer is justified, also look to Philadelphia for the future. Earlier this spring a team of Philadelphia all-stars defeated the U.S. Olympic team l-O in an exhibition game.
I enjoyed the article Watch Out! Their Ergometer Is Showing in your May 22 issue, and am happy to see that Coach Ernie Arlett of Northeastern is now receiving the national recognition he so much deserves. I had the pleasure of working with Ernie as a freshman manager at Rutgers during the 1961-62 rowing season. It was unfortunate that no mention was made in your article of his coaching at Rutgers, where he produced one of the finest freshman crews of the 1962 season. Congratulations to a great crew coach and a great man. Here's hoping Mrs. Arlett's "two-day champagne cork" goes to Henley along with the Northeastern crew!
KARL A. FLANZER
IN THE RUNNING
Evidently Pat Putnam (This Drake Was for the Ducks, May 8) left the meet early or was too busy watching the coeds in the stands to notice what was happening on the track. He failed to even mention the world outdoor best set in the distance medley relay by Kansas State University.
Kansas State bettered the previous world mark of 9:33 set by Kansas University in 1969. Kansas State's time was 9:31.8. The runners were Clardy Vinson (1:49.5 for the 880), Mike Lee (47.8 in the 440), Rick Hitchcock (2:55.4 for the 1,320) and Jerome Howe (3:59.1 for the mile). Keep your eyes on the track, Mr. Putnam.
Your article went to great lengths to talk about the fact that only one man of any importance seemed to do well at the Drake Relays and that he wasn't even eligible to go to the Olympics. Even though several of the U.S. Olympic hopefuls failed to measure up to par, due to the weather and various injuries, one American athlete did perform well, and he deserves credit for it. Jim Holding of Oklahoma State University was the winner of the 440 intermediate hurdles in a time of 50.1.
Bolding has an excellent chance of making the Olympics, having won the 440 intermediate hurdles at the Texas, Kansas and Drake relays. At the Kansas Relays, Bolding was named the meet's outstanding performer over Jim Ryun, who ran a 3:57.1 mile. It is true that Bolding's time of 50.1 at Drake is not exactly the same as Ralph Mann's world record of 48.8, but then Bolding did prove that he can beat the best and do it under almost any condition.
We might add that the whole state of Oklahoma feels the same as we do, since Bolding was recently named Sportsman of the Month of May by the state's sportswriters.
The May 8 article Concentrate on the Chrysanthemums by Kenny Moore was the best thing I have ever read on the marathon, and I have read a lot. But it is not just a marathoner's article, since Moore is best at communicating the atmosphere of world-class competition and the personalities of the athletes involved.
As a distance runner of moderate talent, I have had a couple of opportunities to run with and talk to some of the really capable runners. Their conversation, like Moore's numerous anecdotes, is so amusing and down to earth that it is only on reflection that one recalls just how important running is to them. As Moore's stories show, these men are just like the rest of us, with two important differences: 1) they are inherently great athletes and 2) they possess the curiosity and determination to discover the extent of their ability.
Kenny Moore's wit and perception In painting the background of the race show him to be a writer of talent equal to his running. As a sometime marathoner (small time, slow time) I could appreciate his portrayal of the myriad feelings, moods and images that make up the race. Thank you, and my congratulations to Mr. Moore.
GARY K. RIGG
I found it to be one of the most entertaining and informative articles ever written about the marathon. It is a great tribute to all those who have accomplished such a task.
A. J. FARRINGTON
West Point, N.Y.
THE SISLERS' RATINGS (CONT.)
I was Fascinated when I read the article on the George Sisters' pitching-efficiency rating system (Masters of the Mound...and the Game, April 10) and even more so when I read the Formula (19TH HOLE, May 8). In the original article, the pitchers used as examples tall pretty much in line. However, consider the Following three hypothetical pitchers:
All pitched the same number of innings and all compute to 1000 using the Sislers' formula: (2xIP—H)+(SO—4/3 BB)—(.25 ER)√∑IP. However, it is plain to see that Pitcher A is infinitely more effective than Pitcher C
Why not stick with the earned run average as the measure of a pitcher's effectiveness?
The Sisters' formula actually does depend on the "hallowed earned run average," since 25% of the earned runs allowed, divided by the number of innings pitched, is the same as the ERA divided by 36. The degree of dependence is admittedly small, but my own crude preliminary analysis indicates that there is more information in the ERA about a pitcher's performance than in any other single source, a conclusion reached by many others. The burden is on the Sislers to demonstrate why the proposed alternative is any better than, say, weighting 80% to ERA and 20% to hits allowed per regulation game.
Address editorial mail to TIME & LIFE Bldg., Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.