Congratulations for doing your usual fine job of covering the World Series (Mustaches All the Way, Oct. 30). Once again it was demonstrated that good pitching dominates, and while that of both teams was excellent it would appear that Oakland's staff was just a little better than Cincinnati's. Catfish Hunter, Blue Moon Odom, Rollie Fingers, Ken Holtzman and Vida Blue were too much.
CARL F. REISS
How could you do such a thing? It was heartrending enough to read how the Reds were beaten by the A's. But to have SI state that Cincy hadn't won a Series since the infamous one of 1919 was more than I could take.
I will never forget winning a nickel from a school friend in 1940 because he was foolish enough to think Detroit could beat the Reds. My team did win that one in seven games, didn't it? If not, I'll have to pay that friend back, and even 5¢ earns a lot of interest in 32 years.
William Leggett's running commentary on the last five games of the World Series made a hit with this reader, who has suffered with the A's since about 1937. But Leggett committed two errors: one by saying that Cincinnati hasn't won a Series since 1919 (what about 1940 when Paul Derringer and Bucky Walters bested Hank Greenberg's slugging and Bobo Newsom's pitching?); and the other when you said that Gene Tenace's second hit in the final game tied the score at 2-2 (that hit put the A's ahead 2-1).
•Yes, there were two errors, but they were not Leggett's.—ED.
In answer to your editorial "How To Kill a Golden Goose" (SCORECARD, Oct. 30), is baseball really making a "stupidly self-defeating decision" when it schedules World Series games in such a way that more fans across the nation may be counted among the viewing audience?
By bowing to commercial television, baseball has rewarded millions of nine-to-five workers who faithfully follow the sport all season long and relish the opportunity to watch the Series on the tube. In past years when the Series began on a Wednesday afternoon, millions of fans were limited to watching only the third and fourth games in their entirety. At best, the rest of the games would be followed in five-minute fragments during coffee breaks, more than likely by means of transistor radios. With the present scheduling format, workers and students can watch every exciting play.
Any questions concerning the quality of play resulting from the "warped and twisted" schedule were answered emphatically by the Athletics and Reds who fought through the most closely contested Series in history. The esthetic appeal of the World Series was never higher, as America witnessed consistent, top-level baseball with memorable performances by Joe Rudi and Gene Tenace.
I, for one, and I'm absolutely certain there are many like me, feel that to be able to see the World Series games at all was a thrill, especially because they proved to be as exciting as baseball games should be. While I watched the games on prime-time television, I wasn't concerned in the least about how much money someone else was making. All I cared about was that I finally got to see the games played during the week that ordinarily I would have missed.
Charlie Finley, who suggested having Series games at night, may have been thinking only of his pocketbook at the time, but he made a lot of people happy in the process. To follow the regular season and not be able to see the Series would be like never getting dessert after a meal. Thank you, Charlie.
I take strong issue with your opposition to nighttime televising of World Series games. Just because you people are permitted to "leave [your] desks to gather around a TV set for a couple of hours" doesn't mean that the majority of baseball fans enjoy such a privilege. It may come as a revelation to you that most of us work for employers who take a very dim view of taking time out to watch even a World Series. So please don't knock it when baseball's bigwigs give us working stiffs at least part of the Series in prime evening television time. We're hoping that eventually all seven games will be played at night, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED notwithstanding.
As always, your timely comments on events of day-by-day sports happenings are to the point. I refer to your comment concerning the television executives who picked the time when they wanted to televise the World Series, at the expense of the game itself. If they keep going, they'll have Uncle Sam and controls down their backs before they know it, and it will serve those money-hungry guys right!
I must commend your staff for a superlative article on the Green Bay Packers and their young and soon-to-be-great quarterback, Scott Hunter (Green Boy Turns with the Tide, Oct. 30). There is no doubt in my mind that Hunter is going to be a Starr of the future. Thank you very much.
GEORGE R. WOODS
Lowry AFB, Colo.
From this Packer fan thanks go to Tex Maule for a fine article on the absence of any Alabama-bred generation gap between the then and now Green Bay quarterbacks.
There has been a great deal of senseless anti-Devine sentiment in Packerland since Dan became coach. Perhaps now that a writer of Maule's prestigious stature has acknowledged Devine's accomplishments, the local "toilet paper makers" will become believers in the pleasing potency of "fine De-vine wine."
THE DAVIS CUP
Your article concerning the Davis Cup matches (Mr. Smith Goes to Bucharest, Oct. 23) was excellent. I think it is amazing that the United States has never recognized the fact that in any kind of international competition with Communist nations, we are always at a disadvantage. It seems we allow the administrators of athletics in those nations to make rules that are stupid and, in some cases, unfair. We also allow the antics of an Ion Tiriac to go unpunished.
After the Olympic robberies, we should take a good look at our participation in these international events. Let's insist on equal conditions for all athletes and fair and impartial officials. I am tired of hearing how everyone is "catching up to us." Our men and women need only fair conditions, and we will see how much catching up has been done.
Of course, when we do encounter inequities like those in Rumania, it is even more gratifying to ram it right down their throats. Hats off to Stan Smith and Eric van Dillen for their gutsy show.
KENNETH I. BUTLER
The good name of lawn tennis has been befouled by a pair of tennis thugs, aided, I may add, by the captain of their Davis Cup team.
The Rumanian umpire and linesmen knew no better—their responsibility was to do their utmost to defeat the U.S. team, and no set of officials ever performed more zealously. Their miscalls had to be seen to be believed. Certainly they went beyond the call of duty. A special medal should be struck off for them—an iron tennis ball with tennis racket cluster, perhaps.
With the two players, Ilie Nastase and Ion Tiriac, however, it was quite another matter. They knew better. Over the years these two have enjoyed the hospitality, good sportsmanship and friendship of the tennis-playing nations throughout the world. They should be held responsible for the outrageous stalling, arguing, filthy language and general roguery with which they insulted the game, the gallery and my wife and me personally. They brought discredit upon their nation and they conducted themselves in a manner prejudicial to the best interests and image of the game. The International Lawn Tennis Federation and the national associations of which it is formed should not have to ponder long before taking disciplinary action suspending those two from tennis competitions over which they have control.
If some way cannot be devised to ensure that Davis Cup matches in the future are conducted in the true sporting manner envisioned in 1900 by Dwight F. Davis, the donor of the cup, it would be a far better and more graceful thing for this grand sporting event to be discontinued and for its great traditional trophy to be retired with full honors.
JAMES VAN ALEN
Bad may be beautiful, but character always wins. In his earlier article on Ilie Nastase (Bad Is Beautiful, Oct. 16), Curry Kirkpatrick tried to show that being a clown and using bad manners and generally disruptive court tactics have brought success and fame to the Rumanian. But he missed the true story.
Granted, Nastase has a great talent and should improve even more in the next two years. But it takes more than just talent and flamboyancy to make a champion.
Consider the many meetings between Nastase and Stan Smith of the U.S. The patience, sportsmanship and determination displayed by Smith seem to greatly overshadow the temperamental outbursts of Nastase. Let's give credit where it is due. In a really big match, I would want Stan Smith to represent me, as he has done so well for America on countless occasions.
Christopher Newport College
Newport News, Va.
Rick Telander's mastery of comedy and insight is a welcome addition. In my opinion his articles—Football Is Like a Rose (July 31) and I'll Catch You and Wring Your Neck! (Oct. 30) are two of the finest I've read in your magazine. He has the ability to bring the reader quickly and totally into his stories. Don't let him get away from SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and, above all, encourage him to keep writing. From now on the first thing I'll look for in SI will be another Telander gem.
BRUCE G. FEUSTEL
Rick Telander's article brought back many fond memories. When we were seventh-and eighth-graders, my friends and I "got chased" every Friday night on the north side of Indianapolis. I went on to run on Big Ten championship track teams.
I nominate Rick Telander for Sportsman of the Year. Along with my comrades of the now-defunct Locust Street Tigers I can finally accept our soiled past as a tribute to the true national pastime. Long live The Chase!
MICHAEL J. LANG
In SCORECARD (Oct. 23) you said things are stirring "on the supposedly calm male side" of tennis with the formation of the National Tennis League That made us lose our calm because one of the main new concepts of the NTL is to have women on the same team as men for the first time in any major pro sport. Our league will be composed of five-player teams in intercity play, with each match consisting of women's games as well as men's.
In addition to that, we expect our women to blaze the way in new tennis fashions, since we are prohibiting the use of white uniforms and requiring that they be mod and colorful. This will, we think, open the way for some exciting new garb.
Incidentally, we are also taking the "love" out of tennis and putting in more excitement with our 21-point games. Despite the absence of love, we will certainly have lots of lovely ladies playing in our league.
M. CHARLES REICHBLUM
National Tennis League, Inc.
IN THE GROOVE
I have never written to a magazine before, but I felt I had to thank you for the article The Way to a Super Bowl (Oct. 23) by Don Johnson. It was very informative and beautifully illustrated. My husband and I bowl for fun but I was having trouble with my delivery and follow-through. After reading the instruction, I realized what I was doing wrong and my score has already started to improve.
Kansas City, Kans.
Thank you for a long-awaited article on Don Johnson and bowling. Although it is the nation's favorite participant sport, bowling has received almost no attention in national magazines. I hope that this article will start a trend.
THOM E. GLASS
I was a little surprised by the statement by Mike Reid concerning his lack of knowledge of John Outland, donor of the Out-land Trophy awarded each year to the outstanding lineman in college football (SCORE-CARD, Oct. 9). Outland was not only a very good lineman at Pennsylvania, he was named an All-America tackle one year (1897) and the next year an All-America halfback, a double honor that few if any other players have received. He became a respected surgeon in Kansas City, Mo., and was among the first physicians to use an airplane in his practice. He also coached University of Kansas football in 1901, was the father of the Kansas Relays in 1923 and served as a football official for years. It would seem to me a fine thing that thousands of people do remember Dr. Outland 75 years after some of his accomplishments.
WINSTAN L. ANDERSON, M.D.
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