CALL TO WORSHIP
Your April 9 baseball issue was most satisfactory reading and especially the Dick Young article on the game (It's Religion, Baby—Not Show Biz).
After having lived and died with the Boston Braves of yesteryear and the Boston Red Sox for the past 50 years only to have my idealism badly shattered by recent revelations that money is the dominant factor, I found it most refreshing to have Mr. Young revive the feeling of the old days, when the home team was the thing and ballplayers were worshiped by the youth of the land as heroes.
I hope all the owners and Marvin Miller read the piece. Perhaps they will discover what has happened to the game since they decided that it was a business.
THOMAS F. MULVOY
In this day of the hot-pants patrol, the gaudy new stadiums, the fireworks spectaculars and the orange baseball, it is reassuring to find Dick Young can still write intelligently about the sport.
A religion it certainly is; and the better your team, the more you believe. Even a last-place team can provide something to root for. Mr. Young stated that a true fan is usually unable to give a reason for his devotion to the home team. He must be right, because without blind loyalty what other reason is there for my following the Phillies for 15 years?
Congratulations to the high priest of baseball, Dick Young. His article expressed my feelings on the game exactly. It is about time the average Joe was represented as a vital member of the baseball congregation.
J. C. LOMBARDI
Shame on Miss Phalon! True, Robert F. Joyce's composition (How To Make a Same for Yourself, April 9) wasn't very factual, but it certainly was not "disgraceful and ridiculous." I found it a fantastic piece of vocabulary work that displays tremendous wit. And his teacher's reaction? "Poorly organized and full of factual, grammatical and spelling errors"—as if he didn't know it!
I have always held the opinion that one can be an academic whiz and still know nothing when it comes to the game of life. Robert will be one of life's winners.
As a teacher and an ex-English major, I was very impressed with Robert's history paper. To put it together, to be able to include the nicknames of all of the teams and at the same time be able to retain some thread of historical sequence and fact is indeed quite a feat.
The response of the teacher is a comment on the state of present education. The kid is original and very clever, yet he doesn't perform within the "acceptable" standards, therefore he fails. And that is education business, unfortunately.
Des Plaines, Ill.
Boo to Miss Phalon for not bringing out and dusting off her sense of humor and for not recognizing, in its own way, the imagination and ingenuity of a young man who managed to weave an interesting version of American history from the names of major league teams that are ever-present in the news.
Incidentally, I guessed all but 13 of the 105 teams.
LYNDE M. HASSETT
West Hartford, Conn.
Re the quiz, if that composition was written by an eighth-grader, I'll eat it along with the nicknames of all 105 teams.
New York City
I picked up the nicknames of 106 major-sport teams that appeared in Robert F. Joyce's composition quiz. There has to be a team somewhere called the Infidels.
THOMAS J. O'MALLEY
New York City
My compliments on the Jane Gross article on women's basketball (She's the Center of Attention, April 9) and the recognition of a super sport played by women with excellent skills and talent.
We had the dubious honor of meeting Immaculata College to open the 1973 AIAW tournament and people have asked me, after reading your article: "Is Theresa Shank that good?" Let me answer the question now: Yes, she is!
Don't forget to put the 1974 AIAW nationals on your agenda.
EDITH E. GODLESKI
Women's Basketball Coach
Indiana State University
Terre Haute, Ind.
The article gave me a boost of encouragement. I, too, am 5'11" and my name is Teresa, but I am only a sophomore in high school. I play center and relate myself to Theresa Shank. When I get to college, I will now have something to look forward to. More power to girl basketball players.
TERESA DI STEFANO
It really pleases me to read your articles on women in sports. You've come a long way in the field of journalism.
Your article Ten-Strike in the Ratings (April 9) recognized that bowling is as demanding mentally and physically, in its own way, as other sports. The pros usually bowl 40 or more games a week, so they must be in good shape. The old idea of a bowler as an overweight, beer-drinking glutton has no foundation. Reading lanes is comparable to reading greens in golf. A bowler must have as much control over his body as does a running back. Mental pressure is just as intense.
Through television and other media, people are learning what bowling has to offer. One day the names of Weber, Johnson and Petraglia will be household words.
That's sure too bad about the Oakland A's and Gene Tenace (A Hero Finds There's No One for Tenace, April 2), who whines in SI that "No one ever called.... Here we are the world champs and no one pays attention." The fact of the matter is that someone (the Northern California Baseball Boosters Association) did call to request the appearance of A's players at a nonprofit father and son banquet. The boosters were told that the A's, acting on advice of Charlie O. (the man, not the mule), required payments of $500 per player for such appearances. So no A's showed up at the banquet held in Sacramento, but the San Francisco Giants came with manager, coaches, front-office personnel and several key players, and they required no payments whatsoever. So I say, hooray for the Giants, and as for Finley and the A's, they deserve one another. May they have a nice, quiet summer together in their Oakland Coliseum without any fans there to bother them.
While reading your article on Gene Tenace, I was struck by the similarity between his plight and our own. Although tiddlywinks doesn't quite yet command the public attention that baseball does, we have experienced similar feelings. The game of tiddlywinks that we play is a far cry from the trivial nursery game that we all gave up at the age of five. Its sophistication and strategy rival that of tournament chess, according to those who have played both. Although the game has been played at this level in this country for some time now (the eighth annual North American Tiddlywinks Championships were held this past February) it is still generally unnoticed. At the moment, our team at MIT, which again won the Continentals this year, is having a very difficult time finding sponsorship for the trip to England to defend its world title. Any interest or help you would have for NATwA would be most appreciated.
In his article A Lot More Where They Came From (April 2), Mark Mulvoy makes the statement: "Down east on the farm at Halifax, Nova Scotia shrewd Sam Pollock, general manager of the Canadiens, has assembled the best young team outside the NHL."
Apparently Mr. Mulvoy hasn't heard about the record-setting Cincinnati Swords, the Buffalo Sabres' farm team in the AHL. In only their second year Coach Floyd Smith's Swords finished the season with 113 points in the standings, the most ever in the history of the AHL, along with many other records too numerous to mention. Nova Scotia finished with 10l points. In addition, the Swords won 4 of the 6 games played between the two teams this season.
Here in Cincinnati we think Sabres' General Manager Punch Imlach has assembled the best team outside the NHL—young or old.
Well, you've finally done it. My patience has run out. After reading articles on the Atlanta Flames, the Boston Bruins, the New York Rangers, the Los Angeles Kings, the Buffalo Sabres, and now finally the Montreal Canadiens, I feel I must inform you that there is a hockey team in Philadelphia called the Flyers. Don't you think it's about time you gave the Flyers, the league's best expansion team, some well-deserved recognition? Although people from Minnesota and Buffalo might disagree, the fact remains that the Flyers won the season's series from both teams.
You speak of all the young players the Canadiens have sitting on the bench and playing in the minor league. That is very nice, but only the players that skate can win games for their team. And the Flyers have a few of their own. Take Bobby Clarke and Rick MacLeish for instance. Clarke has 104 points, while MacLeish has 100. Complement them with Bill Flett, 43 goals; Gary Dornhoefer, 30 goals; rookie Bill Barber, 30 goals; and Ross Lonsberry, 21 goals, and you have two of the most productive lines in the NHL. To protect the scorers is a man named Dave Schultz, who has beaten every bad man that has been crazy enough to fight him.
Cherry Hill, N.J.
Mark Mulvoy's article on the Montreal Canadiens proves once again that he is not aware that the Chicago Black Hawks exist. To say that Ken Dryden is the best goal-tender without any supporting statement is an insult to your readers. Perhaps if Mulvoy went back and studied films of the Russian series he would discover that Tony Esposito was Team Canada's standout goalie, as Ken Dryden pointed out in his article for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. Finally, Mr. Mulvoy has completely overlooked the season's most productive line: Pit Martin, Jim Pappin and Dennis Hull. While not as glamorous as the French Connection, or as well publicized as the GAG line, the fact remains that the MPH line is the best in hockey, and it is unfortunate that SPORTS ILLUSTRATED could not find the time or space to give it the credit it deserves.
I must criticize the manner in which the NCAA and NIT basketball tournaments were handled. Just as predicted, the NCAA turned out to be another one of UCLA's mastications of teams that are not on the same level of competition, while the NIT featured some legitimate muscle, last-second excitement and some eye-catching half-time shows. The reason the NCAA finals outscored a better-played NIT two words to one the public may never know. But we all hope that next year you will give both tournaments the same coverage.
So UCLA is the NCAA champ again, eh? So what else is new? As a Virginian I may be somewhat biased, but it seemed to me that the last half of the NIT championship game between Notre Dame and Virginia Tech had more action than the entire NCAA series held in St. Louis.
GEORGE V. EVANS, JR.
The almost full-page trash scene that ends the pictorial section of the article Curtain Up on the Musters (April 2) is great and I hope people will consider this picture mentally next time they begin to litter. Augusta is our course and we are proud of it and its beauty.
I was saddened to read in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (Oh, Lord, He's Perfect, March 26) that yet another promising colt, Secretariat, will be retired to stud after his 3-year-old season and will be unable to demonstrate his racing ability in his prime years. Again the racing fan will be deprived of being able to see top-quality horses over a long period of time. This and similar events are as detrimental to both racing and breeding as is the fact that great geldings such as Kelso have been unable to pass along their genes to future generations. Neither of these conditions needs to exist. With a slight investment (certainly a fraction of the $6.1 million value of Secretariat) and a modernization of breeding rules, techniques of sperm storage and artificial insemination for thoroughbreds can be developed, if they have not been already. Promising stallions could then be regularly shed of sperm and their genes stored frozen for future mares or immediately passed along to a contemporary mare. Shed sperm should provide for numerous inseminations. The stallions could then race or even be gelded with no loss to the breeders in the first instance and a great gain in the second. Imagine Kelso's son racing a 5-year-old Secretariat. Isn't that what it's all about?
ERNEST F. DuBRUL
Oak Ridge, Tenn.
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