Don't get us wrong. We enjoy your magazine. But don't you think that it was kind of ridiculous putting George Foreman on the cover of your June 18 issue when for the first time in 25 years a racehorse finally captured the Triple Crown? It isn't every day that a superhorse comes along. Secretariat won three major races in a row. The least you could have done was have him on your cover twice in a row.
LILIA and TINSLEY GINN
I usually try to guess what will be on your cover, but not anymore. After finding George Foreman instead of Secretariat, I have given up.
New York City
You have had great coverage of Secretariat's race for the Triple Crown, and in History in the Making (June 18) Whitney Tower did an excellent job of reporting on the best racehorse ever. Thanks for the article.
Neil Leifer has given us a remarkable photograph of Ron Turcotte and Secretariat at Belmont. He has transfixed a rare moment in sport for all of us to see and enjoy.
FOREMAN & CO.
I commend Pat Putnam for his fine article on the heavyweight boxing division (One Little Move, a Giant Step, June 18). It is about time someone told us what really goes on.
As an avid follower of the heavyweight division I found that Pat Putnam's remarks struck a responsive chord. He is correct in surmising that inactivity on the part of the heavyweight champion is boxing's greatest enemy. Although Oklahoma is not exactly the fight capital of the world, I was glad to see our local boxing commission formally relieve Joe Frazier of his title when he refused to meet a bona fide contender for some 16 months after the Ali fight. Unless there are some drastic changes, it is almost inevitable that Ali's prophecy will come true: "I'm gonna close the book on boxing." Perhaps George Foreman was correct when he said he was not the best fighter in the world but merely the titleholder.
Ron Fimrite's article on the world champion Oakland Athletics (Give 'em A for Anger, June 18) could not have come at a better time, because the A's finally are beginning to play like champions. The A's are a cinch to repeat, even if all they can do while they are winning is gripe.
I notice Ron Fimrite cleverly used our Texas Rangers in describing some of the A's lesser qualities: "enough sins of omission and commission to suffice the Texas Rangers for an entire season." Cute. I must inform your Mr. Fimrite that one sin of omission Texas did not commit was to fail to trade Mike Epstein to the California Angels. The acquisition of Jim Spencer (over .300 with the Rangers and .270 for the season) was more than enough to compensate for Mr. Epstein (.204 for the season). With moves like this one (we got fastballing young Lloyd Allen, too) the Rangers will eventually be winners.
AFFECTION FOR BRUCE
John Underwood's portrait of Bruce Crampton (Golf's Jekyll & Hyde, June 18) is the most refreshing and impactful piece of sports journalism I have read. I feel as if I have benefited more from this unique look at Crampton than I could have from reading another psychology book. Crampton will continue to make the golf ball do wonders for him, but now with his own "Scarlet Letter" (Big A), life will have meaning.
WILLIAM E. BACHOFNER
Apple Valley, Calif.
Thanks to John Underwood for a superb article. I have long been a fan of Bruce Crampton's, but now I can better understand his moods and attitudes. At the end of the article I found myself to be an even bigger fan of Bruce's. He may be Mr. Jekyll at times, but he is Mr. Consistency at all times.
As both a psychologist and a golfer, I enjoyed the Bruce Crampton article. Most people tend to perceive others in rather simple terms, and this is particularly true with respect to sports figures. We like our heroes and villains to be uncomplicated—all good or all bad—which makes it easier for us to love or hate them. John Underwood has illuminated the subtle aspects of Bruce Crampton's personality, and in the process he has given us all a psychological lesson. Thanks to Bruce for opening himself to us. I admire him for that.
EDWARD J. O'KEEFE, PH.D.
Hasn't America truly become the land of wealth and opportunity when an 18-year-old like Mark Howe can sign a four-year contract to play ice hockey for $140,000 a year and then proceed to caution the people of Texas not to expect too much from himself and his brother (Put Them All Together They Spell Money, June 18)? The ticket-purchasing fans will be making it possible for Mark to earn far more in one season than the average Joe (who works all 12 months) makes in 10 years. Apparently, however, this fact should give nobody the right to expect top-quality hockey from either Mark or Marty Howe right away.
Maybe the Houston organization will make admission to home games free so the fans won't feel too disappointed or cheated if and when the team loses. Or perhaps the responsibility for scoring and preventing goals should be placed entirely upon the lesser-salaried players, while the two young Howes concern themselves with more important problems, like how to spend their money. After all, isn't this what being a professional athlete really is all about these days?
DAVID C. COMMITO
I thoroughly enjoyed your article on the Howes. When Gordie plays in Houston, or anywhere else for that matter, I will be delighted to see him put on the old skates again.
St. Clair Shores, Mich.
I enjoyed your article on the NCAA track meet (Some Hot Times in a Hothouse, June 18). But you could have done better. You mentioned that Oregon finished second and talked about Steve Prefontaine, as usual. That's O.K., but what about the rest of the Oregon performers? The only other one mentioned was Knut Kvalheim, and he didn't even place. Mac Wilkins not only placed but was the meet's individual high scorer. He was third in the shot and first in the discus for 16 points. He is the greatest weight man in track and field history. Come on, you guys.
Pleasant Hill, Ore.
Doug Brown of Tennessee set an NCAA meet record for the steeplechase with an exceptional individual effort that we thought was one of the highlights of the meet, but no mention was made of it in your June 18 article covering the event. Worse yet, the same issue included a general story on steeplechasing (They Tread with Fear) with a picture of Brown falling in the water jump at last year's NCAA meet. It would seem that he deserves better press than this.
JOHN C. MONROE
You left the ham out of the Maine Lobster Anglaise (SCORECARD, June 11). You report only that BOAC will fly in 500 pounds of live Maine lobster, six bushels of soft-shell clams and several sacks of Maine seaweed for Kenneth P. Gray's New England clambake in Old England. The un-Maine corn will come from Spain, you say, but you missed the rhyme: the maize from Spain comes Maine-ly on the plane.
WILLIAM CLEARY JR.
APO New York
Your series (Women in Sport, May 28 et seq.) suggests that you are joining the ranks of those dissatisfied with free choice. Consider: attendance figures seem to demonstrate that men would rather watch men in athletic contests. Also, that women would rather watch men compete.
After you and your collectivist cronies have bludgeoned the public for equal dollars for women's sports, how will you get equal audiences? With guns or with bribes?
WALLIS W. WOOD
Who watches more football or baseball games, walks over more golf courses, sits in more cold ice arenas and supports, both in attendance and admission dollars, more competitive sporting events than the American male? No one does. And where will the dollars come from to give the female athletes the same support and the same purses as the men? Not from the male spectators! They don't want to watch the women. They will not pay to see them compete. Be happy that there are some exceptions, women of America, and lay your shot down, babe—your roast is burning.
Congratulations on the three fine articles concerning women in sports. Hopefully they have opened the eyes of many people. I, for one, was not given the opportunity to participate in sports until college. Until that time my father (a coach) had failed to realize the capabilities of the "weaker sex." Only when he attended a field hockey tournament and saw girls playing two to three games in one day and, instead of getting steaks after the games, receiving McDonald's hamburgers, did he begin to take notice that women are capable of more than he thought.
As I read your third article, I thought about the following quote from the secretary of the Indiana State Coaches Association: "There is the possibility that a boy would be beaten by a girl and as a result be ashamed to face his family and friends. I wonder if anybody has stopped to think what that could do to a young boy."
I have but one answer: I hope it teaches him to respect the ability of others.
Your article on women's place in sports is all too true. But 50 years ago Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman did her bit to advance women. Actually it was in 1919, the year Congress voted women's suffrage, that she gave an international cup to the United States Lawn Tennis Association so women might have an objective similar to the Davis Cup played for by the men. It was not until four years later that the competition started, but since then it has been proved that women's tennis is of interest and can stand on its own two feet. In this 50th anniversary year of the Wightman Cup matches my heartfelt thanks go to Mrs. Wightman.
NANCY P. NORTON
I enjoyed very much the article Big Sky, Big Dream in your June 11 issue. I grew up in Nebraska and was a rabid Milwaukee Braves fan, so the McCook Braves were of special interest to me. I saw them and other teams play the Grand Island Athletics. McCook Manager Bill Steinecke was known as "Stinky" to most of us opposing fans.
One element that was missing in Pat Jordan's story was some discussion of the league. The Nebraska State League began as an eight-team, all-rookie league in the 1950s. It was down to six teams in 1959 when he was there, and I am not sure whether the all-rookie status still held. The league saw the beginning of a number of major-leaguers—only a few were mentioned by Jordan. Besides the all-rookie status, other innovations were tried. For instance, one summer the Grand Island A's were paid in $2 hills. The thought was that this would emphasize their contribution to the local economy when the money was spent. Probably much of it ended up in the pool hall.
EARNED OR UNEARNED?
My boy friend and I had a discussion, or rather an argument (more like a fight—I was ready to knock his head off!), about those 10 runs the Cubs scored in the first inning of a recent game against Houston. We bet $10 and I won because I said they were not all unearned runs. He paid me when I showed him Rule 10.18, Section (i) in the rule book. I have studied the rules because I truly love baseball, no matter what they say about how slow and dull it is compared to football.
But now he says I have to give the money back because in BASEBALL'S WEEK (June 11) Mark Mulvoy said: "Third Baseman Doug Rader's two-out, bases-empty error led to a procession of 10 unearned Cub runs." My boy friend says that everything SI says is law. Tell me, do I have to give him back his darn $10? I've already spent it.
Santa Monica, Calif.
•You are both right—strangely enough. Rule 10.18 differentiates earned runs charged against a team from those charged individually against any relief pitchers involved (Houston used two in that 10-run inning). Under Section (c) of the rule—which states, "No run shall be earned when scored by a runner whose life is prolonged by an error, if such runner would have been put out by errorless play"—the Houston team was charged with 10 unearned runs. Under Section (i), however, Houston relief pitcher Jim Ray was charged with giving up three earned runs and Cecil Upshaw with one earned run.—ED.
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