Since no one can seem to locate where Gaylord Perry (Every Little Movement..., July 16) hides his so-called slippery substance, I say check the catcher. He may have his hand in the cookie jar, or should I say grease bowl.
From my personal observations regarding the controversial charges made against Gaylord Perry, it appears to me that Mr. Perry's questionable pitch is simply a "pitball." Perry, with his assorted gyrations and movements, quite frequently goes to his armpit area. I am not condoning his actions, but if he can get away with it, then more power to him. I am in favor of legalizing the spitball to give the pitchers a few breaks. The rules presently favor the hitters.
WILLIAM F. O'BRIEN
Ron Fimrite's article brought back some memories of a game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs in 1968. Bill Singer was pitching for the Dodgers and when he was putting on his warmup jacket while on base during a time-out two items fell out of his jacket. One was a toothbrush, the other toothpaste. "Aha," said Leo Durocher, the Cubs' manager, "now we got the goods on him." The toothbrush and toothpaste were given to the umpire who turned them over to the league president.
The case was dropped for lack of evidence because Singer explained that the reason he always carried these sundries in his warmup jacket was because he liked to brush his teeth at the ball park. So word went around the league that Singer was throwing a "toothpaste pitch."
North Hollywood, Calif.
You stated that the accredited inventor of the spitter was George Hildebrand in 1902. Hildebrand was an outfielder for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1902. Did he teach pitchers to throw it, perfect a loaded throw to the plate himself, or is Ron Fimrite all wet?
JAMES D. LEE
•Hildebrand, always an outfielder, discovered the spitter while warming up—and horsing around—before a game. Subsequently he passed his secret along to a number of pitchers.—ED.
Roy Blount did an exceptional story on an exceptional family (An Unsentimental Education, July 16). What makes Art Rooney's sons so worthwhile was pointed out clearly in one sentence: "They also take pride in being down-to-earth like their father."
The Morning Call
Congratulations on the excellent article by Robert F. Jones (Fastest Rookie on the Road, July 16) regarding motor sports' latest driving sensation, South Africas' Jody Scheckter. Jody appears to be destined for superstar status and it is significant that SPORTS ILLUSTRATED should recognize this aspiring new talent at this time.
JOHN A. SCHNEIDER, JR.
Bay Village, Ohio
TEAM THAT MIKE BUILT
Along with many other Yankee fans, I enjoyed reading Pinstripes Are Back in Style in your July 2 issue. However, I believe that the piece was unfair—not in what it said, but in what it failed to say. The individual primarily responsible for the rebirth of the Yankees was not even mentioned. Mike Burke, who became president of the team during the dark days of CBS ownership, painstakingly built today's Yankees into a pennant contender with only slight support from the network owners. This spring a new group of owners shunted Burke aside, just as the Yankees were about to realize the fruits of his labor.
J. TAYLOR DeWEESE
BOUQUET & BRICKBAT
A bouquet to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for Joe Jares' excellent Wimbledon article (A Bloomin' Winner, July 16). Billie Jean King certainly is a blooming winner and SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has consistently acknowledged that fact. I eagerly await coverage of the King-Riggs match.
Jacksonville Beach, Fla.
One picture caption in the Wimbledon story is to be questioned: "Kodes and Metreveli, the best the men had to offer, played a forgettable final." Kodes can beat just about anybody in the world on a given day. You forget that in 1970 and 1971 he won the French Championship, which is regarded as one of the game's four top events. And Metreveli is improving all the time.
Your July 16 cover was the best ever. When the Queen of the Court outhustles Riggs, maybe we'll see another cover and perhaps even a poster. Right on, Billie Jean!
J. A. KEARNS
J. D. Reed's article (Always Ready to Chew the Fat, July 16) probably received many laughs from SI readers. However, as I read it I found myself becoming more and more upset over a not-so-funny topic.
Overweight people do not need a convenient fat hero who also happens to be an athlete. They do not say, "Pass the chips and dip, please. Everything is going to be all right." The sorry truth is that everything will not be all right and Mr. Reed should not rejoice in the fact that he has presented to your readers another rationalization for not exercising.
SI could do a much greater service to its readers by publishing encouraging articles on how to take off weight and how to attain and maintain good physical condition.
Let's not celebrate obesity.
Your article was a real inspiration to the lay "fatman." Driven by a sense of participation and rather stunned by the vicious overt consumption of Steak Diane, it was necessary to pause between Boog Powell and Chris Taylor for chocolate cake. The subsequent abuse of the Lob-Steak only precipitated another crisis, solved only by the consumption of a sensibly sized bowl of chocolate ice cream. It was a distinct relief to discover the true vicar of fattydom, Mickey Lolich, while pausing over a very palatable jelly omelet.
Only one question remains: Does Mr. Reed rest easy knowing that he has done little to keep food prices down?
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
I was happy to see the article dealing with the fat man's role on the sports scene and especially the portion on Mickey Lolich. After all, some of the best pitchers ever to play in the major leagues have been on the rotund side—Bobo Newsom, Fat Freddie Fitzsimmons, Early Wynn and, of course, Babe Ruth.
Virginia Beach, Va.
I can't believe you printed the whole thing!
I was extremely pleased with your coverage of this year's Henley Regatta (And a Happy Loser Thai's No. 1, July 16), which also turned out to be the U.S. college championship. On the Thames River, Northeastern University became the No. 1 college crew when they swept to a one-length victory over Wisconsin, so in Northeastern's first decade of rowing it reached the top spot. Thanks for the deserved recognition.
I find an odd statement in Hugh Whall's article about the Henley Royal Regatta: "...the odd Thames River course that measures one mile and 550 yards instead of the standard 2,000 meters."
There is nothing odd about the Henley distance, which has been in existence since 1839. In fact, the odd distance is 2,000 meters, the so-called Olympic distance now being rowed in this country for both sprints and the intercollegiate championships. There should be a longer course for the latter. The old four-mile race should be the challenge of the intercollegiate rowing season and the races should be restored to Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
Indeed, I find it unusual that the 2,000-meter distance is less than the Henley distance I rowed as a schoolboy over 50 years ago.
You blokes have really upset the natives. Your picture of Joe Frazier (PEOPLE, July 9) supposedly watching a portable TV screen while doing roadwork in Hyde Park is somewhat adrift. Frazier was, in fact, listening to his cassette record player blaring the most abominable noise. Nice chap, Joe. Glad to have him here. Nice to see him go.
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