OUT IN LEFT FIELD
In his article Where There's Smoke There's Ire (April 28) Ron Fimrite has more than adequately described the aura of excitement surrounding any meeting between the Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He also mentioned the incident that could destroy this excitement. The fans in L.A. may accomplish what no National League pitcher has—remove Pete Rose as a factor in the game. In an interview in our local papers, Rose stated that he does not believe he can play when the team returns to Dodger Stadium. The bottle-, garbage- and smoke-bomb-throwing fans have forced him to play out of position, threatened his well-being and more than once delayed the game while groundkeepers cleaned up the field around him. Rose believes these interruptions are hurting his team and asked Manager Sparky Anderson not to play him in the next Dodger-Reds series in L.A.
How can the sports world allow this to happen? Are home fans to decide which players should play for the opposing team? Should the fans in Boston drive Elvin Hayes from the court? The beer-loving fans in Cleveland were dealt with severely when they got out of hand. These fans should be dealt with similarly. The Dodger management should station guards in the left-field pavilion and anyone caught throwing anything should immediately be ejected.
JOHN W. OYER
I challenge any baseball fan to give me one good, logical reason justifying the abuse that has been directed at Pete Rose. I attended two of the games the Reds played at L.A. and witnessed the stupidity of some so-called Dodger fans. I daresay the Dodgers wouldn't claim any one of them. It takes a lot of "courage" for a person who can lose himself in a crowd to throw a baseball at a player when his back is turned.
Being a longtime left-field regular in Dodger Stadium, I must admit that the crowds that frequent the pavilion are always boisterous and often scuffle among themselves. But 99.9% of these people are objective and appreciative fans. The handful of undisciplined, extroverted idiots who seem to appear only when Cincinnati is in town are not baseball fans. They should be dealt with as criminals or psychotics.
K. E. MORRIS
PIERRE & CO.
Thank you for the article recognizing our beloved Penguins (Who Said Penguins Cant Fly? April 28). The part about "babyfaced" Pierre Larouche was most enjoyable.
One correction is in order, however, concerning the "Date with Pierre" contest. As the mother of one of the contestants, 4-year-old Debbie Beer (who, incidentally, has since turned 5), I can vouch that if her measurements were 24-28-26, as given, she would have somewhat of an egg shape. For the record, let it be known that she is a perfect 22-22-22, as this photo should prove.
MRS. ROBERT C. BEER
"Who said Penguins can't fly?" The New York Islanders did, and they proved it.
DAVID M. PERL
Rick Telander's article The Blotting Out of Time (April 28) is one of the best I have ever read. As a third-year law student, I work for the Richland County (S.C.) Public Defender's office and am in almost daily contact with men like Floyd (Jumbo) Cummings. The athletic and mental potential in U.S. prisons is enormous, but, with a few exceptions, it is untapped. Telander's article and Neil Leifer's photographs expose this and will, I hope, open the eyes of prison officials and lead to long overdue changes that will improve life in U.S. prisons.
GEORGE BRANDT III
I found your story on prison weight lifting and boxing more than just a sports story. It was a story of men, of the "dregs" of society. The photos by Neil Leifer complement the text perfectly, and they show that a man's will once broken can be mended but never healed completely.
I for one am hoping that Jumbo Cummings will be allowed to compete in the 1976 Olympics and will cheer him on if he is.
It sounds to me as though the prison is more of a country club than a correctional institution. Men are put into prison because they did something that society feels is not correct. Some of the men were convicted of violent crimes. My question is, should a man who has been convicted of a violent crime be allowed to compete in violent sports and thus bring out his violent tendencies?
I think it is a credit to the Illinois prison system that Jumbo and his friends have something to look forward to, to excel in.
SALLY ANN SHURMUR
An article on Jack Scott (The Man Who Stood Sport on Its Head, April 28)? What a waste of your time writing it and my time reading it.
My compliments to SI and Ray Kennedy for the excellent article on sports revolutionist Jack Scott. It was the first open-minded story on the Hearst-Scott-Walton saga that I've read since Scott came out of hiding. Although I don't necessarily advocate Scott's ideas, it was only fair that someone reveal his side of the story.
With proper leadership, no aspect of our society has more positive effects upon its participants than sports.
Jack Scott has helped make the public aware of the prejudices, stereotypes and inequalities that can be found in sports. But not all sports programs are bad, and I feel Scott has always taken isolated cases and attempted to make them appear to be the practice rather than the exception. Also, finding fault is very easy; developing solutions to the problems is the hard part, and judging by his experience at Oberlin College, it seems obvious Scott does not have that talent.
Maybe Scott is being made an example because of his radical views, but can the University of Washington, Oberlin College, the FBI and brother Walter all be wrong?
DAVID L. DEVANEY
Angela Davis and George Jackson the equal of Henry David Thoreau? Jack Scott must be kidding. Provocative, radical thinking is one thing. Pure, unadulterated exaggeration is entirely another matter.
Glenwood Springs, Colo.
After viewing the "fight" between George Foreman and the Twinkies-for-lunch-bunch five (SCORECARD, May 5), I'm now convinced that some people in professional boxing have stooped to using tactics found in the Roller Derby and pro wrestling. The only decent punch was a tremendous left hook thrown by a Foreman handler to the jaw of a Terry Daniels cornerman. As for those people who shelled out their money to see this thing, I'm wondering if they would be interested in buying some stocks I own in a gold mine—under the New York City subway system.
What was George Foreman trying to prove? Who cares if he took on five opponents at one time? I do that every time my wife's relatives come over unexpectedly.
LET IT ROLL?
I especially enjoyed Clive Gammon's article on the futuristic game (Rollerball, April 21). I doubt that rollerball will ever become a sport, but if it does it wouldn't be any more violent than hockey is right now.
Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
The idea may be a little wild, but it sounds better than Vietnam or World Wars I and II.
JOSEPH H. CHECK JR.
I think that your article on rollerball was good, but for rollerball to become a sport there definitely will have to be some rule changes banning most of the violence, as Clive Gammon suggested.
East Hartford, Conn.
Here we are in the midst of the NHL and WHA playoffs, not to mention the NBA and ABA, and you have the unmitigated gall to devote five pages to a review of Rollerball! What is your act, movies or sports?
ARTHUR M. SCHWEITZER JR.
PLACE TO STAY
We enjoyed Anita Verschoth's article (SHOPWALK, April 21) on tickets and accommodations for the 1976 Montreal Olympics, except for the last paragraph where she failed to mention the fact that Lake Placid, site of the 1980 Winter Olympic Games, with well over 10,000 beds, is also a two-hour drive from Montreal via four-lane express highways most of the way. We anticipate that Montreal's 1976 Summer Olympics will be a boon for Lake Placid's 1976 summer business as was Expo when many guests stayed in Lake Placid and commuted to Montreal daily—the best of two worlds!
NORMAN L. HESS
Lake Placid XIII Winter Olympic
Games Organizing Committee
Lake Placid, N.Y.
Your recent SCORECARD item about the three college basketball players who played on the same high school team, and a subsequent letter (March 31), stirred memories of my own school-age super team.
In 1959 I was a reserve guard on the Holy Family Catholic Youth Organization team, in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh. We swept to the CYO championship with a record of 49-0, winning our closest game by 12 points.
This was accomplished primarily by our starting five of Bajkowski, Pijanowski, Siwicki, Slanina and Cygnarowicz, which leads me to believe that we may have achieved a distinction unrealized by any championship team at any level: we not only went unbeaten, we went unpronounced!
Address editorial mail to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, TIME & LIFE Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.