What's so wrong if Reggie Jackson needs to be loved even though he gets a very high salary? Remember, man does not live by bread alone. If Jackson plays as well as he can, the Yankees and Yankee fans should show him the love and respect he will richly deserve. Some fans chant "Reggie! Reggie! Reggie!" when Reggie is playing well and the Yankees are winning, but boo when the going gets tough. I chanted, "Reggie! Reggie! Reggie!" when he became a Yankee, all through preseason, all through the losing streak and I shall continue to chant "Reggie! Reggie! Reggie!" through the rest of the season as he helps the Yankees win the 1977 pennant and the World Series.
ROGER D. SPICKLER
South Bend, Ind.
If Reggie Jackson wants to be loved so much, why didn't he have a clause in his contract that would allow George Steinbrenner to pick him up on his lap and tell him bedtime stories every night?
East Hartford, Conn.
How fans can continue to root for the Yankees, with their immature and self-centered players and a manager who has all the tact of Idi Amin, is beyond me. The club would do well to remember the class exuded by its pinstriped forefathers.
McCOVEY COMES BACK
I would like to thank you for your tribute to Willie McCovey (I'll Come Home to You, Said Willie, May 2). As a longtime Giant fan, I have always admired McCovey for his courage, integrity and, of course, his great ability as a player. Despite being hampered by many physical ailments, he was one of the premier players in the game for many years. Even at age 39 he is still a tremendous asset to the Giants and to baseball in general. His return is an unexpected bonus and one that Giant fans everywhere have been dreaming about for three years.
THOMAS J. ZESK
May 15, 1977
In your article You Can't Beat This Game With a Stick (April 25) you say, somewhat patronizingly, that lacrosse may never go "big time." If big time means playing for money instead of for the thrill of it, if going big time means big business overshadowing one of our last true amateur sports, then let's hope that lacrosse doesn't go big time.
Montclair High School
What mirthful memories your pictures of the lacrosse players evoked. Fifty years ago I played lacrosse at summer camp. The contrast between the equipment worn then and now is unbelievable. Our only equipment consisted of the usual girls gym uniform—navy-blue serge bloomers, shapeless white middy blouses, long black cotton stockings and very high sneakers. We did play with standard lacrosse sticks, though—lethal weapons in our no-holds-barred contests. I wore glasses and I had three pairs: one to wear, one in reserve, one laid up for repairs. A rare sight we must have been flying up and down the field bent on mayhem.
What ho, the players of today with their helmets, face masks, padded gloves, contact lenses—and insurance!
MRS. PAUL W. WARD
•Except for the goalies, women lacrosse players still wear little or no protective equipment.—ED.
Peter Gammons says that Wayne Cashman broke his thumb (The Cash Was Laundered, May 2) while he was involved in "his only fight of the season," with the Kings' gentlemanly center, Smiling Vic Venasky. In reality it was the Kings' Neil Komadoski whose head Cashman pulled back by the hair and then belted with a steady stream of punches while Komadoski was gazing at the ceiling of the Boston Garden. Cashman got what he deserved.
OUT OF THE PARK
Too bad home-run ball-chaser Rich Buhrke (At the Other End of the Rainbows, April 25) wasn't around in 1935 or earlier. With less effort, he might have added to his collection a Wally Berger, Joe Medwick or Hank Lieber. In those days, Wrigley Field's brick left-field wall had no wire barrier atop it. which made it easier to hit homers. The mesh was erected when bleachers were built along the wall's interior in 1936.
Not coincidentally, in the unadorned fence era the Cubs' lineup was stacked with right-handed power. Gabby Hartnett, Riggs Stephenson, Frank Demaree and, of course, Hack Wilson cleared the wall frequently and helped the Northsiders to pennants in '29, '32 and '35 (when a 21-game September winning streak did the trick).
Incidentally, for trivia buffs there were once two Wrigley Fields; the other one was in Los Angeles, home of the Cubs' top farm team of the mid-'30s, the Pacific Coast League Angels. It was a slightly smaller replica of Chicago's Wrigley Field, with a similar brick left-field wall.
BOB JUPPE SR.
Here in N.Y. State Prison we take boxing very seriously. Maybe your article Some Very Wrong Numbers (May 2) will open the public's eyes to what has been going on for years in boxing. Scott LeDoux is a joke, one of many out-of-shape fighters. There are heavies in jails and amateur clubs all over America who take pride in conditioning. Believe me, LeDoux would get his lumps in any jail-house heavyweight division. Boxing has come to a sorry pass when the public has to watch fighters like LeDoux. Leave them in the saloons. As for Don King—one inmate's point of view: once a con man, always a con man!
JAMES P. LYNCH
Woodbourne Correction Facility
In looking at the junior middleweight rankings from Ring magazine, I notice you show that "Mel Dennis, Houston, Texas" was No. 1 in January, yet was unranked both the month before and the month after! What did he do to rise and fall so quickly? Or is this another imaginary career like Ike Fluellen's?
•Ring magazine says Dennis' 1976 records arrived too late for inclusion in its December issue and that in the January issue he was mistakenly classified as a junior middleweight. He was properly listed among the welterweights in February and ranked No. 7, just off the list as shown in SI.—ED.
Robert Creamer took me mildly to task (SCORECARD, April 18) for listing Secretariat as 10th on my list of the 10 greatest racehorses of all time, which is included in The Book of Lists by David Wallechinsky, Irving Wallace and Amy Wallace. Because the authors did not ask me to name the horses in order of preference, I listed them according to when they ran, starting with Eclipse in 18th-century England. Secretariat is No. 10 only because he is the latest of the greatest, so to speak. If I had to name the best of these 10 horses, or rank Secretariat, I don't know that I could do it. Mr. Creamer obviously feels strongly about Super Red. I'd be genuinely curious to know where he would place the horse.
Author of The Kentucky Derby:
The First 100 Years
Thank you for Robert Creamer's generous words about me in his comments on The Book of Lists. However, as I am sure he has discovered, my list of great golfers was in chronological order. I think Vardon, Jones, Hogan and Nicklaus all share the top position. I would guess that Amy Alcott set up her list in alphabetical order, hence Zaharias in last place.
HERBERT WARREN WIND
New York City
•Creamer says he assumed that when the Wallaces listed things by number, they were ranking them. He apologizes to Chew, Wind, Alcott and others whose lists were inadvertently misinterpreted. As for Secretariat, he rates the Triple Crown winner somewhere behind Master Derby because Creamer won an across-the-board bet on Master Derby at 23-to-1 in the 1975 Preakness. Secretariat never paid off like that.—ED.
I cannot accept the premise of Big Howl in Minnesota (May 2) that large predators such as the wolf and mountain lion cannot live in proximity to man.
Farmers can do what herdsmen did for centuries, use dogs bred to fend off the wolf to protect their stock. Humans are in no imminent danger of attack if they treat the wolf with the same caution they would any wild animal.
The wolf has a function to fill wherever there is a deer herd. Wolves weed out the weak and sick deer, leaving the stronger ones to breed and thus produce larger, healthier animals. It's God's plan and I cannot see man (in his infinite wisdom?) improving on it. I would like to see the wolf returned to the East.
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