Maybe the major league baseball season is not supposed to be a 100-yard dash, but a good start sure helps (In L.A. It's Up, Up and Away with Cey, May 16). I can guarantee Sparky Anderson and the Reds that the Dodgers will not blow it this year. With Tom Lasorda at the helm and Ron Cey batting cleanup, the Dodgers are the 77 world champions.
It's where you finish, not where you start. Come September, the Big Red Machine will be in its usual position—ahead of the Dodgers.
Your otherwise fine article has one flaw. On page 25 there is a picture of Lasorda hugging a player you identify as Dusty Baker. Lasorda is offering congratulations to none other than Reggie Smith, who wears No. 8 on the back of his batting helmet, and not Baker, whose number is 12.
You say that the Dodgers' record, 22-4, ranks among the best in baseball history. I agree. I also feel the 1958 Yankees, whose record was 23-5 (.821), also deserve to be recognized in the same class as that of the '46 Red Sox and the Dodgers of' 55 and '77.
HARLAN E. OSBORNE
May 29, 1977
The Dodgers' 10 consecutive victories at the start of the 1955 season were a major league record, which still stands. The Pirates share the record, having won their first 10 games in 1962.
TRAVIS Q. LYDAY
Recognition should also be given the 1966 Cleveland Indians who won 10 games in a row at the start of the season. The Indians, managed by Birdie Tebbetts, failed to win the pennant, wallowing in fifth place at season's end with an 81-81 record, 17 games behind Baltimore.
WHITE HOT SOX
Thank you for the article on Richie Zisk and the White Sox (Old Uniforms, New Sox. May 16). I have been a Sox fanatic for 23 years and the experience has been, to say the least, trying.
Through it all, I have remained loyal. But if Bill Veeck does not sign Zisk, and Richie leaves the Sox, I will discard my bumper sticker, yearbook and. Yes, even my 6" x 9" photo of Luke Appling.
It is a great tribute to major league baseball that, in this era of squabbling over contracts and playing time, the White Sox are playing ball because they want to play ball, and not because they want money and fame. On top of that, they are winning.
I come from Chicago and have always been a Cubs' fan, but this year I'm really proud of the other Chicago team.
STEVEN C.S. WITCZAK
College Park, Md.
When you put our favorite basketball team, the Celtics, on the cover of your magazine (April 25), we knew they were done for. Sure enough, they lost to the 76ers.
But when you put the Bruins on the cover (May 9), we almost died. They were playing so superbly we thought they could beat even Montreal. But they didn't, losing in four straight. We now believe in the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED cover jinx.
Please don't put the Red Sox or the Patriots on your cover.
BACK TO PEACH BASKETS
Now that the season is coming to an end, maybe it would be possible to give back to Dr. Naismith his game of basketball and let the "enforcers" with their hot-dog style of playing come up with their own name for the sport, such as Dunkball or Mayhemball.
Basketball was meant to be a non-contact game, not a spectacle of fingers in the eyes, broken bones—all this violence you see in the game today at all levels.
Maybe next year someone will come up with a rule permitting eight fouls plus cash bonuses for crippling opponents for life.
Having had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Dr. Naismith, and playing for his son Jack, I honestly believe if the doctor were to come back today to take a look at his game, he would say. "That is not the game I invented." So, you great "hotshots," go get yourselves a new name for your game, but don't call it basketball.
WILLIAM J. SMITH
That was an outstanding photo of Seattle Slew and the other Derby leaders on the cover of your May 16 issue. Neil Leifer certainly captured the prestige and beauty of the Kentucky Derby, and showed us what remarkable animals racehorses are.
DAVID C. JACKSON
Mountain Lakes, N.J.
Thank you, Mickey and Karen Taylor, for naming your horse Seattle Slew, thereby giving thousands of identity-starved sports fans in the Pacific Northwest a little cheer this spring. We yelped with delight and danced on our chairs as your horse won the Derby, while among the good folk in Florida slough (slew) country, news of the victory probably elicited a huge yawn.
I shudder to think how dull things would have been out here if, on naming your colt, you had switched your priorities and named it Tallahassee Rein.
After hearing the ebullient voice of Tony Hulman announce, "Gentlemen, start your engines," one cannot help but realize that the Indy 500 (Countdown to a Pot of Gold, May 16) is truly the greatest spectacle in all of sport.
PETER D. KIRLES
Let's Make a Deal isn't the seat of greed in America—the Indianapolis 500 is.
Having just moved from Indianapolis after living there for eight years, I find it extremely difficult to comprehend some of the things John Cole says in An Outsider Looks In (May 16). Here is a man who arrives a few days before the race and wants us to believe that if it weren't for the race Indianapolis would not exist. I wonder if he would find the same thing true if he visited Pasadena, New Orleans or Rio de Janeiro during their respective festivals.
Perhaps next time, Cole should come to Indy in September and visit the art museum. Market Square Arena or Convention Center Indianapolis does not exist solely for the 500.
TERRY L. PAXTON
Perhaps Mr. Cole's personal tastes led him to explore such Indianapolis "landmarks" as the Red Garter Lounge, the 38th Street Bar and the Queen Bee massage parlor. However, I assure your readers that if visitors to Indianapolis wish to follow an itinerary at a slightly higher level, this city has much to offer them—not just in May and for more than a few days.
DAVID H. MILLS
BIRDS OF PREY
Your article on raptors (Fighting Beak and Claw, May 16) was a good idea until it turned into an apology for falconry. Donald Dale Jackson deplores gyrfalcons in a box at Heathrow Airport, but a gyrfalcon in the hands of his friends in Utah is somehow different.
Sure, the falcon's stoop is a spine-tingling sight. But capturing raptors so that some may witness this show on command can only hasten the day when none will see it.
Salt Lake City
I hope agent Mike Trope (This Agent's No Secret, May 16) puts more thought into his work than he does into his expansiveness. He may be Ricky Bell's agent, but his $20 gift to the wino is an even-money bet to kill the recipient, if he's been living on wine at a quarter a shot.
P. J. ERICKSON
Duane Bobick received $250,000 for 58 seconds of "participation" in his fight against Ken Norton (Make Him 38 and One, May 23).
Let's see, does that mean he's worth $15,516,000 an hour to somebody else, besides his mother?
MICHAEL T. ECK
P. J. RUSH
P.S. Please feature the Dodgers in a cover story. We need help!
While hitchhiking through the Owens Valley near Bishop, Calif., I was given a ride by a man on his way back to Berkeley—my destination, also. He had just purchased the late-model station wagon he was driving and in the back was a bicycle. As it turned out, he had ridden his bicycle from Berkeley over the Tioga Pass (elev. 9,941 feet) and into the tiny town of Independence specifically to buy the car from an elderly couple he had known for some years. As we talked, he amazed me with his knowledge and love of the Sierra country. It was like having my own personal guide. He told me of the many photographs he had taken of the valley and mountains we were traveling through and how, after several years in the auto-parts business, he made wilderness photography his means of support for himself and his family. Finally, he told me of his participation in an attempt to climb K2.
I was so thoroughly entertained by his accomplishments and his philosophies that when he stopped in front of the door of my destination I was both surprised and disappointed that my trip had ended so quickly. I have retold my story hundreds of times to dubious listeners. Thank you for providing a delightful verification. See, I really did get a ride with Galen Rowell (The High Road to Failure, May 2).
Thank you for your May 16 SCORECARD story (even though it was not exactly complimentary) on the Fortuna High School baseball team.
But—right school, wrong city; right family, wrong brother.
Fortuna High School is in Fortuna, Calif. (pop. 4,390), not Eureka, Calif. (pop. 25,200). We are just little neighbors, but are real proud of all our athletes.
And it was Dennis Gibbs, not Dan, who was the pitcher.
We haven't improved much since the game you wrote about. We are now 4-17 but we love them.
M. H. NETTLES
I am watching an Atlanta Braves-Pittsburgh Pirates game the day after Ted Turner made his debut as a manager and the same day he was benched by NL President Chub Feeney (Benched from the Bench, May 23). I am listening to Turner's comments on why he chose to manage (to learn baseball firsthand—and who would not do the same if he had the opportunity?), his attitude toward baseball in general and the Braves in particular (it's a game and it's supposed to be fun), and his enthusiasm. I can only say that, although I don't know if I'm a Braves' fan, I am definitely a Ted Turner fan.
It seems to me that he is only trying to put excitement into a game many claim is boring. This man can't be bad for baseball, only for the stuffed shirts who run the game with their eyes closed.
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