Great article by Larry Keith on Tom Seaver. The title (Tom Terrific Arms the Red Arsenal, June 27) fits perfectly. Next year, I am pleased to predict, baseball fans will see another 30-game winner. With his great pitching and the Reds' great bats and fielding, Seaver can't miss 30.
Fans of The Machine should keep in mind that the ex-Met can't win 'em all. The worst thing that can happen now is to have the fans put pressure on Tom to win every game.
Larry Keith told the real story and shed light on some fuzzy areas. Quite a few of us Met fans have felt cheated for quite a while when it comes to the Mets brass getting some hitters. They have given away our best players and pitchers and taken mush in return.
K. R. CUNNINGHAM JR.
East Orange, N.J.
One part of the article made me laugh. How did Dick Young know Nancy Seaver was jealous of the Ryans? Was he at the Seavers' dinner table when she complained to Tom?
July 10, 1977
With all due respect to the fabulous Tom Seaver, did you have a cover story on the equally fabulous Frank Tanana planned for your June 27 issue?
•Until the Seaver story developed, SI intended to put the winner of the U.S. Open on the cover. As for Tanana, see page 38.—ED.
You refer to Jim Palmer of the Orioles as the Seaver of the American League. Palmer is by far the best pitcher of this decade. He has a better won-lost record than Seaver and has led Baltimore to five divisional titles and four World Series. He is not the Seaver of the American League. Rather, Seaver is the Palmer of the National League.
To prove the Twins are for real (Minny Gets the Max from a Minimum, June 20), they fell out of first place on June 19 and then came back to take the lead again on June 24. As for the fans not going to the ball park, we drove 135 miles to support the Twins. The attendance was 18,060 on June 23 and 21,457 on June 24.
You didn't mention the Twins' double-play combination of Roy Smalley-to-Bob Randall-to-Rod Carew, which last year set a club record for double plays in a season.
Larimore, N. Dak.
As in most other articles on the Billy Martin-Reggie Jackson confrontation (BASEBALL'S WEEK, June 27), SI seems to make Reggie the bad guy again. I've seen the replay of the bloop double off Jim Rice's bat many times. There's no way Reggie could have reached it in time. The only thing he might have done wrong was throw the ball to the wrong base. As for the ruckus between Martin and Jackson, the replay clearly shows Martin starting the yelling and doing the lunging.
ERIC K. KILHEFNER
TOO MUCH OF THE SAME
I watch as many baseball games as I can on TV, but every week the same teams dominate the screen: the Reds, Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers. Everyone likes a winner, but repetition is boring. I'd rather see young and coming teams like Cleveland, Milwaukee or Chicago as well as teams you never see, like Montreal, Oakland and San Diego.
No wonder the starting lineups for this year's All-Star Game again will not be truly representative. Half of America thinks only four teams play in the majors.
It takes a runner to write about running, to identify with those who go 10 miles a day in training. Kenny Moore's recent articles on the world cross-country championships and the AAU meet plus his profile on Lasse Viren (An Enigma Wrapped in Glory, June 27) substantiate his expert grasp of the sport.
Kenny Moore has settled some very controversial questions. I am now convinced Viren was not guilty of "blood doping" at last year's Olympics. If Viren's hemoglobin count is between 15.4 and 15.6, then blood doping would most likely detract from Viren's performances rather than enhance them.
It seems as though he geared his training to assure "peaking" for both the '72 and '76 Games. As Viren admits, he established his top priorities—the gold medals—and chose not to take the non-Olympic years too seriously.
WILLIAM A. MARKS
Why can't the world look upon Lasse Viren as a fine, expensive watch? Let him run and do not demand to know what makes him tick.
MARTIN D. DUTILLY
Kincheloe AFB, Mich.
Sam Moses begins The Man in the Fiber Glass Mask (June 27) with a splendid touch of humility, then goes off into a one-sided criticism of Johnny Rutherford, both as a driver and as a person, using subtle but distinctly offensive methods. For example, in the heart of the article he begins referring to Johncock as "Gordy," but he refers to Rutherford as "Rutherford," a distinction that tends to make the reader feel more receptive to Johncock. The word for Johncock's childlike moodiness is insecurity, not "ingenuousness." Rutherford may not be the greatest USAC driver, but Johncock isn't even in his class.
Thank you. Being a Patrick Racing Team fan, I have gotten close to Gordy and have come to know him fairly well. He is a true champion, whether he wins a complete Indy 500 or not. When a man like Johncock wins, people don't think much of it. But he has finished ahead of men like A. J. Foyt, Johnny Rutherford, Al and Bobby Unser, Wally Dallenbach, Tom Sneva, Mario Andretti, etc. So Gordon Johncock is a champion and Johnny Rutherford is still a runner-up.
In the June 27 19TH HOLE, Ronald E. Coolidge took issue with your projection of the home-run total that will result from use of the live ball. SI calculated that the average per team in the 1977 season would be 117 home runs. Mr. Coolidge disagreed, contending that the average would be much higher—136 per team. SI has statistical weight in its favor.
Mr. Coolidge arrived at his figure by assuming, not unnaturally, that the rate of home runs remains constant during an entire season. In fact, it does not. In the first 616 games of 1976, for instance, the average rate of home runs per game was 1.24. In the remaining 68% of the season, however, the home-run rate dropped to only 1.11 per game—more than 10% lower. Larry Keith, no doubt, took this into account in projecting a total for the entire 1977 season and arrived at his correct estimate of 117 per team.
New York City
Since when are there only 10 inches in a foot? In your article about the livelier ball (They're Knocking the Stuffing Out of It. June 13) you show a picture of the measuring stick used to determine the height of each bounce, and it has only 10 inches in each foot. The article was great, but remember, a foot is usually thought of as containing 12 inches.
Rugby, N. Dak.
•The measuring rod shown was graduated in tenths of a foot and is of a type commonly used by engineers and surveyors.—ED.
Your May 23 article on the scouting ordeal in As I Did It touched me. Author Jerry Cowle believes that kids today don't have enough to strive for. In our small community, scouting is very active. In fact, my brother-in-law, who is 16, is in the Order of the Arrow, which has some similarities to the order Cowle describes. He, too, had to work very hard and show responsibility to become a member. Not all kids lose themselves in television "activities" today.
In her article, Taking Their Place in the Sun (June 20), Nancy Williamson states that the crews of the America's Cup contenders come from some unlikely sailing cities, such as Detroit. I'd like to point out that this unlikely sailing city has turned out the last two winners of the Canada Cup, Llwyd Ecclestone's Dynamite and Dr. Gerry Murphy's Golden Dazy, and has also sent the last two Great Lakes Area representatives to the Congressional Cup in the person of native Detroiter Marc Hollerbach.
Not too shabby for a town that has to share its place in yachting history with Denton, Texas; Lexington, Ky.; and Etna, N.H.
PETER A. GOEBEL
Lathrup Village, Mich.
Though my family and others have been deeply scarred by the consequences of a betrayed revolution, and in spite of the fact that I disapprove of a political system that denies its citizens numerous birthrights, all Cubans everywhere would agree that our present and past are richly filled with baseball talent. It was a pleasure reading about the great tradition of Cuban beisbol history (In Cuba, It's Viva El Grand Old Game, June 6). Just one thing. You made no mention of one of Cuba's greatest players, three-time batting champion Tony Oliva, whose career was curtailed due to chronic knee problems. Very few players have won a batting championship in their rookie year. Oliva did it and won again in his second year. Not many Cubans can match that feat, but then, not many Americans can, either.
Rick Telander's article on Roger Maris (The Record Almost Broke Him, June 20) was an excellent portrayal of one of baseball's most talented, yet misunderstood, individuals.
I was especially interested in the two-page photograph showing Maris hitting his 61st home run. It is a postscript to a famous story from the 1927 season when Ruth hit his 60 home runs.
The story goes that the Pittsburgh Pirates, who were to be the World Series opponents of the 1927 Yankees, arrived early for practice before the Series opener at Pittsburgh. Watching Ruth, Gehrig, Meusel and other Yankees pound one ball after another over or off the Forbes Field fences so disheartened the Pirates that they were beaten before they set foot on the field.
It is interesting to note that watching Maris hit his 61st home run appear to be four members of the 1961 National League Champion Cincinnati Reds, who had already clinched and were waiting to play the Yankees in the Series. Clearly visible in the first two rows directly above Maris are Joey Jay, Darrell Johnson, Jim O'Toole and Johnny Edwards. Jay and O'Toole were to pitch the first two games in New York and are obviously scouting the Yankees with their two catchers, Edwards and Johnson.
Apparently as awestruck by the tremendous Yankee power of 1961 as were the Pirates by the 1927 Yankees, the Reds lost in five games.
RODERICK M. MCNEALY
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