Nolan Ryan and Frank Tanana (This Guy Tanana's No Second Banana, July 11)"...the best pair of starting pitchers since Koufax and Drysdale"? How soon we forget Palmer-Cuellar or Palmer-McNally, Seaver-Koosman or Seaver-Matlack, Hunter-Blue. Gibson-Carlton or even McDowell-Tiant. The Angels duo has yet to establish itself on a par with these others, though in a few years it very well may.
HOWARD M. LIVERANCE
I almost canceled my subscription to SI when you didn't put A. J. Foyt on the cover after his record fourth victory here at the 500.
I'm glad I didn't because your articles on Wimbledon were classics.
RICHARD W. SOMMERS
Suggesting that the major reason Chris Evert lost to Virginia Wade was because Jimmy Connors didn't attend the match is utterly ridiculous and an insult to Miss Evert. She is a professional who doesn't lose a match because of some petty outside factor; she was completely outplayed by Wade.
The mocking of Bjorn Borg's accent was in poor taste. Having lived in Scandinavia for several years, I have seen how hard the people there try to learn our language. At least Borg can speak English when he is interviewed here. Can American players speak Swedish or other languages when they go abroad to play? Or do they even attempt to learn?
It is Virginia Wade's victory that buoys the hearts of the tennis fan and amateur player. For a decade and a half we've been able to identify with her erratic play and excruciating on-court emotional dramas—and, all too often, been let down. Despite being the most technically complete player in women's tennis, she has never won her rightful share. And her collapses made us all the more sympathetic as we were reminded of ourselves.
Great horses like Man o' War and Native Dancer were allowed one mistake. How come this is so different with Seattle Slew (Slew Blew West Test, July 11)?
Your SCORECARD item on Ilie Nastase (July 4) was nothing more than another attack on a fine athlete. Nastase's behavior is a direct result of poor officiating and years of leniency on the part of these same officials.
Many of the people who complain the loudest about Nastase are the same people who pay to watch his matches and his antics. Nastase is simply giving the crowd what it expects and what it wants. The same thing is true of other controversial athletes such as Joe Namath, Muhammad Ali and Al Hrabosky. As long as the fans pay to see Nastase curse at officials, kick tennis balls into the stands, joke with the crowds, etc., he cannot be blamed for doing what has made him famous and rich.
Meanwhile, we should not forget that Ilie Nastase is a magician with a tennis racket. I would appreciate more articles about his tennis ability and less criticism of his court behavior.
At the Open, No News Was Bad News (July 4) certainly clears up a few things about this year's Open. But you don't explain why journalists put up with the nonsense William Leggett describes as surrounding the Masters golf tournament. From their stuffiness in selecting participants to their absurd presentation ceremony, those who run the Masters sometimes make you wonder whether we really need it. And their highhandedness in preventing the LPGA from having a "Masters" tournament of its own must go down as one of the alltime acts of imperiousness. Maybe they won't let your writers on the course next year for telling the truth about them. Maybe they will cut off the power to the network's cameras so I can't watch what is usually a good golf tournament. Great tradition and being pompous don't have to go together.
WM. C. PARKER
SLOW PITCH, FAST PITCH
I find it hard to believe your characterization of fast-pitch softball (It's Easy Come, Easy Go, June 13). You say that in fast pitch the ball is only a blur, with a steady stream of strikeouts and a minimum of excitement. Fast pitch is a game for skilled, quick-thinking ballplayers. It is certainly more exciting than a game in which there is no stealing, no bunting—and final scores of 46-14. Slow pitch is a game of little strategy and defense, in which you swing, swing, swing. Frankly, slow pitch bores me.
GARY R. JOHNSON
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