In your June 9 issue, Ron Fimrite's article The Royals Are Flush hit the nail on the head. Kansas City is a team of character. This same asset will be of great value as the Royals drive toward another division title.
Thank you for a long-awaited article on what may be the team of 1980. You've made my sister (a rabid Willie Wilson fan) and me very happy.
As longtime K.C. Royals fans and SI subscribers, we are ecstatic over the cover story on the most exciting team in baseball. During the last four years Kansas City has consistently been excluded from the major media coverage the team so richly deserves. But SI has come to the rescue! If K.C. had a larger viewer market, then George Brett (the best hitter in baseball) would have been 1979's MVP, which his statistics prove he merited.
Florida State University
I am a 13-year-old female who is in love with the Kansas City Royals. You wouldn't believe how happy I was when the mailman brought my SI and I saw Darrell Porter smack dab on the cover! I'm glad the Royals are finally getting the publicity they deserve. By the way, if I asked you who was the winningest righthanded pitcher in the American League as of June 6, who would you say? The answer is Renie Martin, rookie pitcher of the Royals.
June 22, 1980
Darrell Porter on the cover? The Kansas City Royals "back in the chips"? What's happening? If you would kindly look at the standings, you will see who is the best team in the majors and who you should have put on the cover. Numero Uno again—The New York Yankees!
My congratulations and thanks to John Underwood for a superb article on Tom Watson (Open Question, June 9). America finally has a hero. Watson has it all—talent, brains, class and a sense of humor. Anyone who doesn't think he has charisma just doesn't know the meaning of the word.
As for his politics, who cares? I wish he would run for office. Watson for President! Win or lose, he's somebody we can really believe in.
PETER A. SCHAIBLE
As an ex-teacher at Tom Watson's prep school, I was pleased with the well-rounded quality of your feature about Tom.
It was Tom's competitiveness and athletic ability that first drew my attention to him. When he was a freshman, I tried to persuade him to save golf for later years and to play baseball for me. Despite considerable subsequent needling, I still think he'd have made a heck of a ballplayer. Even then, Tom's answer was in keeping with his sense of self: "Thank you for asking, sir. Baseball is O.K., but I love golf."
JAMES G. ANGELL
U.S. Naval Academy
John Underwood's story on Tom Watson focuses clearly on the essence of true sport: it is not solely one's performance, but also the character and conduct that competition brings out in the individual.
Watson's intelligence and sensitivity will only add to the rich heritage of golf.
HARRY C. BEAMER JR.
Cedar Lake, Ind.
As both a golfer and a student of the English language, I enjoyed your story on Tom Watson. However, I am dumbfounded by a couple of words I can't find in the dictionary. To quote: "He didn't know a pipe from a pissant" and "I heard one of them say she just loved Tom's tush." What, pray tell, is a "pissant" and what is a "tush"? There must be other readers who are also puzzled by these terms.
•"Pissant" is Western slang for something small and insignificant, and "tush" is Yiddish slang for derriere.—ED.
As a teenager growing up in Kansas City, I had the best of both worlds. The days were spent working at Kansas City Country Club for my uncle and watching a young man my age, Tom Watson, begin to make his imprint on the game he now dominates. The nights and weekends were devoted to finding rides to Municipal Stadium to cheer for the A's, who eventually blessed us by their departure to make room for the Royals and a new sports complex.
Now that I live in Omaha, television enables me to keep up with Watson as well as the Royals. Your June 9 issue reinforces my faith in both.
Barry McDermott's article He'll Make Your Child a Champ (June 9) should have been titled He'll Make Your Child a Millionaire. After all, isn't the reason that a parent would send his or her child to such a place really the final payoff, the pro tour? If the pros weren't making thousands of dollars per tournament, you can bet 95% of those kids wouldn't be going through such baloney.
As for Nick Bollettieri and his crew, I thought the Vince Lombardi types who coached young kids were on the decline. I guess the almighty dollar has brought this one back. It is one thing to force a strict disciplinary regimen on young men and women. It is quite another to force it on emotionally fragile youngsters.
PETER L. DUCHENE
I'm a weekend and summer tennis player, and for years I've thought that being an incredible player would be fantastic. After reading He'll Make Your Child a Champ, I realized the troubles and hard times that top-quality players have to withstand from their coaches and parents. Nick Bollettieri's system of creating a champion makes me sick. McDermott's article has shown me that being a superstar isn't for me, even if I didn't have a chance to be one in the first place.
New York City
Nick Bollettieri's "kids" are not, in my opinion, to be envied. It's a sad commentary when parents push a child and pay some obsessed man $1,100 a month to produce a championship, which they (the parents) were never good enough to achieve. Let the kids enjoy their childhood: there will be plenty of time in adulthood to deal with men like Nick Bollettieri.
Allen Park, Mich.
I am a coach and a teacher, and I have also produced winners. I think Nick Bollettieri is nuts. Denying water as a punishment! Breaking rackets! Separating kids from their parents! His methods are disgraceful.
What makes tennis so important anyway? Why should it be more important than school, family life, social relationships—in other words, a normal life? Winners in this world have been produced by less bizarre methods than those of Bollettieri. It seems to me that this man is making a success of himself at a certain and terrible expense to the children of others.
I enjoyed your article on Nick Bollettieri. Those of us who knew him in college 28 years ago recognized that this Fun-Loving Promoter would make a name for himself, but certainly not as a Tyrannical Tennis Teacher.
NEIL J. DEVINE
The 8 x 10 frame had been picked, the space on my wall cleared for the cover of your June 2 issue, but my preparation was obviously premature. Instead of a jubilant Denis Potvin parading with the Stanley Cup high above his head, I was treated to a smiling Johnny Rutherford. He is certainly deserving of credit, but need I remind you that the Islanders brought the Cup to New York after an absence of 40 years? True, as Kathy Blumenstock claims, "No one chokes on champagne," but you certainly choked on your coverage of this year's Stanley Cup playoffs.
•Better make that frame 8‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√±‚àö¬µ" x 11 should the chance to use it yet occur.—ED.
What does it take to get on the cover of your magazine? Surely not such a glorious moment as an 8-year-old hockey team bringing the Stanley Cup to New York for the first time in 40 years. But nooooo! We had to win the Indy 500 three times.
Anyway, thanks for the big four-page story. And thanks for recreating that golden moment when Bob Nystrom scored the winning goal in overtime—and for chopping half of his head off in the picture.
East Rutherford, N.J.
DOLLARS FOR DIEGO
Reading Clive Gammon's article (Here's the New Pelè, June 9), it appears that Diego Maradona, with a little help from his friend. Jorge Cyterszpiler, is on the same road as one Leon Spinks. Too much too soon.
Opa Locka, Fla.
In your June 9 article on Maradona, you said that Pelè learned his soccer in the favelas of S‚Äö√†√∂¬¨¬£o Paulo. This is like saying that Bob Lanier learned his basketball on Harlem blacktop.
Lanier is from Buffalo in the state of New York; Pelè is from Bauru in the state of S‚Äö√†√∂¬¨¬£o Paulo.
Ann Arbor, Mich.
JUDGMENT ON GURNEY
The quality of a man is clearly reflected in his actions. Several years ago at the St. Jovite racetrack in Quebec, a driver named Jackie Oliver had a horrifying accident. His Can-Am became airborne, turned a complete circle and landed upside down. Dan Gurney soon came by in his McLaren car. He slowed to a walk and, as Oliver climbed from his overturned car, took both hands from the wheel and gave him a giant "thumbs up" signal. Gurney lost several positions during this, but gained one unashamed hero worshipper in this observer. It was the warmest moment I have experienced in sport and is a cherished memory. If this is the "Gurney Judgment." may we all suffer from it.
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