Let's have a toast for two great boxers—Leonard and Duran (Right On for Roberto, June 30).
I am especially happy for Duran. During the past eight years he has fought every challenger who was willing to step into the ring with him: Buchanan, Lampkin, DeJesus, Palomino and the rest.
Roberto is getting up in years for a lightweight turned welterweight. He was definitely the best boxer of the '70s, and he has won what might be the best fight of the '80s.
La Habra, Calif.
Two wins in one night! Duran decisioned Leonard and scored a knockout over the SI cover jinx.
Oak Ridge, Tenn.
July 6, 1980
I am a loyal Yankee fan, and Ron Fimrite's article (These New Damn Yankees Are a Hit, June 23) describes perfectly the reasons for the team's success, giving credit where it was due and not forgetting the youngsters. Manager Howser's quote about Randolph—"Without him, we'd be, well, I hate to think where"—was right on the money. Do us Yankee fans a favor in one of your October issues and write a big article on Howser—"Manager of the Year."
Fimrite says Billy Martin describes Goose Gossage as "awesome." That adjective also befits the swing of the man who wears double 4s, as illustrated in your fine picture on pages 30 and 31.
Yankee fans have come to realize that when Reggie Jackson's right leg drives through and his left knee drops to the ground, it's usually "tater time."
MICHAEL P. GEROW
Fimrite's likening the traveling New York press to "war correspondents" is unfortunately accurate, but much to their dismay there has been nothing bigger to write about this season than Reggie's late entrance to spring training. As a result, they have had to focus on up-and-coming stars such as Bobby Brown, Joe Lefebvre and Dennis Werth.
George Steinbrenner, who has poured millions into the Yankee farm system, has been saying all along that his activity in the free-agent market was meant to buy time for the minor leagues to produce players. Now his investments are paying off, and your readers, as well as the rest of the baseball world, will be reaping the dividends for years to come.
Scotch Plains, N.J.
Fimrite did a story on the best team in baseball without saying one positive thing about the best third baseman in baseball.
You neglected to mention that Bucky Dent is hitting .260 (30 points above his '79 average), has twice as many homers and is once again proving that he is one of the best shortstops in either league. You also might have mentioned that during the Oakland series Bucky got spiked in the wrist by Tony Armas and put out of action for at least 15 days.
Hot Springs, Ark.
Let's not forget Eric Soderholm and Johnny Oates, the veterans who take their second-string roles with a great deal of class. It's too bad that Lou Piniella, Bobby Murcer and Ed Figueroa can't do the same.
Elmwood Park, N.J.
...BACK AT THE RANCH
In your June 16th issue you managed to find four pages for an article on the St. Louis Cardinals, maybe the worst team in major league baseball, but could spare the space for only 16 words in your FOR THE RECORD section to write about the University of Arizona Wildcats, who had just won the college baseball World Series.
You even gave Johns Hopkins, the NCAA lacrosse champions, two pages.
We find it irritating that you couldn't find more room to write about the nation's best college baseball team. After all, the saying doesn't go, "Lacrosse, hot dogs and apple pie," does it?
Dan Jenkins' article on the U.S. Open (The Owner of the Open, June 23) once again shows why he is one of the best sportswriters in the country. His smooth style seems to make his stories end much too quickly.
On the cover you said that Jack is back. But how many people, myself included, really ever thought he'd stay away?
JOHN W. TODOR
Only in America, and only in sports, could a multimillionaire such as Jack Nicklaus be a sentimental favorite.
The Golden Bear is back—the golfer, that is. The gold has never left.
WILLIAM E. CARSLEY
Jack Nicklaus was a fallen idol only to the sportswriters. To his legions of fans, his return to the top has been simply a matter of when, not if. The two biggest draws at Baltusrol were Nicklaus and Palmer, which says a lot about the loyalty of golf fans.
Basking Ridge, N.J.
Jack brings the people to the golf course, lures viewers to the tube and conveys his marvelous excitement. Never has there been a man of more significance to his sport.
How many SI covers has Jack appeared on? I have six in my collection.
•There have been 19. The first: Sept. 12, 1960.—ED.
Eighteen major championships in 19 years. May the Lord have mercy on any individual who sets his mind to breaking this record.
How Jenkins could call Baltusrol Golf Club's lower course "a pushover" is beyond me. Maybe the scores did not reflect a course as tough as other U.S. Open courses, but it is not easy.
Consider Hubie Green. He had a spectacular third-round 65 sandwiched in between three rounds in the mid-70s. Mark Hayes fell from contention after only five holes on Sunday. And, if you really feel brave, tell Tom Weiskopf that Baltusrol is a pushover.
If Jenkins feels that Baltusrol is such a pushover, let him put his golf clubs where his typewriter is. I am sure a lot of members would delight in watching him fall prey to the dangers of one of the finest courses in the world.
Score a birdie for Dan Jenkins on his coverage of a most exciting U.S. Open championship, but give him a double bogey for his evaluation of the Baltusrol course. To say that the course is "dull" and that it has no dramatic stretch of holes is to overlook the two finishing holes, where in every round the contending player must risk a bogey to try for a birdie, knowing that the players behind him also have the chance to finish with two birdies. And the 12 par-4 holes are just different enough to require the golfer to play every club and shot in his arsenal, and then some.
A great golf course rewards great play fairly, and therefore it should yield a low score every once in a while to a player at the top of his game, as Jack Nicklaus was at Baltusrol.
THOMAS H. DOAK
The photograph on pages 22 and 23, showing Nicklaus with putter raised after sinking a birdie putt, was not taken on the 17th green as stated, but rather at the final hole. I know because I am in the picture.
I thoroughly enjoyed your article about mile-record holder Sebastian Coe (A Hard and Supple Man, June 23). It brought great joy to read not only about the sport of running, but about this particular runner and his life.
I loved Kenny Moore's article on Sebastian Coe. I was born and raised in Sheffield and was a member of the Sheffield and British track teams in the 1950s. I am very familiar with the weather conditions and hills where Coe does his training, and I think Moore really felt the warmth and understanding of a typical English family. Thank you, Mr. Moore, for making me just a little bit homesick!
JEAN A. NEWBOULT
In your article about Sebastian Coe, there is a little joke about an Irishman that makes the Irish out to be a band of dopes. This is stereotyping. I suggest that you stop it before someone else is insulted.
I am 11, and I know when I'm insulted.
TENNIS TYRANT (CONT.)
In response to some of the mail criticizing Nick Bollettieri's tennis teaching methods (He'll Make Your Child a Champ, June 9), I feel that the writers are mad at the wrong party. I, too, find Bollettieri's techniques repulsive. But if some uncaring, championship-hungry parent offered me $1,100 a month to do what he does, why shouldn't I do it? The parents obviously know what agony their children will be put through. And they still feel it's worth it to win a championship, make some big tournament money and get rid of the kids for nine months. It is with these "parents" that the culpability lies. Mr. Bollettieri is merely doing what he advertises. As they say, "The customer is always right."
Congratulations to Carl Navarre (VIEWPOINT, June 23). As a longtime salmon fan, I'm always glad to see their cause championed. Izaak Walton would be appalled if he knew that to some anglers fishing has become yet another form of conspicuous consumption. Judging from the wealthy buffoons mentioned in Navarre's article, there is clearly no direct relationship between riches and intelligence.
In his report on the French Open (Two Feats on Clay, June 16), Curry Kirkpatrick gratuitously implies that Guillermo Vilas faked a stomachache after having "a steak luncheon in the press room." Does Kirkpatrick know that Vilas was operated on for acute appendicitis shortly afterward?
A HAND FOR THE LITTLE LADY
I would like to compliment William Leggett on his article on the Belmont Stakes (An Outsider Comes In, June 16). I was hoping someone would mention that Genuine Risk was the real star of this year's Triple Crown races. She deserves all the credit for making this series one of the best in history.
Reading about Jenny Lake Lodge (Reflections of an Older America, June 16) brings back fond memories of three months spent at Jackson Hole and of two beautiful and humbling experiences I had there.
The first was my first glimpse of the Tetons, when my feelings of awe were heightened by the presence of three inches of snow on the ground. Until then I had believed that it was impossible for it to snow in the middle of June in the United States.
The other occurred while camping in the Tetons, when I had to wait third in line behind a black bear and a full-grown moose to get a drink of water.
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