Thanks for a tremendous personal look at a real "superduperstar" (The Man Who Owns New York, Aug. 4). Not having been around for Ruth, Gehrig and DiMaggio, and not being old enough to appreciate Mantle and Maris, I feel lucky to be able to experience the true excitement of Reggie Jackson.
Reggie Jackson may be controversial, but one thing's for sure: the Yankees would be lost without him. He's always there when a tough situation arises. In my opinion, No. 44 is a solid contender for MVP.
MICHELE D. WHITE
Reggie Jackson has lost the respect of yet another New Yorker and Yankee fan with his statement, 'it's a fickle town.... As soon as my star tarnishes, they'll turn away...if I stay here to play, it's gonna haunt me one day." His view is typical of a new resident of the city. Reggie lives in his high-rise apartment overlooking Central Park and drives his Rolls-Royce with the windows rolled up, insulated from those from whom he expects godlike worship, yet he wonders why New Yorkers are hesitant to accept him as a Yankee hero. Reggie should realize that once a player has earned the Yankee pinstripes and become a Yankee hero, he can do no wrong in our eyes. This should be obvious whenever Billy Martin makes an appearance in New York. If Reggie had just quietly proven himself on the field from his first day as a Yankee, he would have earned the fans' respect by now.
Ozone Park, N.Y.
While I disagreed with Avery Brundage's policies on amateur athletics, I fail to see what sports are illustrated by the muckraking article Avery Brundage: The Man Behind the Mask (Aug. 4).
August 17, 1980
That an extremely rich man has indulged his appetites (apparently without damage to others) in the areas of women and Oriental art cannot be news of value to your readers.
In any case, as it has apparently taken all these years for Big Media to discover the "dim and shifting values" of Brundage—after it had universally admired him for his old-fashioned ways in the "now" world of over-the-table money, etc.—Big Media should not be surprised if this trashy story is greeted with a big "So what?" from its readers.
LAWRENCE E. STARBUCK
The personal life of Avery Brundage is certainly different from his public life. But I hope no one will connect his private life with his work with the Olympic Games. While President of the IOC, Brundage sought only the best for the Games, for he saw the good that could come from them. After reading the story by William Oscar Johnson, I could only feel more sympathetic toward the man and the cause he stood for. Lord Killanin carried on Brundage's dreams, but unfortunately not in that fiery Brundage style: stubborn and straightforward.
LEE L. HUNSAKER
In your article on Avery Brundage, the first Mrs. Brundage, his wife of 44 years, was cursorily dismissed as "an elegant and artistic socialite...[who was] usually...at their home in Santa Barbara."
Having known "Bess" Brundage for more than 25 years, I took particular note of William Oscar Johnson's statement that Avery's "penchant for acquisition and luxury might have been considered vulgar had he not displayed a fairly constant sense of good taste."
The Olympics owe Avery Brundage much. However, San Francisco and the world must also thank Elizabeth Dunlap Brundage for the exquisiteness of the Brundage Oriental art collection.
ELEANOR GREEN WINTERS
I am grateful for James Shapiro's article (It's Seven O'clock in the Morning, July 28) on the 24-hour run. He is to be congratulated both for his creditable performance in the run and for a very enjoyable account of it. His story was witty, insightful and sensitive. As a marathoner who so far only fantasizes about winning anything, I was able to live vicariously some moments I have no reasonable hope of experiencing myself.
DALE DORSETT SWANSON
Please tell me if James Shapiro's story was fiction. I can't even say that I've ever stayed awake that long. The author either possesses great courage and athletic ability, or Mark Twain's storytelling skills—or both.
•Every word is true. Shapiro's latest endeavor is a solo run—with no support team—from San Francisco to New York, scheduled for this month. ED.
While it might be a little early to nominate a Sportsman of the Year, there is no other choice than this year's Summer Olympics team. Their sacrifice for our country is the greatest contribution any group of athletes could make.
While Eric Heiden brought home five gold medals from the Winter Games and the hockey team gave patriotism a shot in the arm, their endeavors can't compare to those of the Summer athletes who were unable to go to Moscow.
MICHAEL D. ROEGER
Could there possibly be any other Sportsman of the Year than Bjorn Borg? What more must Borg do than win the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world five consecutive times?
Why didn't Mary Decker rate a full-page picture in the July 28 issue (...And Meanwhile in Philadelphia)? As we read about the "Police State" Olympics—"Soviet-East German Meet" is a better term—it warmed my heart to read about this fine young woman whose performance and expression show what American sport is all about.
Mary Decker for Sportswoman of the Year!
JONATHAN J. COHEN
ABOVE THE EAGLES' NEST
I was fascinated to read about the tree-climbing adventures of naturalist Jack Holt in connection with his and biologist Sergej Postupalsky's efforts to band young bald eagles in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (The Eagle Is Banded, Aug. 11). A free climb to a height of 115 feet is no mean feat. However, author Jim Doherty's detailed account failed to answer one question: How did SI's Heinz Kluetmeier take those close-up pictures, especially the ones in which he would appear to have been looking down on Holt and the eagles' nest? Docs Kluetmeier climb trees, too?
New York City
•If it means gaining the best vantage point for a picture, he does. In 1978, on the island of Hawaii, Kluetmeier clambered 40 feet up a dead tree to get a photograph of the rare io, or Hawaiian hawk (If the Ie Ie Don't Get You, the A'a Will, Sept. 25, 1978). In Michigan he got as high as 100 feet, usually climbing up an adjacent or the same tree to a point 10 feet or so above the nest as in the photograph at left, which was taken with a 400 mm lens from a boat on a nearby reservoir. Once Kluetmeier stepped across a nest and its inhabitants in order to perch on a limb for a bird's-eye-level shot of the eaglets, but only after he had been assured that an eagle's nest is strong enough to support a man and, more important, that his trespassing wouldn't cause the parent eagles to abandon it. Says Kluetmeier, "I was surprised at how quiet the young birds were—sort of regal and unperturbed, as befits the American symbol." Not Heinz. He was particularly shaken when, after brief instruction in the use of rope and climbing irons, he got 30 feet up the trunk of a tall tree and the rope began to slip. Heinz wanted to go back down, but he didn't know how. So he went up. Kluetmeier's 15-year-old daughter, Tina, who went along on the assignment, told her father he was "silly" to risk life and limb. Says Heinz, "It was more fun than photographing the Super Bowl."—ED.
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