A No. 1
It's wonderful to see the Oakland A's on your cover again (April 27). After some lean years, they're back on top, and it looks as though they'll stay there for a while. Congratulations to Billy Martin and Pitching Coach Art Fowler on a great job, but let's not forget the man who put this team together: Charlie Finley. He brought Rick Langford, Mitchell Page and Tony Armas to the A's in a shrewd trade with Pittsburgh, and it was his system that produced Mike Norris, Rickey Henderson and Matt Keough. Sure, Charlie had his faults, but now that he's gone, let's give him credit for assembling one of the game's finest teams.
DANIEL S. WARD
West Lafayette, Ind.
As an Oakland fan, I've watched Charlie Finley get rid of just about every player who was on the team that won the World Series in 1972, '73 and '74. I had almost given up hope when Charlie finally did something good by hiring Billy Martin and selling the club to a group of people who care more about Oakland baseball than about money. In one year Martin has turned a basement team into a contender for the American League pennant. He has also raised spirits on the team. I tip my hat to Martin, his five aces and the rest of the Oakland A's.
I sorely missed the wonderful mug of Billy Martin on your cover. Billy is the wild card that gives the A's the winning hand.
JOSEPH F.J. CURI, M.D.
Your cover brings back memories of the early 1970s, when the A's were the best team in baseball. In fact, in your latest picture, Matt Keough shows a striking resemblance to the great A's pitcher of that time, Jim (Catfish) Hunter.
May 10, 1981
I noticed that all five Oakland starting pitchers sport mustaches. Maybe this is the key to an A No. 1 season.
New Rochelle, N.Y.
Mike Norris may or may not be the best pitcher in baseball, but he certainly is the biggest crybaby. I'm tired of hearing him whine about not winning the Cy Young Award last year. No matter how you slice it, the fact is that Norris had fewer wins and more losses than Steve Stone.
HOWARD B. CAPLAN
Your article on the A's was fine, but the caption for the picture of the bullpen is wrong. The person you have identified as Catcher Tim Hosley isn't Hosley but Kelvin Dixon, a ball boy.
You have once again lapsed into that unfortunate modern-day practice of zealously exalting winners. At the same time the Oakland A's were roaring off into the blue skies of victory, the consistently bedraggled but universally beloved Chicago Cubbies were inching through the muck of defeat on their way to one of the worst starts in modern major league history. Their story is as worthy of coverage as is that of the A's.
WILLIAM E. CARSLEY
The baseball season has just begun, the Stanley Cup playoffs are in full swing and your April 27 issue contains a cover story on the Oakland A's and totally ignores hockey, and, yes, I know this letter contains no periods, but your magazine didn't either, just a lot of innings!
As I read Frank Deford's article on Chris Evert Lloyd (Love and Love, April 24), I kept thinking how blessed we all are to be able to read this gifted author. I'll never forget his piece on Bjorn Borg last summer (A Match Goes Down in History, July 14) after Borg's record fifth Wimbledon triumph. The article on Evert Lloyd is in the same fine tradition. Deford enables us to see that behind Chris' phlegmatic facade beats the heart of a warm and giving woman. Thanks for this revealing and incisive portrait of a gracious lady and true champion.
THOMAS G. MACLENNAN
There was something very American in Frank Deford's article. Winning and style are inseparable in our heroes and heroines. So it's doubly gratifying to see Chris Evert Lloyd emerge as a strong and human sportswoman.
As with Jack Nicklaus rising from Arnold Palmer's shadow, Evert Lloyd's early victories were tainted as much by the fact that she was replacing Billie Jean King as by her lack of emotion and style. To see her revealed as thoughtful, vulnerable and even stylish raises her to that champion's level where comparisons are pointless. And it makes cheering for her as easy as, well, saluting the flag.
WILLIAM E. GREFFIN
Thank heaven for John Lloyd, who was secure enough as a person to permit Chris Evert to emerge from her chrysalis and become a butterfly.
To tell you the truth, I always thought she was pretty spectacular—I respected her ability to "impose her own distinctive stardom"—but I admire the new, less rigid version even more and will continue to watch with fascination as she moves on. I hope she knows that there are some of us who will love her whether or not she ever rushes a single net.
THE REV. ROBERT E. SIMPSON
Is it too early to vote for Sportswoman of the Century?
Woodland Hills, Calif.
My first reaction to J.D. Reed's article on the drug DMSO (A Miracle! Or Is It a Mirage? April 20) was "Oh, no! Not again." I'm a veterinarian, who, like many others, will now be deluged with requests for DMSO for the next few weeks.
For your information, a veterinarian who knowingly supplies DMSO for human use violates laws regarding the drug itself, and he also violates veterinary practice laws forbidding the prescribing of drugs for humans. We're happy with dogs and horses and other furry things. Don't help send any more gimpy miracle-seekers to our doors!
CRAIG L. WARDRIP, D.V.M.
Your article on DMSO is informative and true. As a former college athlete and heavy user of DMSO, I can attest to the positive effects of this drug on everything from muscle strains to broken bones. Those who question the effectiveness of DMSO should read your article and talk with someone who uses it.
I think most athletes should have the common sense not to use an unproven drug such as DMSO. When it goes through your system so quickly that you can taste it moments after you apply it to your skin, you have to wonder about it. I don't think it should be legalized for sale to athletes until a lot more research is done.
Your article on the year's first major rowing regatta, the San Diego Crew Classic (The Biggest Were the Best, April 13), captured my attention. Dan Levin's descriptions of the winning University of Washington rowers and their inspiring coach, Dick Erickson, were immensely enjoyable. Year in and year out, Erickson's enthusiasm, dedication and sincerity bring out the best in his athletes.
ROBERT A. DICKINSON
Washington's women's crew was No. 1 in San Diego, too. Why was there no mention of their win?
DR. AND MRS. W.H. ACHTERMAN
Salt Lake City
Three years ago my wife and I became the proud owners (parents?) of two border collie pups, Bonny and her brother, King Pellinore. They were a gift from my granny and grandpa, so the only expense involved was in transporting them from my grandparents' farm in southern Arkansas to our home here in Oklahoma. While this doesn't qualify me as an expert on the breed, I can say that Roy Bongartz (ON THE SCENE, April 27) was 100% accurate in noting the endurance of border collies. Bonny and Pelli could easily get in a 20-mile jaunt while I trudged through my normal four-mile run. Furthermore, although they were never trained to do so, they could round up a small herd of humans by dropping to their stomachs, fixing them with their "mesmerizing eye" and then circling them and nipping at their heels. Unfortunately, Pelli had to be sent back to the Arkansas farm for this antisocial behavior.
However, I take exception to Scottish writer R.B. Robertson's statement that, on a human scale, border collies would rank as imbeciles. When Bonny read this she became so incensed that she demanded I cancel my subscription. I was able to mollify her only by promising to write this letter and set the record straight.
SAM T. ALLEN IV
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