I fully enjoyed Douglas S. Looney's article on the Morris brothers (The Fearsome Foursome, Aug. 24). Having had the opportunity to run against three of them, I'm pleased to see they are being recognized for their great achievements. The team spirit they generate is fantastic. It's wonderful to see these guys all using their talents to the fullest and I wish them the best of luck.
Having lived in Ayer, Mass., I'm well aware of the Morris brothers' reputation both on and off the field. In this day it's hard to find one gifted athlete who is modest, unselfish and hardworking, much less four such athletes in one household! The Morris brothers are a credit to their family, their friends, their school and themselves. My only hope is that they will share the same wisdom with their children that their father imparted to them when he said, "I want to be the best soldier I can be." With the Morrises as examples, I know that my children will see that success doesn't breed success; hard work does.
I have covered the Morris brothers for many years for local papers, and they are sensational.
In discussing Mike Morris' track records, you referred to Darren Walker, former National High School Federation 100-meter-dash champion, as "the senior Stanford running back." This is incorrect. The Darren Walker who set the 100-meter record of 10.4 in the 1980 Maryland State Class AA track and field meet attended Meade High School in Fort Meade, Md. and was a freshman this past academic year at the University of Maryland. This summer he ran a personal best of 10.21 while placing fourth in the 100 meters at the National Sports Festival in Syracuse.
Meade High School
Fort Meade, Md.
September 6, 1981
Darren Walker, the Stanford running back? Surely SI has heard of Darrin Nelson, the real Stanford running back. After all, Nelson was the first college player to rush for more than 1,000 yards and catch 50 passes in a single season, something he now has done twice.
Nelson, who is listed at 5'9", 185 pounds, has about the same build as Joe Morris. He also has a younger brother following in his footsteps. Kevin Nelson starred as a freshman tailback last year at UCLA.
Mountain View, Calif.
•Right. We got the Nelson brothers sorted out in our college football scouting reports (The Top 20), Aug. 31).—ED.
HADEN & CO.
Finally someone has taken the time to give Pat Haden the credit he deserves (L.A. Will Stand Pat, Aug. 24). Ram Coach Ray Malavasi may fall asleep during an interview (SCORECARD, Aug. 24), but on the football field he knows exactly what to do. He has built one of the best defenses in all of the NFL, and Haden and the explosive Ram offense can score points as well as anyone can. I'm looking forward to seeing a lot more of the Rams in SI as they breeze through the NFC West and then go on to victory in the Super Bowl.
BERNELL B. HIRNING
Mott, N. Dak.
I think the fans in Anaheim should be ashamed of themselves for the way they treat Pat Haden. Pat belongs to a much higher class of quarterbacks than does Vince Ferragamo. To show it, Haden remains loyal to his team while Ferragamo is getting "rich" in Canada.
Your cover shows Wendell Tyler "ramming ahead." Maybe the only reason he's gaining yardage is because the Cowboys' Randy White apparently is being illegally held by a Ram lineman. Maybe the Rams would have done better to hold on to Vince Ferragamo.
JOHN R. CURRENT
I object. Pete Rose, who is now third on the alltime hit list—first on the National League alltime list—lost out on the SI cover to Wendell Tyler of the L.A. Rams. I save my milestone SI issues and would love to have had one of Rose.
Princeton Junction, N.J.
Thanks for the excellent story on Gaylord Perry (Bound for Glory, Aug. 24). It brought back my fondest baseball memory: a cool May night at Metropolitan Stadium, Rod Carew at bat, Perry pitching for the Cleveland Indians. A knockdown pitch by Perry sends Carew into the dirt. On the next pitch, Carew gently heaves his bat at Perry. Carew gets to first on a fielder's choice, then steals second and goes on to third on an error by the second baseman. Perry challenges Carew by going into his windup; Carew steals home on an extremely close play. Looks of mutual respect are exchanged. Perry loses 3-0.
The game of baseball is great when played by individuals of style, character and pride. People like Perry and Carew are burning gems in a sea of synthetics.
Once again Ron Fimrite has enlightened me with a superb sports profile. As a long-suffering Cleveland Indian fan, I've seen many a losing season. But I fondly recall Gaylord Perry's short (1972-75) stint with the Tribe. I spent many a hot August evening at Municipal Stadium, content in the knowledge that a Perry victory—whether against the umpires or the opposition—might be all we fans would be able to enjoy. Perry would be a helpful addition to any baseball team.
I would be the first to admit that I am fascinated and terribly amused when I watch Gaylord Perry baffle the National League's finest with his amazing assortment of licked and powdered lollipops, but cheating is still cheating!
Ron Fimrite mentioned that there are three other active pitchers besides Gaylord Perry who have a chance at winning 300 games in the next few years: Steve Carlton, Tom Seaver and Jim Palmer. He forgot to mention an exceptional pitcher who has been overlooked his whole career, which began in 1959! Jim Kaat has more career victories (278) than Silent Steve, Tom Terrific or Jockey Jim. He's as old as Perry but still has a lot of wins left in him.
Kaat has pitched for the Washington Senators, Minnesota Twins, Chicago White Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees and is now working out of the bullpen for the St. Louis Cardinals. He's still an effective pitcher, as shown by his 6-2 record so far this year. He doesn't throw the spitter; he hasn't won the Cy Young Award in either league; nor has he as many strikeouts as Perry. I believe Kaat will get his 300th victory and that he will take his place in the Hall of Fame next to Perry, Palmer, Seaver and Carlton.
Upper Darby, Pa.
FLASHY IN NASHVILLE
I was formerly with the New York Yankee organization and am now with Los Indios del Valle in the Dominican Republic. What I am writing about is a statement Franz Lidz made in a May 25 TV/RADIO column on the summer show called The Baseball Bunch. The reason this letter is so late is that it takes a long time for mail to get to this area.
Lidz said that when Tug McGraw's jokes were working, the show went well, and when the jokes weren't going well, the show was "about as flashy as a Double A utility infielder." I take offense at that statement.
Last year I played for the Nashville Sounds as a utility infielder—a designation I didn't particularly relish. Nonetheless, I performed my job with alacrity, and I believe you will find many people in Nashville who will attest to this. I may not have been flashy in a hotdog baseball player sense of the word, but I was known to be a rather free-spirited sort. A few of my accomplishments, and I use the term loosely, were: sliding into all the bases during a rain delay, starting a fire in the bullpen and meeting the Soundettes at third base for a kiss. Now I ask you, are these the doings of an average, boring Double A utility infielder? Of course not! Therefore, I believe you owe me an apology.
J. MARK JOHNSTON
La Vega, Dominican Republic
Your SCORECARD item (Aug. 24) on personalized license plates caught my eye. In the past few years I've observed many such plates here in Northern California, where they are very popular. There are occupation-oriented plates, such as HART DOK (cardiologist), BRUSH EM (dentist), ILLSU4U (attorney), PPMD (urologist) and DO ADEAL (realtor). There are sports-oriented plates, such as MRATHNR (my own) or 26M385Y for long-distance runners, and my alltime favorite for originality, 10SNE1, for tennis buffs. (Does PLAYGRL qualify as sports-oriented?) There is even one for Steve Martin fans: XQUZIME. And, of course, just to remind us that this is the San Francisco area, TINKRBL!
KYLE M. MEINTZER
Letters should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.