My appreciation to Kenny Moore for as well-crafted an article as has been my pleasure to read (Her Life Is In Apple Pie Order, March 4). The qualities exemplified by Joan Benoit as a person and a competitor are among the special traits that I find in many New Englanders.
Kenny Moore's story is a deftly descriptive profile of Joan Benoit. I have been waiting since her memorable marathons of 1984 to read just such an insightful account of the woman behind the outstanding athletic accomplishments. Moore continues to translate clearly the awesome dimensions of elite athletes to the rest of us who can only begin to imagine the inner strength of a Joan Benoit. His articles are welcome studies in style, and his perceptive treatment of the world's best woman marathoner is one of his most effective. My respect for Joan Benoit grows; long may she thrive.
BILL GUERRANT JR.
I compliment SI for balance in the March 4 issue. After reading about the skyrocketing salaries of major league baseball players, it was a pleasure to discover that success can still be kept in perspective. Joan Benoit is as refreshing as the Maine shoreline.
I've just finished one of the finest articles I've seen in your magazine during the almost 20 years I've been a subscriber. Joan Benoit epitomizes the definition of "sportswoman"—she takes pride in her efforts while maintaining a high degree of integrity.
RICHARD A. MORIN
March 18, 1985
As Joan Benoit won the first women's Olympic marathon I felt I was watching the whole women's athletic movement come of age. Here was this fragile and yet sturdy woman not running away from her femininity but simply competing—getting to know herself a little better through the sport of her choice.
Kenny Moore's article allows us to see that Benoit's athletic endeavors do not fragment or narrowly focus her being. Her running is a part of her completeness, and to that extent is also a partial source of her overall charm. If I am ever blessed with a daughter, I would have her aspire to the femininity of a Joan Benoit.
CRAIG R. WRIGHT
Re Ball Park Figures? Better Believe It (March 4). You bet I believe it! Any person who can put his body and mind through what a major league baseball player does deserves any amount of money he can get.
LOUIS A. RIGGIONE
Laguna Hills, Calif.
Your article on "moneyball" was well done, but it's getting disgusting to continually read about contract squabbles, players involved with drugs, etc. Athletes used to be my heroes. No longer. It's hard to look up to someone who makes in excess of a million dollars per year to play a kid's game. I can't understand the mentality of someone who doesn't feel that $800,000 is enough for his services. I think that, as time goes on, professional athletes will be looked at with more and more contempt. By then, however, they might be able to purchase nobility.
St. Clair Shores, Mich.
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S list of 36 millionaires illustrates one interesting point by omission. No player on the world champion Detroit Tigers made it. Perhaps this demonstrates that initiative survives in a sport when the team concept, not individual statistics, is the bottom line between the chalk lines.
JOHN L. NEWSOME
I looked over the list and couldn't believe Reggie Jackson wasn't included. Doesn't he make over a million a year?
Union Bridge, Md.
•Reggie's annual salary is $975,000.—ED.
Do the same people I hear crying about ballplayers' salaries care if Johnny Carson or Joan Collins makes millions more? As far as I'm concerned, Jim Rice works a hell of a lot harder than Johnny.
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has long been the national sports conscience, decrying scandal in college athletics, drug abuse in professional sports, illegalities in horse racing, etc. But when is SI going to take a stand against the brutality of professional boxing?
Some SI readers were morally outraged by your photographs of beautiful women in revealing swimsuits, but I wonder how many mustered any indignation at seeing the bloody, distorted face of Ray Mancini (Bloody, Beaten, But Unbowed, Feb. 25). Thank you for not putting that face on the cover.
William Oscar Johnson's wonderful article on Dave McCoy and Mammoth Mountain (A Man And His Mountain, Feb. 25) revealed a true American sportsman. About 25 years ago, when I was a kid working in Sun Valley and Aspen, I would hear stories about Mammoth and its famous Memorial Day ski race and late spring skiing.
I went to Mammoth and got a job punching lift tickets. McCoy always stood in the lift lines with everyone else. If you saw him on the slopes, he would invite you to ski with him—if you could keep up. In the cafeteria he also went through the line with everyone else. On weekends, late in the lonely evenings, he would often invite his employees to his apartment to watch television or ski movies with his family.
In those days American skiing was at the bottom of the barrel in international competition. Pushing up as hard as he could was McCoy. He and his mountain welcomed any racer who wanted to train there. One of the best was the great Austrian racer Christian Pravda, whom I knew fairly well. He helped McCoy train the Olympic hopefuls at Mammoth. Out of that group came Jean Saubert, Wendy Allen, Linda Meyers and Penny McCoy.
McCoy has been a success because his motivation has been pure and sincere. When folks say nice guys finish last, they should meet Dave McCoy!
Falls Church, Va.
Sandy Keenan's article on Pat Bradley (Not Yet At Her Peak, Feb. 25) was excellent. It's nice to see SI give space to someone who doesn't always grab the headlines.
THE HOOSIER GAME (CONT.)
Being a native Hoosier I enjoyed reading about our "national pastime," Hoosier Hysteria (Back Home In Indiana, Feb. 18). And believe me it is even more fun experiencing it in person. We always got the next day off from school when we won the state sectional.
The religion that is Indiana basketball may be illustrated by the following true story. In 1965-66, Garrett High, in a town of 4,800 people with, at that time, 700 students in six grades, finished the regular season undefeated. Garrett won the sectional but lost the regional finals to Fort Wayne South Side and Willie Long 55-50.
The veteran coach. Ward Smith, was fired at the end of the school year. He may be the only coach ever to have been fired after a perfect regular season. Sometimes perfection is not enough for Hoosier fans.
AARON D. SMITH
I loved reading Bruce Newman's Back Home in Indiana. For years I have been trying to explain to people what the frenzy surrounding high school ball is like there.
However, unlike the little girl pictured on page 42 who may have dreams of becoming a homecoming princess, when I was growing up in Evansville, Ind., one of my dreams was to play basketball someday for Bobby Knight. LAURA SHOUP TSCHABOLD
Thanks for the memories. There were only a few seconds left in the 1976 sectional tournament in Michigan City, Ind., and my team, M.C Elston, had a one-point lead and looked golden when the ball was given to Tony Branch, one of the classiest and most highly recruited point guards in the state's history. But as Branch drove left, the ball dribbled off his foot and out of bounds. A full-court pass and a slow-handed timer resulted in defeat for our top-ranked team. Yes, I've seen the Sis-tine chapel, skied the Alps and watched the U.S. hockey team win the gold, but nothing remains clearer in my mind than that cold night in a hot gym.
You may recall that in 1980, with the eventual NCAA champion Louisville Cardinals down by one point in a second-round game, a senior reserve guard cut left at the top of the key, pulled up for a 15-footer and won the game. This time Tony Branch didn't dribble the ball off his foot. He remains my idol.
DAVID J. HIGDON
In discussing the merger between Michigan and Oakland in A Pocketful Of Dreams (Feb. 25), you say, "One wealthy owner, A. Alfred Taubman of Michigan, pulled out." In fact, Mr. Taubman is the majority owner of the Oakland Invaders.
VINCENT H. LOMBARDI
San Leandro, Calif.
NET GAIN FOR A HOOSIER
I have worked as a radio play-by-play announcer in Kentucky, Illinois, Nebraska and Montana. I have also broadcast for the University of Illinois and University of Montana. However, I would not hesitate to rank the spirit and enthusiasm of the crowds at the Indiana high school basketball state tournament over anything I've seen anywhere else in the country. To have 7,000 screaming lunatics at my high school home games (Columbus North) back in the 1960s through the early '70s was the rule, not the exception.
My parents moved into a new house this past fall. As a last testament to the old place, I met my best friend in the backyard for some serious one-on-one. We didn't quit until the net literally fell off the rim. I went home to Montana with that net in the suitcase. It hangs in my apartment as a link to my boyhood in Indiana and a reminder to all that I come down with a case of Hoosier Hysteria every March.
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.