UP, UP AND AWAY GO SALARIES
As a basis for comparison with your March 4 cover story on baseball player salaries, I have enclosed a copy of your Oct. 7, 1968 cover featuring the St. Louis Cardinals. It is startling to see how salaries have increased. The payroll for the entire Cardinals team—"the highest-paid team in baseball history"—was no doubt less than what many individual stars are paid today. Just imagine what Bob Gibson, for one, would be paid if he were playing now. In 1968 he had a superb season: a 22-9 won-loss record, 1.12 ERA, 268 strikeouts, 13 shutouts. Even Rick Sutcliffe's 1984 season can't match that.
Clearly, player salaries must be regulated. The reserve system that Gibson and his contemporaries played under is no solution, but neither is outright free agency. No wonder so many owners are losing money.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
Many thanks for Barry McDermott's rewarding article on Jack Nicklaus and his 16-year-old son Gary (The Heir To The Bear, March 11). As his many accomplishments attest, Jack Nicklaus is a remarkable man. His most prized trophy, however, certainly is his family. Blake Carrington may have his own brand of "Dynasty," but I'll take the Nicklaus kind anytime.
Just when we golfers thought it was safe, Barry McDermott tells us there's another Bear in the woods!
THOMAS F. GROGAN
Have I been using the overlapping (Vardon) grip incorrectly for all my 50 years of golf? I thought it consisted of lapping the little finger of the right hand over the forefinger of the left hand, but both Gary and Jack Nicklaus are pictured doing it the opposite way—with the left forefinger on top. Is this unique to Jack, or is it something that everyone does—except me?
HOWARD O. ALLEN
•Jack is the rare golfer who doesn't use the Vardon grip. He uses the interlocking, as shown on SI's March 11 cover. Son Gary follows suit.—ED.
Talk about pressure on today's young athletes. The son of the world's greatest golfer now has the added burden of being on your world-famous cover. What will happen if Gary doesn't live up to expectations? Will he be considered a failure? I hope he wins six Masters.
Chapel Hill, N.C.
If Gary Nicklaus is even half as good at golf as he is at finding a girl friend, then he will win every tournament in the world. None of your swimsuit models compares with Jill Moffitt, the lovely young lady pictured with Gary.
CHARLES A. VILLEE
BOSTON VS. PHILLY
Thank you for Alexander Wolff's marvelous article on the Celtics-Sixers rivalry (Up There Where The Air Is Rare, March 4). He captured the tremendous respect these two fine teams have for each other. But what is the alltime record of the Celtics vs. the Sixers?
WALTER D. ROACH III
Virginia Beach, Va.
•The Celtics lead 213-166.—ED.
Alexander Wolff's article on this intense basketball rivalry was well done—until his final prediction, "The Celts in seven." The Sixers have a far better team than the Celtics. True, the Celtics' starting five and sixth man Kevin McHale are better than Philadelphia's, but when it comes down to a complete basketball team, the Sixers are supreme.
C. SCOTT HOLLOWAY
Philly in four.
St. Joseph, Mo.
Eight arguments in Philly's favor, seven in Boston's. But Alexander Wolff neglected one thing: the Lakers. L.A. in seven!
West Hazleton, Pa.
DON'T DO IT!
So the lords of baseball are considering a best-of-seven format for the league playoffs (SCORECARD, March 11). What's next? A return to a 15-game championship series, providing additional revenue? Please, leave things the way they are now. Seven games should be unique to the World Series.
R. NEIL HENDERSON
Dan Kelly's superb announcing (TV/RADIO, March 11) can make a dull hockey game interesting. If a major network ever covers the NHL, it should have Kelly in the lineup.
St. Petersburg, Fla.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but your picture of Bruce Sutter (These Movers Are Shakers, March 18) is in fact of Ken Oberkfell. Having grown up in the St. Louis area, I can distinguish between these two fuzzy-faced former Cardinals. I forgive SI for the mistake and, after long thought, I forgive Whitey Herzog and Gussie Busch for letting them get away to Atlanta. The reasons—Gussie is getting old, and Whitey is just nuts. Obie! Obie! Bruuuce! Get 'em back, Dal Maxvill.
•Oberkfell it was (above). That's Sutter below.—ED.
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