Curry Kirkpatrick's story on Boris Becker (Das Wunderkind, July 15) was superb. The kid is only 17 years old, and he is very impressive. But I think Becker has one thing to think about. He has not challenged Mr. Tennis. John McEnroe is No. 1!
•McEnroe and Becker played once this year, in March at the Italian indoors in Milan. McEnroe won the first-round match 6-4, 6-3.—ED.
I was watching Boris Becker from the start of the Wimbledon Championships, and I knew he was going to go a long way. But I don't think anyone believed he would win the final. I have never seen such raw determination. Anybody who thinks Becker's victory was a fluke did not see him play. Watch out, McEnroe, here comes the next tennis giant!
I don't know which made me happier—seeing Boris Becker win Wimbledon or watching Kevin Curren topple McEnroe.
July 28, 1985
How utterly refreshing to have a men's final that put the emphasis on world-class tennis and wasn't a showcase for McEnroe's ill-tempered tantrums. Curren and Becker are like a cooling breeze after McEnroe's hot air.
I found the repeated references to Boris Becker as "Boom Boom" to be disturbing. It was reported on television during the tournament that Becker was not fond of nicknames, especially ones with war connotations. Though nicknames often add color, this one, unfortunately, made the article only one color—off.
Kansas City, Mo.
I can appreciate the tremendous accomplishment of Boris Becker. What I don't appreciate is the almost nonexistent coverage of Chris Evert Lloyd and Martina Navratilova.
How can you almost completely ignore the accomplishments of these two women? Four Wimbledons in a row, six in all for Miss Navratilova. And Chris Evert Lloyd—what can you say about her record? These women have dominated their sport for the last several years. Between them they have won the last 15 Grand Slam events. They have pushed each other to the top of their games. Open your eyes: these women play great tennis!
ALISON J. PARRACO
Sherman Oaks, Calif.
MARGE AND SCHOTTZIE
I was really pleased with the article on the new Reds owner, Marge Schott (Marge Has Them Eating Out Of Her Hand, July 15). I think this lady, along with Pete Rose, will do wonders for the new Red machine.
ROBERT J. WEBB
Le Roy, Ill.
In your interview with Marge Schott, Demmie Stathoplos states that Schottzie, her St. Bernard, has been the team mascot since December. What a bunch of dog chow! We hate this dog! I'm a Cincinnati tavern owner and Reds fan of 25 years and have yet to hear of anyone who likes this slobbering dog. Schottzie may be the official mascot in the eyes of Marge and the SPCA, but not with Reds fans.
Schottzie will not be the Reds mascot, no matter how many TV shows, news features or national publications say so.
Mascots can be a lot of fun, but this one's a dog. Schottzie hats? Please!
I just finished your fantastic article on Seve Ballesteros (Golf's Dashing Invader From The Spanish Shore, July 15). I have been a big fan of his since seeing his exciting play on TV two years ago. He is the gutsiest, most talented player on the tour, and it's nice to know he is a very sensitive, fascinating man off the tour as well.
I look forward to seeing Seve "snuggling up" to lots more British Open trophies and adding a few more green jackets to his wardrobe. It's only a matter of time until he wins the U.S. Open title.
As a bowler and fan, I was glad to see the article on Pete Weber (The Perils Of Life In The Fast Lane, July 15) by Jack McCallum. It was a great piece of writing on the trials and tribulations of this talented young man. Everything is not as rosy as it seems on Saturday afternoons on TV.
JOHN B. SHARP
If Bill Venturini (SCORECARD, July 15) is married to Cathy, then who is Wendy in BILLY & WENDY, on the front of owner and wife Cathy's car?
W. SCOTT BRADFORD
•Billy, 9, and Wendy, 6, are the Venturinis' children.—ED.
Seeing Gary Pettis, the California Angels' sensational young outfielder, in SI (An Angel In The Outfield, July 8) came as no surprise to me. In 1981 I watched Pettis play center-field for the Class AA Holyoke (Mass.) Millers of the Eastern League, and it was apparent then that he had tremendous ability in the field. Many a night Pettis would thrill the Holyoke crowds by chasing down seemingly uncatchable fly balls and line drives.
MARK S. MCCORMICK
As a diehard fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates I was very pleased with your article Pittsburgh's Golden Oldie in the July 15 issue. Since I moved from Pittsburgh in 1979 I have watched the Pirates deteriorate to their present state, with very few bright spots to enjoy. Pitcher Rick Reuschel is one of those, and I was delighted to see that someone else noticed his fine performance this season. Thank you for making it a little more bearable to be a Pirate fan.
I've grown up as a loyal Minnesota Twins fan and lived for three years among loyal San Francisco Giants fans, so let me offer a little advice to fans of the last-place Pittsburgh Pirates. Ease up and enjoy the simple accomplishments of your team. Like a good throw to second, even if the runner was on his way to third. What you have to do is get excited over two-game winning streaks.
I just don't understand all the booing being heard in Pittsburgh. At least you can still sit out in the sunshine and watch major league baseball. So enjoy it and leave the nail biting and ulcers to those poor division-leading fans.
On the cover of your July 1 issue, which bears Larry Holmes's photo, you ask "WHO'S THE GREATEST?" I thought there was never a question—it has to be Wayne Gretzky!
Was there ever any doubt?
THOMAS A. LANNAN
Port Colborne, Ontario
RETURN TO MACKER
Alexander Wolff's article on the Gus Macker Basketball Tournament (The Only Game In Town, July 8) reminds many of us about some of the nice things in life and some of the things that sports are supposed to be about. As Mary Ann Gwatkin said in the story, the bounce of a basketball on a playground is a reassuring sound. Thank you.
GERARD J. O'BRIEN JR.
No more professional wrestling for me. I've got MackerMania! Thanks for a great article, SI.
South Williamsport, Pa.
Congratulations to Armen Keteyian for an excellent article about Tommy Curren (Riding The Wave Of The Future, July 8). Curren should be admired not only for his superhuman 180s and incredible bottom turns but also for breaking the stereotype that all surfers party heavily and have no direction in life. As a surfer, I have been a fan of Tommy's for quite a while. Having moved east away from the big waves, I really enjoyed reading about surfing. Thanks again.
I like the action photo of surfer Tommy Curren on page 38, but can you tell me where the photographer was when he shot this picture?
•To get his shot of Curren, photographer Vince Cavataio was treading water, camera with 35-mm lens held aloft, 10 to 15 feet from the surfer. The picture above, of another photographer shooting another surfer, conveys the idea. Says Jeff Divine, photo editor of Surfer magazine, "This shot shows a surf photographer using a camera encased in a fiber glass water housing. When shooting with a wide-angle lens or when you are shooting a surfer on waves that are not breaking at a consistent point on a reef, the photographer swims out [to the action]. When you are shooting a surfer and the waves are breaking predictably on a reef, you can sit on a raft in the channel area.
"Either way, the photographer has to have a lot of experience with swimming, waves, riptides and gauging the surfer's ride and maneuvers. Often you are diving under mountains of exploding waves and avoiding out-of-control surfers and surfboards."—ED.
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.