Many thanks to E.M. Swift for his article on the 1986 Stanley Cup champion Montreal Canadiens (In The End The Habs Sure Had It, June 2). The Cup is back home where it belongs.
With their 23rd Cup victory, the Canadiens have reidentified themselves as one of the winningest franchises in professional sport. And Conn Smythe Trophy winner Patrick Roy has picked up where former Montreal goalie Ken Dryden left off. Let's hope he can achieve the same consistency Dryden did. Les Canadiens sont l√†!
Being from Miami, I rarely get to see a hockey game; in fact, the only ice I ever see is in a drink. While watching the Stanley Cup playoffs between the Canadiens and the Calgary Flames, I saw something that does not occur as often as it should in professional sports: a show of fan appreciation for the sport itself. Even though their team lost the series, Calgary fans applauded the NHL champions as they skated around the Calgary rink. I think the Flames fans deserve a round of applause, too.
Why is it that sportswriters like E.M. Swift believe that anyone who puts on the uniform of the Montreal Canadiens must, by virtue of wearing that uniform, play classy hockey? Swift's accurate descriptions of the "senseless brawling" in the Stanley Cup finals and Chris Nilan's urging his teammates to battle in Game 4 seem to contradict Swift's later statement that the Canadiens always give hockey "more class than it sometimes deserves." As for class, I'll take the New York Islanders, who played in five straight Stanley Cup finals without any memorable senseless brawling.
ROBERT L. SCHONFELD
New York City
June 15, 1986
What world is NHL president John Ziegler living in, anyway? He finally agrees that brawling in the NHL is "alarming and disturbing" (SCORECARD, June 2), and yet when Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals turns into WrestleMania 3, Ziegler's punishment would give the phrase "a slap on the wrist" a bad name. No wonder the NHL has no major network television contract.
El Cajon, Calif.
I'm embarrassed for the league in which not a single division champion made it as far as the Stanley Cup finals and in which Calgary and Montreal represented "the best in the NHL." This is an indictment of the ludicrous system that allows 16 of 21 teams to make the playoffs.
In the future, let's give each division champion a bye in the first round and let second-place divisional teams play off against four wild-card selections. This system would produce enough revenue for NHL president John Ziegler, yet maintain a modicum of respectability for the sorry NHL.
I thoroughly enjoyed Ivan Maisel's article on the Giants, Braves and Astros (Knocking 'Em For A Loop, June 2). The difference between the 1986 Giants and the Giants of the past couple of years is illustrated by the change in slogans. In 1984 it was "Hang in there!"—definitely the motto of a losing team. This year, as Maisel pointed out, it's "You gotta like these kids!", which reflects a winning attitude.
Palo Alto, Calif.
As Wally Joyner and Miami product Jose Canseco chase the American League record (37) for home runs by a rookie, your "Roster of Classy Freshmen" (The Wonderful World Of Wally, May 26) omits the holder of that record, Miami product Al Rosen. As a rookie with the Indians in 1950, Rosen hit .287 while belting 37 homers and knocking in 116 runs. Since Rosen meets two of the three criteria (.300 BA, 30 HR, 100 RBIs), he should be included in your list.
RON ALBERT JR.
•Rosen was not considered a rookie in 1950 because he had played for the Indians in parts of the previous three seasons, and for that reason we left him off our list. However, because he would qualify as a rookie by today's criteria, some statisticians do indeed regard him as the holder of the home run record for rookies in the American League.—ED.
I liked Craig Neff's piece on Wally Joyner, especially the title (The Wonderful World Of Wally, May 26). Joyner's success can only have a positive effect on the rest of us Wallys.
WALLACE (WALLY) RENFREW
A BIG HIT
I enjoyed Bruce Anderson's article (A Tiger On Beach And Court, June 2) on Karch Kiraly and would eagerly welcome more volleyball news.
Although many of Kiraly's accomplishments were listed, I think you omitted one amazing item. As I recall, Kiraly was picked as a preseason second-team All-America by Volleyball magazine in his freshman year at UCLA. In other words, he was a collegiate All-America before ever playing a game.
In SCORECARD (June 2) you noted various certificates of deposit that were sports-related. We have initiated a similar program. Like Skokie (Ill.) Federal, we have a "Grand Slam" CD for the baseball season. We offer a one-year CD starting at 7.50%, tied to the record of the Texas Rangers baseball team. Beginning with the date the account is opened, the customer will be credited .01% for every game the Rangers win throughout the remainder of the season.
When we came up with this idea, we based our format on the historical performance of the Rangers. Suffice it to say, we felt we were not taking a great risk. At the time of this writing, the Rangers have won 24 games and share first place in the American League West. If the Rangers continue to win, our allegiance may be tested.
JOE L. WILLIAMS
President and CEO
Texas Heritage Savings Association
I especially enjoyed the June 2 SIDELINE on Len Soucy concerning his wonderful work with birds. As an amateur birder, I'm proud of the great job Soucy does and equally proud of SI for telling his story.
From the NHL to Darrell Evans's UFO (A Specialist In Flying Objects, June 2), SI covers it all.
Ponca City, Okla.
ANOTHER GARDEN MAN
I read with great interest Leigh Montville's story on the Boston Garden and its illustrious history. I was disappointed, however, not to see my late father-in-law, Eddie Powers, mentioned. He not only worked at the Garden from 1928 until his death in 1973, but also served as its president and general manager. After his family, the Garden was his first love. For any given night Eddie could give you the Celtics' or Bruins' score and the Garden attendance figure. He loved to take visiting relatives on tours of the Garden, with a stop at his upstairs office. He entertained us with stories of Garden adventures. I'm sure he would have been proud to see "his" Garden featured in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
Pacific Grove, Calif.
Frank Deford's splendid story (A Pair Beyond Compare, May 26) on Chris Evert Lloyd and Martina Navratilova, their intense rivalry and warm friendship, touched me, for I know those feelings well. Clarence Chaffee of Williamstown, Mass., and I shared similar emotions and experiences from 1977, when I entered 75-and-over SuperSenior tennis, to 1982, when Chaffee was forced by injury into semiretirement.
In five years of play we met in 20 finals, played doubles, and roomed, ate and traveled together when we could. Here is our box score:
In 1982, when I won the double Grand Slam, I had to beat Chaffee in the finals of the USTA Grass Court men's 80 singles (3-6, 6-3, 6-4) and the USTA Clay Court men's 80 singles (2-6, 6-4, 6-1). He was almost as happy as I was.
Chris is quoted as saying, "I guess we both sense it's getting toward the end." Chaffee and I know what she means, and it's tough, even at 84 years of age.
MALCOLM D. CLARKE
South Harpswell, Maine
•Here's a look at Clarke (left) and Chaffee as they appeared in 1984.—ED.
LIPTON & CO.
Being from the Boston area, I have followed and been an admirer of the Kennedy family. So, please tell me, isn't that Joe (in sunglasses) and Rose Kennedy at the right in the photo, from the historic Rosenfeld Collection, of Sir Thomas Lipton (SCORECARD, June 2)?
PAUL C. LAUBENSTEIN
Thank you for giving us Clive Gammon's World Cup preview (Shootout In Mexico, June 2). But would you please show a picture of the trophy he described as "something that grew from a spore that drifted in from outer space"?
•Here it is.—ED.
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