Concerning Pat Putnam's article on Gerry Cooney (Hello, Gerry, Where Ya Been?, June 9), let's face it: Cooney is an American sports hero. Anybody who questions his ability should ask Eddie Gregg whether Cooney is the hardest puncher in the heavyweight division or just another white hope. There is no doubt in my mind that Cooney is the next heavyweight champion of the world. Even more important, nobody in professional boxing has more class or concern for his family and friends than Gerry apparently has. He has always been a champion and role model in my eyes.
GARY ZEIG II
Putnam did a good job of explaining the problems Gerry Cooney has had to deal with (the loss to Larry Holmes and numerous nagging injuries). Not many magazine or newspaper stories have been fair to him. Cooney brings a breath of fresh air to a sport that sometimes stinks. I wish him the best of luck in his quest for the heavyweight title.
Chicago Ridge, Ill.
By coming back in the face of years of negative press, Cooney is exhibiting extraordinary character and perseverance. Go for it, Gerry! You'll make a great champ.
CHARLIE MARTIN JR.
West Caldwell, N.J.
Should SI receive word that Cooney is again considering a trip to Easton to fight Holmes on the street, please let me know. I would much rather watch Larry beat him again here for free than shell out another $20 to watch him do it on closed-circuit TV.
June 22, 1986
Cooney says he loves to fight but hates the politics of boxing. What excuse will he think of next? I think Cooney fears Holmes or any challenge. He doesn't love to fight, he wants his fights handed to him. Now that Holmes is apparently out of the game, Cooney is talking title. The only WBA title Cooney will ever hold in my estimation is that of the World Bums' Association.
To separate the men from the boys, put Cooney in with Mike Tyson. When Cooney recovers from that loss, drive him to Easton, Pa., and let him fight Holmes on the street. Then buy Cooney a lunch bucket and let him find a job.
After studying the photographs that accompanied Ron Fimrite's article on San Francisco manager Roger Craig and the split-fingered fastball (The Pitch Of The '80s, June 9), I realized that 9 out of the lineup of 10 Giants pitchers shown on page 70 are holding the ball with their right hand. Is there only one lefty on the staff?
•In addition to Mark Davis, who was pictured, there are three other lefties on the staff. Atlee Hammaker is on the disabled list, and Terry Mulholland has since been called up from Phoenix. Craig says both use the split-fingered fastball. The other lefty, Vida Blue, doesn't use the split-finger.—ED.
CAUGHT UP IN THE CUP
As a die-hard soccer fan, I thank you. These past few weeks you have spoiled soccer fans all over America, what with Clive Gammon's World Cup preview and story on Pat Jennings (Shootout In Mexico and A Grand Old Man) in your June 2 issue and with Jaime Diaz's account of the MISL championship and the San Diego Sockers fifth straight title in two leagues (Dynasty With An Asterisk) in the June 9 edition.
Costa Mesa, Calif.
Many thanks for the article on Northern Ireland's splendid goalkeeper, Pat Jennings. As a staunch supporter of England's Tottenham Hotspurs, I welcome any stories on Spurs players past and present, arid British soccer in general.
I wish the Big Man well in the finals.
Presidio of Monterey, Calif.
•Alas, Northern Ireland didn't make it out of the first round, tying Algeria 1-1 and then losing to Spain 2-1 and Brazil 3-0. The Brazil game was almost surely the 41-year-old goalie's last World Cup appearance.—ED.
In the interest of fair play regarding Marietta College, I wish to point out that in one of your past issues (A Losing Proposition, Oct. 10, 1983) you told all of your readers how bad the football team was. It is time you mentioned how good the Marietta baseball team is. On June 2 the Pioneers won the NCAA Division III World Series. This is the third time since 1981 that the Pioneers have won the title. They also finished second twice.
Please be advised that there is an error in the "Between the Lines" section of INSIDE BASEBALL (June 2). Juan Eichelberger and Ned Yost are playing for the Greenville, South Carolina—not Tennessee—Braves.
We in the Greenville, S.C., area are very proud of all of our players, including Paul Assenmaker, Joe Johnson, Andres Thomas and Duane Ward, who played on the 1985 Greenville squad and are now with the Atlanta Braves.
•Oops, sorry. Incidentally, Ward has since been sent down to Richmond.—ED.
In light of the recent Mount Hood climbing disaster (SCORECARD, May 26), I have a suggestion. Most deaths on such climbs might be avoided by a simple regulation requiring all mountain-climbing expeditions to carry a small radio beeper, to be used only in cases of injury or other emergency situations. The Mount Hood youths might have been located in their snow cave the morning after the whiteout by simply activating a switch.
We will never stop people from climbing mountains in short-sleeved shirts and loafers, but we could certainly save lives and many volunteer-rescue hours by mandating that an emergency signal of some kind be carried on all climbs above the snow line.
Lake Oswego, Ore.
POSIES FOR POSEY
William Taaffe's comments regarding ABC's live coverage of the Indy 500 (An Indy Won With One Swell Swoop, June 9) were excellent in all respects but one: The praise he gave Sam Posey was not nearly as much as I thought Posey deserved. Posey proved himself far beyond my expectations, which were based on the years I have seen him on ABC's tape-delay same-day coverage of past 500s. If ABC suffered from that type of format, then Posey suffered even more. It took live coverage—both on "Black Sunday" and the actual race day itself—for Posey to prove that he is indeed as fine an analyst as there is in any sport. And as for his aborted attempt to follow plans and talk to Kevin Cogan during the race's final caution period, it must be said that Posey pulled the fat out of the fire for ABC when, after being cut short by Cogan, he said that if he were in that car he (Posey) wouldn't want to talk to Posey either. That was a neat bit of face-saving.
G.L. CARROLL JR.
I would like to extend my congratulations to the Hobart College Statesmen on winning their seventh consecutive NCAA Division III lacrosse title. Once again I awaited a feature article in SI concerning these great champions and coach Dave Urick, only to find a meager paragraph in FOR THE RECORD (May 26). You are overlooking a true dynasty in sports today.
Bay Shore, N.Y.
As a longtime reader, I have always been impressed by the variety of sports you cover. What I don't understand is how you could fail to celebrate one of the great dynasties: Greg Marsden's University of Utah women's gymnastics team, winner of five consecutive NCAA championships (FOR THE RECORD, April 28). I have been watching very closely, and there hasn't even been a picture in SI of the team.
•Here's a look at the 1986 Lady Utes.—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.