THE McCALLUM CASE
Ensign Napoleon McCallum may have been led to believe by the previous secretary of the Navy, John F. Lehman Jr., that he could be both an officer and a Los Angeles Raider (SCORECARD, Aug. 17), but the fact remains that he promised the Navy and his country that he would serve not less than five years on active duty in return for a free education. He also took an oath upon being commissioned that he would honor this obligation in good faith.
A promise is indeed a promise. If McCallum wanted his ticket punched to the pros, he should have selected another campus, preferably one at which his education would not have been funded by taxpayers.
McCallum (and David Robinson, too) should take note of the career of Roger Staubach. After winning the Heisman Trophy, Staubach fulfilled his commitment to the Navy and then became perhaps the best pro quarterback ever.
Being career Air Force (retired), I can understand the Navy's reluctance to turn McCallum loose to play pro football. But thanks to McCallum's athletic achievements the Navy has already received enough publicity to fill a barrelful of vacancies that McCallum and others like him might leave. Perhaps he could offer to pay back the Navy for his education. I think that would satisfy the Navy and the taxpayers. Holding on to this young man will, I believe, only have a negative effect on the Navy and its entire sports program.
HOWARD W. DIX
I have been impressed, week after week, by Peter Gammons's informative and entertaining INSIDE BASEBALL column. The Aug. 17 entry on this year's pitching problems was especially enlightening. Maybe now we can eliminate the tiresome talk of lively balls, corked bats and beanbrawls—and watch the game.
MICHAEL B. ROW
Upon reading Peter Gammons's item "Expansion Theories" (INSIDE BASEBALL, Aug. 24), I could not help but note and be saddened by the exclusion of Buffalo from the list of favorite cities. In 1983, Bob Rich Jr. and his father purchased the Double A baseball club in Buffalo, which had drawn only 77,077 people in 1982. Attendance skyrocketed to 200,531 in '83 and 223,443 in '84. In 1985, Rich purchased the Triple A Wichita franchise and moved it to Buffalo. Despite not qualifying for the American Association playoff's either season, the ball club drew 362,762 and 425,113 in '85 and '86, respectively. On the other hand, Denver, also in the American Association and with a much larger stadium, drew only 308,372 and 301,787 in those two seasons.
Buffalo is opening a brand-new baseball stadium next spring. The city also has been chosen as the site of the first-ever Triple A All-Star Game, scheduled for July 13, 1988.1 do not mean to knock Denver or any of the other expansion candidates, but Buffalo deserves a franchise too.
LEWIS P. GUSHUE
Rick Reilly is not only one of the best sportswriters but also one of the best writers, period (Unseen Hands on My Game, Aug. 17). He represented Scotland's Royal Dornoch beautifully, magically and, of course, hauntingly. We are fortunate that Reilly is much more skilled with the English language than he is with a golf club.
My visit to Royal Dornoch in 1969 might have been even more memorable had I had the benefit of Reilly's entertaining account. Looking back, I can appreciate Rick's concerns about the poltergeist population. I vividly recall the drive north to Dornoch. The bleak countryside and ominous clouds made me feel as though I were on another planet.
KARL D. HENRICHS
With the help of a few friends I discovered Royal Dornoch in May. Now you have to go and tell the whole wide world about this gem!
PROCTOR H. PAGE JR.
NEGLECTED STARS (CONT.)
Steve Wulf's arguments for inducting Roger Maris and Leo Durocher into the Hall of Fame are not convincing (POINT AFTER, Aug. 10). First, why does he use Rick Ferrell, who is my father, Don Drysdale and others as examples of poor selections to Cooperstown? These players certainly do not hold the lowest statistics at their positions among Hall of Famers! Moreover, Candy Cummings was inducted as a pioneer of the game, not as a player. After all, Cummings developed the curveball at a time when pitchers threw underhand.
Second, if only the greatest players at their positions deserve to be in the Hall, then Maris does not belong there either. Frankly, this essay showed no better judgment than did your pick of Cleveland to win the AL East.
TOM L. FERRELL
Grand Rapids, Mich.
Durocher and Maris should be voted in, but I resent any implication that Tony Oliva, a lifetime .304 hitter who won three batting titles and led the American League in hits five times, may be less deserving. No back seat for Tony O.
Blue Springs, Mo.
Thank you for informing people about drum corps (SCORECARD, Aug. 10)—something the major TV networks cannot seem to do. How many people know that the Blue Devils of Concord, Calif., performed at the 1987 All-Star Game in Oakland? As you mentioned, the Blue Devils are a dynasty, with six Drum Corps International world titles since 1976. Another corps that should be considered a dynasty is the Santa Clara (Calif.) Vanguard. Only once since 1972 has the Vanguard finished out of the top three at the DCI world championships (it was seventh in 1980).
North Wales, Pa.
Bobby Knight was correct when he said of the Star of Indiana, "If a basketball team trained as hard as these kids do, it would be unbelievable." Not only does the Star of Indiana practice 12 hours a day, but so do some 200 other drum corps in the U.S.
At a time when many college athletes feel that scholarships are not enough, it is nice to see a group of kids who work hard and expect no money in return. What were the results of the contest?
La Porte, Texas
•The Garfield (N.J.) Cadets are this year's Drum Corps International world champions. They scored 97.9 out of 100 points in Madison, Wis., to win their fourth title. The Vanguard finished a close second, with 97.8 points. The defending champion Blue Devils came in fourth, and the Star of Indiana tied for seventh.—ED.
Thank you for the story on Vic Jacobs (TELEVISION, Aug. 3). In contrast to the vanilla broadcasters who dominate the evening sports news, Vic delivers the sports with intensity and humor. I was shocked when KTVV in Austin announced it would not renew his contract. What a shame! Vic's success in Fresno is no surprise to me.
We take issue with the gentleman quoted in William Taaffe's piece who asked, "Would you invite Vic Jacobs into your home?" We have invited Vic into our home on numerous occasions. Unlike his TV persona, the private Vic is sensitive, tasteful and just a bit retiring. He is also a blast of fresh air in the sterile world of TV sportscasting.
MARGE AND ROB BALON
I was shocked and appalled that you chose to dignify the knee-jerk antics of "sportscaster" Vic Jacobs. I lived on Guam during Jacobs's tenure there as sportscaster. Vic was definitely different, but he wore out his welcome on the tube within one viewing.
I'm so glad I didn't know he was broadcasting in Texas when I moved here. I'd have moved back to Guam. Next time feature the weather nerd.
OAKLAND TECH ALUMS
In your Aug. 24 issue, THEY SAID IT contained quotes from John Brodie and Rickey Henderson. Both athletes are graduates of Oakland Technical High School in Oakland, Calif. As if that weren't enough, in the article Cash on the Line, Clint Eastwood was mentioned as one of Pat Cash's heroes, while in The Battle of His Life Bobby Waters cited world-class sprinter and former 49er Ray Norton. Eastwood and Norton also graduated from Oakland Tech.
ROD STOLLERY (class of '54)
Hood River, Ore.
My cousins Keith and Kimberly Wallace, their friend Michael Hogan and I have designed what we call Funny Football Cards. I think they have made good business because people have bought them for 4 cents each (or 4 for 12 cents). We would like to share them with your readers.
JESSE CANNON (age 10)
Here are a few samples.—ED.
Letters to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and should be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020-1393.