Thank you for Peter Gammons's article on pennant races of the past (Septembers to Remember, Sept. 14). The only thing missing from the story of the Cardinals' drive toward the pennant in 1934 was Dizzy Dean's reaction to brother Paul's no-hitter.
As Gammons points out, Paul pitched his no-hitter in the second game of a doubleheader against the Dodgers, after Dizzy had won the opener with a three-hit shutout. Following Paul's performance, Dizzy said, "If I'd known Paul was going to pitch a no-hitter. I'd've pitched one too."
JEFF GENECOV, D.D.S.
Peter Gammons's baseball reports are so consistently excellent that I feel guilty writing to you to point out an error in his article Septembers to Remember. Pete Rose got 51 hits in September 1979 all right, but not as a Red. He got them as a first-year Philadelphia Phillie, on a team that was mired in fourth place.
That September was a prelude to the future, however, because under new manager Dallas Green, the Phillies started to put together the team that would win it all in 1980—behind, as Gammons noted, Most Valuable Player Mike Schmidt and one-year-wonder Marty Bystrom. Rose saved his best for October that season, grabbing the foul ball that popped out of catcher Bob Boone's glove for the penultimate out of the World Series.
Rose's five years in Philadelphia won't be soon forgotten by Phillies fans, most of whom he converted from Pete-haters to Pete-lovers. Let's hope there are enough Pete-lovers among the Hall of Fame voters to make Rose the first unanimous selection for 1992.
In the box accompanying the article, under "Best Player Pickups," you claim that Woodie Fryman went 10-3 for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1972. Not so. Fryman went 10-3—with a sparkling 2.05 ERA—for the Detroit Tigers in '72. He was one of the main reasons the Tigers were able to beat the Yankees, the Orioles and the Red Sox for the division title in a season shortened 13 games.
THOMAS A. BUHR
Winter Springs, Fla.
If Blue Jay outfielder George Bell lived in an unbiased media world, he would be fast approaching legendary status (Toronto's Big Brass Bell, Sept. 7). As it is, Bell is chastised and branded. What a shame. Bell is a great player putting up MVP numbers. I should know—he has carried my Rotisserie League team from the leftfield slot all year.
Bay Village, Ohio
My son John and I read with great enthusiasm your article about John's favorite player, George Bell. However, after traveling to Anaheim to watch Bell play, we found it hard to believe that the story was about the same person we went to see.
Before the game began, Bell came over to chat with the kids in the seats near third base, where we were sitting. Although we didn't get an autograph, we were treated to lots of small talk, smiles, practical jokes and the overall feeling that Bell is a man who really enjoys the game of baseball.
BOB WATERS'S BATTLE
Your excellent article (The Battle of His Life, Aug. 24) on Western Carolina coach and former San Francisco 49er Bob Waters and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) was inspiring, to say the least. Just one criticism: You listed a number of famous victims of this dread disease but failed to mention one of the most compelling cases of all, that of William (Bill) Keough Jr.—an intramural basketball player at Boston College, educator and hostage in Iran—who died the day before Thanksgiving 1985. That he survived the ordeal in Teheran only to be struck down by ALS was the cruelest of ironies. Those of us who were privileged to know him. however, were in awe of his resolute outlook on his life following the diagnosis.
CHARLES W. BRODHEAD
Ithaca, N. Y.
In his battle against ALS. Waters displays the same traits that he instills in his players. I played for him at Western Carolina from 1968 to '71, and I came away from his influence a much better person and better equipped for life. He is truly one of the giants of the coaching profession.
UCLA VS. USC
Regarding the letters you published (Aug. 3 and Sept. 7) on UCLA and USC covers, I count only 20 different Bruins among UCLA's 67 SI covers. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been featured 25 times. Bill Walton 14 times, etc. On the other hand, I count 29 different Trojans among the 46 covers of current or former USC athletes. I hate to be picky, but 29 Trojans beats 20 Bruins.
The UCLA people have shortchanged themselves in their count of the number of times a current or former Bruin player or coach has been featured on your cover. Jimmy Connors made an additional appearance after winning his third U.S. Open title (Sept. 18, 1978). This would raise the UCLA tally to 68.
My curiosity is killing me! Who gets credit for the skimboarder on your Southern California cover (Sept. 7), USC or UCLA?
•Neither one. The skimboarder pictured on our Sept. 7 cover, Tom Trager, of Laguna Beach, Calif., is a sophomore at UC-Irvine.—ED.
ERK & CO.
I enjoyed your article about Georgia Southern coach Erk Russell (Head Man, Aug. 31). but I think the statement in your subhead that he "has no peer in Division I-AA" is a little strong. Take Eastern Kentucky's Roy Kidd. In 1979 Kidd won his first national championship. In '80 and '81 his Colonels were the runners-up. In '82 he guided Eastern to a perfect 13-0 record and a second championship. Since then, Kidd and the Colonels have finished in the top 10 regularly.
BRIAN D. DICKENS
Grand Rapids, Mich.
ANOTHER BRIGHT ONE
What! No placekicker among "The Best and the Brightest" (Aug. 31)? Try Mike Wood of Furman, Division I-AA. He came to the Paladins in 1986 as a walk-on with a full academic scholarship. He kicked a 51-yarder in his first game, against South Carolina State. For the season, he was 19 for 30 in field goals, 37 for 37 on extra points and 16th in the nation in scoring. Mike carries a 3.63 grade point average (highest on the team) in business, is 5'6" and 155 pounds and bench-presses 335 pounds. Here is your man!
My commendations to William Taaffe for recognizing Mary Carillo and her superb work as a tennis commentator (TELEVISION, Sept. 14). Over the past year I have become an avid fan of her incisive, passionate commentary, which consistently gets to the heart of what makes the best tennis players as good as they are. Carillo makes the game much more interesting because of her intimate knowledge of the various players' techniques and personalities. I once turned on the TV without the sound and found myself fascinated by her facial expressions as she talked. Her love of tennis was clearly evident.
Endicott, N. Y.
NOW, THAT'S THE IDEA
I took particular note of this question posed by Leigh Montville concerning Southern Californians (Everything Under the Sun, Sept. 7): "Doesn't anyone simply bring a book to the beach for vacation, simply sit down with Shogun for 800 pages, then return to work when the book is finished?" Here is a photo that appeared in the Sept. 6 Los Angeles Times Magazine of long-distance swimmer Lynne Cox, who is not just anyone and who is not quite at the beach but who is definitely a Southern Californian and definitely reading Shogun. A delightful coincidence that I thought you would appreciate.
Santa Monica, Calif.
In your photo essay (California Dream-in') you passed up one license plate (left) that would have been the icing on the cake of a double-decker article.
Newport Beach, Calif.
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