Wow! I didn't think a medium other than a video or a sound track could give me chills, but E.M. Swift's portrayal of the Flyers (The Flyers Forever, Oct. 12) sure proved me wrong.
I found myself reliving my childhood in Wilmington, Del. (19 miles from the Spectrum), when the Flyers stormed to two straight Stanley Cup titles. I recall carving the Flyers' names and jersey numbers in my sixth-grade notebooks, playing street hockey until dark every day while pretending to be Bernie Parent or Rick MacLeish and staying up past my bedtime to hear Gene Hart count down the final seconds of another one-goal victory. Thanks for giving your readers the chance to appreciate the good, hardworking Flyers that I have always known, not the Broad Street Bullies who seem to be imprinted on the minds of too many others.
Philadelphia is a city rich in historical significance for our nation, but the Flyers are what make me proud to be a native Philadelphian.
RANDY J. MANILOFF
State College, Pa.
November 2, 1987
Thank you for the fine article on the Flyers, especially the part about Barry Ashbee, my first hockey hero.
Nowhere is the first-class nature of the Flyer organization more apparent than in the way it runs its American Hockey League affiliate, the Hershey Bears. In the 20 years I have followed the Bears (who, by the way, are celebrating their 50th anniversary), I have never seen another parent team show as much concern for life down on the farm.
Camp Hill, Pa.
FOOD FOR TIGERS
I thoroughly enjoyed your Oct. 5 issue, especially the article on those highflying Blue Jays (Birds on the Wing). Maybe Peter Gammons, obviously an expert in the field of ornithology, would like a recipe for crow. I have one he's sure to enjoy.
Start with a ball club (Detroit) that has seasoned veterans and fresh rookies, add one sage pitcher (Doyle Alexander) who goes 9-0 with a 1.53 ERA for the team, stir in 225 home runs and 840 runs batted in and let simmer until the mixture blows the lid off of the American League East.
Bon appètit, Peter.
As for the Blue Jays, it is unfortunate that the second-best team in baseball wasn't around for the playoffs. They are a class ball club and, I am sure, will be heard from in the future.
It is pretty obvious that Peter Gammons counted his Blue Jays before they hatched.
Lincoln Park, Mich.
I was only three years old when Dave Meggyesy (Still on the Outside, Oct. 5) quit football and wrote his book Out of Their League. However, after reading the book this past summer at the age of 21, I find it relevant. Speaking out as he did was, I feel, an act of courage, not an act of treason. Thank you for an update on a true spokesman for his time—and for our time.
College Park, Md.
Dave Meggyesy is a person to be highly admired and valued. We need more people like him—counterculture heroes, mavericks and gadflies—to give their views on our society's issues and problems. Any book that helps develop open minds, greater tolerance and more accepting attitudes is welcome.
Are you sure Dave Meggyesy's favorite book isn't Das Kapital?
JED S. FRANCIS
I thought SI had stopped running dumb jock articles.
JOCK LIT (CONT.)
I very much enjoyed Jack McCallum's article on sports literature (Jock Lit, Sept. 21). I am an avid reader of sports books. Two that McCallum didn't mention that I would recommend are A Coach's World, by Richard (Digger) Phelps and Larry Keith, and Distant Replay, by Jerry Kramer with Dick Schaap. Coach Phelps's book delves into Notre Dame basketball, the highlight of which is the section on Notre Dame's stopping of UCLA's 88-game winning streak.
I read books by athletes to learn what it's like to be a world-class performer and to have the eyes and expectations of fans thrust upon you at an early age. One of the best of this type I have read is Giant Steps by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Peter Knobler.
PETER F. JUNKER
Sherman Oaks, Calif.
After perusing your article, I pulled my favorite sports book—The Game, by Ken Dryden, former goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens—off the shelf and reread it. If you want to know what it's like to play one of the most isolated and pressurized positions in sport, this is the book to read.
ROBERT A. PARKS
The best sports book I have ever read is One More July, by George Plimpton, about Bill Curry, former NFL lineman and present coach at the University of Alabama. It gave me an exciting, insider's point of view into pro football and such personalities as Dick Butkus, Merlin Olsen and Vince Lombardi. It is also the funniest book on sports I have read.
LANCE R. MALLON
I was disappointed to find no mention of Foul!, the book about Connie Hawkins by David Wolf. For me, Foul! was the ultimate in sports literature, combining the biography of an athlete with the story of a system that not only did nothing to protect him but actually used him for its own ends. Although I am only 22 and never had a chance to see the Hawk soar, his story introduced me to his game, his life and the powerful way in which the sports establishment affected him.
The problem with many of today's sports autobiographies, beginning with Ball Four, is that they break an unspoken yet time-honored tradition among athletes on all levels: The locker room, the team bus and the hotel room were places where players could let down their guard without fear of being exposed. They could be gross, foul, silly, angry, etc., always with the comforting thought that what they did or said there stayed there. Today's sports star authors, with their superficial chatter about teammates and managers, are little better than gossips. And the greater shame is that we, the fans, lend them support by buying their books.
BRUCE D. NICKLES
HEAD LINES (CONT.)
Bruce E. Blackmore of Traverse City, Mich., recently (Letters, Sept. 28) referred to the classic line about Dizzy Dean's head: "The X-rays revealed nothing." He went on to say that the line was widely circulated after Diz was hit in the head by a batted ball during the 1934 World Series.
That is not quite accurate. After he was sent in as a pinch runner at first base by manager Frank Frisch, Dean was hit on the head by a ball thrown by Detroit shortstop Billy Rogell, who was trying to complete a double play.
WALTER SIPPEL JR.
Stone Mountain, Ga.
I loved Peter Gammons's account of the American League East championship battle between the Tigers and the Blue Jays (Birds on the Wing, Oct. 5). But one question remains: Is the picture of Bill Madlock taking out Toronto shortstop Tony Fernandez at second base backward, or does Fernandez always switch his glove to his right hand when making tough plays?
•The picture (shown correctly below) was flopped.—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.