OREL AND DON
The pitchers with the longest scorelessinning streaks in major league history—Orel Hershiser and Don Drysdale—have more in common than the fact that they wore Los Angeles Dodger uniforms when they set their records. Consider the following:
1) As you stated in your story (Plenty of Nothing, Oct. 10), Hershiser's streak came close to ending against the San Francisco Giants. So did Drysdale's.
2) Both of these incidents involving the Giants hinged on a controversial umpiring decision. An interference call against San Francisco's Brett Butler kept Hershiser's streak alive. In Drysdale's case, he hit the Giants' Dick Dietz with a pitch with the bases loaded, but umpire Harry Wendelstedt ruled that Dietz had not made an attempt to get out of the way of the pitch, so Dietz wasn't awarded first base.
3) Butler's first and last initials are the same; so are Dietz's.
4) Both games were played on a Friday night.
5) The Dodgers won both games 3-0.
6) The shutouts were the fifth in each pitcher's streak.
7) In each game, the Giants starter was a lefthander: Mike McCormick in 1968 and Atlee Hammaker in '88.
8) Butler wears number 2; Dietz wore number 2.
Santa Cruz, Calif.
I couldn't stop laughing at Rick Reilly's article about the inept professional teams of Atlanta (Peach State Lemons, Oct. 3). The only thing he left out was the bumper sticker that has appeared there: GO BRAVES—AND TAKE THE FALCONS WITH YOU!
Having suffered for almost two decades as a dedicated Atlanta sports fan, I agree that the blame should be put on the owners, who for some reason remain unable to grasp the fact that the key to fan support is a quality team. I take issue in the strongest possible terms, however, with Reilly's statement about the drafting of a "white cornerback" and the attendant implication that the ability or inability to excel at a particular position is somehow a function of a player's race. I thought we had put that one to rest.
GERARD S. GRYSKI
BROADENING THE BASE
E.M. Swift astutely pointed out the need for U.S. Olympic teams to broaden their bases and aim for gold in the so-called lesser sports (POINT AFTER, Oct. 10). One sport in which America could take better advantage of an existing broad base is wrestling. The rules of high school and college wrestling in the U.S. should be modified to resemble more closely those of Olympic freestyle wrestling. More important, America could double both its medal potential and its opportunities for participation in this sport if scholastic wrestling included Greco-Roman as well as freestyle events; both styles are contested in the Olympics.
I was disturbed by E.M. Swift's evaluation of the Seoul Games in terms of the number of medals won. Such emphasis does a disservice to the Olympics by reducing the competition among some of the world's best athletes to an exercise in flag-waving. I agree with Swift's recommendation that more financial assistance be arranged for such sports as gymnastics, cycling and rowing. However, this assistance should be provided not for the purpose of achieving parity with the U.S.S.R. and East Germany in terms of medal counts, but for the purpose of ensuring that U.S. athletes who excel in these sports have access to the finest coaching and most advanced training facilities. The Olympic motto is Citius, altius, fortius ("Faster, higher, stronger"), not "Beat the Reds to the gold."
I very much enjoyed your special 1988 Summer Olympics preview (Sept. 14). Thank you for providing such a well-done guide to the Games. For the record, here is how well your "resident experts" predicted the 730 medal winners: 54.4% of the predicted medal winners won medals, and 24.3% won the medal predicted. The numbers for your Winter Olympics preview issue (Jan. 27) were 47.1% and 20.3%, respectively.
LARRY T. HOLCOMBE
I was sure that a lot of readers would not bother with Fred Waitzkin's My Master, My Son (Sept. 19) because, like me, they would have little or no interest in chess. I didn't expect to read more than a couple of paragraphs. But—lucky for me—that's all it took to get me hooked. In more than 20 years of reading SI, I don't remember a better story.
Fishers Island, Conn.
WOODROW WILSON ALUMNI
Previous issues of your magazine have featured articles about places that produce more than their share of talented athletes. Woodrow Wilson High in Long Beach, Calif., is distinguished for being an alma mater of U.S. Olympians. Four of our alumni, Bob Ctvrtlik (volleyball), Jody Campbell (water polo), Kelly McCormick (springboard diving) and John Shadden (yachting, 470 class), earned gold, silver and bronze (two) medals, respectively, at the Games in Seoul. Other graduates who have performed well in Games past include sculler Joan Lind, springboard and platform diver Pat McCormick (Kelly's mother), javelin thrower Kate Schmidt and swimmer and water polo player Tim Shaw. Among them, they won four golds, four silvers and two bronzes in five different Olympics.
Long Beach, Calif.
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.